Tag Archives: The Artist’s Way

Unfolding

How many times have I considered returning to theses pages, to blog again, I truly don’t know yet what I do know this blog and the practice of  writing here is like a friend to me that I have left behind and wish to reconnect and build a stronger conscious relationship with.

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cloud magic

I wrote in my morning pages that I have so many parts of me that make who I am who I am and the  person and or being is ever-changing, well not really changing, manifesting, evolving into a whole presence of being.

A year and 10 months ago when I began the new phase in life it was fresh start and the old challenges and daily struggles gone. I was truly on my own which was at first lonely, no not lonely I had felt abandoned, everything and everyone I once knew and counted on was gone, or seemed that way. I had to become responsible for myself which meant uncovering who I was now. As I unpacked boxes from a lifetime ago that had been in storage the old me began to emerge again, some of that person I did not wish to experience again, so he was set aside. There were recent creative activities I had even let go of that I now wish to bring forward once again.

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suspended leaves

Those being the healer, of course I had healing of my own to do first. Being the healer meant I can share my wisdom and knowledge to those around me in whatever form that showed up as. The healing of self began  with eating healthier, getting exercise, building new social and creative connections and relationships. Ever growing, evolving and experiencing life in the present.

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discovered connection everywhere,

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I am given unimaginable gifts;

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

 

Each condition I flee from pursues me.

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And become itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.

I bow to the one who made it so,

Who has crafted this Master Game;

To play it is pure delight,

To honor it is true devotion.

Jennifer Welwood: psychotherapist

 

I discovered this poem this morning which resonated with who I am becoming. The following blogs will illuminate that process of awareness. Who will show up are the many facets of my being, the inperfect self improving being we all have the opportunity to become.

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unfolding morning glory

 

 

 

 

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The Art of answers and questions…

I cannot expect even my own art to provide the answers—only to hope it keeps asking the right questions. Grace Hartigan

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That art is the art of being an example of how to be fully present in the world, even when fear and sadness which try to invade from every other direction. Yet it from within that the right questions are asked  so that hope can bring the answers forth to be shining beacons on the present, guiding us to a fuller better improved future, for it is in the now that the future is planted, it is the days that follow that the future is nurtured and tended lovingly, compassionately offering the best solutions during the evolution of the human population and the evolution of the planet for its continual growth.

gaggle of geese
gaggle of geese

Yes I was gifted with the art of photography, I was sent out to use that gift to acknowledge the land, the planet, even if is just my small little bit of it, the everyday moments, the daily life that is there for us to see, as well as admire, to bring a smile, a warm thought. Whether it is the sunlight shining through the leaves on a tree, or the shimmer the light makes across the water of the lake, did you notice, squirrel scurry up that tree, did he stop and chatter at you? Are there rabbits along the edges of the bushes, look there they are! What color is the sky today? Pale blue, azure blue, grey looking like rain or snow, are there clouds, what kind, what do they look like, are they still or swiftly moving across the landscape? Did you notice birds flying there in the blue of the sky, did you recognize one or another, where you captured by their flight, how they move, up and down, or flapping wings like crazy to get to the next place, maybe there was one that captured your attention because it seem to float and rotate around the sky seeking something? Amazing right? All of that life surrounds you as you walk even if it is just to your car to get to one place or another. Were there people who you went past as you headed out, your neighbor, the mailman, a stranger walking their dog, did you acknowledge them or they you? A smile, and good morning, hey what up? This life, this is the fullness of life, the everyday events, pay attention to them they are just as important as any other activity in your life. Who knows that glimpse of a squirrel or rabbit, the flash of a bird flying across the cloud filled sky, the person you greeted or greeted you may be just the event that can shift your life to a fuller awareness of the beauty the surrounds you.

Oneness
Oneness

These are only small incidence that make up our daily lives, look around at the art of creation, look around at the creativity of evolution, and experience the grandest of a friendship with the planet and the other creatures that inhabit the same space each one contributing to its future.

