Heart Up, Feet Down
"Walk with your feet on earth, but in your heart, be in heaven."
-St. John Bosco
oil and liquid gold leaf on canvas
20 x 24 in
Though we are to be in this world, we must remember that we are not of this world. Amidst going about our daily lives and taking care of all our temporal responsibilities, we should still keep in mind our ultimate goal- Heaven. In this way, we should neither become so caught up in our earthly lives that we forget our true home, nor should we become so absorbed in reflecting on the life to come that we neglect our roles, relationships, and duties here on earth. Rather, the knowledge of our end goal of Heaven should instead translate and be visible in our day to day work- evident to all others that we are fulfilling our roles on earth, but that our hearts are after the world we truly belong to.
This painting attempts to illustrate the beautiful disposition that our feet ought to be grounded on earth, while our hearts ought to be set above. A pair of shoes are positioned on the ground, showcasing the need to be present here and now, to attend to the work entrusted to each of us specifically. Yet the heart-shaped window within the shoe gives us a glimpse into the heavenly, ethereal sky. This portal symbolizes that this individual is walking on earth, but that her heart is ultimately in Heaven, which serves as the encouragement to persevere and strive in this life. But it does not end there- the heavenly sky leaks from the heart-shaped opening, leaving little drops on the ground. This illustrates how the heart's inclination to Heaven ultimately "leaks" into one's daily life, leaving subtle droplets on earth as evidence to others that his/her heart is set above. The bright, golden yellow color of the shoes displays the joy and hope of the individual who realizes his/her true home and is able to go about daily life with purpose. The type of shoes depicted- and even the presence of shoes compared to being barefoot- simply displays the reality that this all can be applied even living in the modern world. Finally, the golden birds illustrate the freedom that is brought about by knowing we are not of this world, but that we can still bring the heavenly into the everyday.