Going Home

Editor's Note:

This month, local yoga teacher Kay Ananda shares some poignant reflections on the many meanings of home in her piece titled "Going Home." We'd like to thank Kay for allowing us to reprint the piece, which started out as a post from her blog. When she sent this link our way, we saw in it a lovely testimony to the way in which art plays an important role in our lives. Kay offers a lovely portrayal of the power of art to speak to us on many levels. Art teaches us about our unseen selves and can help create lasting bonds between individuals that remain important as we go through the many changes of life's journey. Also, once you've read Kay's piece, you can read this poetic post-script Kay wrote for her blog recently to show how "Going Home" looks in her home now that it is framed.

"Going Home"

This is a painting entitled “Going Home,” created by Amaey Shah. I purchased this painting at a fundraiser for Kids & Art a few years ago. The moment when I saw it, I was drawn to it. My iPhone camera does not do justice to its vibrant splash and the gloss of its glistening colors. It seemed to capture this sadly beautiful “energy” you might call it, or a “wish” or “desire” of a seven-year-old boy who really wanted to leave the hospital bed and the treatments behind and just be freed to go home!

I don’t know if you can see it, but you see two little birds flying back home to the next, when the whole sky turned to a red-orange hue of brilliant colors inbued with the golden threads of a setting sun. Looking at it moved me because … not cured, not healed, he did not get to go home. Or did he?

The medium is not oil but tissue paper and tempera paint that appears to be fading unfortunately, which compelled me to “save” the sparkle by covering it with museum quality glass.

The painting sat unframed for a few years because when I first went to look for an appropriate frame, I just couldn’t find a fitting one. Nothing worked; nothing was right. Maybe I couldn’t display it on a wall then; it gave me a very heavy feeling. Finally, determined, I found a very simple frame and framed it few weeks ago. Now it hangs on the wall. At last! Now angelic light shines and reflects off the frame, and there’s a soft glow where the painting hangs.

Back then, it seemed so unreal that Amaey did not go to the physical home occupied by his mom and dad and his brother, but rather to a spiritual home up in the sky when he was nine years old, in 2011.

Somehow, I could not believe that someone so young and full of life and promise could just perish, and if I, such a third party felt this way, I cannot imagine how his family, those closest to him, so involved in the battle to beat cancer, those closest to him felt about losing that fight to save him. It’s rather unreal.

Today, the painting now framed, whenever I look at it, I see the beauty of Amaey’s smile, his zest for life and his brave homecoming. I will post the framed painting soon. This painting gives me strength and gratitude for the life we live.

Amaey’s mom, Purvi Shah has kept the memory of her son alive by continuing to provide art therapy through Kids & Art Foundation. Their annual auction fundraiser just took place last month. Purvi again shared the organization’s mission to provide the support to these kids and affected family members.

Art is therapeutic as is yoga. (Purvi is also a certified yoga instructor, a training she went through after Amaey’s death.)

How does one cope with grief of losing someone as precious as one’s own child? It would seem that there’s no greater challenge for any mother than to overcome such grief. All the more reason that I respect her, someone who has harnessed her anger and grief into supporting and helping others after going through the unthinkable.

She took what’s very negative and terrifying to most parents and turned it into something very positive, an earnest and sweet memorial for Amaey to celebrate his short life on earth and his long eternal life in the cosmic universe. She comes from a place of empathy and deep love with conviction in her mission to serve. Amaey must be her guiding light.


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