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Archive for the ‘Thoughts in Passing’ Category

It is fun to draw because it really does affect how you see. We often draw on paper what we think something looks like. But we are seeing with our brain, not our eyes. When we stop to draw what we are observing, we make an entirely different image…it might be an exact representation or it may be subtle hints and shapes of the object that help the viewer also see the object more clearly.

Not much in our world is clear these days, judging by the large picture. New memes seem to be forming and staying that cloud our perspective that good and kindness and wisdom still exist. Too much constant shouting, too much “me too”ism’s, too much random violence wrought upon the innocent. Everyday in every way, we are witness to what we wish would not be. Just when did human communication focus and grow upon harmful, hateful expressions. Words have power. Words are real. Hateful words are sticks and stones and they do hurt others.

But there it is. How do we see clearly? How do we see beyond the appearance? How do we stay balanced? How do we define the world we live in right now? Officials speak about not letting violent outbursts and killings “define us”. Yet when it does occur it has devastating realities that run through the victims’ family and community far into the future, long after the cameras and newscasts have left. They leave behind their observations “that this community is beginning the healing”…yet they are still in shock before the real, lifelong journey of healing actually begins with each painful day of loss that didn’t have to be.

Most often, in pain and sorrow, even beyond the pain and sorrow that may hang suspended for s long time, most seek some kind of genuine love to express. It seems so huge, this hole of hurt cast upon them. And while everything hurts, they find the energy to move step by step into each new day, redirecting their purpose to live their own life in a genuine way, not covering up this horror they have been asked to bear.

Those of us untouched by what we see has touched others redirect as well. I hunker down and practice more acts of kindness, find more ways of listening intentionally, and remember that  “I and “they” are dear ones, treating them as such.

“Dear one, I am here for you”

 

 

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art by Nan Rae

My journey and joy in learning Sumi-e brush painting has acquainted me with some website instruction on YouTube with Nan Rae. I find her invigorating, gracious, and owning every bit of her serendipitous journey into this art. Here is a glance.

 

DELIGHT IN SERENDIPITY!

Nan Rae – Her Journey in Sumi-e Chinese Brush Painting

In her own words: Everyone has a journey that is unique to them and it’s best followed by listening to the promptings of our heart. For me this involves saying yes to everything that presents itself and fortunately that ‘everything’ has always turned out to be something wonderful. Perhaps not visibly wonderful at the beginning but always becoming something amazing.

Of course this does require more faith in life than in following a predictable course but again, this seems to work for me. An early example of this would be when Ralph Tepedino contacted me years ago and asked if I would like to do the California Gift Show. Honestly, I didn’t even know what the Gift Show was but in my usually naive manner I said a resounding “YES”. At that time I was to share a 10 X 10 foot space with two other artists, one who sold her photographic images on greeting cards and the other a gal in England who pressed flowers and placed them on pillows, in frames and all manner of products.

Nan Rae

There I was with one small wall to display my line of greeting cards. If I cut to the chase I will tell you that within three years we were not only doing the Gift Show having three booths featuring only Nan Rae cards but the New York Stationary Show. From these two venues Trader Joe’s found me along with Ling Design in England and so many wonderful gift stores and museums that there isn’t room or time to name them. All serendipity!

Nan Rae

Every licensing contract has come to me just that way. Every commission, including the New York Philharmonic asking permission to use my artwork for their historic trip to Korea and China. I am always as amazed by this as you must be reading these stories but again, it’s my journey and it’s what works for me. A friend once told me she suits up and shows up and perhaps that is the key. We have to work hard and be fully prepared when opportunities present themselves and then be brave enough to say a resounding yes!
Find her and her beautiful paintings and classes at: http://www.nanraestudio.com

 

Nan Rae

Nan Rae explains on her website:

“An expert in Brush Painting, her works,
from her Paris experience,
sing with the joy of Impressionism.”
Nan Rae’s brush painting combines the grace of the Literati style
with an impressionist approach to color.
The Literati style seeks to transcend the mere representation,
of a subject to capture its ch’i, or life force, by using a
minimum of brush strokes for maximum effect.
No sketches are prepared and no models are used.
The artist paints with rapid, intuitive movements of the brush
that convey a “mind image” of the subject.
Sumi-e, Japanese Ink painting,
came from the influence of Chinese Brush;
the techniques and brushes are the same.