Beyond the Clouds

I needed write something besides my daily activities from the day before, I need to shine light in my soul as well as out into the world. More and more I believe that my most pleasurable place is here writing even when the writing is not so good, but the fact that I get to create a world I wish to see, a world I wish to live in and do live in much of the time. There are moments that we have to stand outside of ourselves to see what surrounds and informs us of who we are, we tend to take the everyday for granted, while it continues to bless us with a powerful experience, Life!

in the details
in the details

Say thank you, remember to be grateful for it all, the good and the bad, the good we expect that bad not so much, but it is in the challenge that pulls us up, informs us of who we are, reflects back to us the person we have become. Is that person someone your admire, is that person who you thought you were, or are there more experiences that you must meet to continue on your journey? It is not about more things, and stuff that you have, it is about who you are and who you present to the world. Yes sometimes he or she may not so pretty to witness yet there are those moments when we shine with all the glory that we are at the moment. Hold them like jewels, to enrich the magic of your presence, let them shine, share those facets with the world around for there are more and plenty to share. The more you share the more there is.

Thank you for reading and viewing this blog, the photos will be released to my store front within a few hours. Please pop over and give them a view there.

Blank Page

The passages below are semi stream of consciousness from my Morning pages, so if there is rambling and not completely clear that is the reason why. I have desired to blog for a while now, I can’t believe it has been almost a month and my intention was to write at least once a week. I think it is the morning pages that fill the need to blog as often, yet MP’s are like talking to yourself and I enjoy sharing what is going on in my life and artistic creations. So here are words from this mornings pages.

August 30th 2015, 7:03 AM

The page is blank to be filled but not to be filled with blankness or just ordinary words and language that goes nowhere or says nothing. The page should shine, the page can sing, the page can dance, as well as create beauty to be held and shared with the world around it for the music magic to dance and sing our songs to create beauty with beauty is there for us all to behold, to unwrap, to envision even more magical beauty, mystical visions that are real. The blank page has that opportunity to transform, to enlighten, and to shine out into the world. One only has to write the words, create the language imbued with so much passion that the world sighs, the universe illuminates the capacity to love a 1000 fold or infinitely.

in the sky
in the sky

Yet our human mind and ego or at least mine is always searching for the “right” moment, the right time, seeking to be inspired to write, asking what does the world wish to know, what do I have that others wish to read or experience shared that would somehow bless those who understand. Who am I to even consider such a task, who am I to know that I am worthy of such an undertaking.  Knowing all art is created because the artist has the desire or passion to place an object, a painting, a photograph, or music or any dozens of other creations into the universe. I suppose I am trying to understand my purpose to self-publish a photography book with text of quotes and poetry, seeking to come to grips with my hesitancy to do such a project. First I do it for me, because I was called to do it, and I have the opportunity to create this first book in all its imperfections, in all its stumbling and challenges because it is an area of creativity I don’t have any real knowledge of. You do have a book, you have the instructions on the template for the book making process from Blurb, and you just have to make the effort to be involved. It is like any relationship, and you are playing “push me, pull me” you want it but you don’t know how to be in it, something is generating from this project that is brilliant and beautiful, your fear and doubt are only road blocks keeping you from putting it together.

prints getting ready for release
prints getting ready for release

That is the blank pages, the book has a cover, one that doesn’t even have to be the cover yet it is vision, the starting point to begin. Writing each day is the blank page to publishing your blog whether you believe others wish to read what you have to say or even considering what you want to say. Being truthful, being authentic even in all the imperfections, admitting I don’t know what I am doing, meeting the challenge anyway. The blank page of the “Trash Project” has another page added to it as well, four unseen prints, looking for mats and frames, desiring release, a release that would open new doors, if not new at least other avenues to venture on to. These are all exciting creations, let them shine; now is the time for their moment in the world.

Mt Holly

In the middle…

circle within
circle within

Saying no can be the ultimate self-care. Claudia Black

Art Happens
Art Happens

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity! Albert Einstein 

Just a few quotes found in The Artist Way: week 10 recovering the sense of self-protection.

Found object and trash projects have been a photography medium I have been involved in during the past year. Take with my iPhone  4 !

The View from Here.

