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More Musings From My Lakeside Retreat – July 2020

On July 17th I decided to do a silent retreat day at my Enchanted Cottage. I dedicated this one to Mary Magdalene since she has been appearing to me in my thoughts and daydreams, maybe in my night dreams also, but I don’t remember those. The first set of Haikus are for Mary and the second set from my musings lakeside and in my backyard the same day.

a plain name, Mary

it holds the whole universe

she is the Beloved

 

think, say what you please

she cares naught for your thoughts

she knows her true self

 

the rose, the lily

symbols of Mary’s pure heart

abide in my garden too

 

 

raindrops pelting down

each one a whisper, a word

Heaven’s telegraph

 

hawk screeches: Listen!

salmon gulps: Trust inner knowing!

wisdom from my cards

 

squirrels everywhere

zigzag across fence and yard

mirroring my thoughts

 

wind chimes dance on breeze

water ripples on bird bath

incense wafts on wind

 

Greetings From My Lakeside Retreat – July 2020

I have always loved this quote of Einstein’s:

‘There are two ways to live life – one as if nothing is a miracle and one as if everything is.’

As I have had enormous amounts of time to contemplate my life, and Life in general, over the past several months of enforced Retreat I have come to believe life is ‘both – and’ as far as miracles go. Life since mid-March has been filled with anxiety, fear and eventual surrender to what is happening around the world right now. So, any little thing that is beautiful or sounds enchanting or sails by my vision into the heavens seems like a miracle. And it is! On the other hand, everything in the world is appearing and happening and evolving as it should so is not a miracle but just Life rolling out in front of me. And it is!

I feel it is a Miracle I am alive at all in this wondrous, random universe and also perfectly reasonable that I Am here. Why not be here now? I have my part to play, whatever that might be, and I pray I can be a source of strength or solace to someone else on this Path we collectively find ourselves on. Everything that transpires now is a miracle and also natural: a paradox, the Great Paradox (as I am learning through the Shamanism teachings  I have been listening to online).

So…as I sat by the lake each morning at dawn’s early light this summer I started writing about the ‘miraculous wonders of Nature’ surrounding me. These flora and fauna don’t know I see them as miracles, they just Are:

Lakeside Haikus

lake is a mirror

reflecting sky and trees

ducks paddle past me

 

eagle, heron, hawk

gliding with outstretched wings

I sit in silent awe

 

silently she glides

eyes and ears alert for foe

mother duck on patrol

 

splash and flash of hooves

frolicking on  yonder shore

teenage deer show off

 

ripples on lake surface

turtle, fish or leaping frog

stir the water’s soul

 

flap, flap, flap, flap, glide

paddle, paddle, paddle, glide

I alone don’t glide

 

bird stands on a rock

wings outstretched to catch a breeze

lovely fan dancer

 

ghost moon riding high

paused betwixt new and full

luminous halfling

 

sun peeks through trees

lotus petals open wide

greet the day smiling

 

Then I wrote about my human experience as contemplated lakeside during my personal silent retreat July 5th:

my words drop like stones

how will they ripple out-out

open your ears and heart

 

sitting in silence

thoughts flit like butterflies

by noon they cease

 

time and space are one

pay attention to your dreams

they whisper the truth

 

life is illusion

dip your toe in the waters

stir your reality

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Solstice Is Upon Us – 6/20/2020

Summer Solstice – (a poem in the Pantoum form)

My legs are lolling over the arm of the Adirondack chair

I sip lemonade through a pale green straw

My book forgotten on the grass

I stare at the leaves overhead as they sway in the air

 

I sip lemonade through a pale green straw

Wondering, dreamily, what this day will bring

I stare at the leaves overhead as they sway in the air

Will it rain today?

 

Wondering, dreamily, what this day will bring

My hands brush the tops of buttercups at my sides

Will it rain today?

Or will the clouds just drift apart and vanish?

 

My hands brush the tops of buttercups at my sides

I sip lemonade through a pale green straw

I think I must look like a painting of summer

My legs are lolling over the arm of the Adirondack chair

 

Dragonfly Dreams

You come to me in lucid dreams

In that magical space betwixt awake and asleep,

Flitting in and around my fantasies,

Weaving your medicine

Like a spider weaves her web.

You glide along on the winds of change

Bringing to me the wisdom of the Ages:

This earthly life is all illusion!

Lift me, transform me, into

My true Spiritual self.

