A more complete version of this quote is: "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do."
Alas, I made this image before choosing a quote this week, and since I didn't position the sunflower facing the sun I didn't think it quite matched. I was disappointed. The chances of the quote also relating to a sunflower... it would've been perfect! However, that pensive little blackbird is most definitely keeping its face to the sunshine.
I started this drawing with the intention of relating it to the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. This time of year feels like the end of something and the beginning at the same time. Maybe that's because I still think of the school year as a new start versus the first of January. My in-progress fantasy novel begins in the fall season for my main character too. It has just kind of stuck with me as the season that starts the year new, and I tend to feel rejuvenated for creative projects at this time especially.
In relation to this week's quote, it really resonated with the attitude I've been consciously trying to keep. I know what it's like trying to live while facing all kinds of shadows. Nothing stunts your growth like meditating on what's wrong. Like a sunflower starved of daylight, we wilt in the shade of overwhelming circumstance, problems or negativity. Sometimes we do this out of a sense of responsibility; we spend so much energy on fixing whatever isn't right with us or around us but at the same time forget to acknowledge the things that are right. The shadows are the what-if's, I'm not's, I can't's and anything negative outside our control. Instead of becoming paralyzed in the shadow, take action from a place of confidence. Feel rooted in your accomplishments, and let your strengths, passions and joy face you in right the direction.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) was an American author, political activist and campaigner for deaf and blind charities. Helen became deaf and blind as a young child and had to struggle to overcome her dual disability. However, she became the first deaf-blind person to attain a bachelors degree and became an influential campaigner for social, political and disability issues. Her public profile helped de-stigmatise blindness and deafness, and she was seen as a powerful example of someone overcoming difficult circumstances.
I read about this author here: http://www.biographyonline.net/women/helen-keller.html