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Archive for the ‘WWAM’ Category

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The world breaks
broken places
shattered mirrors
to reflect what is neglected
in dark corners.

My efforts are needed
i will turn to meet my destiny
reflected in shattered mirrors.

Unmolded clay
in my hand
nourishes new life.

The world breaks
I am a humble artist
molding my earthly clod.

Prayerful hands

i will trust to love.

Several years ago, I was grateful for the opportunity to return to a weekend workshop at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and be with my artist sisters of WWAM  (Women Writers and Artists Matrix). A loving, powerful, far-seeing community of good living and loving in the world.

In one of the workshops, we played with broken pieces of glass added to a collage we made on a trypearche.  Color, fabric shapes and designs and paint went on the surface.

Then we added the lines of a poem, selected from many she handed out. We cut these lines and added them to our art form in any order we were inspired to. I only wish I had added the name of the author of the original poem to the back.  Yet, the beauty of it is that I “create” a new poem by reading the lines in different order any time I want.

Last, we we glued pieces of glass to our piece and shiny gem shapes and buttons.

I have kept my art piece in my sight. It has luminous energy about it. It speaks daily truth of the state of the world and the challenge before all of us, in any way in which I choose to read the lines.

Try it yourself. Take my poem I wrote today and write your own, choosing to start with “I will trust to love”.   See what happens.

I am trusting us to begin and continue the work and loving and listening to be done.

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Art is life. And Dorothy Randall Gray is WWAM. And so…..

Dorothy Randall Gray AND Amejo Amyot  together are WWAM  WWAM!!

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In my joyful and fun 70th year on this planet Earth, I have been intimately united with my own parallel universe! It was great from the start. My extended family joined around me for a surprise breakfast/brunch buffet with brothers and sisters and cousins awaiting me after I’d celebrated the Sunday liturgy and Mass with my daughters, sons-in-law and wondrous three grandchildren. We had brought the gifts to the altar and I prayed in thanksgiving for the sixty-nine years granted me and opened my heart and arms to the possibilities that lay within each day of this new year.

I get two new years in two days, as my birthday falls on January 2nd, just as the partiers are reviving from their New Year’s Eve excesses.

Rejoice! This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad!

So, in a parallel universe, time is not linear I have found, and it is now heading into the autumn month of September. I have just returned from a precious trip to Charlotte North Carolina where I trained with Catherine Anderson for SoulCollage Facilitator. Totally inspiring and over one hundred fifty photos from that weekend. My year also included an invitation from a best friend forever to join her on an all-paid first class trip through the European Alps and five countries along the way. This all speaks of parallel universe to me.

But the words, memories and images on my mind  tonight are from my mystic, magical, meditative and magnificent experience I had attending the May weekend of Women Writers and Artists Matrix in Saratoga Springs New York.

What happened there? Magnificent, MUSE-i-cal women in community, minute by minute artistic expression and learning. Quiet, honorable time and chant in the early morning quiet. Waves of prayer carried out into the ethers by the sound of the drum beat above and around us and within our heart. Lunch time sisterhood sharing that drew in even the chef who prepared special dishes for us and hung out at our group table because he didn’t particularly want to be anywhere else at the moment.

Painted poems, paper book specialities, movement, dance and exclamation! “Seeds” respected and collected that have given rise to new prose and poetry by this time because they came home in journal pages with us. The campus of Skidmore College, with IWWG (International Women Writers Guild) roots for many of us, welcomed us as we strolled throughout the Quad area and by the old dorms and buildings. I revisited the grounds I put my newly created prayer sticks many years ago from Amejo’s meditation group. Old friendships renewed, new friendships gained. That’s what happened there.

This, indeed, is my parallel universe and I’ve known it for a long time. It keeps inviting me in. I cannot stay back. When I committed to both the WWAM weekend and the SoulCollage training, I did not know where or how the funds would come. It was my calling to say yes. The funds manifested and everything worked out for me to have an abundant experience on the least possible amount of dollars I could spend.

I even got author and WWAM workshop presenter, Suzi Banks Baum, for a room mate at the Inn of Saratoga. Plus, she offered to pick me up at the airport, which saved a $50 fare, while Amejo drove me back to the airport on Monday morning.

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Suzi taught many techniques for one type of folding book, and had examples of oh so many other types. In her work, she values the mission and honor of motherhood. It is a precious work.

