Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trout Lily



Brief and shy in the spring woods. Yellow petals and speckled leaves. Lovely, little trout lily.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays #2



Art and creativity inspire my soul. Especially the happy and colorful variety. Especially the variety made by people I'm lucky enough to call my friends. Simply put, jewels and pint-size original drawings make me say, "Yay"!
Inspired by: Kasia Blue~modern and vintage inspired jewelry. Oh, this Kasia (kasha) woman, let me tell you, she's the bomb. 3 years ago I could have cared less about jewelry. Then she made me a simple bracelet and began her journey into all things sparkly. Now, I'm obsessed with jewelry. But only original Kasia Blue designs. One drawer is stacked to the lid with little blue boxes, each containing a necklace or bracelet of semi-precious stones I could not live without.
I've been witness to Kasia's beautiful evolution from selling at home parties to selling on Etsy to mesmerizing crowds around her table of jewels at Expos. She's a force, this creative woman. Not only are her designs meant to dazzle on sight, but I tell you, they feel amazing against the skin. The best part of all, she uses specific combinations of stones to invoke healing for body, mind and soul. An artist using her intuitive gifts to soothe and love the world. And guess what? She's been known to offer sales in her Etsy shop. Love at a discount? I'm there.
Inspired by: Gene Ploss Studio. My friend, Gene, is a quiet man with a very resounding talent. He draws. Well. Really well. Okay, amazingly well. Especially his signature wrinkled faces.
In 2005, when I met Gene and his talent, I suggested he offer his drawings for sale on eBay auctions. He chose to specialize in ACEO size images of 2.5" x 3.5" and off he went, selling faces and places to people around the world. I'm lucky enough to have won his first auction almost 4 years ago. I've been a patron since. Cats and butterflies and houses and those wrinkled faces that drop my jaw each time I look at them.
Gene has expanded to creating custom portraits for his clientele, as well as designing wine labels for California vintners. Oh, and he's illustrating the Bible. One baseball-card-size image at a time.
No kidding.
Gene is not one to toot his own talented horn, but to my great delight, the good folks at Strathmore Artist Papers have taken up the baton and featured him in their spring newsletter. Follow the link and read about what inspires my friend. And from his blog you can follow Gene's journey and offerings (originals and prints), on eBay, Etsy and his always happy newsletter.
There now. Yay for inspiring friends!





Sunday, April 26, 2009

Washed Clean

If your heart is aching and tears freely flow in the most ordinary moments, offer gratitude in the midst of your pain. Your heart is being washed clean.
If the pressures and the demands and the many-numbered false starts walk you to the brink of your sane mind and force a look beyond that brink, offer gratitude as your last sane thought. Your mind is being washed clean.
If your world, as you know it, is fragmenting, and the everyday glue you have employed for years is no longer holding the pieces in place, drop the glue on the way to your knees and simply utter, "thank you". Your world is being washed clean.
And clean is what is required to live the life you have asked for.
Yes, don't you remember? You asked for a new life. A life that supported you and loved you and fed your every need at a level higher than what you had previously decided to allow. A life that shed the shackles and bonds of out-moded rules placed upon you by who-even-remembers-now. That life.
We heard you. We've been working like mad to bring it you. To hand it to you on a silver platter. But, good God, you're stubborn. Your ability to cling to your past, the past that isn't working for you, by the way, is tenacious. So we've had to bring in the big guns. The ones that scare you into rethinking the path you've been trodding for, oh, ever. The ones that, well, frankly shatter your precious glass walls. Sorry for the shards. They're being washed down the drain as we speak.
You've got so many dreams. Good dreams. Dreams that, if invoked, will ripple out and wash clean the arid lives of many. We want you to live those dreams. So we're helping. Like you asked.
So be grateful for the pain and angst. Plug your nose and close your eyes if you must, but let the soul-wash go on. When the last drop spirals around the drain in the floor, you'll emerge into the light of a new day. A new life. A life of clean heart and clean mind and dream-know-how to heal and cleanse the world.
{Photo taken while having my car washed. I just love the car wash...}

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Live


Live while you are alive...

Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit.

Learn to free yourself from all things that have molded you

And which limit your secret and undiscovered road...

Never forget that love

Requires you to be

The greatest person you are capable of being,

Self generating and strong and gentle~

Your own hero and star...

Be grateful for life as you live it,

And may a wonderful light

Always guide you along the unfolding road.

