Suddenly I seemed to have awakened once again from dancing with shadows only to arrive here now. Into a normal day, if Saturdays are ever normal, Holy Saturday in fact, of the Easter/Passover weekend. The weekend is also in high vibrational shift astronomically with the Second of three Eclipse in the year, over a full Moon.
I have been artistically block or shut down, I kept making photo, I kept at the creative work yet it was feeling numb about most of what I was doing, when I was doing it.
Just now I came in from a photography walk with Muffin, our first walk of the day, I was feeling excited and thrilled to have gone out to make photos this morning, which begun out the apartment windows. The clouds and light was just magnificent among the cityscape I could no longer resist. I had not real subject in mind when headed out the door with zoom lens attached, I knew it would be useful if the water fowl were about or whatever else came across my vision.
The excitement of what I felt was a welcomed friend, I knew that I just was in the process of creation, whether there are any good photos among these shots it really matters not. The essence is that process happen out of pure joy of Being present in the world. I was not escaping from anything, I was not seeking anything, I was just following my bliss.
I am not sure I conveyed the experience or the relief properly, my objective was to make a statement “that the path has opened up for me once again”
I was not looking for the moment, I was not trying to make something happen, Suddenly It and I was there! Suddenly the recognition was there, that Ah Ha Moment! Pure pure Bliss!!
Om Shanti… I am the light, I am the peace of the world. I am the light, I am the peace of the world. I am the light, I am the peace of the world… Om Shanti. Bliss
I am the process of soothing the fire-breathing dragon! The fire burns of reaction, of unconscious loss, dragon has been wakened to protect its possessions, its family, it’s lair. A stranger has stepped in disturbing the peaceful slumber.
Dragon awakened last evening after coming back from my nieces Christmas gathering. I ignore as many family gatherings that I can. For I am the stranger among them. I don’t know how to be. There is no drama, just family members who spend time together or at least communicate on a regular basis. Of course I am always invited and now it is to bring mom even though I have asked them to pick her up several times during the past year. Christmas is the one occasion I felt that I would/should show up.
I suppose resentment is the response that reacted as anger once getting home. With a confused mother, wandering around the house looking for something she could not name. I wanted to just set with the dogs, I just wanted to be. Riley’s inability to walk has become a sadness almost too unbearable to contemplate. My patience with both of Mom and Riley blooms into confused anger. Poor Muffin sits there looking at me or wants to go outside.
Sleep was interrupted several times with Riley crying which I think I was sensing in my sleep, the night was not restful. 5:30 am was wake up time. Still hearing cries from down stairs, I prepared to settle at the table with laptop, fresh coffee, dogs at my feet. Once I got everything situated, moved Riley in the room with me, coffee hot, computer warmed up, ready to engage. Mom arrives, wandering about, looking for the comb she using for the dogs. I already explained to her it was on 6 am. The dogs are still sleeping, I am feeling anxious, hyperventilating, trying to keep calm, almost in tears. Trying to explain to mom the hour and my time, etc. She disappears, Muffin ask to go out, a walk will do us good. It is dark and raining, I am in near tears, walking being present, being the moment, trying to recognise and honor what I have been experiencing. I say prayers as I walk, I have for years, 3rd and 7th step prayer, St Francis Prayer, another I took in from Joel S. Goldsmith readings.
Upon coming in the house and once again getting settle, Mom is dressed, getting her coffee. I can’t be in this energy now. I so wanted to sit with the dogs, to blog etc. Yet the TV comes on and mom wanders from room to room. I packed up and returned to my room, my over stuff sanctuary. Let candles, downloaded photos I took two days ago, viewed them while listening to Bliss: Hundred Thousand Angels.
I love when I am moved by my own photographs, even stunned by them at times! Having a moment. Those moments seem rarer that once before, yet the magic still can happen. I research Dragon myth and archetype for dragon was the creature that came to mind. The protector, the fire-breathing beast roaring. Of course poor dragon should not have to be blamed, as well as anyone else. It is I feeling unsafe, unprotected, maybe even up loved, a stranger to myself and to others.
Om Shanti, the vibration of OM was and always is soothing, moving, comforting. The affirmation: I am light, I am the Peace of the world repeated for 5 minutes gives me hope and a bit of peace. I don’t feel that I am either the Light or the Peace of the world but I can find serenity among those sounds.
