Tag Archives: nature

Ever-expanding continuum

Tiny wonders
Tiny wonders

Spirit is the distillation arising from the rich and bubbly brew in the pot, out of which new possibilities keep emerging. The world of spirit is made up of an ever-expanding continuum that finds new ways to touch and enhance the human world. Harry Hay

In ever-expanding search for self the possibilities are endless. I was once again drawn to Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature. I find thoughts and ideas that inform me as gay man, a gay man of spirit, a gay man who has sought more from his life that the endless round of bars and dysfunctional lover relationship or ever surface relationships with other gay men. Which lead me to Easton Mt Retreat Center and Radical Faeries . This journey has led my along many paths, paths filled with gifts beyond imagining, as well as gifts of dancing with the shadow. Fighting the demons, journeying to underground places to restore parts of me that had been lost in addiction, broken hearts, seemingly wrong choices. Yet all choices led me to where I am today. Some choices where conscious, some where unconscious and unclear, even conscious choices sometimes seem to be unclear, until I can look back on why such a choice was made.

Refreshing

I have attracted these gifts and blessing to me to create or awaken within me more of spirit, more of the Divine that sings and shines within as well as stands aside when the choices I make are not of the best interest to spirit but ego. Allowing the gift of confusion, pain, to inform me of where the work is that I may need to do, to evolve into the Being I wish to be.

One of my spiritual mentor Andrew Harvey shares this about the nature of the world using the Buddhists sense of Samsara,” is the endless, unending round of birth and death, and everything in samsara is designed to break and be inadequate: we are not  meant to be comforted or safe in anything. The only safety is in the realization of our divine nature, a condition of complete simplicity that cost us not less the everything.”

I have recently wrote about what Julia Cameron writes about as Virtue Trap, that trap of doing something out of service but with the wrong mind-set. For without taking care of ourselves first, finding our own space, to write, to create, to pray, meditate, learning to love ourselves service is a tool for resentment, it is a block to creativity and block of our spirit to infuse ourselves to be fully present in the world. Julia ask us to create a list of activities that would seem crazy to others but playful, joyful events for our spirit and maybe ego. Those opportunities that I wrote about yesterday of Reiki sharing, Shaman Circle, other photograph groups and events, even just socializing more to create friendships, and maybe more.  In the past few days I have had to opportunity to chat with some young men who are seeking their path. Friends of the heart have shared here of their own Virtue Traps, and I am grateful for their feeling safe to share those self-destructive patterns, for in writing them allows the light to shine on blocks, even if we don’t see or feel the shift just yet how to get out, the moment is coming, the opportunities will keep presenting themselves until taken or completely ignored.

Start small

Two of the Basic Principles share this : Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

The Refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our nature.

In those principles I find guidance and strength, I find purpose to continue to allow spirit to inform me, to create with me and for me as I evolve into the being I truly am.

Growth Question: Make a list of activities that you may think are crazy in other peoples minds.

I am Love, Jeff

Spiritual superiority ?

Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected. Sophocles

Turtle

This morning has been an unusual one. It seems that I have been out of my consciousness, as I walked in the woods this morning I had to stop and be in the woods, for I was there physically but I was not present in my mind and I was not aware that I was anywhere, I was not thinking anything, I was just drawn into the wood. I had brought the camera, yet nothing else had change much, yet I was drawn back to the stream and small puddle where the Turtle I had come across because of Muffin’s reaction while she was seeking to find a some water. The first time I did not have the camera yesterday, and the second time because I figure the turtle had moved on, yet there it was, so later in the day I did take the camera and turtle was still hanging out in its little pool of muddy water… yet this morning I was drawn back to that spot once again, it is the same spot where I have encountered the Great Horned Owls! According to Turtle Medicine “Turtle can help lead us to that space where we can finally move on, to let go of what has been, celebrate it for the gifts it gave us and finally to turn and head for a new shore. Turtle people themselves often feel that their life is an endless series of endings and new beginnings, that like the tides, their lives are constantly in flux and they must learn to shift and tack as the current carries them along.”

