Lady Magdalene

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The blending of the two images – Lady Liberty and Mary Magdalene – came to me when I envisioned Mary holding her alabaster jar and chalice in the same way that the Statue of Liberty holds her book and torch. Possibly an odd pairing upon first glance, but for me, the essence of the union of these two feminine figures is about being seen.

 More importantly, it’s about choosing to be seen without regard for outcome.

The actual Statue of Liberty was created with the intent of being a universal, visible image that depicted, and was embraced as, the symbol of opportunity and of new life. Placed upon a pedestal on her own island along the path of entry, she is the epitome of being seen. And she is understood, revered, and visited in droves.

Mary Magdalene was a sacred feminine being who was very real and was willing to be seen. She followed her heart and her soul and never abandoned her wild nature. And for that, she was misunderstood and rejected. She was all but erased from common history save for her depiction as a sinner who was forgiven by Jesus, that is, until recently when truths about her have been rediscovered. To place her upon Lady Liberty’s pedestal as I did in the original oil painting, hugging her alabaster jar and raising her chalice high above her head, is to offer her some of the visage and reverence she deserves…perhaps to make up for a little lost time.

The blending of these two entities, one a portal of welcome and one a sacred woman of faith, depicts the varied responses one often receives when choosing to be seen. In their cases, this difference in outcome could be explained as a simple reflection of historical timing and intent, but frankly, it doesn’t matter. Here’s the truth…

To choose to be seen is brave and necessary. It is the intent with which we were created.

Although it is awesome to be deemed acceptable from day one when seen, it is also a wonderful gift to be rediscovered, rewritten, and seen anew no matter when it occurs. But it is most critical, yet the most difficult, to embrace the fact that one may never be understood, accepted, or deemed worthy after bravely choosing to be seen. To continue living openly and honestly knowing that the outcome may always be rejection. This is the sacred essence of being alive.

The original oil painting measures 24 x 48″. Completed 2008. The original is not for sale, but images may be purchased via Fine Art America and RedBubble.

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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