Diary of Discoveries

  • Plato saw the bird as a metaphor for the human mind and spirit. The bird's lightness, ability to fly and reach the sky beyond man's grasp but not his imagination, all contributed to this ancient Greek philosopher's interpretation.
  • In Christian tradition, a white dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The color white is associated with the light of truth and kindness, purity, happiness, and celebration.
  • A book is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Its pages can be associated with the stages of human life. We are sailing on the Sea of Life, as if flipping through the pages of some "diary."

Each book has the opportunity to bring the reader to a limitless number of places, times, and realities. The moment when imagination transfers the reader from the mundane elements of daily routine to the distant regions of fantasy is a departure – the instant of discovery, revelation. In this painting the moment of discovery is shown as each turned page transforming into a bird that takes flight. It is a moment like that described in "When in the Cornfield," the 1837 Russian poem by Mikhail Lermontov (as translated by Yevgeny Bonver):

Then wrinkles are smoothing on my knitted brow,
My heart is losing troubles and distress –
And I can apprehend the happiness on earth,
And see Almighty in the heavens now...

The wide open window provides a way into this new world. The movement of the fluttering curtain echoes the far-away sail, which is reminiscent of "The Sail," another Lermontov poem, that describes the contrast of the white sail as disappearing (or appearing?) in the "blue obscurity of [the] sea…"