I have been thinking lately about Beauty. The urge to beautify the world seems to exist, in different forms, in almost every human being. The south end of 15th Avenue–just before you reach the Rio Salado–is an ugly, utilitarian part of the city. There are no parks, no beautiful homes, nothing very nice–just warehouses and railroad tracks and empty lots and a freeway going through it. And that’s where I discovered another manifestation of the Goddess, bringing color and beauty to one of the dingiest places in my fair city of Phoenix.
The hand gesture is peculiar, not really a pointing or a liberating gesture. It seems more like a magical gesture, and if it is Magic, then this may well be the Goddess creating and releasing this butterfly.
Look at her face. She is either in a trance or deep concentration. If she were watching butterflies, her eyes would be open, and she would probably be smiling, but if she is creating them . . .
The butterflies are going in all directions.
You can see the life energy coming out of the hand here.
Many butterflies float through the sky on this underpass.
Butterflies need flowers. The Goddess provides a sunflower for them. The sunflower is a plant that grows mostly in the Southwest. When I was a boy 60 years ago, they grew wild, like weeds all over the city. Now they are hard to find unless some homeowner has deliberately chosen to plant them.
I’ve been showing you the details, but let’s step back and see the big picture.
Tagged and defiled by graffiti and the grime of decades, the Goddess endures beneath this bridge.
I may be reading all kinds of symbolism and meaning into these murals that was never intended. These paintings were done decades ago. My city has a strong hispanic heritage. Chicano artists bring their own cultural themes to their work. Perhaps this was meant to be Our Lady of Guadalupe, another form of the Virgin Mary. Perhaps the butterflies are just butterflies and not metaphors for souls.
Perhaps, but I like my interpretation, and now you have a glimpse at why trolls like to spend time under bridges. A world of beauty, undreamed of by those who pass above, hides under the bridges of Phoenix.
If you’ve ever found anything cool or beautiful beneath a bridge, why not leave a comment?