Poppies for remembrance

poppies for remembrance by Lisa Kretchman

poppies painting work in progress

As I write this, I’m listening to a live media stream about the manhunt for a suspected bomber of Monday’s Boston Marathon. It has been a rough week, full of tragedy for both my community in Massachusetts, and also the many people killed and wounded in the Texas fertilizer plant explosion.

There is not much I can say that hasn’t been rehashed about the depths and the heights of humankind that we see in the wake of these events. It’s an emotional roller coaster, and I am saying prayers for everyone involved.

As all this is going on, I have a painting on my easel that was commissioned by a friend  based on a series of poppies on a yellow background – Radiant. Working on artwork brings me peace, and it struck me as timely to be painting this right now, with the symbolism of these flowers. Because of their history with opium as well as their red color, poppies have long been a symbol of peace, sleep, and remembrance of the dead. We often see the little paper ones as symbols of wartime remembrance for veterans. And as I looked further into the flower’s history, I see that ancient Egyptian doctors would direct their patients to eat their seeds to relieve pain.

So though this painting was not created specifically for the people hurt and killed in those in these two tragedies, as I look at it I think of them, their families, and their communities. I wish all of us peace, and release from pain and suffering.


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