Turtle II

I don’t find this so in my life but the Turtle showing up may be just that, informing me to create the new space to move on, to but in to practice my healing and shamanic teachings. For my sister had come home yesterday and informed me that the little restaurant up the road was hiring experienced servers. Sis could be informing me because she wants me out of her way, or time to begin to pull more of my own weight in adding to the financial flow of the house. That house keeping is just not enough. Or because she cares as well, to have me working. Yet my thoughts have been once again about the space in the garage, to clean in out, and make studio living space for me and the dogs. I have also considered approaching the center where I worked before I went to Easton Mt, about renting an office there. I considered this paths when I first came home and something stopped me, yet it has been the path that has been on my mind for sometime now, the fear and self-esteem seem to cause me to balk at accomplishing.

Smile

Yesterday I wrote about the opportunities that I am aware that I have not taken advantage of a Shaman circle that meets about a half hour away from here, I met this women the first year I came home, yet I have not found my way there. I also was introduced to a spiritual healing circle/meet up that I attended once, the experience was awesome, yet I was not sure I was ready to move into that “higher” space, plus I felt some spiritual superiority about these people, that the personalities were too raw, their practices too new and uninformed. I have also put off attending some of the Reiki sharing events that happen every month due to excuses of not wanting to drive that far, I did not want to spend the $10 or whatever for the practice of sharing. Yet it is time to place all of that on my daily weekly practice, to be informed, to be in the energy of healing and recovery.

There is a paragraph from The Artist’s Way that spoke to me this morning, resonated with something deep within me. It says, “Many of us have made a virtue out of deprivation. We have embraced a long-suffering artistic anorexia as a martyr’s cross. We have used it to feed a sense of spirituality grounded in being good, meaning superior.

I call this seductive, faux spirituality the Virtue Trap. Spirituality has often been misused as a route to an unloving solitude, a stance where we proclaimed ourselves above our human nature. This spiritual superiority is really only one more form of denial. For an artist, virtue can be deadly. The urge toward respectability and maturity can be stultifying, even fatal.”

I need to breathe through these words, I need to meditate from that place to see if I have truly rationalized my spirituality into a superior behavior, part of me knows it is so true. That I have denied myself social contact because I find many others lacking in any spiritual intelligence (funny, here I am trying to be intelligent and I could not even spell the word). I have denied myself fun and play because I believe fun and play has no place in being spiritual, or at least some part of me does.

Fall Already ?

Once again is about balance, it is about finding the spaces, situations, people that I can be myself with, I can be authentic, yes we move beyond some people once we move into recovery of our true selves, our artist, our Higher being, yet to idea is to attract those beings that dance with your essence, vibrate with your energy, that encourage and support each other in friendship and creativity.

I think I could go on and on, for I think I am on to something here… a shift in perspective, a shift in behavior of opening up more, expanding and exploring!  Yet the thought process is getting muddled, the clarity is misty over.

Growth Question: This one is a seek and find. What came up for you while reading this blog?

I am Love, Jeff

Stayed to long a the fair!

Expectation is the fools income. Tag on Long life tea.

I am late, late for a very important date! A date with myself spent writing my blog/morning pages. And since it is late it is not a quiet as it usually is, there are people working behind me at the apartment complex, talkin nonsense, running some kind of big truck, sound like a trash truck. Plus I was not sure I would get on-line, I was having difficulty at first but found another wi-fi link. I am most grateful for this!

I am late because I slept in or rather woke up at 5 am to pee, brush my teeth, and read for about an hour and then fell back to sleep until 8 am. After dog walking and some photographing, I wonder how many people take their camera with them the first thing in the morning. Before coffee or tea, before breakfast?  I have been wishing to capture some amazing fungi that is growing beneath one of my favorite tree. These are amazing creators growing very rapidly and creating some wondrous flowing designs.

Ruffled fungi

I am late this morning because I went to the Salem County 4 H Fair, to check on friends from the Salem County Art League. Also I realized I needed to get out the house, I had to a need to see what else going on in the world.

I almost did not get to the fair, I wanted to go earlier in the day, yet I got the 2 0’clock  energy run down, so went to read The Red Tent very interesting so far, and than fell asleep for about and hour. Got up walked the dogs, and than began dinner, Fresh golden beets, sliced roasted potatoes with onion, and Chicken Veggie burgers.  So by 6:30 I was heading out the door to Salem county. Once I get into Woodstown, close to where the fair is, I go in the wrong direction, it is always amazing to see all this farm land, wide open space, in little old New Jersey, but it is there. Not as much as it once was but New Jersey is the Garden State.

