Silver dust rose from a chromium green sage. It crumbled to the studio floor, scattering broken stems, small bugs and a smell… camphor, bitters, the comforting aroma of rain on the desert floor.
His skin was burnt sienna with a little raw umber and flake white. There was the hint of alizron crimson arising from blood pumping just below the surface, an unbroken conduit to his heart and his imagination.
His large hands folded a soft truth around the dried plant, coaxing it into a cylindrical shape … binding it just tightly enough to hold its form but free enough to permit his quiet breath to penetrate the bundle.
There were no flames…. only the smoke and the prayer. They burned our eyes and our hearts, unexpectedly leaking into the painting where they surely left a mark.