A Full Moon and Mortality

It is a time of sadness. I am sleeping deeply with the comfort of my habitual sadness blanket wrapping me alone. I am a mummy in my bed, the cold air cracking in my window strokes my face.

meditation on Christmas
The Ice full moon burns cold in the empty sky and next door my neighbours have colored lights strung on every branch in their yard. They are unafraid of child wonder excess in their unfenced territory.
I have a single ornament swinging from the hook meant to cradle newspapers. The gold star is all that I have left from what I threw out when I changed my life.
Under the fat moon the snow was blue, last night, and sequined. But I could not capture my reality with my camera as I stood there. It would not read whether I stood or crouched.
Reaching out. Not reaching out. All the same, my ego tells me. I am a vessel sink and the memories pass through me like water carried away somewhere I cannot know. The seven families that I have passed through are present at Christmas.

Just now, I lack the fire to excite myself. Teaching myself patience day by day, I sit meditation and feel into my thoughts like breath, like water passing in and through me.
I watch the desire for the perfect self appear and pass away.
And I listen to my ego chastising me for the errors that I insist upon repeating.
I wrestle with the desire not to wrestle with my thoughts and simply drop my eyes to feel so much grief for being human. The grief of yearning for more than I could possibly hold in my own two fists is singing to me.
The mind keeps making list maps to glory.

 
I watch and endure the waiting for the end of waiting. I think of the magnificent sparkler moments when I just burst into the light an ecstasy moment of love.
I am sitting waiting for passion to carry me out of this frozen time, to carry me above the rigidness of anger. I endure the invasions of barbarian thoughts destroying everything in their path.

We create the self. We go beyond the self
I work on myself learning how to accommodate the chaos of being alive in a body in this time, at this time, marked by the franking of my sex, my family, my culture, my identification.

The only untainted goal is to be between restless desires for a split moment and let the tears like water flow from me, flow through me to clarify my vision so that I maybe present when I am called upon to love.
I sit and watch the invasions of my barbarian thoughts and forgive myself for being merely and so magnificently human.

Where Am I Now?

Life for me has been such an experience of making progress, lurching forward and then falling back into old habits of thinking and action. Trying to be patient with the process is like everything else: Sometimes quite easy and at other times just a condemnation to some caves of Hell volcanic spewing in a limitless black pit.
Today, it was cooler which always causes a rise in my optimism. When it is 30 + Celsius I am like a Newfoundland dog locked in a room with no AC. I become dispirited, lacking the urge to run. I can push my self for a while in the morning and then I am just laid flat sweating out of the side of my face.

Cloud give relief

Cloud give relief

Always, my mind wants me to prove that I have been working toward my goals. Not one goal, six goals or nine goals. Too much, too fast gives me a high.
It is cooler today and so I can feel that there is something possible between the two walls of night. I awake and my thoughts turn to my goals again.
And then, and then comes the questioning: What is it that I am not asking?

 

Questioning in a Circle
Like a small bore drill, what repetitions of digging into the hard wood knot of my life are going on? I want to bite into something. I want to see something become easy and reward me for the tenacity of holding on. I want to sink into this new place of keeping a grip, of holding out.
And so I ask: What is it that I am not asking? What is it that I am not seeing?
But, as always, as I walk my guests to their car, it is the mundane that calls me. It is the next thing that engages my taking action. I stand bare foot, bare faced in the garden and pull out weeds that have grown in the garden bed. I load the dishwasher. I strip the bed and begin the laundry.
I turn my mind away from the grandiose promises I have made to myself. Soothingly, I murmur, “Patience. Go back to intention, woman.”

What Path?
And as I piled up the weeds along the walk way, I pile up the yearning and the frustrations and the sense of being outside. I rip out the old stories of not deserving, of being somehow inherently wrong. I tear out the old, habitual feelings about who I am as I move through the world.
I am right here, standing with slightly earth colored bare feet on the ground. And this now, this now is who I am. The questions, ultimately, are irrelevant. The day is cool. Time will pass. And each breath fills me up. I trust that I am growing, that what I cannot see is moving toward me. The questions, ultimately, are irrelevant.

Summer Bright

The thing about summer is I always wait for it during all the long, gray preceding months and then one day while I am bending over the spring flowers, putting in new seeds and weeding the snake like vines slithering between the strawberries, it hits.

 

bare foot gardening

Living in the Okanagan means that it hits at 38 degrees celsius. Living in the Okanagan means it explodes through the windows after days of over cast semi-light and flirtatious temperatures. “Hi, there,” the day says, with its 20 degrees followed by a manic wind storm, bolting off the sky with dark clouds and monsoons.

It toys and coys and ploys with us, the weather. And then it blasts us stupid. It was 42 on my deck today. I spent most of it with my face turned side ways on my bed, dog sweating from my tongue. I think I either slept or hallucinated for a good two hours. There is an entirely separate brain wave patterning for that heat zapped coma.

