Monday, April 30, 2012

Beltaine & crystal spa time

 Ah! Beltaine and the lusty month of May! The altar is set with antlers, a flowered circlet and a bouquet of lilacs. I caught the setting sun perfectly for this photo, lighting up the Isis crystal just so. Circle Round and Celebrating The Great Mother has plenty of Pagan and Earth based stories along with activities for Youths and those Youthful at Heart. We may read through a few of them tonight.

One thing I neglected to do back at the Vernal Equinox was to get my crystals out to the garden for a break ~ time in the sunshine and touching Earth (their Mother). Given how bizarre the weather has been in my neck of the woods, it's just as well I waited until now. We are past the Frost finally. Aren't we?

I'm a little unorthodox about clearing the crystals that live with me. I've done the Native American way of soaking in sea salt, but then I got to thinking: not all Native Americans had access to the sea. Maybe crystals were smudged with sage. Maybe not. I don't have historical fact backing my assumptions one way or another so I go with my gut. I figure simply letting crystal beings spend time outside does enough of the Work necessary for clearing and energizing. A little sun, a little moon, time on the ground ~ heck, even a little rain ~ should do the trick. Works like a charm for humans, why not crystals?

So these beaming buddies of mine will camp out in the garden until maybe full moon. Some might stay in the garden for the season. Some might come back in the house to keep me company. The Isis crystal will join the bunch this weekend since Archaeoastronomy has Beltaine falling on May 4. I'd like the altar to stay together until then.
When I came out to snap photos for the blog, I found
this fellow grooving on the quartz sphere.

He went over this way then danced around going . . .

that way. Funny thing.

Three of the quartz near the lemon balm and blueberry.

Crystals set in a bowl to soak up the sun.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

there are no small parts

Bennie, in the background, as Plato.
What does one do when watching their youth playing the wallflower in a local production? Well. One watches the show. That part is easy. Watching it without bitterness is another matter.

Then one needs to grow up a little and recognize how that can't matter. What matters is they're having a good time contributing to something they enjoy. They got to dress up and act as something different even if they weren't always (or ever) center stage. And there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes of equal importance.

It eases the bitterness. Besides, look at how cute they are!
Tom as Gus the Theater Cat.

Friday, April 27, 2012

a journal entry with Picasso

I am participating in a telecourse offered through Kaleidosoul, Journaling With Our SoulCollage® Cards. Today, I was finally able to sit with an image and a journal page to create ~ not just write. Any other time, I would indeed simply sit with my image and write what comes up. However, Picasso had different ideas on how I am to journal with his presence. First, he had this to convey . . .
Pablo calling me on my sh*t.
Picasso (drawn from Fire/South)~ Good heavens, Woman! Seize your passion! Carpe diem isn't just for Roman soldiers! Why are you waiting? What are you waiting for? No one should wait to Be what they are! Take hold of that brush; it is your sword. It guards you against complacency, mediocrity! Wield it! Pierce the heart of your canvas and let Life bleed into form. You are an Artist and a Warrior!

I have the beginnings of a watercolor journal page on my table. I feel like this is another sunrise ~ got the same flavors of one anyway. I'm waiting for the watercolor to dry so the salt can be rubbed off, leaving interesting patterns for me to write over. Yes. That's correct, I intend to write over this image. Then the words become art as well.

This form of intentional writing, journaling, soul journeying requires leaving certain expectations behind. In sitting, really sitting, with what an image has to say so much self-wisdom is gleaned. This is time well-spent in the studio today . . .

And overseeing the work at hand . . . NO judgments!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

haiku tree

Happy tree haiku.
This morning as I was practicing asanas, my mind began randomly creating haiku. One after another. The basic stuff I've learned about haiku is the 5-7-5 syllable count . . . in English. It's another thing entirely in Japanese. So my haiku creations aren't exactly pure. The nice thing about counting syllables is that one isn't grappling with iambic pentameter or rhyming generally found in poetry. It's like poetry for the masses.

The next thing that grabbed my attention was the greeness of the trees. I'm no stranger to spring on this planet ~ I've gone through 48 of them during my sojourn ~ but this one seems to have come on suddenly and with such passionate force. The window view from my living room is also strung with Tibetan prayer flags . . . All of these things formed a creative idea: hanging haiku on tree branches. I took that idea further deciding to use not just colored mulberry papers, but cuttings from paintings that were headed nowhere.

I started with three haiku as follows:

haiku is the Way
if you have something to say
sweet about Nature

breeze and leafy trees
sun sparkling on the lake
Earth's beauty abides

moon glows in the sky
velvet darkness filled with stars
starstuff reverie

The haiku can then float on the wind like prayers . . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

a backyard ramble

Comfrey ready to bloom.
It's always a refreshing activity to head outdoors after a good rain which ~ noted ad nauseum ~ we haven't had in awhile. With creative time being eaten up by massive amounts of Spring Cleaning, getting out to the yard was all I could manage in between the busy-ness. And here is what I saw . . .
Thyme peeking through its own bramble from winter.

Ah, Purple Sage!

Lemon balm, of course.

An extended mound of rocks I think might
be part of a ley line in my front yard.
A future dowsing project.

The mountain in the west.

My favorite wooded area with wild blueberries.

 Just a little random self-portrait.

A small ridge.

Such a treat to find these, but I can't seem
to identify them.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

dear yoga body . . .

