Seljuk (Turkish) period polychrome bowl depicting royalty circa 1187
late 12th - early 13th century Persian bowl depicting victorious king
from11th century poet Firdausi's Shahnama (the Book of Kings)
leaf from the Qur'an in 'eastern kufi' script
late 11th or 12th century Iran or Afghanistan
Shocked to his core, Hakim Sanai heard these words in his deepest heart, and changed his life from that moment on. Leaving Ghazni, he pursued "the way of the heart" under the Sufi master, Yusef Hamdani, and returned, eventually, to Ghazni. Upon his arrival, the Bahram Shah rejoiced, offering his only sister as a bride to errant poet, but Hakim no longer belonged to that world and left on a pilgrimage for Mecca and Medina.
page from De Materia Medica of Dioscorides
showing him with a student, Northern Iraq 1229
With apologies for the poor quality, this is a reproduction of a 14th century Syrian painting. Clustered together, we see some owls who live in a mountain protected by fire from some crows who would attack them. To me this represents what Sanai wrote above: truth is hidden from us only that our desire to know it can be awakened.
Deciding to make my own New Year's cards this year, what came to mind but owls.
These first two are quite small measuring 3" wide x 2" high.
They are drawn with pen and acrylic polymer emulsion "ink"
and painted with watercolour.
In the same medium, this painting is 6" wide x 4 1/4" high,
already sent to a dear friend for her 82nd birthday which is...today!
Wishing us all Owl Wisdom to wrap our consciousness in.