There was a time that each morning I awoke to loving warmth of my two Golden Retriever’s, Riley and Muffin. We would get petted and nudged, roll over, dance in excitedness to see me and to begin their day. Pushing their way out the door, Muffin always first because Riley was a gentleman, but always the protector. Off we would go down the street, to our little woods, what was left since the building of the Great Wall of FedX and accompanying business. The path led along the wall of fake stone front and cement, the fortress wall only went so far, and there was plenty of nature to our left to entertain.

enter

The trapeze act of squirrels scurrying from tree branch to tree branch, High wire jump from tree to tree, chattering all the way. The sounds of birds everywhere, The Cardinal elongated call and sharp whistle informing others of intruder in woods their red flash through the green always gave them away. The chick a dee’s in winter, their little gray tones sitting on branches and following along our path. The call for the Red Tail Hawk informing us from far above that he was there, but disturbed by our presence, circling in deeper and deep turns to scout for it breakfast.  On rare and lucky occasion we would get stared down by young white tail deer until one of the dogs would get wind of it, with a bark, start chasing after what now would be a small family of deer, running off along the little paths created by them to get away, disappearing in the brush.

shifting These adventures are multi purpose, the dogs got to run about freely, in a somewhat “wild” area. They would run off this way and that, sniffing, digging, rolling in something smelly. I was always in sight if not they would wait until I was or comeback to look for me. What was I doing observing, observing the light, the shadow. That green was no longer just green it was every hue of green, emerald, forest, yellow-green. The leaves shaped like stars, or maples others of oak brown green, contrast with humus of the ground rich decay of many past season of leaves, wood in branches and whole trunks that had fallen over or uprooted by the weather. In those logs chipmunks flashed by making its chirping sound causing Muffin to go into a frenzy. All this time I am waiting for the view, the right setting, the shadow here, the light just hitting there, on a mushroom or a leaf, a twisted sticker vine, spying little blue flowers, violets, and Queen Anne’s Lace, Mountain laurel, all to be photographed.

exist

Each season provided an never ending evolution of tree, plants, downed wood, fungi and mushroom popping up here and there, the rains made streams and puddles, created stick dams to hold things back, to wade over and to sit in. Seasons changed, the years have unfolded, progress took more of forest, years took Riley just this spring. Muffin who is now older stops and starts, would rather have attention than an actual walk, even though we manage at least once a day to get a full walk. There is always photography happening, I am never without my camera, Nature is my muse, she shines and dance, she sit gracefully, she changes clothes in full view of the world. Life is an impressive, expressive place. Look around, be present. View it from Here.

Riley and Muffin
Continue reading The View from Here.

Into trash…

“Creativity is harnessing universality and making it flow through your eyes.” Peter Koestenbaum   The emerging of the “Trash Project”! A few months ago during our daily walks and the change in the energy of the space in which we walk due to the field being fenced in and the woods enclosed behind that fence. Oh there are ways to still get in the woods it is just that our course has changed with Muffin’s ageing, so the exercise path is more our course around the field. Those walks had always been decorated with litter, plastic bags of course, water bottles, coffee cups, beer cans, an occasional childs toy which were left after game. My inner child caused me to collect  those toys, space aliens, soldiers, movie action figures, cars and truck, a little girls barrettes. I even found a cell phone once, I call someone on the call list so they could reclaim it.

Lost Head
Lost Head

All this began sometime ago but the “Trash Project” came about with the boundary changes and the grooming, cutting back the hedges and trees to create the walking path. On those reclaimed area new treasures emerged buried trash. At sometime the area must have been land filled, of course people use wooded areas to dump in for years… I know this all sound awful and sad, in many ways it is. Yet nature has her way of reclaiming what is naturally hers.

The Soldier
The Soldier

I have photographed this area for past 6-7 years now, my portfolio and mission to photograph the beauty all around are  testament of evolutions expressions of beauty. So you all don’t think I walk around a dump, it is not that way at all.  What I hope to express with this project is what I try to express with my nature photos. That beauty can be found in the everyday, just see it. I saw a form of creativity in the litter.

McD bag
McD bag

I had no clear objective I was looking for something creative something different to occupy my time during Mom’s transition. She had gone in rehab, my camera’s shutter release crapped out, iPhoto had malfunctioned, I thought I had lost months worth of work!  I was like oh my God I can’t take photographs, my creative expression, my meditation practice has been cut off!!

The Shape of things
The Shape of things

I had just gotten my first smartphone, an iPhone 4s which I knew nothing much about yet the camera would still allow me to take photos but I wasn’t sure what that would be like. So taking photos of “trash” seemed to be a good test. Plus the filters on the camera, and instagram app allowed for more creativity that I really hadn’t worked with before.  The emergence of the “Trash Project”

the chew
the chew

The first to photographs of found objects, one on sight, the other photographed at home before the Trash Project was truly born. The next three are part the ongoing project! Taken where found, a bit of filter via instagram or iPhone ! I bet you will never look at litter/trash the same again!

