The enchanting shape of the mystical lotus, captured here in a luscious echeveria succulent. Upon seeing this plant, entrenched in dark wood chips, my thought was to photograph it as a depiction of the beautiful lotus flower, characteristically known for its growth out of mud. In Buddhism, the lotus represents purity of the mind, body, and spirit; it is illustrated artistically with eight petals to signify the Eightfold Path to enlightenment. Widely recognized as a symbol for renewal, overcoming challenges, and letting go of the past, I also believe it analogous to dichotomy—the elegance and delicacy of its petals, juxtaposed with the muddiness and murkiness of its native environment. The simplicity of its form against its complex root system underneath.
In this piece, I’ve highlighted the seemingly endless, unfolding layers of this stunning succulent, both as a metaphor for the multilayered nature of existence, and as a visual mantra for embracing complexity.
words / image © 2017 Nena Black