Spirit of Safed Through a Window נפש צפת מחלון

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Art: 20 layers of coordinated paper cuts. 12”x20” (30x51cm) Frame: Wood. 70-100 year-old shuttered window frame. 16”x24” (42x61cm). אמנות: 20 שכבות של חיתוכי נייר מתואמים. (30×51ס”מ). מסגרת חלון עץ בתריס בן 70-100. (42×61 ס”מ)

By Jonathan Lyon. יונתן ליון Inquiries by email or phone: פניות במייל או טלפון JVLYON@GMAIL.COM Israel +972 (58)-647-8411 בישראל USA: +1 (510) 335-3567 (connects to my phone in Israel). מארצות הברית Price/ ₪5,000/$1,530 (shipping not included/המכיר אינו כולל משלוח)

Open the shutters at gaze out onto this marvelous city of glowing stones and rooftops, intimate courtyards and bougainvillea trellises.

Part of my growing series, “Love Letter to Israel”, this piece is my homage to the beautiful mystical vertical city of Safed (pronounced “Tsfat”).

This piece tries to capture the peace of the stones, the presence of place and lives of the people who live here.

I tried to express this within the city’s verticality and its expansive views of the Mt. Meron environment.

Looking at the city from lower left to upper right one ascends over 350 feet. And the birds and clouds in the sky bring you higher still.

There is a lot of small detail in the picture and much had to be cut using a low power “microscope” (IPhone using 10x magnification)

I tried to also capture some of the various moods of the city as well, like these back alleys. Getting lost in Sefat and trudging up and down worn slippery steps is an integral part of life here.

And then suddenly you hear music and someone is sitting on a porch or at the front door playing a concerto!

Or you round a corner at the bottom of steps and suddenly hear the sounds of children’s laughter as they dominate the street with their play.

Or the sound of wind whipping through alleys or through one incongruous tree growing right out of a dilapidated wall or from a garden too small to hold it. Or the sound of various birds, depending on the season.

There are plenty of wondering confused people living in or visiting Safed. And one is reminded that we’re all visitors here and are humbled.

That is what I was thinking about when I came up with a new byword:

“You can see the world in a flower And if you see and listen carefully enough to another person, you can see the totality and majesty of God’s Creation.”

“Seeing the world has nothing to do with travel, but travel helps.”

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My Profile: The Gemara says that all of our constructs and paradigms exist as a result of suppressing information. From chaos, the sum potential of all that is possible - physicists call it white noise; statisticians call it raw data - we must push away that which is unwanted. We are left to work with our visions and patterns of reality. The big question is, how well do those visions match up to what reality actually is in all its inter-related complexity and detail. On Yom Kippur, we come face to face with the reality that "The hidden things belong to HaShem our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we might fulfill all the words of this Torah." (Deuteronomy 29:28). God's ultimate and uncompromising reality must hold us accountable even for paradigms we are NOT aware of! Many refer to this as "The law of unintended consequences." This is why what I hold dear is not answers, but an endless path of growing awareness that attempts to come closer and closer to reality as it really is - not the "reality" that is just a projection of some inner solipsistic construction within my brain. The questions- not the answers - lead me on that path. I have become deeply committed to a life long journey of learning, growth, change, love, discernment, service, play, commitment, questioning, and valuing disagreement. At my core is the notion that without self-doubt and without valuing difference and differing opinions, one cannot develop a fulfilling and meaningful life. My art starts as a white sheet of whole paper, which represents chaos - all the possible pictures that one could create on it - onto which I impose order. Simultaneously destructive and defining, my paper-cutting adds meaning to the paper. Cutting pieces out is a creative process that graphically reveals before me my deeper paradigms so that I can scrutinize them - so that I can better understand the limits and characteristics of the space in which those paradigms work and gain insight as to where they are no longer valid. But it is not just a discovery of my internal landscapes. It is a process of becoming aware of myself within relationship and covenant. It is my simultaneous love and awe of and participation in the splendor of God's continued creation. It is my Avoda.

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