It is past mid-winter and been a long while since I wrote anything about my life as a contemplative and active artist. I had hunkered down to inner life and organizing and working in my new studio-living space in late Autumn. The Winter has brought short days, many journal musings and a shift once again in how and what I paint. I can feel the quiet murmurings of dreams and ideas planted at Solstice as the days start to grow longer. I also feel a yearning for the quiet of dark days to remain so I have more time to clarify my dreams. The gentle pulls at mid-winter remind me to plan structure for the activities that will come once Spring arrives so I move into the longer days with ease rather than frantic scurrying.
This Winter, I have prayed for more understanding of Grace. She shows up when ego driven desires diminish and my heart opens to receiving and giving love. She disappears in the presence of fear, hidden and accessible, waiting for that moment when I surrender to not knowing outcome. She visits me during my daily walks among the trees when I am able to listen and hear the whisperings of wisdom that flutter among the branches and rise up from the roots, strengthening my faith in connectedness. Those are the moments I feel Grace embrace me. And those are also the moments I want the quiet of Winter to last longer. The time I spend in the wilder places, in the forest, I feel most at home, connected to what feels important and more easily access Grace. I created space for the forest to grow within me so that I might carry wilder-ness into my civilized life and feel more at home with Grace wherever I may be in this world.
This new Winter season also brought new ideas about what I will teach this year. Creating a wilder place within myself inspired me to re-structure Creative Conjuring to Intentional Conjuring. Creating balance between my mind and my soul makes a lot of sense, so I am incorporating practical painting skills into my conjuring classes. Painting skills allow an ease in expression that awkwardness with materials can limit. That ease brings confidence for the painter and a flexible ability to be intentional.
If you are local to Ithaca, NY, sign-up for a class, the second Sunday of the month; see what I’m painting in upcoming exhibits at Liedenfrost Vineyards March and April, Moosewood in June and Hector Wine Company in August.
Enjoy the embrace of mid-winter and I’ll be in touch in Spring!
The moment I put watercolor to paper, I knew she was my magic wand. I have stayed loyal to her when wordly authorities dismissed her as temporary, transitory. I love her ability to shift and change without notice. There's nothing completely covered up with her -- she shows all her colors. She is adaptable, flowing, unpredictable, surprising. Of course, the world of rational, permanent, unchangable does not find comfort in her.
She is wild. She cannot be controlled.
I work with her. I follow and she follows. She leads and I lead. It is a dance of transmutation. She is the perfect muse for conjuring. She always tells the truth, even when I don't want to look. She reminds me to breathe. She allows me freedom to adventure. She takes me deep and she remains filled with light.
We are in partnership, my muse, watercolor, and I.
We are journeying.
There is no time and there is all time.
There is Conjuring.
I follow my breath into my heart. I feel expansion. I feel contraction.
I follow my breath into my belly. I breathe into the crevices and edges creating containment. Within the container of my belly wisdom, mystery, sensation gurgle up in images, in colors. In partnership with my muse, we conjure, we re-member knowing.
With conscious intention, in partnership with all women who have walked before me, all women who will walk after me and all women who are now walking, these are the images revealed to me on my path of initiation into the cave of the Wild Wise Woman.
Will you journey with us and conjure your knowing?
See my Conjured Journey at my opening reception at Hector Handmade, 5344 State Route 414, Hector, NY, September 9, 2018, noon to 5pm
For close to 40 years now, I have searched in books for threads that will lead me into the mystery and power of the Divine Feminine. I found precious nuggets here and there. Many women scholars have written down the stories and myths of ancient times and interpreted them through many different eyes, defining archetypes for us to be guided, and our inner lives to be deepened.
Initiation archetypes, stories and myths have held my interest and imagination recently. In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarrissa Pinkola Estes tells the story of the Handless Maiden and suggests the lost pieces of Truth in the initiation process for women. “What was once a longing to find the underworld Beloved became, somewhere in time, a lust and seizure in later myths.” She goes on to tell of ordinary invitations into initiation for women from a long ago forgotten time. A woman stepped into a solo journey safely contained by all women who had walked before her.
I am, we women are being initiated into a life we have only known instinctively and intuitively. We are seeking and creating new guides to lead us through the door and down the pathway. We are reviving the ancient archetypes of feminine initiation from the depths of our bellies, our souls, and are telling the stories taught by ancient women wisdom that we find there. That knowledge is awakening in all of us as we listen to the whispers that become clear beckonings and follow the threads into the belly, the soul.