Sweet sugar

At the fair at first glance looks like a huge parking lot, five dollars entrance fee, much small lay out the Washington County Fair in up state NY we use to go to from Easton Mt. I walked through the grounds after finding a parking space, and wondering if I will ever find my van once it gets dark in all these cars. The aroma of cow, horses, rabbits, and other assorted animals, is the welcome on receives upon entrance among the open buildings, the fragrance of food cooking, fair food, sugar sweet scent of cotton candy, the frying of burgers, the reheating of pulled pork, the sound of children and parents chasing after them when the child looks upon a cow, or a goat.

This little piggy went to the fair

There are groupings of people about everywhere, adolescence/pre-teens , elder people sitting on benches enjoying a seat while eating the fresh farm ice cream or funnel cake.

I find the Salem County Art League booth on the side of one of the first buildings at front of the fair grounds. Terry was manning the booth, we chatted for a while and then I wandered off to see what I could see, to capture some candids, and photographs some animals. To look at the prize arts and crafts building where they had hundreds of photographs of some very talented young people 4 H ers. In another building in which I went to say hi to another photographer who Terry said was taking Facebook photographs to raise money for his charity, lo and behold is my brother Ken sitting next to the Photo set up. Ken is there, at first I thought with things from their Christian book store but he was there with his church. They had little crafts for the kids to make, we chatted for a while. I got my photo take by Big Chris while we talked about cameras and selling our work, etc.  On i wandered about, I went back to the Art league booth, to report my findings and chatted with some people about the rodeo which is right across the street. So we might do a photo shoot there next month. Yes boys and girls there is a Rodeo in South Jersey, Cow Town Rodeo. I first heard of this Rodeo when I was in the Air Force, 2000 miles away in Colorado Springs when I met a young man who and lived and rode there, I was unbelieving for I had not lead a shelter life, I had just not ever been around cowboys.

BlackSmith

My last adventure was to buy fresh farm made ice cream, I had chocolate, I eat it while walking through the bunny pavilion, fat furry ones, tiny short hair and long, Flemish Giants where the most impressive rabbits I have seen, rabbits in every shade of color, black, brown, reddish brown, gray. I remember my thoughts were why do they insist on placing rabbits in cages four feet off the ground? I know it is easier to clean up but gee, what is the sensation for the rabbit, the is a land animal to be suspended in the air!

I was going to write a quote and expression of emotion/feeling from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet that captured the essence of my leaving Easton Mt Community yet I am not sure it fits here now. Yet since it did not leave my mind as I wrote I will share it.

But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:

How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness, and who can depart from this pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among the hills, and I cannot with-draw from them without burden and an ache.

It is not a garment I can cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

With that I will now depart from these pages for the day. Even now the above lines conjure the sweet hunger and thirst for community and social experience that share my hearts song.

Self-acceptance/self-awareness

Here in this body are the sacred rivers: here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places… I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body. Saraha

inside on the outside

My day came crashing after writing yesterday,  illness washed over me as I sat later in the day to check email, do some work on www.redbubble.com . I physically felt a wave of dizziness, shifting my mind/body/spirit whence it had come I know not. I had not eat anything, I had not normally would have eaten, the weather was nice, I was feeling good until that moment. From then on I began to be tried, sleepy and even went for a nap. It was 3:00 pm! I usually begin to get things ready for dinner by than yet standing in the kitchen even after my nap was not going to happen. I try to set with whatever was happening and let in inform me but nothing seemed to change. I went back to my room to read and rest, yes read, I did not want to sleep for than I would be up all night.

This morning I am feeling better but that energy shift knocked me for a loop! My thoughts it may have been the carpet freshener I used after I vacuumed the day before. It Fabreeze in it and I should have left the house for a while after, yet this was 24 hours later?  Or maybe it was the Solar eruptions shifted energy and my state of being.

Once again I am outside the air is humid, yet the breeze keeps the humidity at bay to a degree. Earlier the cicada’s where screeching to high heaven to announcement of the heat, yet the sky as gradually gotten darker instead of lighter, a storm maybe brewing. The rain is welcome.

