Monday, March 14, 2016

1500

Detail from "The Pit of Hell"
It has been approximately one thousand five hundred days since my last post.  So much is contained within these days passed.  So much life.  So much death.  Seeing, dreaming, learning, suppressing, sleepless nights, motherhood, etal.

My life has been both enriched and pummeled by the world around me.  The "noise" of life, at times, nearly drowns out the creative spirit within.  It can be difficult to hit the mute button.  I do not twitter.  I do not do Facebook. Yet, the behemoth mouthpieces of media are unavoidable as they "shout" in silent electronic transmission.  So much blather... sound bites and spittle.

In the past 4 years, I have focused on family.  Two of my three sons are now grown.  The washing machine does not run nearly so much, but somehow the trash still goes out numerous times a week.  Travel is also a highlight.  France, Germany, England, Scotland, Canada, Colorado, Montana, California.  Of particular note were hiking hiking in Glacier National Park, to Mount Assiniboine in Canada and lastly in the Highlands and Isle of Skye.  Pausing atop a mountain peak to look out upon the world, vast and greater than any one person.  It is my greatest joy.

The sadder moments including the passing of my brother, witnessing the dissolution of culture, the rise of division around the globe.  If I have learned one thing: destruction is the easier path.  It takes tremendous energy to be creative.

I do so love to write, and at times I feel I do have something to say to anyone who cares to listen.  My words will always be of a creative type.  A message that encourages, is positive and optimistic.  Words that may sooth the soul of another and provide positive inspiration.  I am a positive person.  And while the world spins so loudly at times so as to rip us apart, I close my studio doors and enter into a timeless space to revisit my soul, my hopes and dreams.  I seek a refuge in form and text.

It's funny.  I used to imagine life like a Lazy River where most people "float" along somewhat oblivious to the passing of time, perhaps only glancing at the the scenery, never knowing where they are going.  In this scenario, I always imagined myself escaping from the mass migration down the river and swimming to the bank.  I would climb to get a better view.  Understand where I was.  Think about where I wanted to go.  I needed to be removed from the flow of everyday life, to gain a perspective.  Then recently, I woke very early one morning with a revelation.  I understood, that while I had a view, I wasn't going anywhere.  So I reversed the scenario and I imagined everyone "stuck" on the bank,  chattering away idly while time drifted by.  Now I was moving along the waters, tiller in hand, wind at my back.  I was going to go somewhere.  The major difference in my point of view is that with this image in mind, I am the one moving forward, steering my craft.  Although I need to withdrawal from every day life,  I had allowed myself to become stuck on the bank.  I hesitated to float in the river, like everyone else, because the chatter and noise of everyday life drowned out my creative side.  I had become suppressed and clouded.  But now I can navigate.  I can change my heading.  I have wind at my sails.  No inner tube for me.  It's how I move thru the busy streets.  The sudden change in perspective pulled me out of my hiatus and brings direction and momentum.

I will close by stating that the one thing that remained constant in these 1500 days has been my goal and vision for Paradiso.  At last a measure of peace and space has come to me in 2016.  I am moving again with renewed energy and vigor.  I begin anew, seeking to complete what I began in 1994.  I will need to find my calculator to figure out how just many days that has been.  But do I really want to know?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Wind Blows Through

Wind Blows through.
I look down to see a void
Like embers on paper, holes burn through
Where my heart should be.

Wind blows through and I am stripped bare.

I am cold - no shelter -
Save for my mind to work through.
The coldness blasts like a wintery storm
Helpless - confused, so alone,
I drop to my knees.

New Day
Sun Rises, warm, shines clear.
Father speaks of Kindness, kindness, kindness
Kindness, service and love, infinitum.

Not all who are needy wear tattered clothes.
I drink from the well of Grace
for God has shown me the way, yet again.
Gratitude, Love, Awe, Humility.
I drop to my knees.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Between


I find myself in between - between young and old... between the span of active motherhood & passive motherhood... between purpose and indifference, between church and faith... between passion & desire... between loads of laundry and dishes... between winter and spring.

