edition of 35
19.5″ h x 12″ w

Nourished, a bronze vessel by Carol AllemanTwisted and knotted
coarse and smooth
weathered and worn
you wear your own story.

Your bark is your color
to the visible world
while its interior
quietly feeds your soul.

Holding you in its
blanket of protection
like a newborn child, you drink
the Nourishment of your season.

Freely you let go
season upon season,
fully fed and trusting your color
exactly where you stand.

You beckon me to
trust my shedding in my seasons
attentive wholly to
the feeding of my soul.

Trusting my shedding,
wearing my color,
may I, as you, offer Love
from a purely Nourished soul.

Nourished was inspired from a meditation, and reflections on the bark of trees. The trees’ bark is not so much a protection from the outside world but rather a protection of its interior source of nourishment. The bark protects the inner layer of bark that allows the sap to flow through the tree – the avenue of its true nourishment.

The gift of this meditation was the awareness that when we feel extremely vulnerable and our gut reaction is to ‘put up a wall’ to protect ourselves, we are perhaps missing an invitation. What it is we might need most, is to recognize that we are feeling vulnerable perhaps solely because we are not tending/ protecting our inner bark – our own source of where and how we receive our individual Nourishment. The bark is diverse on trees and shed in certain seasons. We might hear the wisdom of the tree and likewise recognize the practices, places, and things that lead us to our nourishment in each season. We may need to be open to some shedding, and to new discoveries. Mostly, might it be a reminder that all we ultimately need to protect is those avenues that allow us to best receive our individual, divine Nourishment.

The bark on this piece is intentionally more apparent and diverse than previous pieces in the Tree of Life series of vessels.  Openings in the negative space create many irregularly shaped hearts, a universal symbol in most traditions as the center of our being, the divine presence at the center. Nourished is a vessel for lovers, love of oneself, and love of another in the purest sense. Nourished is an invitation to love from a well of self-love and a mutual respect for the diversity of ways we each receive our soulful food.