This painting is difficult to talk about because the grief and joy in it are so tightly entwined. Linguistically those things are polar opposites, but experientially you can't always tell when you have crossed the boarder from one into the other. Some things are verbally paradoxical, but innocently and effortlessly unified when thinking in paint. So instead of trying to explain this painting, and risk lapsing into cryptic art-talk, I will give you a list of things that swirled around in my mind as I made it.
1, Creatures of fire.
2. Light that is as mysterious as darkness, perhaps more so
3. Shadowed regions that are tender, cupping, sheltering
4. Something of infinite and effortless worth (not carved out by will)
5. The fragility of so much that we love
6. Delight that doesn't depend on innocence
7. The lines of this poem by Octavio Paz;
I dreamt the dreams of dreamless stones,
and there at the end of the years like stones
I heard my blood, singing in its prison,
and the sea sang with a murmur of light,
one by one the walls gave way"