I read a passage from the hymnal "do not look for me among the dead, for I am hidden in pain." Pain. Why pain? Why must we work thru pain to find the the deeper meanings? Is it only thru pain that we are rattled from our happy stupor, our intoxication of the happy surface? We sense God and Spirit in joy, but do we truly learn?

The song continues: "risen in love, there is no harvest without sowing of grain." Sowing of the grain: Dharma and Karma. Dharma is our life path, our duty, the reason why we are here. Karma is the energy - acquired via actions... energy that is transformed into either creative light or a destructive stain.

Father said, "we place our saints in glass, so that the light can shine thru them." Within each of us The Light exists, but how much light do we emit? Everyday we can look and see those in whom the light shines brightly, and others whose light is obscured or obliterated by the grime and stains of destructive action. Only in service and creative diligence can we polish the glass in order to permit the light to shine through. If I dare to suggest, I believe this to be the true purpose of our lives and our highest goal.

In the Divine Comedy, all of Paradiso is about this Light. Dante prays to convey just a hint of what he has seen. Yet he also fears that he falls "between." Between knowing and describing... between heaven and earth... between mortality and immortality... between bliss and an attempt to describe the indescribable.

Perhaps I can turn this being "between" into a creative and positive experience. Perhaps I can slip between action and inaction... slip between the tick of the clock, into that silent place where the Light is found... to the place where "one is transformed within that Light that it would be impossible to think of ever turning one's eyes from that sight." Paradiso Canto XXIII Perhaps being "In Between" is a good thing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Have A Dream for Humanity



I find it so odd that, over the course of time, as humanity has tried to reconcile differences, heal old wounds, new and inherited, to move toward peace and equal opportunity, how can some still seek to covet power, and to achieve at the cost of others. When so many have shown the path to justice and liberty, there still are always present those who cling with angry claws to the very things that divide us still today... as though Humanity keeps flipping the coin of hatred and division. Neither side of such a coin is valuable. Like Dante's souls we still face the same challenges inherent in Human Nature. The Human Condition... prone to tear us apart... over and over again.

The founding of America was a great attempt to lay a foundation to over come this tendency of mankind. Setting into word AND law the opportunity for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, it recognized certain inalienable rights... Rights granted to everyone by God, not by man... No man, no Government should assume to be able to personally grant such rights. It is arrogant. It is corrupt. The Constitution was seeking to create a "more Perfect" nation... For the first time in the history of man, a place was created from scratch to allow the OPPORTUNITY for prosperity and life. We are not perfect but we try in earnest to improve. At least we are Free to Choose.

In America's past, we had our walls. And as we tear one wall, a new one is built. In a perversion of equality (seeking to make up for inequality) a new wall or division is created. We just seem to flip the same coin. Why? Why do we draw boxes and walls around groups, races, religions, political parties, sexual preference, professions, classes, etc? We categorize, generalize, victimize and demonize. These are divisive actions, not unitive.

It is not a small thing, in mankind, that each generation must learn the bitter lessons of the past in order to avoid the pitfalls of the future. Yet we never seem to learn well enough to keep the walls of inequality and division from being rebuilt, made taller or stronger. These are the eternal challenges of humanity.

In 1963, when I was three years old, a brave man...an individual, came to the feet of Abraham Lincoln to share his hopes and his dreams. When he said, "The Glory of the Lord will be revealed and the flesh shall see it together" he tore down those walls of Euro White and African Black. He said "together" The dream is not exclusive - it is unifying. It is not only for some, but for all. He asked us not to "judge us not by the color of our skin, but on the content of our character." Character cannot be seen on the surface. The surface can be deceptive. Character can only be demonstrated and revealed through our words and most importantly, our deeds. These notions, and thoughts expressed, with great humility, by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. are are universal. They are eternal.

Freedom comes to those who open themselves up to it. A softening of the heart and mind must be accomplished to let peace and freedom in. Anger, vitriol, and resentment block the grace that flows as freedom. Freedom is an inalienable right. Freedom is a state of mind, expressed in Love and only Love... for fellow man, and all of God's creatures. No one or No thing is exempt.