 

Art Continues To Sustain Me 6/3/2020

A question often asked of me and probably of all artists is: ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ Especially over these past few months I have had plenty of time and space to create a piece of artwork per day – many days I produce more depending upon what classes/lessons/free offerings I am pursuing online. My daily art journal usually has a prompt I receive online or think about as I arise in the wee hours of the morning to feed my pesky kitties looking for their ‘first breakfast’ at 3 a.m. I have the pages already prepped with Gesso and sometimes an acrylic color so I can begin straightaway. Here’s an example:

Often I sit in front of an empty, white canvas propped on my small step ladder which has become the perfect easel for me to either stand at or sit in front of. On a small table nearby I have various acrylic paints, swatches of fabric and lace, pieces of paper, ribbons, feathers, magazine pictures, pages ripped from old dictionaries and books and a mason jar filled with brushes. The plain, white canvas is daunting so I start to glue on pieces of paper, music, lace and whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. I add whatever colors appeal to me and things start to take shape. In this particular painting I wasn’t thinking about a person but suddenly I saw her chin and the outline of a nose and realized she was looking up not out at me like my other Goddesses.  I kept layering and redoing her facial features until this Goddess of the Waterfall appeared.

This next painting is a perfect example of  how an outside influence changes everything I thought I was going to create on the canvas. I started with stencils normally used for quilting and added colors and textures around them. I was listening to Peter, Paul and Mary on my phone and the song The Great Mandala (the Wheel of Life) came on and I said out loud ‘Aha! these are mandalas!’ Peter Yarrow wrote it back in the ’60s in protest of the Vietnam War,  but when you listen to the words they ring true in today’s world. So, I offer this artwork as a representation of how the cogs of my ‘wheel’ and spaces in your ‘wheel’ fit together to mesh and turn and  move forward as One.

A Quest For Real Mail

I have to stay vigilant. My mail lady arrives at different times each day. Usually between 11:30 and 1:30 but this can be altered in an instant. Like the other day when I finally ventured out to pick up a prescription at Walgreens at 10:30 thinking it was safe to do so. But no! she is already on the main highway down the road from my street.

A dilemma faces me. Should I speed to Walgreens and hope there isn’t a long line at the pharmacy or should I go back home and wait on my front porch? I decide to turn around and follow her to my street’s row of roadside mailboxes. This way I can find out how much mail other people are getting. How long does she stop at each mailbox? Are people getting lots of packages? I have become a calculating stalker in my mostly ‘stay-at-home’ solitude. Mail is my new lifeline to the outer world. I crave anything showing up in my mailbox: the Advertiser with supermarket inserts, hearing aid ads, real estate ads, gutter-cleaning ads, pest control ads, junk mail for people who lived at my address a decade ago. I cherish them all.

I order things on Amazon almost every day just to have packages delivered on a regular basis to my mailbox or doorstep. I am highly disappointed when items are bundled together for easier delivery. I don’t want easier delivery! I want individual packages day after day after day.

Today was a bonus day. The item I had ordered was broken inside the box.  Yay!  I have to package it back up, have it picked up by UPS tomorrow and then reorder the item to be delivered next week. Three transactions with a live person for one item ordered – heavenly…

So, while emails and text messages and Facetime are sweet at this time of social separation, I want Real Mail. Solid pieces of paper and cardboard. I want to feel the paper and cardboard – after wiping them down with Clorox of course, smell the paper and cardboard – after the Clorox dries of course, examine the artwork of the stamps and savor the card or letter or even the ad/flyer whether intended for me or ‘current occupant.’

Art in the Age of Corona (continued)

May 2020

Spring is finally becoming a reality out here at the lake.

I have had a series of feathered friends flying into the

windows of my front porch. First a female cardinal flew

against the window as her male companion looked on.

After she left, a male robin repeatedly collided with the glass.

When he finally left 3 weeks later, I breathed a sigh of relief,

but this  morning a little sparrow took his place.

Even my cats staring at them isn’t enough to scare them away…

So, of course, I thought about how these actions relate to

what is happening in the world right now.  An unprecedented

event in my lifetime anyway. Are we all just beating our heads

against the wall trying to return to a normal that no longer

exists and should not be returned to anyway? Spirit is calling

to us to change our habits and ways of life that no longer serve

us or the planet.  Will we listen?

Over the past few months several Goddesses/Angels have

come to me in dreams and visions, all of whom I have

painted as directed by them.