A Sense, a sense of knowing…

It is difficult for us to realize that this process of going inside and writing page can open an inner door through which our creator helps and guides us. Our willingness swings this inner door open. The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear “our creator”. They lead us into many other changes that also come from the “Universe” and lead us to it “Presence”. This the hand of the “Higher Power” moving through your hand as you write. It is very powerful. “the Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron, Pg.85 *

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For the past week or so I have been reciting the Basic Principles as well as the Rules of the Road as prayers or meditations! When I begin my body relaxes, my voice even shifts, my heart/soul fills up,  almost to weeping. The joy that those words, those small sentences expresses to my heart is really beyond what language can convey! 

Than I was directed to the opening quote. Upon reading it I knew it was time to write, write again. These pages have had their fits and starts. Hey the blog is titled the “reluctant bloger” after all. Recently it or I have lived up to its name. 

I could have posted simple blogs with just poems/quotes and photographs. I could have filled these pages with daily accounts of the family’s experience of our Mother’s process of dying. The presence didn’t want me to go there. I used Facebook for support, that support was truly amazing! I am grateful for each person’s comments, the sending of healing, and course love. Love kept me sane, the love of complete strangers, well at least non-physical people, stepped up where friends and family would not or could not. In the case of crisis I go into social mode, hospitality mode. I suppose I was still in caregiver status in many ways. Yet finally freedom for the 24 hour caregiver position I had held for the past two years. 

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Mom’s going into rehab was her journey “homeward” once there she must have decided it was time. Within 2 months or less, the last week everything shut down. She was constantly cared for my nurses, hospice, family was around 24 hours a day.  The waiting seemed to be endless and longer than the 2 years we had spend together, yet it was her time, her journey that we all had to respect and guide her to and through.  That Monday Morning, which it is Monday now, I had just walked into the nursing home, as I walk up the hallway to her room, I saw the nurses coming from that direction, I knew before they told me. There was a sense of relief. My sister and my niece were there at bedside and had been for the final breath. I am sure a final sigh of relief from mom that she would finally get to the new adventure. Mom loved to travel, her travel took her all over the country, and even to Europe several times. Her new journey beyond this plane. 

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I got to the end of the last paragraph, I knew I was done. There is a sense of relief, and sense of new freedom. Of course the story goes on… 

I am Blessed, and I am Love, Jeff

Mediative Question: What has your latest journey taken you through? 

*( I used other expressions for God which Julie Cameron had not used in the opening quote.) 

 

Success is rarely created unless you’re having fun at it.

There may not be any quotes to lead off this blog. There may not be any photographs to enhance this blog. There may not be any coherence to this blog, it my wander aimlessly with thoughts expressed as words, “like why hell is the type so small?” Okay fixed that.

To state the obvious it has been months since writing, the reluctant bloger certainly has lived up to his name. It certainly not because he has had nothing to write about, for surely that would be an untruth. The truth of the matter is I have been waiting for the “right moment” if there ever is such a thing? I had ideas of blog I wanted to create, with photos and words, those still may materialize? The moment now happened because I could not find something else to distract myself from not doing the writing. The voice in my head kept say, “it early, there is nothing else pressing, and other distractions you are finding boring. So write, create, just like yesterday when one of the first things you did was photograph the roses from the exhibition reception, capturing their beauty two weeks later. (now here is a lead in if there ever was one)Reception Rose

Opportunity to share photos and to write about the Artist reception for the Photographic Society of Philadelphia’s tribute exhibition which I curated.

On March 16th 2014 after a month-long run of the exhibition the artist reception took place. It was a smashing success, a semi climax to a year and a half long process of promotion, invites, chatting, networking, for submissions of Photographs and Photography equipment and a bit of history the show open the first week of Feb 2014.

Submission began coming in January 29-30, from members of the society many of them I knew, a few were either new members or just new to me personally. The submission process was simple, three pieces each, sizes and genre varied from artist to artist. There is not theme, there is no juried submission, or competition. The mission of the PSoP is to offer the opportunity to photographer of all styles, and ability to exhibit together, to meet, to discuss work, share knowledge of equipment, and technical abilities. This allows for a much more relaxed form of exhibiting.