Today...today and only today it is the very moment for to open ourselves. Today is always this day. It is now...this moment. The past is done. It is unchangeable. It is only a two dimensional record. Tomorrow, too is an abstraction of "What if's" It absolutely is determined by TODAY.

Just know that it is a lonely journey...an intensely personal journey. And as sure as we are born, then each of us must learn, grow, love and strive with every breath to live up to these principles. With every breath and every action we plant seeds for tomorrow. That is a great responsibility. In Canto XIII, we are reminded:

"Just as the blind cannot enjoy the sun,

so to the shades I saw before me here

the light of Heaven denies its radiance.


The eyelids of these shades had been sewn shut

with iron threads, like falcons newly caught,

whose eyes we stitch to tame their restlessness.”

(translation by Mark Musa)


Can we learn from the 14th Century? Can we SEE ? Or must we be blinded first in order to see?



Friday, August 27, 2010


Today ...today and only today is the moment to open ourselves to all possibilities. To open ourselves to creative solutions, fellowship, Love.
Today is all we truly have.

It is now...this moment.

The Past? The past is done. It is unchangeable. It is only a two dimensional record.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow, too, is an abstraction of "What if's" "potentials" "Consequences" (intended, unintended...) It is yet to be determined. It is malleable, changeable. How? Because tomorrow is determined only by TODAY.

We are born with all the time that is or ever was. We shall never have any MORE time. We have and we have always had, all the time there is.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two Worlds


Inside me resides so many deep thoughts, so many observations,... so many, that it touches that deeper place of "knowing", of deeper seeing. I want to go deep within... down under the surface - to the silent depths of what is true, what is real...

A sudden burst of morning sunlight breaks through the emerald canopy. It filters through and glows with divinity. And I am transfixed.

I try to balance myself between two worlds. One is real and serious and profound. It is creative and silent. It reveals great things without a sound.. it fills me up. Like the still reflection on the water, it is calming and invites me to look under the surface.

The other is loud, active, somewhat superficial and, at times, trivial... with salon-style chatter of so many words with nothing to say...it leaves me hungry for silence. Most of us exist here - all mixed in - with pleasure and pain. It can be fun, but it is distracting and leaves me empty. I simply cannot go through life without seeking some sort of deeper truth and universal meaning. I have found that when I have touch upon these things, the strength of the divine is felt.

I struggle to balance between these two worlds. Happily nature brings me back in touch. It brings the "me" back...the artist, the creator, the seeker.

It is who I am.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Dead of Winter is Alive & Well

" Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps
a singing bird will come." - Chinese Proverb

A mist fills the morning landscape, lending a quiet mystery and restful beauty to my view. Like a downy blanket, it feels warm over the snow and wet ground. A single singing bird visits in the snowy landscape to remind me he is here. He sings because this is his dharma. He sings in advance of warm days to come. It all is a playful tease, hinting at spring, which remains, nonetheless, many weeks away.

By February, so many are tired of the cold, the snow, the grey days and heavy clothes. But I love my snow boots. I love the feel of cashmere and fleece. But realizing today that spring being six weeks away, reminds me to relax and enjoy the final days of winter.

It is easy to dismiss the end of winter... good riddance, right? Yet, I write this morning to remind myself to appreciate the sheer beauty that the natural world offers us in winter. To take comfort in the blanket of snow that holds the seedlings captive, the crocus dormant and all of green life, patiently waiting to burst forth when it can. This is the quiet time, the regenerative time, the time of stillness. A time to marvel how the squirrel digs his nuts he buried 6 months ago... to observe how the icicles grow, making marvelous sculptures. Yes, the harshness of winter may wear us down, but not if we use the time wisely... like nature... being dormant, being quiet, yet preparing for the energetic period of spring. Beauty exists all around us at every moment. It just is there -here - waiting to be seen... almost yearning to be noticed.