Laurie has ask some thought-provoking mid-week check in questions, her observations from her point of perspective, mostly distance, yet I think she has a more intimate intuitive view than most people who are in my physical realm, is that I am having a more difficult time with this self, Self-acceptance, “this self validates our sense of worth and provides emotional empowerment… This self is concerned with unconditional love, generosity and self-esteem… often translating into forgiveness , letting go and compassion. Self-acceptance in balance we enjoy qualities from the constructive side of self, Harmony, understanding, self – esteem, compassion and Love.

Out of balance self-acceptance we can experience attributes from the negative side; self-rejection. These include feeling dishonest, possessive, jealous, reckless, greed and cruelty.” (Buchanan, L. Life Harmony program)

on the surface

Well I don’t feel any of the above attributes, I just may not be expressing my in balance attributes in a more enlightened way. I may have been out of balance last week after mom left, yet since I have walked with that experience I seem to see and feel it has taken a turn to a new perspective. I got myself out side to write, I took care of chores and met with my friend, gearing up for new photo opportunities, I have candid photo shot for a friends fund-raiser later in the month and asked to borrow a flash defuser, for shooting in side will be a bit difficult without the proper tools.

I have begun writing my blog/pages again which when doing is a joy, and very enlightening to view myself from a different perspective. Getting out side to read meditative literature, surrounded by nature, eating my breakfast, being present to vive up my mind/spirit is all self-acceptance in balance or more balancing.

a moment in time

Other questions from the mid-week check-in:

What do you think will be different about you this time next year?  I think that I will have better perspective on how and why I do what I do, how I think and or react and or respond to life in a more positive direction.

What do you hope will be different this time next  year? I hope the above statement is true in not only how I think but how I am being.

What do you think will be the same about you this time next year? I think I will be the same in my ability  in continued self discovery. Ever evolving !

What do you hope will be the same about you this time next your!  That I have the ability to evolve emotionally, spiritually, holistically.

What is your all time favorite characteristic about yourself? The ability to be characteristic! Ha ha. I think my humor.

What is your all time least favorite characteristic about yourself? Do I have any of those? Oh yeah right, Self-doubt!

Is anyone in your sphere of influence making inroads as it relates to your heart? No, not that I am aware of.

Are you trying to make inroads into the heart of someone within your sphere of influence? No.

When was the last time your heart went pitty-pat at the advance of someone else?  It has been sometime. 5-7 years.

When was the last time you made someone’s heart go pitty-pat? That I can not answer at all, I am not aware that I have caused anyones heart go pitty-pat in some time.

Now that was a trip into self-acceptance and self-awareness. Easier than I thought it would be when I first read the question. Yet being honest and authentic is what this trip is about is about, this time around the spiral is to walk through doors I may have looked at but not journeyed through. The path of self-acceptance is to know from where you came from, to where you are now, to where you wish to be in the near/present future.

Tiny Power

Laurie, thank you shinning the light!  Offering the safe space to delve into self and to experience new selfs. !

Growth Question: What selfs of  you are showing up?

I am Love, Jeff

Morning Prayer

God, direct my thinking. Keep it free from self-pity, dishonesty, and self-seeking. If i face indecision today, grant me inspiration, an intuitive thought, or decision. Then I’ll relax and take it easy.

Show me what my next step is to be. Gave me what I need to take care of problems. Keep me free from self-will. Remind me to pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. I am no longer running the show. Thy will be done. Big Book p. 86-87

Beneath

I was handed this prayer at an AA meeting I attended last evening with a friend who had ask me to go with him to his first meeting. The prayer was created from words from the Alcoholics Anonymous book which is call the Big Book. Not necessary a prayer but laid out in a creative way and given the title Morning Prayer created by a fellow AA as a gift to member of her home group to encourage and remind them to stay on the path. This prayer is a very nice gift. The gift spoke to me as I contemplated what to write this morning in this blog/pages. I had read it before going to bed and placed the card on my altar among the other sacred things gathered there. I felt there was an appropriate place for card/prayer  to gather and share the energy of the other sacred items that grace the altar in foot of my bed.