This first week of May which is celebrated by many cultures

as Beltane, a time for planting seeds and the ripening of

trees and flowers, brought forth Gaia to me. She symbolizes

Mother Earth and brings forth abundance in nature. We must

take care of our planet and honor Gaia and all the wonderful

things she freely gives us.

 

 

 

 

Art in the Age of Corona, April 20, 2020

Each week, as I sit staring at a blank canvas wondering what to paint next,

the face of another Goddess/Angel starts to take form.

I am realizing more and more that the image is already on the canvas

waiting for me to acknowledge her. Her timing is always perfect.

Zanna,  pictured here,  proclaims: ‘You are protected

from all types of harm. The worst is now behind you.

I ask you to relax and feel safe.’

The worst may be behind us, but that does not mean

we are to rush back into our old lives. I believe we are to take

this ‘time between’ what was before and what will be

in a week or a month or even a year from now

and find our place in this new paradigm we are

being invited into by Spirit.

 

 

 

 

I am also striving each day to create something new

in my art journal. Much easier to do something small

and easily completed in an hour or 2. I usually ‘sploot’

several colors of acrylic paint on a page, fold it over

and press to create swirls and patterns that suggest

something to me. Like the images in clouds, pictured here

from a photo I took in Florida in March, suggest angels,

animals, or waves on a shore, my blots of paint suggest

images to me.

 

 

 

Sometimes it takes a day of walking past the journal

lying open on my kitchen peninsula before I have an

‘aha!’ moment and wings and the outline of a face

and hands holding a sacred object start to appear.

The picture is from a Susan Boulet calendar I have had

for years and the my painting above mirrors her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art in the Age of Corona 2020 continued (4/12/2020)

Today is Easter. It is a holiday/festival/ritual celebrated by many cultures around the globe.

I have painted this depiction of Ostara the Celtic Fertility Goddess from whose name the word

Easter is derived. She heralds Springtime, the time when our sun returns from the darkness of

the Winter months. She also welcomes the seeds and plants to rejuvenate and resurrect themselves

from the cold earth. The birds are returning from their hiatus south and the butterflies and

dragonflies will soon follow. The world around us is fairly bursting with life.

Easter is a time for rejoicing. In these troubled and uncertain times we can turn to Nature to

see how the cycle of life continues ever onward despite extenuating circumstances.

Let Ostara be our guide and mentor as she reminds us this is an opportune time to make

life changes and prepare for new ventures.

 

 

 

This picture is a recent page from my ongoing art journal. Even though Jesus is depicted as a baby in

his mother’s arms, isn’t this where we all begin and end?

Jesus called out for his mother at the end of his life…

Michaelangelo’s famous sculpture Pieta portrays Jesus once again

cradled by his loving mother.

Art in the Age of Corona 2020

These are strange times indeed. My emotions swing all over the place day by day but my artwork has given me a focus and direction for these emotions and I have found my Muses, be they Goddesses, Angels or my Spirit Guides, have been coming through to me in dreams and visions. I am eager each morning to put brush to canvas and see who emerges over the days as they come clear to me.

 

Here are a few of the Goddesses who have come forth as I contemplated my empty canvases:

 

I painted Bridget a couple of months ago and just wasn’t satisfied with her facial features so

I ‘Gessoed’ over her  nose and mouth Tuesday and did not realize until I stepped back what

I had painted – a face mask!  Was this a sub-conscious thought or feeling coming through?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Bridget, re-imagined as of yesterday…a pleasant, warm smile on her face,

apparently Coronavirus-free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also decided to participate in the #518rainbowhunt phenomenon taking over my area and

perhaps the whole country by now?  I wanted to paint something eye-catching and fun. So,

while getting out of my car Wednesday, I spotted this angel which was originally all white and waiting

patiently in my herb garden for me to notice her potential as a Rainbow of Hope.

 

 

Treasure Island, Florida 2020

I traveled to Florida from February 28th to March 12th. Luckily was able to enjoy the sun, sand, water and sea breezes before the spread of the coronavirus cancelled or delayed events and flights, etc. I enjoyed many walks along the Gulf beach. Found many treasures washed ashore and stood one early morning between the full moon setting and the fierce sun rising.

This photo is of the page I created in my journal of treasures that washed up on shore one morning.

 

waves crashing on sand

slip back into ocean’s fold

leaving sea treasures

 

 

 

 

Busy little birds along the shore at sunset.

 

sandpipers scuttle

surveying sand for supper

spy savory snails

 

 

 

 

Another day in paradise winds down…

 

magic hour at dusk

lone bird flies across the sun

accent mark on sky