Photo found Here.
How have we learned together? Videotapes with Patricia Walden and Rodney Yee. Yoga the Iyengar Way by Silva, Mira and Shyam Mehta. We are self-taught, you and I. We've learned by copying and studying and listening to each other. This feels good and safe, this does not. We find alternatives for my twisted form. We find alternatives for what isn't ready to move a certain way. I marvel how your cellular memory kicks in when I haven't practiced asanas for too long a time. When I'm certain the only thing this body will remember is Computerchairasana you move easily into Ardha Chandrasana and I'm floating on air, balanced on one foot and one hand. Then I am the Moon. As we move in familiar ways, I feel the knots and tensions melt and integrate into my being. No longer are the worries and angers and pains stuck in one place or another; they are finally able to move freely through me. And then I see things differently. I might move within this new perspective. I might say something I hadn't the courage to say. I might let certain issues sit a little longer. I might have an epiphany. I love how we accept each other as we are in this moment. That I'm not a Size __ (fill in the blank with dress size in High School), does not bother you. Beauty is found in my form the way it is now, regardless of age. That there are days I can't seem to move easily into asana does not trouble you. We simply agree to try again another day and do something a little easier, but still beneficial.

And, finally, when we are done, resting in Savasana, I feel the Self Love that is my birth rite. After final mediation, we take tea and toast reflecting on time well spent. Thank you, dear Yoga Body, for being here for me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

anger management

Sometimes, Bennie has a bad day. What's great is that even at thirteen, she knows what helps gain some balance and perspective. Nature and art. Here's a little of what she photographed yesterday afternoon . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

what's a little churro between friends?

Churro drying sur la table.
This past weekend, Kim brought me a gift of unwashed fiber. Had this box of stinky wool been presented to one of a saner condition, it would have been thrown out. However, being a fiberholic (amongst other varied and sundry vices), said box of stinky wool was well-received. There was a 1/2lb of churro, some bit of suri llama and some other llama bits.

The night I got this box of lovelies, Kim, Bethe, Janet (Bethe's sister) and I were sitting at the table fingering different bits of fiber, showing of recent Kool-Aid dyeing experiments and simple knitting projects. Dirk and Bill sat by somewhat perplexed, wondering why four women would be sitting around sniffing and drooling over excessive bundles of hair normally reserved for removal with a lint roller.

So yesterday being a lovely day and all, I brought the churro fleece out to continue drying while winding one spool of yarn into a skein and plying the other. Once that was done, I moved on to spinning some pricey alpaca purchased sometime ago. Kim and Bennie washed it for me while we were on the way back from Connecticut one afternoon. The soft brown alpaca is spinning up smooth, tight and silky. It was good spinning while watching some old Star Trek on Netflix later in the day too. Soon, I'll pull guard hairs from the churro and twist those fibers ~ maybe during a few X-Files episodes. I so adore X-Files episodes!
It's so fluffy, I could die!

And again, somewhat closer. Like clouds . . .

Starting to spin the alpaca. Yum.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

my tea bowl

Someone asked . . .

That mug is gorgeous! May I inquire as to its origin?

As I'm short on inspiration this morning, I'll tell you.

This bowl, about 4 inches (10cm) high and 4 3/4 inches (12cm) in diameter, was given to me about three years ago. Tom's then-girlfriend was eager to come with some kind of a gift since we invited her to a large family gathering involving birthdays, barbecue and swimming. In desperation, she asked her mother, a potter, if there was ONE thing she could part with to give me in appreciation for the invite. The artist parted with this simple, humble bowl. I was grateful for the gift at the time, but set it aside to figure out its use another day.

Initially, this tea bowl started out as my garlic storage bowl. Then one day, I gave attention to its color and contour. Removing the garlic, I saw the glaze, though with earthy browns and reds, had flecks of silver, like mica in sandstone. And I found that the lip was perfect for holding the bowl with one hand ~ thumb and middle finger encircling the rim just below the lip, index finger crooked over the rim. It was just as lovely to hold in two hands, resting sweetly in my palms. How had I missed this humble beauty earlier?

From that day forward, this bowl has been my friend. We enjoy tea together first thing in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon. We see the sun rise together. We spend time with family and friends enjoying good conversations and good vibes. This bowl has been my solace in sorrow. We've gone out to the garden in spring and sat by the fire in winter. When I'm painting, I've had to pay attention not to dip my brush into my tea. As I prepare another bit of fiber, I stop and take a sip, picking out the occasional stray fiber. Even now, my tea bowl sits with me, filled with Tazo Awake, rosemary honey and half-n-half ~ cool at this point, but still tasty. When my bowl is empty, I clean it carefully by hand in the sink (no dishwasher cleaning for this item), dry it and set it gently near the stove top for that next cup of tea.

Monday, April 16, 2012

elevenses with the chickens

Not that much was accomplished before 11:00am this
morning ~ meditation, animal care, Yin Yoga, Ailing Youth
Management ~ but I felt the call of the Great Beyond with
a cup of tea.

A not-so-sweeping vista to the south west.

Whose-Its (we ran out of names so that's her name) in
the bamboo.

The view to the south east with Joel Coen, Brownie
and Angel.

Bennie's pic of purple flowers.

Another by her of hyacinth.

Once again, up close and purple.

Bennie's shot of the rue.

And of the already-humongous comfrey.

She was pleased to see last year's chard poking through.

And how could one ignore pansies at elevenses?