It spoke to me because I have been making some bad choice or maybe unhealthy choices, emotionally and spiritually. In this weeks chapter in the Artist’s Way, I was supposed to be having a Reading Deprivation week, no reading, right, I would never get my brain/mind/spirit activated if I did not read. Reading is a form of communication because much of my communication is done on Facebook or email, and blogs. Yet my distraction was more the TV and anything else. I found myself endlessly mind bogginglly sitting in front of the it mesmerized, bored, yet watching like an accident on the highway! So I need to deprive myself of the mindless watching of the TV not necessarily depriving myself of reading. Yet here is what the chapter has to say. “It is a paradox that by emptying our lives of distractions we actually filling the well. Without distractions, we are once again thrust into the sensory world. With no newspaper to shield us, a train becomes a viewing gallery. With no novel to sink into (and no television to numb us out) an evening becomes a vast savannah in which furniture-and other assumptions get rearranged.”

Tangled in the mist

So I have to ask myself what the heck was I hiding from? Why did I have need to numb myself ? It may have to do with as my last blog/pages discussed my not showing fully when my mother is present in my life in physical, day-to-day world. Speaking of that she has just come back for  a week or so to attend a friends 80th Birthday. So I have to be mindful of who I am and who I become in her presence. Yet in the past few days even without her here I have not shown up, not really. I wish I had a dozen things to write about, adventures, outings, etc, I do not. I got nothing!

Nothing expect for my attendance of a meeting with a friend. To go beyond my own self indulgence, take the hand that reached out and guide him to sobriety . Reminding myself of where I came from, how it was, and what it is like now. After years of walking the path of sobriety ever mindful I am one drink away from a drunk. One thought away from the insanity of alcoholic thinking behavior. Much of the Artist’s Way is base on the path of the program of AA, finding our places of blockage, sharing about them in “morning pages”, creating and finding the affirmations that guide and direct us to a sense of wholeness, of sense of our relationship with our Higher Power, good orderly direction, in which I don’t seem to have been going in the past few days. Finding and being with supportive people who encourage, who inspire to be present to find out how they live their lives one day at time to accomplish the everyday stuff let alone the creative. Not saying the living and being fully present everyday is not being creative, for it is, the questions lie in whether it is creative in a positive or a negative way? Moving forward, getting the furniture and assumptions rearranged is a positive direction when done from within.

Simlicity

I had to make myself go out side and set in the cabana with the dogs at my feet keeping guard, while I eat my breakfast, and read sections of chapter 4 Recovering the sense of integrity as well as some of Life Harmony yet while doing that I kept hearing the voice saying, you need to stop, you need to listen, just be with what your read, just be with yourself, breathe, breathe, feel the cool morning breeze, hear the birds, hear your heart speak. And than go write.

I did almost get distracted my messages, but I flowed around that. For once I finish writing I can conscious fully respond to comments from the last blog, from message on facebook.

Growth Question: What are your unconscious distractions?

I am Love, Jeff

A sense of it all

“Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it.” Robbie Gass

different views

Is there something more I am supposed to feel after and or during an event like the Artist Reception which was held on Friday July 16, 2010, for my self and the work of two other photographers Elke Muller, and Kathy McLean. From what I could tell it was a well attended, and critical success!

I had my Mom with me and my best friend Linda who is one of my strongest supportive people of my art work and the path that I am on. Linda is always getting the sense of the crowd, her energy and curiosity allows for information to flow her way. So I can always get a sense of what was going on from her perspective. Chris Bartlett a Radical Faerie friend and new Executive Director to the William Way Center was on hand, it was great to introduce him to my Mom and Linda. As well as have his support and encouragement. It was his first full day in his new position and official capacity to over see the Artist Reception.

full crowd

I received some great feed back as watch and stood behind people as they viewed my work, some people I was introduced to by Chris Bartlett, as was grateful to have the opportunity to get people thoughts and ideas of my work. All reports were good, complimentary, and useful. Some of my thoughts where it would have been nice if more of my friends had come, yet knowing the GLBT Film Festival was in full swing, that getting people to comment to another event was a bit much. So there was a sense of disappointment as well a sense of pride, sense of accomplishment and a bit of recognition. To have the vice president of the Philadelphia Photography Society show up because I ask him to earlier in the week, when I saw Morris at an art exhibit in the Plastic Club which is where the “society” meets, yet share space with other art forms. Morris, mentioned that he and Mia had come by to view the work that Sunday when I informed them of the exhibit. So their presence at the reception was more rewarding to have their support.