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Suzi invited us into our own gardens to see what we would see and hear there. My garden had a beautiful brass gazebo entrance.

And in my garden, I found the very same sunflower girl awaiting me that I had on my 2013 Intention Mandala on my wall back home. Now how could that happen?

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Magical? Mysterious? Mystical? Definitely Magnificent.

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My Year of Joy and Fun beating on my mandala and in my heart at WWAM.

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And just WHO did we think we were, Dorothy asked us and warned us there were to be no timid responses.

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And we did our best…..not to disappoint.

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I told her, “I am God in a pod”, but I don’t have a “selfie” photo of me saying it.

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This artist led me into a most lovely movement exercise and a painted poem creation that left me surprised and amazed. She also gave me the wondrous experience of Wabi Sabi that is a treasure in my daily living. Nothing I read on paper could have matched the gem of her inviting it into my life as a spiritual, practical wisdom practice.

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She spoke of the importance of space in art and in life. I will remember that. Also she encouraged laughter. Always.

Dear Amejo, she holds a torch of womanhood in her hands, of woman’s connection to the essential, and is the treasure holder of the transference of women’s wisdom held sacred within our hearts and passed on to others. She is a Shaman among us. A Blessing as she walks the Earth.  Namaste.

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Sisters, one and all.

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Writers, artists, friends….who have withstood much, loved much, lived fruitfully.

DSCN0312 Given an assignment by Dorothy,   “How many ways……”

DSCN0316My camera didn’t focus correctly on this. Her life went out of focus with a serious, severe stroke. All weekend, she revealed the hard realities of her soon to be full recovery, starting from well before the “start line.” Her opening sentence in her book is,  “The first time I died……” I am buying the book when it comes out.

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My question posed in my Garden book.

I suppose I got like this because once upon a time……..(like fairy tales begin)

I met Dorothy and Amejo

and then……

I just became

like this.

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Trust to Love

Shattered Mirrors

By Susan Heffron Hajec, inspired from
Mimi Foyle,’s Shattered Mirrors

I will turn to meet my destiny,
reflected in shattered mirrors.
The world breaks
My effort is needed.

I am a humble artist
with prayerful hands
I nourish new life.

In dark corners,
unmolded clay in my hand
in broken places
molding my earthly clod
to reflect what is neglected.

I will trust to love.

Hello Napkinwriter readers. Well just a few moments ago, my blog was shattered…..I typed “glog”. That’s what I feel like now. I had expressed in the first “blank” issue of this, how many ways this workshop experience at WWAM from artist/writer Kittie Bintz had excited me.  Now, I am left looking in a seeminly empty draft land to come up with my version.

Recently on MeetUp, I joined a WordPress group and missed the first meeting. This is one of the first things I want to find out how to avoid or at least be a good enough sleuth to recover it.

This experience was about creating an altar to our muse. Kittie, a soon to be retiring public school art teacher, was a vivacious guiding presence, as we mixed water color, tea lights, collage images,words  and shattered glass to our creations.

The word “retired” didn’t really fit Kittie, so I suggested she was “re-FIRING” instead, and that word stuck, as I heard it repeated among the more than 50 attendees of WWAM Weekend at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs New York.

What a weekend retreat it was. But then again, we creative’s don’t really retreat from life, rather we continue to re-TREAT the world with continuing inspirations, images, ceremony and words.

The inspiration for my creation came from Mimi Foyle’s poem, Shattered Mirrors, which I share here.   I live in the truth that it is indeed prayerful hands and honoring the Mystery that has healed me from my own wounded and light-deprived places in life.

I am in deep gratitude for the great gift of life I enjoy.

Shattered Mirrors
Mimi Foyle

i will turn to meet my destiny,
reflected in shattered mirrors.
heart broken open,
i will pick up the pieces
no matter how sharp
to reflect
what is neglected
in dark corners.
wounded, light-deprived,
with prayerful hands i’ll
recycle devastation to
nourish new life
art, like gardening
is an act of faith and healing,
shining for the world.
as Mystery’s greater
than the sum of all suffering,

I will trust to Love.

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All Connected

Three years ago, I named my Intention Mandala for 2010-2011

My Year of Free-falling into Spirit

and the words of Tom Petty’s refrain verses, Free Falling, have been the backdrop of my life since that time.

And I’m free, free falling
Yeah I’m free, free falling

Now, after my weekend with my WWAM sisters at Skidmore College, in Saratoga Springs New York,  I am no longer free-falling. (Women Writers and Artist Matrix).

