Nicole Hoschke’s photograph is about how we accept our suffering, how we can heal and transcend it by a state of stillness and gratitude.
In this picture, a woman is peacefully given a shower of flour, letting it go with a joyful acceptance. There is movement and calmness, there is light and darkness: Nicole Hoschke depicts life “in all its good and bad” in her own words, and shows how one can witness them with awareness and let them go: to embrace what comes in our lives and fully acknowlege it, to observe this arising and dissolving, is the Art of being still. Nicole writes:
“The flour represents the arisings of life: the feelings, the sensations and external phenomena, sometimes fiercely hitting us, sometimes as a gentle rain or cloud.”
The flour can also remind us of one of the Sadhus’ practices, they cover themselves with human ashes – these practices which Joey Lawrence captures in his portraits of holy men in India represent their spiritual states and philosophies, Nicole regards his work as inspirational.
“The path of transcendence to me is a dance of dissolving and receiving to healing and acceptance”.
Her photograph is about how we accept our suffering, how we can heal and transcend it by a state of stillness and gratitude.
“Retreating into a dark and intimate space and allowing ourselves to be a vulnerable and quiet witness to life, is what brings contentment of spirit – to journey through life in stillness.”
This image summarises this very journey: the choice of a woman symbolises sweetness and fragility, which can sometimes appear as vulnerability – in front of life challenges. Independently of any gender matter, Nicole Hoschke portrays instead the feminine quality of any human being, which is of openness and receptivity. Her face, illuminated with a soft light and a discreet smile, as well as her posture remind us of a Madonna – without struggling, without forcing, she is going beyond the so-called reality as if perceived like a mere delusion, receiving a more subtle truth with grace. With no resistance and no reacting, she lets go of the outer world and her apparent identity to connect with her inner self. Her eyes are closed: she goes inwards to find peace and transcend the showering. Actually, in this inner stillness a genuine strength remains: the power of accepting anything as a gift, the power of holding to nothing except this inner anchor of joyful peace.