{From Ben Okri's "To an English Friend in Africa"}

Found on the delightful, new-to-me blog: www.meggenge.blogspot.com.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Little Pane Of Light


Little windows are opening for me. Like a mosaic. It's an incomplete design, this mosaic. But I see it forming one little pane of light at a time.
In one pane is a book. I've written it. In one pane are flowers. I'm teaching new ways to appreciate them. In another pane is a collection of hearts I've cupped in a bowl. The bowl is sometimes made of mist-green clay, sometimes made of my hands.
Little windows are opening for me. As I lose my fear, as my breath moves out of the shallows, the design is revealing itself. As one pain moves out, another pane brings in more light.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays #1


It's a cold and rainy Monday, and I'm looking to be inspired. I know if I keep my mind open and my eyes sharp, inspiration is everywhere. Some days, though, my mind is preoccupied and my eyes are closed. Or it's a sullen shade of grey outside. Or I simply feel lost. It is precisely for those days that I seek to catalogue things and people and events that inspire me. So I can more easily scrape my chin off the floor and balance those ever-shifting moods of the mid-life female body.
I want color and song and uplifting article and all things that make me say, "Yay!" right under my nose. Like a pink, padded life boat in turbulent seas, I want to be cradled in goodness. I want to be reminded how sweet and good and simple it is to be alive. I want to dream bigger. And for that to happen, my soul must be inspired. So join me, if you will, in sharing the things that make me say, "Yay!" each Monday.
Inspired By: Mosaic Maker. Dear God, I may never again have time for my day job, now that I've discovered this gem. No doubt, more photo mosaics will debut on future posts.
Inspired by: Susan Boyle. In case you're the last web-connected person not to have seen this diamond-in-the-rough Brit sensation blow the world away, grab a tissue and have a listen. She is living proof that it is NEVER too late to live your dreams.
Inspired by: Unravelling, the e-course. This is the photography course I just completed. I cannot say enough glowing things about the 8 weeks of introspective assignments the brilliant and compassionate Susannah Conway offered up to her students. It's not about improving one's photography skills, it's about using the camera to unravel the gorgeous layers of love we hide from ourselves about ourselves. Susannah is a facilitator of magic, as evidenced by the connection I've made with women from around the globe in our private Unravelling group. As a matter of fact, this amazing group is continuing on, delving deeper into assignments together as we wait for part 2 of the e-course. Her next course begins May 4th. If you need love, inspiration and community, this is the place to be.
There now. Despite the rain, it's no longer grey.
{Update: Care to join me in sharing what and who inspires you each Monday? Grab the IMM badge off my home page, put it in your sidebar, then email me (evenstarart@gmail.com) with your blog name and link. I'll list you here as my partner in all things inspirational. Yay!}
BLOG ROLL of the joyful and inspired~click their links for more inspiration!
1.Katie at Into The Woode
2.Kasia at Kasia Blue
3.Elise at Lucky Danger
4.Jeanne at Jeanne Klaver
6.Debbie at SugarFree Seer

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Sitting Tree part 1





The Sitting Tree part 2




I went out today for a walk in search of the fresh and the new. It's spring, after all, and I desired a little lift for my soul. But aside from a smattering of daffodils and hyacinth, tucked close to houses along my route, what I found was decay and a landscape draped in shades of brown. Still. Walking along, I felt less than lifted, having only rust and chipping paint to interest my eye. Until I was beckoned by the Sitting Tree.
The Sitting Tree has massive, exposed roots that form a living sculpture suspended above the creek. The roots form a perfect seat with a secure foot rest. Naturally, the trunk curves to support one's back. In taking the invited seat, pleasantly perched above the rippling creek, I felt as if I was sitting in the lap of Mother Nature herself. I felt hugged and instantly restored.
I am aware of the healing power of Nature. Trees, especially well established ones, are the doctors and shamans of the earth. The Sitting Tree invited me to relax into its seat and let my troubles and tensions flow out of my body into its roots. It invited me to be at peace in its embrace, to listen to the calming gurgle of the water, to think of nothing.
The Sitting Tree said the landscape is still brown for me because it is not quite time to act, nor is it quite time to bloom. But the time is coming quickly and before the surge, rest is required. Balance is needful. Sorrows must be emptied into the earth.
I sat for a long time in the crook of Mother Nature. It was the first moments of deep peace since I'm not sure when. Just me and the tree, the water and wind, and a singular duck for good measure. I told the Sitting Tree I would be back. I thanked it for its gracious and timely invitation. On the walk back home my boots and bones felt less heavy. It must have been the new, little lift in my soul.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Door To Unknown