Her motto is, Live Joyfully watching her instruct it is easy to see this joy — this ch’i — surrounds and embodies her. She is joy personified.

She encourages me to “get my ch’i on!” and to watch for it in my own brush paintings.

Find her at: http://www.nanraestudio.com

 

Napkinwriter’s journey with Sumi-e is a slow, winding one filled with wonder with what is achieved in this tradition of brush painting. According to the Mustard Seed Garden book, which is considered the bible of this method, there are bunches of rules and regulations for the brush and the artist to produce a calming image filled with ch’i that the observer falls in love with. I have only mastered a few. They also list faults and I am familiar with many of them, even now in my beginning stages. I will watch and learn and enjoy.

by Sue

 

by Sue

by Sue

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I am thinking a lot about completion these days as I reach the first stage of completion of a two year project. Yet I know completion merely opens the doors and pathways to continuing on. That is how life is as well. In my life experience, completion always means moving on and newness, not necessarily being settled.

I like what Mark Nepo says as he looks at his rain-stained To Do list…”I think I am becoming unfinished.” That is my reality as I age. There is always more: more I am interested in, more “unfinished” tasks done at a slower rate, more to explore, more to see, more to listen to, more undiscovered newness. I have more curiosity, more passion and focus, more appreciation of the gift of life. Yes, I am becoming very unfinished.

There are silent requests for more days ahead, not to be cut short, l the battery completely runs down and a recharge of interest and energy do not ignite me back to life…a life well lived; a life filled with blessings; a life of recognizing mystery and beauty, a life of sharing goodness and letting tears run as they may.

There is a sense that most of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are in place and there is the placing yet of but a few. And these few are placed with lingering leisure and a slowing pace. There is no urgency. I more often can perceive the whole picture of the many small pieces that have held my attention  and occupied me for all these years. All answers are incomplete. I have only been given direction as needed and only when I listened.

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How To Bring More Love to Our World

Guest Blog from Suzanne Murray, author, writing coach, EFT & Creative Coach
October 14th, 2017

http://www.creativitygoeswild.com

I don’t think any of us will question that these are tough times that can leave us feeling a bit helpless to have a positive, creative impact in our lives and the world. If we view the world solely from our rational mind, we limit our understanding to what has happened in the past or what we think might happen in the future. We limit our connection to the grace available in each moment and to the potential for miracles. We limit our capacity to love our world.

Science now shows us, based on a study of the earth’s magnetic fields done by NASA, that what we hold in our hearts radiates out to the whole world. It turns out that our hearts have a magnetic field five thousand times more powerful that the one generated by our brain and it is in communication with the magnetic field of the earth.

This means holding love and appreciation in our hearts and feeling it going out to people and places in need actually has an impact. We can do this for people on the other side of the world from us, people in the midst of natural disasters, those in front of us in the line in the grocery store as well as to the earth herself.

I have a great fondness for tree squirrels and sometimes hold my affection for them in my heart and send that love to people and places in need. Recently I was doing this while sitting in my car in the park. I notice a gray squirrel loping in my direction and watched him come right up under my window, sit up and stare straight at me, as if to say, yes! So find what works for you. Play with it. I was delightfully surprised by what felt like squirrel love.

Our heart’s connection to a larger field of awareness may explain how we know things beyond our mind’s ability to understand how we know. We just know. We feel it in our gut, in our bones. This voice of our intuition or inner knowing that doesn’t make sense to our mind.

We tend to let our minds talk us out of the guidance that comes from that kind of knowing because it takes us out of our comfort zone into the unknown. Yet now more than ever we need to tap these expanded capacities for creative problem solving and innovation to be the change for our own lives and the world. We can to bring our heart felt love into our own energy field and the field of the world.

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August 21, 2017

On this date, several years ago another miracle occurred in my life. I gave birth to my second daughter. I love her with all of my heart. I have snuggled with her, played with her, laughed and cried with her. I have witnessed her two miracle births and wondrous young children, my grandchildren.

This is a fully open heart occurrence in my life; one that beats through every moment of my life with gratitude and sheer wonder — yes wonder — that the life given me is filled with the awesomeness of being a tender-hearted mother, who enjoys life focused on family.

This is what love is…not always understanding, not always quiet, but always resolving how we are in relation to one another and how the love that beats below the base line centers us and creates our purpose.

Today in a few hours, MOTHER EARTH will experience a Total Eclipse of the Sun.  This mother has been having a tough time of it lately.

