Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
Hiking through the Grove of Patriarchs near Mt. Rainier, is magical, like all the children's books where the impossible becomes possible.
You can say it's just a log and my imagination is too vivid. To me, I just see it, I'm not trying to make something up, it's really there. And it's kind and knowing and what might be scary or unfathomable to some, is just nature being real. Remember, the fairy tales we tell, are so that we can imagine a better world.
Forest walking is a salve - apply often.
During a meditation, I saw tree roots just like the one I came upon in the Magnificent Forest located just inside Seward Park. "The largest stand of old growth forest in Seattle".
Going deeper in my meditation I could see the dark and rich mulch of the fallen tree. The richness of the mulch, the living organisms that were thriving and teaming with life and activity. Fungus, beetles, ants, worms, mice, moss. This tree isn't dead, it's recycling fully into new life - giving completely of itself for other things to live and grow and isn't that partly the definition of life. It's what my mother and father taught me was most important: to be present for others and to care for yourself first.
As I think of my parents and all they gave to me, to my sisters and brother, there was nothing they held back. They were like grand trees giving us shelter and protection, feeding us with the sugar from their roots to sustain us until that time when they would be gone. And from all that they were in their lives, will continue to sustain us as they move on and bring us a rich and deeply rewarding soil in which to be nourished.
And what of our own roots? How do we nourish them and seep them deeper into the earth what is our larger Mother. In what ways can we find love, peace and harmony in our own knowing and deepening our gifts to feed and to be fed. How can we continue to grow as straight and brilliant as our parents? In this loss we feel when they are gone from us physically, we reach beyond our senses to be with them still.
There were times my father was so critical of me that I had an inferiority complex. In truth, I am that critical person, and I am lucky to also know that my father loved me deeply even though he could really push my buttons and me his. So aside from all that, I ask myself to consider the roots of the tree that is Him, that is me, to see in the center of it, the nutrients that we shared in the best of times for in the end that is all that matters and all we will remember. That is all we will re-member.
Fallen trees have not fallen, they have released what they are to expand into a place that we can't see with our eyes. What is left is a physical structure that we see as decay, or we can see that decay itself is life teaming with new energy and commitment. It is the continuation of the life of the tree in a new and renewing form. It is the same with people. Death is not sadness, decay and loss, even thought that is how we experience it. From a distance it can be seen as a release toward greater potential. A potential that in this world we can barely fathom.
Grieving is how we process our own loss of what was, Living again, is how we enter into what is. What is now, is all there is and in that place are all gathered as one where, as Jesus said: all things are made new. He was the ultimate human being that gave every thing he had to love us and to give us lives that are more joyful and more full. Looking to the physical is not the way to anticipate the things we really want and need, but to be here physically holding the light, using it to ground into the earth with our roots what it means to us to be alive and full of love.
Words are a means of telling a story but a walk in the woods is an experience that transcends the need for words. Take a walk and breath the oxygen the trees give. And in accepting that breath the trees are given the same gift.
The crickets are singing outside the open windows as I speak to you this day of the beauty of life within. There are many things we can do, and lists we can make to accomplish this and that, but at the end of the day when we lay our head on the pillow, we only want peace.
Art is like prayer when in the zone, there is peace in the doing because I'm not really "doing" anything, just "being" creative. To find inspiration and encouragement for making art it's necessary to let go of all that I've been thinking and doing, so I can just be. I take one day a week to have a day of rest and I make myself rest. It's work to rest-I have found-because I am so used to doing.
I read a lot, take naps. I fast. I go outside. I pet the cats. Nothing much happens on the outside, but on the inside I become more aware of my always talking mind. And after some time, I just feel like I do right now. The questions, examination and process just get quiet and I enjoy the sound of the refrigerator hum, the crickets, the typing of the key.
After a day like this, all the things I would have done are still there to do, but now I've been thoughtful with those things as they have crossed my mind during my day of rest. I have a different way of seeing those things, I might tackle a project differently, let it go completely. My mind is in newness and so is the world and how I approach it. It's a golden place to start.
Take a day of rest whenever possible. Don't wait until you are so tired you have to take a vacation. You will end up getting more work done by not working. When you go back to work, you will have a new and fresh approach and the work might change in direction. Being creative takes energy, rest is part of the process. Renewing and regenerating within, makes it possible to hear and feel the buzz and hum of flowing in gratitude.
Be thankful for all that is around, under and especially inside. This is the place to begin again.
Animals are naturally good at being in the state of grace.
A stranger will be living alone in my house, sleeping in my bed and cooking meals in my kitchen. This is what happens when a house sitter found on line enters into an agreement based on the ad I placed.
II'm just beginning my explorations into ink and dye making and I'm so excited! What I love about making ink from natural ingredients is that I can find what I need in my yard, the refrigerator, the sidewalk. I'll share two of my favorite resources and a short video here.