As I stood there observing, I notice a guy discussing a photograph of mine with his friend and then saw Candice Thompson get involved in the conversation, commenting on my work, there was a sale in progress! Dancing the Happy dance! “Face of Marriage II” sold.  A photo I really hesitated about submitting, yet earlier in the evening had some really good comments about the piece. In the sense of what are those two guys doing? The gap between them leads you to the front of the shot where a minister stands, a bit out of focus. Causing wondering, asking questions?

Taking a break

I later introduced myself to the gentleman who brought the photograph and thanked him! He was glad I had, his reason where personal, and that the photograph had caught his attention because of the minister.

So the past few days I have been catching my breath, taking in the process of what receptions do, what they are about, how to be more present or more observational during these events. I suppose most of the feedback comes from the gallery and the people from the center. A sale is a good sign that the collection is good, Elke Muller had a sale as well,  two photographs sold on the first night is a good sign of success. Or a successful reception. So keeping the artist brain and Logic Brain in balance is the process of healthy recovery, healthy creativity.

Well I was at the Farmers Market on Saturday I also went into the Perkins Art Center that sets and the end of the street, and has been on my mind to look into what they where all about. So Linda and I wander in, she in the lead, already asking questions. I got names and emails for people who accept the art works for the center gallery, as well as come to find out that the center in Morristown NJ also has a juried art show exhibit in the fall. Which I am going to look into. Linda also informed me that the coffee shop in Westmont offers wall space to local artist. So the grass is not growing under my feet. Getting the photographs exhibited, displayed and exposed to the world is the process and the next venture on my path of affirmations and recognition.

External Opportunities

Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.” William Bridges

Festival of Color

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.

in its glory

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.

hidden beauty

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?

I am Love, Jeff

Creative process/healing process

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t the time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Study in cabbage I

Just put words on the page, begin to type see what comes out. Stop looking for excuses not to write, when you mind is saying you need to write your pages for the day. Yet I say I have nothing to write, I had another awful day with my sugar crashing and the shakes and lethargy that come with that experience. So now it is after 7 of Friday. You did manage to make red lentil loaf with brown rice and bok choy and kale. The loaf needed a little more flavor or a sauce next time. It was my first attempt and I followed the recipe, so I will have to adjust some of the spices or flavors.

On one of our walks today, as we enter the field there was at least a half a dozen buzzards in motion, some still on the ground keeping guard of their late lunch,which I come to find out later, a big ground-hog. Not one from my dogs this time. Later there where two buzzards sitting up on the field night lights waiting for us to get out-of-the-way, waiting to finish their meal. Nature’s clean up crew!

I received the contract and W-9’s for the William Way center Art exhibit making things very “real” and professional. Wow! I also had found out a few days ago that Beans Coffee shop in Woodstown NJ where the Salem County Art League rents wall space for our exhibits has closed due to owing of back taxes and just general struggle to keep the coffee shop open and running for the past year. Or maybe longer. I got a call this afternoon that we could pick up our work from one of the other members at a later date, that there is no space as of yet to do an exhibit. So maybe it is time to concentrate on the Philadelphia Photography Society instead of going a half hour south to meetings and exhibits. That my work needs a larger, wider more experienced audience to exhibit too, as well as learn from? Something I will have to ponder more on. The WW Center exhibit is more or less pointing in that direction, since I have been approached twice by the vice president of the Philly Photo society to become a member I am inclined to intuit  it is my next direction for the growth of my creativity and expansion of my art exposure.

Study in Cabbage II

I finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown very interesting and insightful read. I have not been sleeping well through the night in last week, so reading has become my companion. Therefore I began reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood one of my favorite female writers. It will take me a while to get into the flow of her prose and story but I think it will be a very interesting journey?

So here I am half way down the page rambling on about this or that listening to Gerry Mulligan, “Mulligan Meets Monk” while I gleam so meaning out of my day, out of why my sugar keeps crashing, checking on my diet, trying to eat correctly, I did go off course earlier in the week and had some Bryers Ice cream, (twice). That could be it. More sugar than I have had in months, and has knocked me for tough road. I have not been out of the house other than to walk the dogs and sometime that took as much energy as I had to get around the woods. I had taken some photos as well, and it help being in the among the trees and feeling the breeze dance across the sky shimmering the leaves to create shadows along the paths and forrest floor. So all has not been wasted. If any moment is ever wasted, I am not sure, every moment gets us to the next and the next. It is just being present to the one we are in now that is important.