Mom Viewing exhibition

During the submission process along with Pauline Jonas as was my Mom,  I was unable to leave her at home, plus it gave her a chance to socialize a bit, which is something she was sadly in need of. Her wandering was a bit distracting but also entertaining to watch while she view photographs and met people who chatted with her, kept her company while Pauline and I received the art.

During the course of the exhibition I went to the gallery several times, to view hanging, to take in other works that were still coming after submission dates. The extra visits allowed me to “really” view the photography, admire the work of the members, to readjust the positions of some of the work for better viewing advantage. I used my networking to promote the exhibit with the Philadelphia Inquire, the story even made the Sunday edition!  Next was another visit with Don Brewer for his blog DoN ArTs NeWs interview and photographing the exhibition.  During both these interviews members of the township were interviewed about the gallery in the municipal building. Which created more excitement about this collection.

The interview w Pauline & Kevin

Culminating in a successful  Artist reception of March 16th 2-4: a fairly nice day weather wise, since we had had so much snow and freezing weather, the opportunity to go to a gallery, enjoy art, meet the artist, have a nosh, even view a film on Ansel Adams to round out the afternoon. A pleasure to me of greeting 40-50 people, fellow exhibition photographers, all but two attended. Family, friend, people who had either read the article/blog or followed post on Facebook.

Mom was unable to attend for she had had a fall twice in less than a week, on the second hospital stay Drs. recommended 20 day rehab which she had just begun two days before the reception. She was missed by many, her spirit was there with us.

The Exhibit comes down next week April 2-3 ! This journey has been an amazing opportunity to be involved in the creative world of art in new form, in active creative participation, one that will expand they way I view art/photography and its world!

 

This is a work in progress…

This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.

From Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, page 51.

Pema Chodron

Low visual
Low visual

Groggy from allergy medication and then headache experience beginning New Years Eve afternoon, continuing into New Years day after which forced me back to bed. Early morning wake ups because Riley seems to dislike being alone at anytime of the day, continues to cry throughout the night. A dying pet and a Mother with Alzheimer’s is a fact of daily living… it seems I have reduce mom to tears several times in the last few days as well. She going off to her room as early as 6 pm. It is mostly due to trying to understand what she is either doing or wanting to say, listening, explaining, listening, and explaining. For she cannot follow through with task she either wants to do or ask to do, and she is always asking if she can help. Which to me is easier to do myself. The thing is we have both been very independent people, we are much a like, and it begins to rub the wrong way. My task this year is to get her into day care, and/or companion care. I can no longer continue to do this on a regular basis. I had 24 hours free yet being so exhausted and stress filled that sinus and headache were my companions. Plus fear the few hours that I could spend elsewhere would be only a moment of sunlight, appreciated, too soon gone.

A different perspective
A different perspective

I have been consciously aware that I don’t take the camera with me as often as I use too. Part of the fact it has been too darn cold to be out longer than our walks. And the fact that the community recently had fence’s placed around the field we walk through and around, closing in or off part of the wood that we would walk. It is still accessible from a different direction yet so-called civilization has encroached as well as affected the line of sight. I am very “sensitive” to nature being altered by humankind. Some of that alteration is for progress, some just what seems to be forced enclosures!  So yesterday knowing that I was not going to get to Philly to photograph the Mummer’s Parade. I made a point of documenting the first day of the year, in black and white, nature and to make use of the fence as an object of art, which in some ways represents my situation in life at the moment. I had recently thought of doing my black and white photography for a number of reasons. One it is a different challenge, to see in another way, the shadow and light play, winter causes much of nature to be dull and seemingly lifeless. So if I am “forced” to photograph the same thing everyday find a new way to approach it is creative venture. I recall a photographer who lived in the burbs of NYC, who photographed out his window every day for years, the street below him, the light, the season. So why not make what I am doing a more conscious act. Season to season, year by year, different times of the day, weather etc.

repeating patterns
repeating patterns

A lot of this work is already done. For I have photographed the same area for the past several years, some of that you can see by viewing the photography here on the blog, redbubble, and Facebook pages. Even though I consciously did not submit the same views at different seasons they do naturally show up.