She knows and I know that much of humankind have open, loving hearts and intentions that serve her lands and waters with respect and care. But the SHADOW side of humankind is right now getting all the attention.

SHADOW likes to argue, cause ruckus, destroy, intimidate, hate…yes even take pride in being hateful…claiming the right to BE hateful….SHADOW’s time appears to be NOW in the turning of the planet.

I am not versed nor educated in the astrological physics, but I think I understand that there is a principle that’s been in existence since the Big Bang and that is that our Universe is continually expanding.  I have studied further that we are in the universe and that the universe is in us. Meaning that the same atom particles of the exploding stars are the same materials found in the human body that have existed since the beginning of time. (or was there a beginning?)

So, today, I want to think about this. If the universe is expanding and I am expanding, I choose to expand with all that looks and feels like LOVE.  I choose to leave behind and cut myself away from the shadow of anything that inhibits that free flow of love within me so that this expression can enhance my own life and the life of others.

THAT MEANS, to me, to continue to do things I’ve been learning all along to do: forgiveness of self and others is primary. Then working in harmony to accomplish what is mine to do. I can think small in order to accomplish big things…a simple smile, a word of grace, establish orderly living, and free myself for time into creative endeavors I feel called to.

This will be my Total Eclipse of the Heart. My intention for living in this manner. I hope, that like the sun that will once again shine through after the passing of the shadow moon, my life will contribute to the light of the world.

I do believe the darkness will never overcome this light.

 

 

GUEST BLOG:

from

Mark Kolack.

THIS ECLIPSE IS AN EJECT BUTTOM FROM UNIVERSE

Beloveds,
Tomorrow between 1:22pm – 4:17 pm Florida time, peaking at 2:54pm on August 21, 2017, people across the USA will see the Sun disappear behind the Moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop rapidly, and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the Moon. On this day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.

This is the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. It is the first Total Solar Eclipse in 99 years to be visible in its totality across the lower 48, and the first in 1500 years to be ONLY visible in totality across this region.

What does this eclipse mean? Reset: this celestial event will wipe the slate of your life, past, shadow, clean and set a new direction in your life parallel to what intention, vision, direction you set for it. What we visualize and focus on will be set into motion for years to come!
Make the choice to go deeper: admit what you really want and believe you can have it: face what you have been running from, good and ‘bad’ and embrace them both so they manifest and dissolve respectively. Ask God as yourself to free you and to fulfill your heart’s desires. Pray this into the vortex between 1-4pm.

On a psychological / metaphysical level a Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) blots out the conscious mind and allows the unconscious (INTUITION, as well as repressed emotion) to emerge. This is one of the best uses of the energy of a TSE: allow your ego to be blotted out and allow your Divine Knowing/Intuition to be revealed! We do this through prayer and affirming that this is what you are intending, what you are doing, and then it is what is happening! Then ask and listen and reflect.

On the flip side, any skeletons in your closet will dance when the moon (unknown, subconscious, repressed shadow material) takes over, but this is for the best. Dance with your shadow remembering that what you choose to release under an eclipse will disappear forever. It’s an eject button from the Universe.

This is a time for centering, visualizing, believing, asking, affirming, decreeing, commanding, surrendering and being grateful. Imagine if you were given a series of wishes from a beneficent genie: and all she required was that you got real with yourself, touched your heart; admitted what hurt you, asked to have it removed: and then asked for what your heart truly desired:

This is what this eclipse is: on a grand planetary scale of personal and epic proportions. Get real. Admit what’s up with yourself. Pray and affirm it into the eclipse vortex. Then go in peace.

We are going through the eye of the needle into the New World tomorrow. Don’t bother packing. Only self-love can fit. Leave the rest. Unhook your seatbelt for maximum effect!

Fly!
Eternal Love and Blessings,
~mk~

 

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The Chinese character for mystery, or yugen, is the same character for mountain, which looks like an inverted T with two squiggles on each side of the vertical stem.

“The line is the mountain and the squiggles on either side represent the mist in the valley that invokes a certain anticipation of the hidden.”  (The Zen of Creativity, John Daido Loori)

We often associate mystery with the darker side of life, the unknown. Then in religion and art, mystery is actually light, itself.  I am interested in mystery today because I am attempting to “sort out” and “be with” a great mystery of loss which has befallen my friends, in a sudden and tragic death of a young mother and friend.

