My story begins where a myth ends; it continues on from where fact and fiction collide.
When I was little my parents used several techniques to teach us etiquette and train us for life. One way was through the act of storytelling.
Lesson no. 1
Don’t waste your food. Its a blessing from God.
In this vein, whenever there was a pomegranate in sight we were told a story based in religion. I am still not sure of its source or whether it was fiction – probably a myth – but it is widely believed that one unknown seed of the pomegranate is divine. Anyone who has that particular seed will go straight to heaven after death, skipping hell and punishment altogether. The Moral being that one should not waste their food (especially if its a pomegranate) and eat all the juicy seeds.
Now back to the story.
*Scene – Dinner table, 8pm, when I was much younger*
Bearing in mind the divine nature of an unknown pomegranate seed, a man decides to leave civilisation and the hustle and bustle of city life behind for one afternoon to be able to eat his fruit (pom) in peace, far away from the distractions of daily life. His aim is to eat every seed so as to gain certainty of paradise upon death.
Sitting in a secluded area, he cuts open his fruit and starts deseeding it. Happily, he starts eating it. In the process, a single seed slips from between his fingers and rolls a short distance away. Before he can make a start to retrieve it, along comes a little hen and pecks away at the seed.
There were always way too many conclusions at the end of this story in my head. Should he have shared? Greed is a bad thing. One must not look for shortcuts to go to heaven. And always, my final and most obvious conclusion was Now the hen will go to heaven. Or will it?
My next series of miniature paintings start where the story ends. The Hen pecks away at a seed, possibly a divine seed, unwittingly paving its way to paradise.