Om Shanti Om Shanti Om Shanti : I am the Light, and the Peace of the World
“It’s having a dream and wanting to live it so greatly that one would rather move with it and “fail” than succeed in another realm.” The Universe
Drinking day old coffee, cold. Wearing cloths that are worn, frayed and out of date, piled high on surfaces that use to be desks, for the draws are full or inaccessible. Sleeping on a futon crammed in a room that was supposed to be temporary, sheets and pillows toss about hardly ever straightened. Books, books, more books, spiritual, educational, fiction/nonfiction, art books/photography picture books and essays, all piled on every other surface that can handle them, some in cases, on top of file cabinet reaching almost to 9 foot ceiling, on little floor space around the bed. Collections of found objects, feathers, rocks, miniature cars, toy monsters, solider’s of the empire, bones of creatures, groundhogs? A tiny space that was created as an altar, a small photo of the Sacred Heart of Mary, red rosary’s draped over the edge, wood angels, collections of semi precious stones, in a hand-made pottery bowl, many spill out on the surface, waiting to be held or carried. Scattered around them essential oil bottles, sticky with use, giving a sent to the room something a bit unpredictable at times. Every thing dust-covered, feathers from the bedding gather in corners that are mostly unreachable. On the walls that have semi peeling wall paper with 55-year-old paint, pale blue on them have a few of my own photographs, one of Terrill Welsch’s canvas print photographs, and a stained glass image of an angel.
Is this a space to create from, is this a room of a mad man, a hoarder, a dreamer? I once saw photos of Lucian Freud’s apartment that is painted from floor to ceiling, in the biography of Alice Neel it is said that her apartments rooms were filled with her paintings and little else, they lived and worked in those spaces. Creating images that seem to just wish to flow from them.
So if I “fail” as a house keeper or in relationships/friendships or other wise it is because pursuing a dream, following my bliss is about creation, creating photographs, viewing photographs and art… Self education of the talent that I have been graced with has enriched my life in so many ways other pursuits seem wasteful, almost unproductive.
No no my whole home is not a hoarders nightmare, it maybe a yard sale waiting to happen? Photographs are hung, as well as leaning against the walls in places I would like them to hang. There are boxes of old framed photographs on the porch among frames that need attention.
A small view into my world:
The quote from the Universe this morning also stated this; “At which point, of course, failure becomes impossible, joy becomes the measure of success,”
Growth Question: Are your following your dream, your bliss?
Opening the Artist Way this morning for the first time in a while, the opening lines of the introduction to the 10th Anniversary Edition spoke volumes to me;
“ART IS A SPIRITUAL transaction.
Artist are visionaries. We routinely practice a from of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance——often visible to us, but invisible to those around us. Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work. Art is an act of faith, and we practice practicing it. Sometimes we are called on pilgrimages on its behalf and, like many pilgrims, we doubt the call even as we answer it. But answer we do.”
Answering the call is returning to write this blog through the dark tunnels of caregiving as well as the shimmering light that attracts my eye to create along with natures grace the sharing of beauty. It is the beauty that allows sanity to be maintained.
” Art is born in attention. It is midwife to detail. Art may seem to spring from pain, but perhaps that is because pain serves to focus our attention onto details…” When the gift of photography was shared with me from the perspective of a gathering of Shamans, in the message that stated, “the property wishes to be recognized” the property being the 175 acre retreat I live at. The land was calling out, I soon discovered so was my soul, so was my voice, asking to be seen and heard. Photography/art allowed me to be seen and heard, and to participate in events, situations, what seems like the side lines, yet in truth, placing a camera in front of my face gave me the gift of “seeing” for the first time, really seeing what I was looking at. Offered me detail, lights and shadows.
Now a few years later, pursuing photography has opened doors and a few windows that have led to a world so unknown to be before. Art! Art can soothe which it usually does for me, taking the dogs and camera for a walk, moves me into another world, a world of amazing sites even when I have seen them a thousand times, when I don’t see them, it means I am not present, and I a looking for something instead of just being still, allow presence to stream over or into me…
The practice is not only to make photographs but to self educate about art. The art of photography is huge and getting bigger, and I am only a small drop of colored light that gleams to paint the world with light. I am challenged by my concepts of photography, ever evolving, as well as what art is… and what it is not.
I was extremely challenged a few days ago by photography work I was viewing in this ever evolving world when I came across what is call “art” photography, in the sense of creating something and photographing that to make a statement. (it has been suggested that I attempt to record the process of caregiving and depression, which I have considered) yet these photographers have taken something that was ordinary and maybe kinky, one knits shrouds, which where to represent her feelings of invisibility about her relations and her art. Playful and colorful as they were I began to see them to create more invisibility. Than there is a guy who has made beautiful sculpture like images of bound people in stark architectural sittings… These images awakened something dark, and frightening in me… the darkness and captivity of illness and caregiving. To move beyond that I knew I had to continue with the blog, I had to repurpose my photography into a source of Love and light. It had to become my voice, it had to be the visible me, even through I am not “present” my presence is in the work, in the detail, in the faith, beauty wins.
“Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.” William Bridges
I have been trying to get back in the swing of things yet my minds seem to be captured in some muck somewhere. I keep putting off writing because I think I have something else more important to do yet morning pages are some of the most creative, growth oriented opportunities I have to jog the mind, stir the spirit to shine, for creativity to spin into new creations, offer insightful ideas on getting thing accomplished or even just to see everyday chores in a more harmonious light. So here I am, and here we are beginning a new blob/pages.
A few days ago I mentioned/wrote that I thought it was time to move on to the next chapter in the Artist’s Way and I believe it is yet before we do that let’s go over the tasks as well as refresh what week 3 was all about. Week 3: Recovering a sense of power. The topic’s where Anger, Synchronicity, Shame, Dealing with Criticism, Detective work, and Growth. I believe I shared on all of these except for maybe Shame, and experience or emotion I am not aware that I experienced often, and I don’t think I experience with my art/photography at all. There may be some passive aggressive non-verbal behavior from family about my choosing or rather following my bliss to create beautiful works of art, yet I know from the center of my being that photographing is one of the most powerful, pleasurable jobs I have ever had. Photography is a choice, choosing to be creative, choosing to step out of the everyday me to photograph the everyday world around me, to paint with light is a source of balance, of peace, of spiritual enlightenment that shame can not penetrate . So Shame has to place here, maybe Fame does have a place with in the abundance of creativity yet Fame it is another topic for another time.
Some of the activities for this week to inform, to enlighten, to shine light on the past and move into the future where to Describe your childhood room, Describe five traits you like about yourself as a child, five childhood accomplishments, five favorite childhood foods… Now here are chest full of memories to dust off and share with myself.
My Childhood room I shared with my brother Ken, who is 18 months older than I, we had he master bed room once we got big enough to undo the bunk beds, so we had our on side of the room, with matching faux colonial style dressers, desks, with wagon wheel foot and head boards on our bed with a foot locker with cowboy sence painted on the top, and Hop Along Cassidy lanolin on the floor which I think is still under the capture.
On my side I had religious statues on a self, some of them had been my mom’s, some I collected through the years, as I became aware of Saints I wished to honor and or pray with. The statue of Mary, Immaculate Conception and St Theresa where my Mom’s. I was attracted to Mary because I was born on August 15th the Feast day of the Assumption and was my first recollection of honor the Goddess Mother which as evolved through the years. Of course there was St Joseph, Michael the Arch Angel, and the center figure of the Infant of Prague which I had a change of vestments according to season of the church year. These figures in religious life informed my early years.
Later the statues stayed but the wall behind my bed became a collage of photos from Life and Look magazine of famous people, cool shots of Woodstock, in which people where free and frolicking in the mud and lakes, hugging and dancing, just way different then my life had been up until then.
As a child I was religious, I was caring, I thought I was musical, piano, I was sensitive and Loving. I don’t really recall accomplishments, I wasn’t involved in things, I did not do scouts for long, I did not join sports, I prayed and went church until I was teenager… I also began to go to High School dances when I was in 8th grade, dances at the high school that were held by the local radio station.
I don’t recall childhood favorite foods either, I must of like to eat because I was overweight for awhile until I set my mind to losing weight in 7 or 8 grade. I suppose that was an accomplishment?
Well that was a trip down memory lane: I not sure how it informs me of my power but I am sure those memories will stir some sense of who I was to become and who I am now.
Growth Question: How does your childhood inform your present being?
there can be no joy or happiness
no harmony in the world
even if hundreds of raindrops fall from the cloud
no secret pearls can be found in the sea
without the rhythms of love
It has been days since I blogged, wrote my pages… I don’t know where the days went or do I? The last I recall I was going to Woodstown NJ to pick up photographs from the exhibit there, we lost our exhibit space at Beans Coffee due to back payment of taxes, etc. So the Salem County Art League is scouting out new venues as well as having conversations about all of that. The drive is about a half hour south of home, not a bad ride, scouted out some places I could photograph, this area is farm land but fast beginning to see the expanding sprawl of suburbia… sad really.
I got back from that journey, I had three photographs in that exhibit, I thought only two, switch out them out to use new photographs for the exhibit, after having lunch, I have come to realize I need to eat smaller meals, yet more often, to take the edge off, to keep my sugar in it proper balance and not lost energy and half the day recovering from a crash.