 

Turning the fan on is just an annoyance because that entails readjusting the stream over several hours.

The first night of heat I did not get to sleep until 3 am. The fan was always off target. It was too high and passed innocuously over my bed. Then it was cooling the space under my bed doing nothing more than making aesthetic choreographies with dust motes.

 

I identify with this response to heat

I identify with this response to heat

My friend and I decided to go for a walk at 5 pm because surely by all that is rational it would have cooled down by then. The cement buildings and sidewalks were just beginning to off gas stored up heat. It was rather like being dropped onto an Urban barbeque. I turned to her as she said, “Maybe we could just walk up a few blocks to a coffee shop?” Her forehead was a glistening water fall of sweat. Her eyes looked a bit dazed and she was leaning to the right away from the building’s blast as she walked.

The day that I decide I can’t take it any more is when I turn on the Paddle Wheel sound of the wall shaker air conditioner. The room throbs a bit but if I turn my body just right, a cool stream of air blows the sweat off of me into the room somewhere. That is a good feeling. It is the season I have so longed for.

 

Georgia O Keefe Rose1

And then the beauty of blossoms begins again.

Yielding to Autumn

sky lifts

My teachers, my readings bang the rhythmic message, the beats of the restrictions of attachment. I see a hand grabbing a string pulled through to cut the flesh. I see a hand reaching to the wire fence of periphery which clearly defines the territory of now and this and what is known, sustaining injury as the plane of time and habit tilt.

At times I see myself as a moth trapped in a jar. The space inside has all that needs to sustain me. Nothing is missing for continuance of all that now is. And yet I fly into the glass trying to get beyond these limits.

It is strange that being human, riding in the body is a state of such conflict. The summer is fading. A few leaves on the giant Maple tree which stands sentinel outside my bedroom window have died back. They are shriveled beige paper.

I want change. I yearn for a more exciting life, a more stimulating life, a life filled with more opportunities to step into my power supported by my tribe.

And yet I mourn the season’s change. I mourn the end of the ease of bodies walking loose in the heat. I resist the shrouding of people, the winter entombing of my neighbours, the withdrawal into a time of low, colorless light.

bench 2

The conflict of the figures of desire and release step around one another like bodies in a Baroque dance. The struggle between keeping the smallness of the simple and expanding into a larger field of energy is an illusion. I know that whenever I get to either/or thinking I am trapped. I am in a blind alley. I took a wrong turn.

And so I desire change and grieve change. The work is to stop the Baroque dance and sit. If I can yield to that which is and that which is, I am no longer trapped by my circumstances or by my reactions to my circumstances.

I bend my head to autumn but in my heart there burns a summer ferocity that is looking for a way to shine. There is no either/or, no two dimensions. All is all. I make my way the best I can.

IMG_7025

And so I watch the flowers fade, the sun turned down, the clouds coming to hunker down over the valley graying out the sky. I am working at releasing my attachment to the unkept promises of summer, the hopes to find a way to a larger life.

I yield to Autumn.

#The Deals I Make with Myself

I am a hustler, a con woman, a sting expert. I am here to confess.

In my heart, burned into my soul is the desire to be in a position whereby I can help many, many people. How do I do that? My spirit keeps telling me to ,”Go big or go home.”

Poetry performance breaks the barriers of self to connect beyond.

Poetry performance breaks the barriers of self to connect beyond.

So I go home. I clean up. I give away unused things. I repair that which is not working. I sharpen all of my eyebrow pencils. I lay flat under the bed on my belly like some rifle sniping expert lining up a shot to make sure I got all of the dust.

Recently, I repaired the seat belt on the driver’s side which protects me after I made a challenging road trip. That belt has never, ever worked since I bought the car five years ago. It pretended to work. It latched. But it would not flex/snap back into place.

I repainted the wall behind the bathtub which is being eaten away by water a bit. And then I made lists. The shirts in the drawers hold a rave in the darkness and when I open to the light, they fall into a tangle of confusion. They must be disciplined.

I must be disciplined.

I must be focused. Working out four to five days a week; keeping the house clean and zen-like; maintaining meditation practice are the central support for holding my place in the world.

But I always fall short. My dissatisfied ego monster is continually disappointed with me. The yearning for a love, a mate, a partner comes up in my center meridian spilling into my throat like choked off air and ends with tears filling my eyes.

Today as I was sitting meditation, I received a knowing that I have been alone many, many lifetimes. I have been valiant, independent, withdrawn unless called upon to fight for others. The pain is not new.

Within the time I dwell in; in the silence I sit in; in the stillness I participate in, I have had a few things revealed to me this new month in this new year in this new phase of who I am.