I’ve been shot out of a cannon to the stars and I have not re-entered this atmosphere yet.

I have words and I have no words yet. I will return to Napkinwriter with words and images very soon to explain the unexplainable. Or at the very least, shed light upon the magnificence of the experience.

“What is seen was made from things that are not visible.”
Hebrews 11:3

Meanwhile, you might catch a glimpse of me playing among  the cosmic comets.

ALL is WELL

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DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY

Dorothy Randall Gray

” I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it
I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know…

Tonight’s the night we’re gonna make it happen
Tonight we’ll put all other things aside
We shouldn’t even think about tomorrow
Sweet memories will last a long, long time
We’ll have a good time baby, don’t you worry….”
Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net”>eLyrics.net</a&gt;

Amejo AmyotAmejo Amyot

Dorothy and I often sing songs to each other. And the song playing in my heart now is, “I’m So Excited,”….I have already lost control. I just need to be in Saratoga Springs New York for the Women Writers & Artists Weekend.

And I’ll be there soon, thanks to the many graces and giving of so many special people and happenings that have made this possible for me.

Dorothy’s signature sign off greeting is: sharing the same sky. And it is true that Napkinwriter, in the Midwest and Dorothy in LA have shared the same sky since the mid- 1990s when I met her, as a spiritual mentor and writing instructor at International Womens Writer Guild’s magical summer conference at Skidmore College.

Amejo led early morning meditation sessions there and as I returned there summer after summer, some of them as an instructor myself, I never missed either Amejo’s serene  and sacred sunrise gatherings before breakfast, nor did I miss Dorothy’s class, where her whole classroom became the outer temple from which we found our inner writer’s temple.  Powerful and life-changing experiences for me.

https://napkinwriter.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/o-great-mystery-and-prayer-sticks/

Now, Dorothy and Amejo are leaders of a new  co-creative group that meets in Saratoga Springs twice yearly. I’ve read of their first meetings and my heart broke open with the longing to go.

http://www.wwamatrix.com/

And here I go! I’m so excited!

Women Writers and Artists Matrix

Wild Weekend!

Friday, May 3 – Sunday May 5

Saratoga Springs, NY

Come Have a Wild WWAMtastic Time!

“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman…” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

WORKSHOPS

Suzi Banks Baum – Your Secret Garden
Kittie Bintz – Creating an Altar to Your Muse
Vicki Grise – Writing for Performance
Prartho Sereno – The Painted Poem
(See workshop descriptions, schedule & instructor bios below)
WWAM WEEKEND INCLUDES:
Art, Writing, & Perfomance Workshops
Conversation & Creativity Dinner Salon
Women Wine & Cheese Reception
WWAMarketplace
FREE Discount Coupons
FREE Gifts for Attendees
***

IMMERSE yourself in 2.5 hour writing & art workshops on the beautiful campus

of Saratoga’s Skidmore College

NURTURE yourself and your spirit at Friday’s Conversation and Creativity Dinner

Salon in the exquisite ballroom of the Inn at Saratoga

INDULGE yourself at Saturday night’s Women, Wine & Cheese reception in one of

Saratoga’s Victorian mansions

REPLENISH yourself during Meditation Mornings

MARKET yourself at our WWAMarketplace – sell your books, artwork and other

items, promote your events & services

CONNECT yourself in small classes, intimate interactions with instructors,

networking lunches and the priceless company of other kindred creative women

REWARD YOURSELF All attendees receive special discount coupons & freebies

Register Now!
Checks: Make payable to Heartland Institute and send to:
WWAM, Box 446, Burnt Hills, NY 12027
Credit Cards: Make secure payments with PayPal links below
On Site Registration: Friday evening, Saturday & Sunday morning

$225.00 Entire Weekend: Dinner Salon, Art & Writing Workshops, Wine & Cheese

Reception, & WWAMarketplace

$95.00 Saturday: Art & Writing Workshops, WWAMarketplace

$95.00 Sunday: Art & Writing Workshops, WWAMarketplace

$35.00 Dinner Only: Conversation & Creativity Ballroom Dinner Salon

[The Inn at Saratoga had offered WWAM attendees rooms at a discounted rate until April 5. They might still have rooms available but we can’t guarantee the discount any more. Their rates include a full breakfast and rooms can be shared]

 

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