Being with this loss is indeed taking up all aspects of mystery — the terrible darkness it brought upon us and the light we must seek to go back to center and live from there.  Peaking around the next corner into the darkness is not my forte.

 

In his writing upon mystery, John Daido Loori,  one of the truly great Zen Masters, says:

“Mystery is the seed of discovery. The term ‘mystical’ means: ‘Having a spiritual meaning that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intellect. It is direct subjective communication that we can’t process intellectually. We can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it, or think it. It is very subtle and slippery, impossible to nail down or explain. Yet we’re somehow aware of its presence, and it has a real impact on us.”

He goes on to explain how we can become aware of its presence.

“In order for us to perceive this subtle quality, three elements must be in place: trust in our spiritual practice, trust in the creative process, and most importantly, trust in ourselves. If any of these are missing, the whole structure collapses and we retreat into certainty. So we trust, even if we can’t explain or justify why we do what we do.” P 194 The Zen of Creativity

I had underlined the first part of this and made notes in the margin when I was first reading this book, probably over fifteen years ago.  After several moves, and still not having my categories together on ever-moving bookcases, I pulled it out today, thinking about Zen, Reiki and Japanese art because I am on the brink of an opportunity to take two workshops in Japanese flower painting and Wabi-Sabi collage next week. Which I am so excited about, I could pee my pants.

Also, because I am filled with grace to have come under Janet Conner’s (Janetconner.com) tutelage since Writing Down Your Soul, Lotus and Lily AND Intersection for Writers on-going instruction modules and books.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE TEACHES …..THERE IS NO WRITING COURSE OUT THERE THAT I KNOW OF THAT INSTRUCTS AND INSISTS ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AS PART AND PARCEL OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

And her process for writing, to those of us listening and learning, goes directly to accessing that special mystical quality and writing from there….and trusting it. That is her belief and her brand. That is the sweet spot and her students are zeroing in on it. What fabulous books are being authored that are going to reside on bookstore shelves across the world and fly from the internet into homes awaiting their special gifts and wisdom.

SHE IS SO RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT. WE ARE  SO BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED.

Just how long did it take to grow the mountains? It’s a mystery, right? So many layers, so many changes, over time…over time. Just like a mystery. It is a mystery to me how my eyes fell upon this section  of the book, after having been out of my sight for so very long. But for me, this is a special seeding time. The field is ripe and the conditions are powerful and potent. I am about my purpose. I have been guided to my guides, here on earth and beyond. I am in good hands. Who’s hands?

Well, that’s a mystery.

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crash-7-16-15

Dipping again into my journals again. This one from 1997

Lists

I Am a friend.
I Am a wondrous woman.
I Am Truth Seeker.
I Am Peacemaker.
I Am Love Giver.
I Am writer.
I Am traveler.
I Am teacher.
I Am Spirit-guided.

I am not possessive.
I am not a secretary.
I am not angry with my brother.
I am not a social butterfly.
I am not a step-daughter.
I am a daughter.

I would like to be an author
with a published book.
I would like to be a person
with a healthy heart and managed weight.
I would like to be someone
who travels around much of the world
with my beloved Tom.

I seek and I learn.
I smile and I listen.
I see light in my elders’ eyes.
I write and people respond.
I laugh in joy and I cry in sorrow.
I pray and receive healing for myself and others.
I take care of me and I am provided for.

I am One with others.
I am happy and I connect with other people.
I know there is Divinity in all.
And knowing that
makes my world
a very good place to be.

 

Aug. 28, 1997   (From Skidmore IWWG summer Writing Conference
Parting is such sweet sorrow, and we’ve done it many times.

Upon leaving this house…..

I take with me
the deep green freshness of the towering pines
the open window to the stars exclaiming
their wonder in the cool black skies
the sweet melodious songs of the birds
perched amid the pine branches
the landscaped blessed with the deep pine green
on a blanket of freshly new-fallen glistening white snow.
I take with me the hallway-formed pine trail
that my collie Bleu and I walked together
on sunny, crisp colorful days, or with raindrops
protected from reaching us under the protective
arch of the pine trees
much like a chapel visit by an aging dog and his human.
I leave him buried here among the pines where
his spirit runs free.
Beloved dog, wondrous woman graced by his being,
precious, furry, friendly  gift in my life.

 

 

 

 

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