Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 15: Confronting Fear / Developing Faith

The fire feathers of our patridge cochin chicken, Tres (short for Trespassers).

Small poem for the morning


Nattering, chattering
pecking, crowing, oh, and
musical sighs of remembrance and sorrow--
It's like this everyday


In Soul Coaching we've now entered Fire week. I realized that in past Novembers, our family had participated in Lantern Walks--organized by the small nature school our daughters attended-- with story, song, and with hot cider and warm pumpkin muffins after. This was part of the sweet rhythm of the year that we enjoyed on Vashon Island for awhile (perhaps more my and my daughter Gwynne's cup of cider than the rest of our family's!). Anyway, I was aware that, now that we've moved to a whole new community, this festival is passing us by!

Keeping in mind that we are sparking a new life here, I've decided to make lanterns with Gwynne this week -- watercoloring some thick paper, cutting shapes in it, and gluing in a translucent colored paper, fingerknitting a handle, and carefully taping in a tea light. Maybe we'll have a little lantern walk to a friend's house in the neighborhood. Or maybe it will just be in our backyard, under stars and cloud and waning moon, soft singing for the sleeping chickens!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 14: Choosing Your Life

Wallowa Lake - is that me in that little red boat out there?

So, I've been lurking at Soul Coaching, a bookgroup blog focused on the book, Soul Coaching, by Denise Linn. I wasn't going to participate, but as the days passed, I found (as is the nature of these things) the color and concerns and texture of my life to be mirroring the focus of the day. I love that kind of sympathetic magic!

So, here I am on the last day devoted to the quality, archetype, element, being of Water. The thought for the day is what final limiting thought (or what have you) would you like to wash away? The I-Don't-Know I came up with for today is: I don't know if I'll ever finish any of my (big) creative projects again! ...

Considering that thought, my first response was to release this thought: I don't finish what I begin. But that's an old, tired, definitly not true thought from my achievement-is-everything days.

The thought I'd like to release is actually this: Completing projects is all-important.

The "boat" I choose is one I've been living for awhile: the knowledge that I choose my projects (Kamana Naturalist Training Program, writing my children's book, dreaming of creating a folk choir or a Threshold choir in this new place of ours) because they bring certain threads of aliveness and being in my life, lenses of awareness, purpose, and magic. Whether I actually birth or complete these projects doesn't matter right now (if they ever will). In the meantime, they support me in being curious, immersing myself in the new nature of my place, challenging myself to view the world in a mischievous, child-magic way, learning songs and sharing them in my day-to-day life, and offering simple ways to eventually connect with my community.

I write all that, but I also know that small steps lead to mountains. So, while I release the need to have a particular outcomes, I do know that just living in my nature (which comes alive when I have a particular weave of purpose around me) will likely lead to the emergence in this world of many of these dreams that carry me along. Or a slightly different forms of them.

Okay, on with the day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Little Morning Poetry

Photo from several years ago of a harp I no longer have in a house I no longer have, accompanied by various things I no longer have, in the rosy glow of sunset .... Beautiful, isn't it!

My friend Lisa encouraged me to keep a Book Of I don't Know everyday for 100 days, writing one thought a day of what I don't know, and being okay with the mystery of that not knowing, and just seeing what emerges. Well, what has emerged are little poems--not haiku, but certainly inspired by haiku.

Look! my village--
hens flap to me
hopeful for treats


Full moon--
I don't expect to see it
caught in the maple tree



I don't know if here
and there--
are the same places


Russet-leaf coat and white
nosing for tales
I don't know anything about the fox
I'd better ask.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Okay, I get It

Some artwork from a few years ago - "The House Of Belief".

I get it. After reading and working with all kinds of material, listening to many wise folk, sitting hundreds of hours in my secret spot, tracking my natural gifts (these last two are Kamana Naturalist Training Program routines), I really do get what this true nature
stuff is about. You'll find the notion very familiar, no doubt. I've certainly encountered it many times! But this time, something just turned carefully around, and I understood in my gut.

The 'it' is this: that if we are truly to live our true nature, we are not striving but being. We are absolutely present with where we are, just as an animal is, and we move through the challenges and possibilities of the day, the month, the year, responding and considering, but mostly by being in the moment, allowing what is in motion to move through us, and responding from our heart-and-mind, both as one. Our minds can consider forward and back through time, and create and consider in astounding ways. Our hearts know who we are in that soul/animal way, just what it is that moves through us, the absolute true and natural expression of ourselves if we "cleared the clutter" of ... whatever it is that keeps us from believing in who we are.

I understand now why I can perhaps live in a small house--in a town!--in a far-off corner of the country, and just do what I do, and it will be enough--more than enough. And I understand that I really did hear the clouds murmur to one another when they flowed east at sunset, the air entirely rinsed in gold, flower-blues appearing and disappearing to the northeast in a hues I never expected to see in the sky. That, when that splash of birds flashed across to the west, I knew that one could track clouds like deer, that they too had their motions and migrations that tell stories that could make sense to those of us who stand (or wobble!) on the earth below, if we took the moment to learn their language.

