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On the Cover: February 2017

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Arts, Community Profiles

On the Cover: February 2017

Hatred Driven Hence by Adele Flail.

I began work on Hatred Driven Hence roughly 10 years ago. At loose ends after dropping out of a graduate program and struggling with self-worth and severe depression, I felt caught between who I was and who I thought I should be, with every action and choice painfully measured for whether it would justify my existence. During this time, though, as a heretofore self-taught artist, there were a few pieces that I kept returning to, which became guideposts in moving towards a wholehearted life. The three flowers shown here, dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), sweet violet (Viola odorata), and wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca), represent the indivisible intertwining of grace and tenacity in my personal floriography. They appear unbidden, wild, colonizing inhospitable urban landscapes or returning to disrupt the most diligently herbicided lawn. Though the universe is cold, large, and indifferent, life is just life: There is no deliberate maliciousness, and things of great beauty will be given unearned and unasked to those with the courage to hang on. While this imagery was deeply personal to me, the ability to dig in and keep growing—and to remember that the only will is self-will—is something that many will need over the coming years when battles are lost and the fight feels all but knocked out of us.

I consider the full title for this piece an excerpt from William Butler Yeats’ A Prayer for My Daughter:

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven’s will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

Adele Ardent is currently pursuing her artistic education at the University of New Mexico. You can find her work at adeleardent.com and etsy.com/shop/latebloomheirlooms.

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