Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico.
Some experts seem to notice the difference between real and fake diamonds. Many people say that the transformation of raw carbon into diamonds it’s the most natural of processes. Extreme heat, pressure and time changes the constitution. The miracle takes place and now is irreversible, and it is so for the conversion of other natural organisms. Butterfly metamorphosis for example, food preparation, digestion, sex or growth.
It is scarcity and purity that gives great value to diamonds. As decay seems to be a universal constant in a material world, it is natural for us to desire something less perishable, more steady and appealing. Something as Love, gold or diamonds; friends, framed butterflies, or electronic bank funds, renewable energy, water, or food stocks. In order to gratify this desire there is another conversion. This conversion (of an imaginary inventory into the material world in the sense of acquiring or becoming) ignite a very deep power struggle. Sinful enough to be pathetic, and at times more destructive than a category 5 hurricane of death.
As I write in a traffic jam sneaking for internet reception, at the 14th day after Hurricane María, there are still areas of Puerto Rico totally destroyed and unreachable. 3.5 million citizens have to abandon normality or accept new norms of survivalism in my post-industrial island. The current President of the United States, Mr. Trump, visits the colony of Puerto Rico on a questionable humanitarian 5-hour trip circus. The political relationship between USA and Puerto Rico are nothing more than ambiguous. Life's represent budget numbers. Meanwhile, the crisis give voices to very specific cases.
Lust as fire, also seems to govern emotional, political, and the economical arena. Not only on my territory. Not now. Is all over. It’s spread. Speculation, technology and science give us an extended power-trip sense, a domestication of natural means, a new kind of fast lure or religion for survival or success. Omniscience hooked on internet feeds, opinionated support and consent with our social media ghettos, along with, nice prognostics from weather infographics. Data has never felt so in charge.
So while I was preparing charcoal from decaying tropical forest in Puerto Rico and making artworks that metaphorically can become diamonds too, we got the blessing and the curse of getting hit by two hurricanes revealing a deeper crisis. Nature stands as witness, for it is a forced autumn in a tropical land. The skin of the forest is burned. However, the intensity of the devastation is incomparable with the vulnerability and the human brokenness that we have seen this days. Artificial development is in pause, and while we were on the way of becoming more holy or more of a sinner, more compassionate or more consumeristic, the few analog media outlets that survived in the early days of this crisis, flood the waves with interminable pain. Desperation spread as a wildfire.
It’s true that Hurricane Irma and Maria destroyed many humans, nature and things and my outdoor studio is only one of them (and this is so, so insignificant). Last week, I finally had access to my studio and my eyes couldn't believe what they were seeing. I've been working for sometime with the concept of Divine Judgment throughout natural means (water, fire, and wind), and it's not the same to draw it, than to realize you are possibly living and walking in the midst of it. It is neither a coincidence.
Some experts seems to notices that Leonardo Da’Vinci was heavily influenced with the idea of the end of the world, specially via water. Minuscule forms in his water studies depicts full cities been devoured or transformed by it. Also John Martin, the apocalyptic painter was pretty obsessed with the biblical idea of an epic fire consummation, just like the apostle Peter tells:
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
—2Pe 3:10 KJV
It is patience that gives character, and character delivers otherworldly hope in so many forms. Slow, slow fire, pressure, and time. Analog ticking of the clock. Hearth and rhythm. Struggle and sunshine mix. In order to enjoy-in-adversity, not as a man-made trust, and not as a display of self-pity, we have to recognize the One who creates and sustains reality, and it is the Ultimate Reality itself. This One, that provides both: A way and intention, design and direction, that surely is Himself, personal and transforming, overflows with manifested plans of hope and future. This same carbon-diamond shaping reality, is the case of the Kingdom of God. Announced surely, and here, or coming slowly. Coming soon, brewed as an eternal coffee of a thousands years, emerging and pervading, imminent, eternal and so marginal. Coming in the form of judgement or mercy. Multiform views of the same reality. Pervasive.
What's left is to put our sight to the Invisible.