That being in this part of the valley, with the magnificent snow-robed Wallowas curving around one side, and the gold-brown hills of the prairie on the other is indeed to be held in the heart of a Medicine Wheel, and to feel the giant spin of the earth, the eternity of the cloud-and-star-filled sky, and the cleansing and healing nature of these great ancient beings, who actually aren't so ancient, geologically speaking.

Okay, I'm going to leave this topic here -- I have a daughter impatient for me to help her learn to knit (it means I have to relearn how to do it!).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Watercourse Way and A Peace Of ...

This photo is an "oldie" from 1990, back when my harp partner Deb Knodel and I traipsed over to Cape Arago on the Oregon coast, and propped our harps in this lovely location. This photo contains the essence, for me, of my relationship with Reiki.

This is a big day for us Americans, as we 'cast our votes' for our hopes and dreams for a certain quality of future. In my own life, I feel like I'm in the process of 'election' as well. How will I begin to express myself in this new place that is our home? Will this place be one where we root and deepen for years to come, or will it be a stepping stone -- a place to gather our energies, enjoy and grow within a very different lifestyle, terrain, nature, and community for a time -- before moving along ... elsewhere.

In the end, it doesn't really matter what we elect, but how we are in each moment. I elect to be here, now.

Our small city library contains some amazing gems. One I'm currently reading is a translation Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching with commentary by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (called Change Your Thoughts--Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom Of The Tao).

The 43rd Verse goes like this:

The softest of all things
overrides the hardest of all things.
That without substance enters where there is no space.

Hence I know the value of nonaction

Teaching without words
performing without actions--
few in the world can grasp it--

that is the master's way.
Rare indeed are those
who obtain the bounty of this world.

In his commentary entitled, "Living Softly", Dr. Dyer goes on to describe 'the watercourse way' is to live in this way -- to emulate water, how it flows, how water is capable of overriding hardness, carving through stone with its patient, quiet, moving way. Anyway, I take those words to heart today, and consider the way of water, how in my own life that times are far more joyful, harmonious, satisfying when I am merely in my nature, moving easefully when the way opens, eddying in place when it seems shut, playing with that leaf spinning in my current and discovering the whole world in that leaf, until a way opens or reveals itself or falls away, and then onward!
Since the Watercourse Way is about peace, I'd like to segue to the art show entitled A Peace of ... Vashon. It is co-curated by Kara and Hawk Jones, as part of their on-line art project and gallery showing (open to contributions by any and all artists!), A Peace of .... The physical showing at Cafe Luna, on Vashon Island in Washington (our former habitat) opens this Friday and lasts all month. I've contributed this "peace of" for the show.

Sanctuary Origami
Size/description of piece:
8" x 8", watercolor/beeswax crayon/colored pencil/pen

Several years ago, I had a dream about a God's eye/Grandmother's eye pattern called Sanctuary Origami. The pattern sprang out of my hand like a healing symbol and transposed itself on the island of Vashon. The concept of "Sanctuary Origami" is as follows:

"The universe is like a lovingly crafted piece of origami. For those who are awake enough to celebrate her, she reveals her intricate patterns, carefully and beautifully aligned, fold upon fold upon fold. The work is pristine, and she is alive.

Each of us is one of those beautiful spaces within the patterned universe. Each of us is a creator of the origami that is our life. When we create and live our lives from a place of compassion, playfulness, grace, and spirit, that space we inhabit in all of Being becomes a blessing place, a sanctuary. I invite you all to view your lives, what you create in them, as Sanctuary Origami: intricate, joyful, continually unfolding, abounding with treasures waiting to be drawn forth and shared. When we witness the dance of each others' Dreaming and Being, the patterns deepen and express themselves more fully in everyone's reality."

In the dream, Vashon Island became an expression of Sanctuary Origami, its blessing full-spirit energy unfolding and expanding throughout the world and universe, changing it and deepening it -- A Peace Of Vashon, indeed!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

El Dia De Los Muertos

Mi Fiesta!

"Ofrenda" - art by Jane
and below that is ...
"Sugar Skull"

For the past few years I celebrated this deep, rich, beautiful holiday with family and in community. This year, the celebration is in the quiet earth of my soul. That said, I have 25 lbs of masa, a few pumpkins, some corn husks, and and various chiles, beans, and other ingredients to create those delicious treasures, tamales -- one of these days. And I have some artwork and photographs from past celebrations that I'd like to share. So please enjoy my blog "ofrenda"!

Photo of Bread Dough:
Ingredients for my 'pan de las inocencias' - bread dough includes a couple of crumpled organic red chilis, and generous helpings of fresh evening primrose and calendula petals from my garden, dried nettles gathered from our forest, and cinnamon. The inocencias mischievously nudged me about what to add!

Photo: Ofrenda in honor of las inocencias -- the young ones who have passed on--in utero, at birth, brief days, months, years into life ....

I'm participating in Dia de Bloglandia.
Click above to attend more gatherings!