I had all of the collection together by Thursday evening, Friday morning which was a relief to have made the choices and all the selections convey a sense of who I am as an artist. Ranging from beautiful Nature, to the wonderful nature of human kind, and the GLBT community, and the dark rumbled halls of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Lightness and darkness, shadow and light play their themes here, evolution, community, beauty the surrounds us yet sometimes unseen and maybe taken for granted?
Friday was more of a down day, collecting myself, my thoughts, my energy… While driving on Thursday morning I heard an announcement that, singer/song writer Shawn Colvin was to be performing at Copper River park, an outdoor free concert that the Camden County Freeholders supports in different parks around the county. I have been a fan of Shawn Colvin since her first CD, have seen her perform at last four times . So I took the opportunity to head out to the park to listen and take photographs. I was glad I did, it was a great performance, have some great shots, stage/performance photography is something I really enjoy doing, there is a different challenge to it then other forms of photography. Capturing the performer in their element, their emotion, the desire and bliss can be viewed in their performance as well as on their faces. It is an awesome experience to be in that creativity, the energy of letting the creativity flow and be shared.
The guy who opened for Shawn, Ryan something or other, I have to find out his name, a young man, looking very California beach, singer song writer, and performed a couple of songs, then shared a bit of his story to go long with the songs. What he said rung true for me and I think for many artist, he said he was at is office job always thinking about his music, missing work because he was out performing and finally realized writing/performing was his love, was where he was supposed to be.
Saturday morning I had the rude awakening that I had to wire some of the photographs, meaning I had to put eye hooks on them and find wire, which I did not think I had. I did, and there was one last piece I wanted to use, a black and white shot of night life in the city, very gritty and urban, at first the forces where not with me on this and then they shifted, and things began to flow, got that all together. By mid morning it had begun to rain, yet I had to travel to Philly to drop the collection off, I could not hold onto it any longer, it was finished. If I kept it I would begin to second guess this shot or that. So it was time… In the rain, the highway to the bridge was a wet grey journey, not a lot of traffic but enough to make things a bit slow and dangerous where it was difficult to see. I got to the center well enough found a place in front of the building parked on the street, I would only be a short time, and I was. I left the two photographs that had been on exhibit for the new collections as well.
What a relief that was to get the work to the gallery, to leave it in their capable hands, now all I had to do is show up on Friday. I got home and realized the contract was sitting on the table which I meant to take with me! Yikes… Well I was going over on Sunday, I would take it then… I did take then, I had to remind myself to do that first as soon as I got off the train to head to the Center. My friend Doug/Marshall was tending the space and he was all excited… saying “look, look you got the whole big wall!” I was like what the photos are up already! To my grand surprise there they where all my photographs stretched across the main wall. Wow! I was not crazy about the positions of some of them and then realized one of them was missing, “Faces of Marriage” which was my center piece shot for the GLBT collection, and come to find out that it is on the post card the center had printed for the announcement and run of the show! I was wondering what was up with that? I have a feeling that Candice has another plans of the piece, because the other photographs shot that is on the post cards was not on her wall either.
I so sought to write everyday, yet it would not come, for some reason or other, being too tried, saturday my connection was down on my computer and I had to wait for Jim to get home and then it was dinner and the night just got away. yesterday was an afternoon in the city and other things need to be done for venturing forth. So finally getting here to write, express, and reveal the extent of the past few days, even through I know I have not captured the feeling behind all that has gone before, I think everything will come in the perspective of time, and the meditation of the moments as they unfold in silence.
Growth Question: Do you find a question here that ask you something about the way you get things done, is there conscious feelings or emotion around them?
So which one do you take? The one that mothers and fathers suggested for you, or how about teacher and or mentors, did you like their suggestions or have you always walked your own path. A path that maybe not seemed very popular with others, especially your family, and friends? Following our own path is sometimes wondrous and blissful yet sometimes lonely causing thoughts of whether we have taken the right path, or has this all been a waste of time?
Five years ago while living in community at Easton Mountain Retreat center I found a path I did not know I was looking for. I found my self immersed in nature, many of the comforts of the outside world where missing, the distraction of TV, and social life. We worked hard, we communed together in ritual and hospitality… Yet I found the human relationships difficult and painful causing many contemplative moment alone in my walks with Muffin and Riley, the two golden retrievers that I befriended, who were and still are my constant companions. In the mist of the mountain I pick up a camera and began to photograph my daily walks, I became very personally acquainted with the evolution of the planet, and my bliss was peaked, my wonder never varied.
So it is only that path that I still wander, self taught photographer and Nature lover. You will find me in the wood, much smaller then Easton but just as live and thrilling of each and every walk…