Birds and Angels

detail from an unfinished painting/2011

My own visions have been of the harmoniously enthralling murmuration of birds which then turn out to be angels, actually.  If angels (or at least some) have wings, then perhaps they move the same way other winged creatures do on earth, in flocks. And maybe they migrate from one situation to another.

Stages of Guilt: Don’t Keep Yourself in the Doghouse (for long)

Sketchbook 1995

Guilt is necessary, we feel this when we’ve done something wrong. Guilt helps us figure out how not to make the same mistakes twice, and how to create better situations for ourselves. Once the conscious mind and heart has learned through experience and guilt has helped teach us, it is no longer necessary to hang on to guilt. Often guilt is not easy to let go of, though, and staying in a guilty state can really keep us from flying on into brightness and betterment in life.  If you’ve constructed a sad and shadowy doghouse to keep yourself in, think about breaking free from it. Feeling the sorrow and remorse and acknowledging what we’ve learned is important because it’s the way out of the doghouse. I love to journal as a way of putting emotions into concrete form and for making soul-statements (promises and prayers to keep learning). In order to move forward in life,  I see a 3 step process of forgiveness of self and I recommend journaling as a way of going through the steps:

1.  Journal to express sorrow over hard lessons learned; 2 Acknowledge in writing the wisdom gained and; 3 Promise to move forward to better choices.

Wonder Lads: Paideia Tree of Knowledge

A detail from the Paideia Tree of Knowledge/2011


by John K. Bangs

I met a little Elfman once,
Down where the lilies blow.
I asked him why he was so small,
And why he didn’t grow.

He slightly frowned, and with his eye
He looked me through and through –
” I’m just as big for me,” said he,
” As you are big for you!”

Negative Space: The In-Between Vision

Sketchbook 2011

In England recently, while at a park, I noticed some teen boys talking. The stretch of green grass around and behind them made a perfectly flat, cool green backdrop without any variation in it. This exaggerated the graphic effect of the negative space between the two teen boys as they talked. I stared into that negative space remembering a time when I was so entranced by this visual effect, I was hardly listening to anyone.  And anyone speaking seemed never to be aware of the purely beautiful design effect of their bodies and the angles of their contour within the space where they stood or sat.

The idea of negative space in terms of visual intuitive awareness interests me. In my experience, the entranced state of seeing more than whatever the subject is (example: two young men talking) is part of being intuitively connected to “third eye” knowing and seeing.  The art of viewing and understanding something other than what is immediately obvious is so compelling as to shift reality, or perceptions of reality, and allows us to focus inward in a way that is esoteric and mystical. This alone is enough to stimulate us into an alternative state of consciousness, to see something other than the ordinary in ordinary days.  It’s also enriching to see the impressions of sharp contrasts our physiques make.  I personally doubt the teens talking knew at all the visual effect, the stunningly stark appeal their presence had at just another day at the park.

Giving Thanks: The Oldest Cultivated Fruit Tree in America

This is me posing with my many times great grandfather’s pear tree, which he planted between 1635 and 1655.  John Endecott was the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, he arrived from England in 1628, with the first group of Puritan settlers of New England.  His fruit orchards were famous, they were among the first in the New World.  President John Adams had his own Endecott pear tree (grown from cuttings from that which Gov. Endecott planted at his Orchard Farm in Salem) and I remember buying Endicott pears at the grocery store but rarely see them now if ever.

I post this today and give thanks for all those who came before me, especially my maternal grandmother. Born Cordelia Elam, she was the grandchild of John Mosby (great grand nephew of Col. John Singleton Mosby, appointed Console to Hong Kong by President Grant and otherwise known as “The Gray Ghost” from Civil War era) and Cassandra Endicott, 6th generation grand daughter of Gov. John Endecott. I’m thankful for her strength in enduring; she took care of others her entire life.  The Endecotts (often spelled Endicott) had become Quakers when John Endecott’s grandson married a Quaker, so she was a blend of Puritan resolve and Quaker modesty. She never slouched and did not approve of singing at the dinner table, was not boastful and warned us to watch what we made fun of in life (it will always come back to haunt you!).  I hope I endure like her, and like this remarkable pear tree.

Sorry, Try Again!

From ML’s Spirit Painting/2000

If I saw, “Sorry, try again!” it usually translated to, “You lose!” but years ago I stopped agreeing to accept “you win” or “you lose” restrictions in my thinking. I decided not to be so black and white, and to take loss as a way of forming new perceptions and part of being redirected. This has helped me quite a lot because I want to experience life as an abundant experiment rather than a series of challenges determining who wins and who loses.  When I created this art, I was enjoying the humorous side of our efforts which seem to fail. Having a sense of humor about life’s episodes has saved me, and though I don’t always have that humor, I try to.

Medieval Dream (And Who Is at the Door?)

mono print over ink and watercolor paper/2011

Last night I had such a vivid dream that a friend was at the door of the room, in medieval clothes, illuminated by light. The person didn’t look at all the way he looks in this life. The dream was so real, I was compelled to go to this person, and woke up finding myself struggling to get out of bed.  Realizing it was only a dream, and there was no 16th century or so friend at the door, I readjusted myself, somewhat amused that I was half out of bed when I awoke.

Today the other dreams I had, vivid cinematic images loaded with various emotions, stay with me.  It feels as though across my heart there is a cave painting of some kind; strokes of feeling and a strange sense of flight.  I enjoy the depth of feeling.

The Power of the Mind: Progressive Awareness and InnerTalk

Ink and inkwash on watercolor paper

Eldon Taylor and his work is something I believe in and have benefitted from so much.  From his site:  “Eldon Taylor has made a life long study of the human mind and has earned doctoral distinctions in psychology and hypnotherapy. He is a certified psychotherapist and diplomate with the American Psychotherapy Association (APA) and a certified hypnotherapist with the American Guild of Hypnotherapists. At present, he is the President and Director of Progressive Awareness Research, Inc. and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at St. John’s University in Louisiana.”

If you have any concern, habit or pattern to break or some skills or attitudes you’d like to develop in order to accomplish goals and create the life you most wish to experience, I truly recommend you go to InnerTalk and Progressive Awareness sites and try some of these cds.

The Soul Light Within

A recent Spirit Painting/2011

You know that glint of light in the eyes of people? And the aura of light around them, or the vibrance we each possess? When someone is no longer alive, they do not have this light in their physical being any longer and you can see that. The glow is gone, entirely. What is that glow, other than the life energy, the soul presence of that person?  I’ve always seen that wonderful, soft glow of light around people and have been calmed by it, especially as a child. It is soothing, that light.

This Spirit Painting, when I created it, was filled with a quality of that warm light. It had to be there and I tried to convey the warmth of light which guides us, which is in and with us as we live and make our choices, as we respond to the world and learn.

Painting as Snow Globe (shake it and see what happens!)

This is a painting I created for PT and healer extraordinaire Heather Strauch. At the time that I made it, it was fall and I told her I worried that when I started working on it, it would start to snow (and it did–which made us laugh).  On the day of our freak snow storm this past October, Heather (who lives next door now, amazingly) came by and said, “It’s snowing because yesterday I moved the winter painting from my office to bring it home!” We had another laugh. This painting is like a snow globe, get in there with it and SNOW begins to fall all around you.