Sometimes I hate how the Universe loves me. In my quest to overcome the internal blockage of chi, I've asked the Powers that Be to help me move beyond some persnickety fears. You know the ones I mean. The "flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-into-the-unknown" fears, as my friend Lynn so aptly says. So while I was calmly sitting on my living room floor, pawing through my tumbled stones, books open to explanations of chakras, the Universe loved me up in a surprising way.
It started with the brothers, Buddha the Brave (who usually isn't) and Remmington, the black prince of fun and destruction. While reading about the yellow chakra and fingering some tumbled tiger's eye, I noticed Buddha saunter into my teeny tiny bathroom at the end of the hall. He immediately sat in front of a little door. A door I've opened only twice and promptly shut both times. It's a cupboard-size door that gives access to the bathtub plumbing and God knows what else. With 2 deft swipes of his buff-colored paw, the door popped open. I lurched forward and drew a breath. In a blink, Remmington appeared and stuck his head through the door. Fear gripped my yellow chakra. What if my boys get stuck? What if they fall through something and disappear forever? I don't know what lies beyond that door! Is it safe? Can I stop them in time?
But no words could escape from my lips as I watched them, in tandem, stick half their bodies through the rectangular hole in the wall. Something or someone was imploring me to observe in silence. I forced myself to sit back down. And with that, they plunged into Narnia.
I sat, barely breathing, knowing the Universe was laughing at me and forcing me through my fears of the unknown, courtesy of 2 cats in ca-hoots. I understood the lesson immediately~ Be brave. Be adventurous. Explore. Open new doors. Fear not. Trust. No spot is too tight. Be flexible. Who cares if you get dirty. Follow your instincts and you'll always be safe. There will always be light to call you home. Laugh. More. Often.
After 5 minutes in Narnia, the prince of fun and destruction reappeared covered in dust and the webs of ancient spiders. "Holy shit! That was great, Mom! You should see it in there!" Buddha took longer to explore and emerged as if he was born for this level of bravery. Evidently he was.
I've closed the door and twice more it has been popped open. The lesson continues. So noted.
With tiger's eye in hand and a little door wide open, I will stop holding my breath. I will love how the Universe loves me. I will allow myself to get dirty. I will trust. I will dare to believe I was born to bravery. I will follow my own yellow light through the door to the unknown.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Author Reads Her Work #4

video
This little essay was originally posted on January 27, 2009. Yes, it's recent. But just in case you needed to hear these words today, I read aloud for you.
{I know, I know. 2 posts in 1 day. What in God's name has come over me?}

My Happy Self


I've had too many reasons to be sad. Too many scenarios playing out in my brain of less than favorable outcomes. Despite my wish to stay centered. But today, this glorious day, I intentionally attend to the rebirth of my happy self. Today, life is all about me. In the most positive of selfish ways.

My happy self does not require shopping sprees and chocolate to rise to the surface. It requires time alone and time with Nature. It requires flowers and semi-precious stones and rose petal tea by the pot full. My happy self requires time to focus inward. Time for silence. Time to read at a leisurely pace and discover just which form of yoga and just which stone will re-open the channels of chi. My happy self loves color. To wear, to eat and to drink. It also loves naps with cats.

It's time to be happy, I tell myself. Springtime and the longer light of day has come. There are so many more reasons to be happy than sad. Today, I choose the reasons to be happy~ love, the color cherry red, cameras, smoked salmon quiche, garnets and malachite, orchids and roses, the silent peace of angels and God.

In the most positive of selfish ways, I welcome you back, my happy self.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mush



She let her world fall apart, her world turn to mush.
In the falling and the mush her heart was healed.
And she became the butterfly queen.
Collage and words by, Me.
Owned by, Paula Kohring.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

She Says She's Not a Jesus Girl




I'm not a Jesus girl. At least, not in any traditional sense. I do not attend church, unless it is at my Mother's rare request. Yet, I find myself highly attracted to much of the architecture and art and decor used to create the hallowed walls of churches. So, here's the irony. It's Easter week and I feel like I'm dying. Figuratively.
Angst is rampant and I just may be carving out some ulcers. All because I make the regular and silly proclamation to the Universe at large that I would like to grow and better myself and move beyond my fears. No existing in a state of peace and bliss for this girl. Oh, no. Let's see how far up the path I can go. But sometimes, on that path, an abyss stretches forth. To move beyond the abyss requires a leap of faith. To leap requires letting go of the life and the cocoon I exist in. Letting go feels like death. Hence the angst.
I'm staring at an abyss this week, wondering and wavering. I'm assessing my levels of courage. I'm weighing my options. I'm eating and sleeping poorly. I'm feeling nostalgic about my cocoon. But I know myself. Forward is my only direction. Even if I bring ulcers along.
I'm not a Jesus girl. But I'm aware of the coincidental timing and example. To allow new life to emerge, death is the price to be paid. So I stand at the abyss and read a scrap of paper that floated out of a mountainous pile on my desk~ "She let her world fall apart, her world turn to mush. In the falling and the mush, her heart was healed. And she became the butterfly queen".
With luck and eyes closed, by Friday, I may just have made the leap. By Sunday, I'll be looking for butterflies on the far side of the abyss.
{Stained glass windows from: Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, NY.}

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Soul Bird



My soul is part bird. In kinship, the feathered nations come to me and teach my soul their secrets. The secrets I have forgotten, or have yet to learn, or the ones that remind me to defy gravity.
Yesterday, lady cardinal, freshly expired with broken wing, called out to me. I scooped her off the side of the road and took her home. In honoring her body, I wanted to comfort her soul. It was she, in the end, who comforted me.

She reminded me in these times of great personal stress to notice and take care of the little things. To rest and to play and remember to laugh. To keep flowers close by and prayers at hand. To never stop trusting in miracles. To let the heart be heard.

Before I put her to rest in my garden, she gave me feathers from her wing. Needing them no longer, she told me to use them to rise above despair, to stay focused on the love in all outcomes and to keep my soul aloft.