May 30

Hibiscus Mandala

hibiscus-mandala-5-28-16-jtI’m doing my daily “mandayla” from the Hibiscus room of the Duval Inn in Key West today. So I decided to use a hibiscus as my centerpiece and starting point.

I immediately noticed that the hibiscus I was referencing online bore a strong resemblance to a vagina. I pointed this out to Brad, who is relaxing next to me on the bed. And he reminded me of Georgia O’Keefe. We discussed her fascination with flowers and the vagina. And quickly googled to learn she was bisexual.

There are a lot of intricate lines emanating from the dark center of the hibiscus, like veins. And they reminded me of the expression “the devil is in the details” for some reason. And also made me think about wrinkles. The details are often what really make things beautiful. The fine lines make everything so much richer and define the whole.

I can recall thinking once before that people earn their wrinkles. Kind of like the way boy scouts collect badges and patches that represent their accomplishments, and proudly display them across their chest. We marvel when we see the rings on a tree, but, as a society, we blanch when we see them on people.

This is really something to think about, especially as I get older. Women talk about wrinkles all the time, and plastic surgery, too. Some people I know become more and more beautiful as they get older. And I would say they wear their wrinkles well. Maybe some of the others have wrinkles born of unpleasant experiences, and they carry a different look on the owner?

My mother used to warn me when I would make a sour face that it might freeze that way. I definitely know a few people that have captured the permanent frown. Much like the joker is stuck with his hideous grin.

I’ve decided to name this mandala after the hibiscus that inspired it, in the room in Key West filled with bright paintings of flowers. I also used the word hibiscus around the outer circle of the mandala drawing because I think it’s so fitting of the flower. It’s an excellent example of how we sometimes get it really right with language. To me, hibiscus is much prettier and unique than rose or lily. But I’ve never met a person named Hibiscus. jt