We do not need to be abducted in lust against our will into the Divine depths of our being like Persephone. We are not having nervous breakdowns of hysteria and depression. We choose to enter willingly, with courage and curiosity. We do not need the guidance of a father. We are women and we hold the strength accumulated from all our mothers before us. We are a strong circle connected in cooperation with other women. We each have our unique gift to share and we hold each other as each of us dives, then surfaces to shine our true brilliance as individuals.
A prayer: May all our lights shine brightly as we gather to share the gifts we emerge with from our deep dive, freely, safely, within the container of the Beloved, the Divine Feminine, All That Is and Will Be and Has Been.
I haven't written in awhile. Like Winter that has lingered longer than desired, I have been slow to bubble up out of my creative cave. Even as Winter lingered, so did the Dark Night of the Soul. "Dark" not to be judged as good or bad, just dark, cavelike, deep within crevices that are not exposed to light. I felt like a fungus in a rainforest that needs so little light to grow.
I experienced both the extreme highs of motivation, as well as the lows, in my wallowing and searching, and a lot of places in between. Sometimes my skills have been lacking when it came to rising out of the muck, and despair so palpable only my dog's eyes held me in this physical world.
This process of re-birthing this year feels so much more challenging than prior years. I found so many things in my mundane life that didn't work to reward me or those I love and care about. It sometimes felt futile to keep existing if my belly rumblings will not flower in bright colors and grace my outer world with ease and beauty.
And then, I remember the glimmerings I witnessed in imagination and the wealth of love and friendship that surrounds me. In that moment, the outer world becomes a kaliedoscope of greens, oranges, reds, blues and yellows! Spring displays herself in all her wonderful wildness, bursting open widely, generously. The Dark is the shadow cast by such brightness. A necessary shadow for fungus to grow. When perspective shifts, with the help of imagination, a world is given the hope of balance.
Staying in the "muck" awhile longer this year may also provide magnificent colors I have yet to experience. An uncomfortably long cycle is an opportunity to become a mouse or an owl, to inspect the details closer, with sharp sight and a keen nose. To burrow a little deeper, maybe, to eventually unearth what needs light to grow.
As I play with and sort through my seed packets spread across my table, I wonder what will bear fruit (or vegetable!) this year. What do I plan to nurture toward harvest? What will I imagine into being? The possibilities are limitless and becoming clearer after having spent a longer time gestating this year.
I wish for you ease and discernment. Where will your energies go toward bearing the fruit that will sustain you through another Winter?
My Loves My Lives!
In the full void of our wombs
We look within to speak out.
No more another's voice for us
But to be our own voice
to speak as I Am.
No more the squeaky voice
of opression, betrayal, shame.
With ease the Voice of fierceness
Waking the unsaid,
Exercising a sound not yet heard
Deep out from the emptiness
that is not empty.
Bring out not sudden
But let us unfold together
as a garden in spring
according to the Law that is All.
It is no mistake that opening
begins in Winter
as carpets soften the ground
and protect the warmth
As our hearts our souls
Gathering the seeds
Blessed be All.
reversing and adding more color
The new season has been quiet. Time for meditation, contemplation and............exploration! I've been playing with media I haven't used in a long time like charcoal, brush pen, colored pencils and oil pastel. It's been freeing to just explore and not think about "finished work". I'm calling it "getting down to the bones"!
Here's a series of photos following the progress of a charcoal pencil drawing from a still life. I love smooshing the charcoal around, using pressure to create shade or color and wiping and blending!
What bones are you creating?
Happy new year.......
Winter Solstice is my favorite holiday. It represents a time of inner watching for me. A time of low activity and conjuring dreams within my heart, my mind, my soul. A time I spend walking in the muck of my darkest places and seeking guides to shed light on the places I need guidance. A time of self reflection, reassessment, realignment. I look forward to the lengthening days, when I can spend more time in the woods before dusk. I also look forward to the lengthening days as they uplift my heart full of possible dreams to manifest for the coming year.
This year I am assessing how will I act, respond, be present, take responsibility to the growing fire around me, within me. I watch and wait right now. Watch deeply for the truth within me and wait while I conjure ideas for action looking to the wisdom of those who have walked before me. I feel dramatic change afoot. I feel a stirring for different action. I call in my guardians, my friends, my guides and teachers to help me stay true to heart and assist my mind to walk a compassionate path.
As light slowly expands, my prayer is for united strength and action from heart. I call on Kali, Durga, Romi Kumu and Zorra to fan my heart flames to action and blaze a trail through darkness for my heart to navigate. To not be distracted and stopped by destruction and to have faith in the slow, steady burn of change.
May whatever you celebrate this season bring you joyously closer to your own transforming fire.