Study in Cabbage III

Growth Question: Is being creative healing for you? How so?

I am Love, Jeff

Continue reading Creative process/healing process

Social Hangover/Forgiveness Healing

Great Horned Owl

“An Affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so.” Shakti Gawian

Therefore I will lead this blog/morning pages with a creative affirmation “My Creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.”

Because today I am going to Time Travel, making a list of old people and situations that caused doubt to my creative self-worth.

Mother Superior in Grade school

Sister who taught freshmen art

Parents

Easton Mountain Community

So here is my old enemies, written down in my Monster Hall of Fame as The Artist’s Way calls it. Then we are asked to write one of the horror stories from the “monster hall of fame”.

The Art teacher freshmen year in high school had given us a project to do for Christmas, I am not sure what the parameters were at this time. I created  a soft sculptor of the Nativity with cones or cardboard support inside of old sheets/cloth that I molded and shaped as Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus. Arranged in a sense of admiration to baby. Spray painted everything gold, until my fingers and wrist where sore. I was pretty proud of what I created, yet upon presentation the reception of my work was discussed like it was a pile of trash, unrecognizable, and a mess. I was extremely hurt and never took another art class again.

in flight!

I was a child of what 13/14 years old, looking for at least encouragement and or critical review that would be constructive not destructive any drive or desire to be creative.

So my affirmation for the day is to forgive them and myself to use my creativity as a positive force to experience healing and wholeness in the art that I create and share with the world.

Laurie my Life Coach asked my some questions about a term I used on a previous blog “social hangover” . So I am going to answer her questions here, it will flesh out the meaning and the experience , I hope.

What does it (Social Hangover) mean to you–please be specific?

It means when I return to my own space, usually doing the next 24 hours I feel drained, overwhelmed, in need of quiet  and self-reflection. Is there an excess too much in the company of others? Yes, too much 3, 4, 5 way conversation, energy that just whirls around, settling nowhere, yet spinning energy.

Who (typically) does it happen from–everyone you spend time with,or specific people? Not specific people in general, it is usually the amount of people around, at parties, or events that I am interacting with.

Where does it happen? As I wrote above generally in lager groups of people, where I will be interacting with them in a contain space, with a lot of conversation, talking, extraneous noise. I notice when I go to the market/food store I become somewhat distracted, confused, unable to get may bearings. I have to stop and breathe, reconnect to myself and what my purpose is there.

When did you notice this occurrence? I think I first noticed it when I began to be social sober, and a group of us use to go to a diner for dinner, the space was loud, bright, the conversations of five or six of us all going at once. I remember at the time making a comment about it afterward to a friend, that one on one conversations were a better fit for me. I than noticed it more at Easton when we had a group of 40 or so for the weekend and we where constantly in service to them, for three meals a day, interacting with them in area of hospitality . Once the event was over I had to go and seek quiet, and healing in whatever form I could find, walking in the wood, reading, sleeping.

Why does this occur? I think in a part of me is a loner, my mother says as a child I would get back in the playpen, to have my own space, my own things. I believe in someway I was meant to be a Monk. I enjoy the silence, being alone, I enjoy the space I create for myself to Be, to read, to think, to observe.

Moist Peach

I am not sure if that really answers the questions but it was a worthy journey to walk down to vision why if feel or act in certain ways at certain situations. As a Leo one would think I would be all out there charming, getting attention, shinning brightly on those worthy of my Leo charm. Yet I am somewhat of a reserved Lion it seems. Yet the Soul Horoscope is suggesting it is time for us Leo to work on our social network, to reorganize what we want from that area of our lives. Something I really am looking into and accepting in bigger doses of time and energy.

Bee Busy

“My Creativity leads me to forgiveness and self forgiveness”

Growth Question: Do you hear the voice of your creative enemies when beginning or working on a project?

I am Love, Jeff

Photos Here

There are so many paths

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…

I am Love, Jeff

One of the many paths at Easton Mt Retreat!
A local path in my wood