Sunday Selections

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Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful, timid and dangerous, lucid and muddied, eddying, gleaming, still. Lovers, farmers, and artists have one thing in common, at least – a fear of “dry spells,” dormant periods in which we do no blooming, internal droughts only the waters of imagination and psychic release can civilize. All such matters are delicate of course . . . In his journal Thoreau wrote, “A man’s life should be as fresh as a river. It should be the same channel but a new water every instant.”

– Gretel Ehrlich, “On Water”, The Solace of Open Spaces

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This post by Barn Raised and this one by Hali Karla made me pause this week and pick up Ehrich’s book. Both felt like a cool drink of water.

Sunday Selections

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The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children.
They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror.
A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
– Joy Harjo, “Perhaps the World Will End at the Kitchen Table”

Full Pink Moon

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The Full Pink Moon asks, what dreams need tending? I found this dream board harder to put together than the others, and even considered stopping this practice or at least skipping this month. However, I kept my art journal open with a few images scattered around all last week. Nothing was rising to the top and I couldn’t get my head around the word “tending”. I forget what images I had combined on the right hand page, but they just weren’t working. I went through my pile of tear sheets again and “Joie” came up front and center. I have hinted at my need to find my joy again (especially in regard to homeschooling) and building a dream collage around this word was incredibly insightful. I think I put this together last Thursday or Friday. On Saturday, I met with my spiritual director and joy came up again as one of the themes in our session (oh, in addition to control and fear . . . ahem). It may look like just gluing random bits in a book, but I know it to be more than that. Much, much more.

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Here is a fun free printout of the lunar cycles for 2015 that also gives some guidance in working with intentions and dreams in relation to the phases of the moon. Good stuff. Jamie Ridler is the one who started me on this process of creating dream boards with the full moon. Here is a retrospective of the ones I’ve made so far: Full Cold Moon, Full Wolf Moon, Full Snow Moon, Full Worm Moon.

Mandalas

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Have you ever been obsessed? Utterly consumed by something that seems to be surrounding you on all sides? And yet you have no idea how it all started? That is where I find myself with mandalas at the moment. The first time I ever remember working with them was during our study of India, two years ago. Vincent and I colored printouts as part of his main lesson work. He named this as one of the best lessons of fifth grade, but I don’t remember it being anything special.

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Fast forward to December 2014, and I am working on Susannah Conway’s Unravelling Journal. The cover incorporates a mandala design and I decided to get out my colored pencils one night and brighten things up a little. I have always loved to color – coloring books and crayons being one of my favorite things as a child – and sitting at my kitchen table brought this memory back to me. It was a soothing, undemanding form of creativity and I knew I needed more of it. Coloring somehow led to drawing, which has never, ever been a part of my journey as an artist, and yet March found me drawing mandalas daily. Andrea Schroeder’s Creative Dream Circle gave me a wonderful foundation with detailed instruction on drawing mandalas, coloring mandalas and this mandala blog hop.  IMG_0582

Currently I am taking Heather Plett’s 30-Day Mandala Discovery. Oh. My. Stars. Day One has rocked my little artistic world over here. Look for photos and reflections from this exploration throughout April.