That's amazing! I think the metaphor applies to all forms of prayer, even if incense isn't involved. I mean prayer itself is very subtle, just like smoke. The incense could be what we invest into our prayers such as intention and a genuine desire to connect with something greater than ourselves, which provide fuel for the smoke. Although I see a lot of meaning in your artwork, I also appreciate that they can be enjoyed for what they are without the need to derive any meaning.
Growing up in a Christian home, my mother once told me to write a letter to God then burn it so that the smoke will carry my words up to then heavens. I believe that symbolical gesture has resonated with for all these years
And my works are open to everyone, as what the interpret of my work is an experience that I can never dictate
I truly appreciate that you share your personal experiences with those who appreciate your artwork.
Coming from an Arab culture, I myself grew up with incense as my grandmother and aunties would always burn it for the sake of driving away "the evil eye" (which is believed to personify negative energy that comes from envy), to allow those who have a cold to sniff it to help with their ailments, and to remove any bad odors in the house. Incense was also passed around to guests to have them fan the smoke to their faces as a way of hospitality. I recall running behind those who carried the incense around as a child as I was always so mesmerized by the smoke and the smell (which would differ depending on the sorts of stones used, each of which has its own purpose). At times, my grandmother would place the incense under my blouse as part of driving away the evil eye or just because I asked for it. I never thought of incense as a tool for prayer till I visited Buddhist temples in Thailand when I was around 10.
This drawing inspires to write a poem...will let you know once I do write it
Well the use of smoke has been a long tradition in ritual which still includes the prayer. Many cultures still practice the rituals but do not emphasize the prayers that accompany them, yet the intent of the heart still is the prayer itself . . . such as the intent of driving away evil spirits and blessings of good fortune to visitors . . . since the smoke cleanses
I was adopted my the Islamic Tausug people of the Philippines, who practice many Arab culture based rituals . . . which I am grateful to experience
I look forward to you poem and see how wonderfully I also learn from your experiences