by Boysen Hodgson
Devin Lafferty is a young man who recently went through the ManKind Project’s New Warrior Training Adventure in New England. I met him at a recent Homecoming event, celebrating and recognizing the men who completed our most recent training and honoring their families and friends who made it possible.
Homecomings are always powerful for me. I get the opportunity to meet and speak with men who have a fire in their eyes and a readiness in their step. They’ve just touched something in themselves that may have laid asleep for decades. The experience of initiation has woken them up to themselves – and often this awakening leads to a burst of creativity. This was certainly the case with Devin.
Devin and I talked about his art – and how the experience of the weekend was inspiring him to create more art in the world and to continue to expand his self-understanding. Since then, Devin and I have been checking in every month on the phone to talk art, and politics, and life, sharing from our brains … and our hearts … about what happening for us. He has also been sharing his work with me as he develops it.
Here – I’m sharing some of the work he’s recently completed, along with his description of the first piece that emerged after his New Warrior Training Adventure.
There is amazing wisdom in creative self-expression. I love being part of that process.
An expression of the anger and emotions from the first two years of my life before my parents divorced. We were helping my grandparents support my dying great grandmother in the town of Solvang. Dysfunctional anger raged between everyone in my family.
The ferocious dragon is a Spirit Guide of mine who burns away all illusions. At times when I feel frustrated into rage I can imagine the dragon burning away all the ego illusions of those I am in conflict with, and then all that is left is the light of our divine beings.
One time when I was just a baby my mom was holding me in her arms. She saw me waving toward the middle of the living room. Looking up she saw a magnificent pastel dragon dancing in the room.
The bridge was a favorite play place for me in my grandparents’ back yard. My heart is erupting out of the river of emotions and breaking through the childhood bridge. After I finished the drawing my dad reminded me that he and my mom had built that bridge, so I now realize the image depicts my heart blasting through as their marriage breaks apart.
The clouds represent the brewing thoughts as tension builds. The lightning pierces through in raw power; the intensity of the anger, and also the power of oneness with God, again piercing all illusions.
The hills in the distance with the meandering creek represent the calm that followed and the cycles of nature that continue regardless of what excitement has ensued. The childhood I lived after Solvang was quite peaceful with plenty of time exploring the hills.
Devin works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator in Western Massachusetts. He is also an intentional community builder and a dedicated partner.