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Posts Tagged ‘WWAM’

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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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Creative with Prayer 3- Feature photo

My guest post today comes from Christine Sine, who I’ve met in my community of the Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks. This group is a loving part of Christine and John Vaultner Paintner’s Abbey of the Arts and we are currently on a 50 day pilgrimage of the Resurrection, expressing ourselves and our prayers  in writing, photography, drawing, poetry, painting, haiku, mandala creations, labyrinth walking, Rosemaling. WE are FEASTING on Creativity and Prayer.

Just in my brief acquaintance with Christine Sine, I see and understand that she truly lives her LIFE as CREATIVITY on a daily basis, fueled by a quiet sense of prayer and awe for the wonder of life and how we contribute good to it.

I have been on this path for some time, never intend to be off of it again in my lifetime. And I give thanks for the pilgrimage that brought this traveling “companion on the journey” to me. Grace be, Christine.

Two of my praying companions came out of the clay to meet me on my first attempt at Raku’ fired mask creation.

Woman of Peace  and Fire and Fury

United as Peace and Fury

I also pray each year with a Yearly Intention Mandala.  This year my intention is  I LIVE AS LOVE IN MY LIFE.

Change 7 Intention Mandala

and now, here is Christine!

Let’s Get Creative With Our Prayers
Christine Sine
http://godspace-msa.com/2015/04/30/lets-get-creative-with-our-prayers
Its time to stir our imaginations and creativity and learn to pray in new ways. Our imagination connects us to our inner selves, to God and to the world around us. Stirring our creativity helps us dream God’s dreams and bring them into reality. It helps us to focus our prayer energy, and frees us from the limits of prayer forms that have become rote and stale. It gives us permission to venture into the unknown realm of God’s imaginative, creative power.

During Lent and Easter I reminded us that the good news of the gospel is God’s desire to reconcile all things to God’s self. God’s plan embraces not just our inner transformation and reconciliation to God but also restoration of creation, reconciliation with neighbors and renewal wherever the image of God is distorted. Our creator has begun a process of redemption to restore all things to what they were meant to be.
I quoted from Kerry Dearborn’s inspiring book Drinking from the Wells of New Creation: The Holy Spirit and the Imagination in Reconciliation. She explains that it is the imagination that opens the heart’s floodgates to both receive the Spirit’s love and release it to others so that we can enter into the reconciling work of God. It breaks down old ways of seeing the world, offers us a new vision of life and hope, reshaping our desires and expectations around God’s vision of reconciliation and connects heart, mind and body to this new vision and catalyzes responses. (69)
Inspired by her writing and my desire to enter more fully into the reconciling work of God, I spent Lent and Easter looking for creative resources that would stir all our imaginations and assist us to create new prayer practices that further God’s reconciling work. I talked about this in my post Get Creative and Play Games in Lent, and have tried to share some examples of creative possibilities others are exploring in my new Saturday series Lets get creative.

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Unfortunately creativity is not widely encouraged in the practice of our faith, unless we are kids. Kids are encouraged to explore their creativity by playing games, reading books, walking in nature, planting and watching things grow, listening to music and drawing together. Adults are encouraged to pray only with their minds and not with their imaginations or other God given senses.

According to Albert Einstein:“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” So why should kids have all the fun? It is my growing conviction that we all need to learn to be more creative and more experiential with our prayers. We need to allow the spirit of God to stir our imaginations to create new models of prayer and new expressions of spiritual practices. This doesn’t mean letting go of our prayer life, but rather using the creative tools of ancient spiritual practices to reshape and re-imagine how we pray.

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Over the next few months lets explore the realms of imagination and creativity together. Many of you have already tapped into this God given ability and have created prayer practices around painting, collage and photography. Others have discovered the creativity of running, walking, sharing food and gardening. Others I am sure have found creativity in places many of us have never imagined.
I love what Rebecca Joy Sumner is doing to help us reimagine scripture and prayer lived out in the neighbourhood – like her post I’m Having a Failure of Hope Kind of Morning. And appreciate the insights of Sybil MacBeth on Praying in Color that I shared a few days ago. We all need to explore this kind of creativity in order to connect more intimately with God.
Would you share what you have learned with the readers of Godspace? Consider contributing a post about your creative prayer process. Do you know of others who have developed inspiring creative practices that we can learn from? Lets have some fun together.

Creative with prayer  - christine Sine
A New Way to Grow!
MSA is excited to offer an online learning opportunity through our new school!

Interact with Christine Sine and reimagine how we pray, learn how to simplify your life with Mark Scandrette, and explore questions of God, Jesus and religion with Brian McLaren, Mark Scandrette, Lilian Daniel and others.

Join our learning community and enrich your faith as we journey together toward the in-breaking of God’s kingdom.
FIND OUT MORE

You may take as many or as few classes as you like and may take them at your own pace.
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This is WHO Christine is……

Greetings from Seattle, where I live with my husband, Tom, and my dog, Bonnie. I am a passionate organic gardener; in the spring my front porch sprouts an assortment of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other vegetables awaiting the warmer weather.

Garden day at the Mustard Seed House
I am also passionate about helping Christians to connect their faith and spiritual disciplines to their everyday life. I believe that Christianity is is not meant to be a Sunday only faith. It is meant to impact everything we do and are.
I see myself as a contemplative activist and believe that our spiritual formation should interweave through all of life and should equip us to engage in the challenges and struggles of our broken and needy world.
My husband Tom and I work together to assist churches and Christian organizations around the world to look at the challenges facing them in the 21st century. We also founded Mustard Seed Associates, a network of followers of Jesus that seeks to unleash the creative potential of individuals who want to put God’s purposes first in their lives.
I spend much of my time writing, blogging and conducting seminars, workshops and other speaking events on spirituality, Celtic Christian spirituality and Gardening and Spirituality. I encourage participants to recognize the encounters with God and the gospel story that occur in every aspect of life

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Napkinwriter note:   I live as Souljourner-at-Large and Prayer and Care Companion assisting the home bound and I bring the arts and creativity into each day of my life. It noticeably livens up the encounters and interactions. I believe the foundation of creativity if Love, and it is Love which is the original creator, of which we are all a part. So it is very natural to bring it into our prayer life.

I have had a Prayer and Creativity Room of my own in all of my dwelling spaces since first attending International Women’s Writers Guild  (IWWG) in the late 1980s. And that includes MANY homes, bought or rented, and several apartments.  From the roots of IWWG, came Women Writer and Artist Matrix group, (WWAM) who radiate creative energy and encourage, no they actually “commission” us to be true to the creative and prayerful call within each of us.  I think I may have found the same in Christine and Tom and their Mustard Seed Associates.

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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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