I made deals. It is very like a child who does not want to go to visit the kissy crushing aunt. I cling to my threshold and barter. Yes, I want to go out and stand on a stage and speak out. I want my voice to move others to look within, to open the dark attic or cellar door and have the courage to see what truths are trapped there disguised as monsters.

But I have tee shirts to roll into tidy forms, lined up by color and length of sleeve. I have computer files that are scattered, unlabeled and clogging up my Mac. I have toe nails to clip, teeth to floss, white trim around the door to repaint.

See, if I stay home and if I am a very, very good girl I am accomplishing something.

I recently read in the book The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot that a chair is just a vortex of neurosis. The particles are locked into a pattern of movement that creates what appears to be a chair. My body hair stood up, yep all of it at once. So my repeated, circling behaviors are simply a vortex of neurosis which formulates Cherie Hanson? I repeat this limitations ritually, circling tight the patterns predictable.

How do I get wise to the trickster self? How do I break out of the template’s designs which have kept me camoflaged and unseen? I have been hidden even from self so that I could maintain the momentum of the past self.

Grounding in order to grow

Grounding in order to grow

Watching the mind, comes back as the answer. When am I refusing to do that which would break me out of old patterns out of the fear that I may become something else? When do I set out on the ocean in my kayak, knowing I will discover new lands? Is it now? Or do I need to push back my cuticles.

What tightens habit’s hold on me is the memory of two parents who were out of control. The chaos, mental illness and unpredictable violence coupled with unethical behavior were constant elements of my childhood environment. Yes some of my attention to my environment is based on that history. However, I also know that my inborn personality, my welcoming in of that which feels right and correct has lead me to “cleaning up” my home, my life and my habits. It is a natural predilection.

So balance is the answer. The question that can unlock more freedom for me in the future is : “Why do you want to do this?” Sometimes I cannot answer. Sometimes my OCD is so strong that the action or lack of action becomes a compulsion. Hold that thought in your mind for a moment. Lack of action can become a compulsion.

As I awaken to the shell game I play with myself, I also find reasons to celebrate. The central question of identifying with a construct postulated from past experience and past protective choices is being unearthed. I feel like I am on an archeological dig and the bones I am unearthing are those of self, the shape of self, the history of self. From my perspective, this includes past lives, my soul identity and my potential.

Before Christmas I attempted to purchase a Greyhound ticket for the 18 to 22 hour ride to see my daughter’s family in Houston, B.C. “Sold out,” the Greyhound screen informed me. So I sat with it. First I could choose not to go. But that hurt me. I could feel that the choice to not connect to my grand daughters, my daughter and her husband would send me reeling into pain over the holidays. Okay, so that choice does not protect me. Secondly, I could drive.

Strangely far away, I heard that fear-flailing voice telling me I was “too old”. Then I thought of my experience of driving across the flaming flatlands in Montana, Wyoming and into the wind torrented hills of Colorado two years ago. I drove four thousand kilometers alone on a road I did not know through hazardous conditions. I was up to that task.

I sat with it and asked to feel if there were any blocks. Like a blind person feeling around in an unknown room, I have a practice of sitting quietly and feeling “it” out. No messages came. No blocks appeared. Safety was all I felt. And so I set out.

The fact that I had taken a “risk” two years ago laid the ground work for my driving 18 hours up and 16 continuous hours back from Houston, B.C. The blizzardous whiteouts; the sight of a rig and a logging truck violently hurled off of the highway; the realization that the line of rigs coming at me were in my lane and the lane I should have been in was filled with the white eyes of cars almost obstructed from vision did not frighten me. I was calm because I had the experience of driving alone in a challenging manner to act as the foundation. I was calm because I had felt no doubt. The thought that I could die did not scare me. I resided.

To shine with the gits we are given

To shine with the gits we are given

My expedition was to connect with loved ones and to connect with my larger self.

The point I have reached in my journey, my adventure of life, on the unmapped road is that I see where my “navigator” has taken me. The realization that I make deals with myself to stay small and safe has been so brightly illuminating that it makes my eyes sparkle.

On New Years Eve I went out to a local casino where my choir directors were singing. The people in the space were very, very gray. Their skin was gray, their clothing was gray. Two were on oxygen tanks. Their bone mass was a problem as their backbones formed question marks about where they fit into life. They wanted to win but had sidelined themselves.

One woman came up to me and said, “Look in your purse. Look in your purse. Look in your purse.”

I said to the three friends I had chanced upon (sorry for the play on words), “Oh someone has given me a gift.”
Feeling around in my purse for the surprise, the unlooked for treasure, was futile.

Bending forward and narrowing her eyes, the woman said, “They took it out of your purse.” She gestured with her head towards the beautiful, vibrant women surrounding me.

Her life script was that of competition and loss. At that moment she projected on to me her victimhood. There were winners and losers. There were thieves and patsies. She had made a deal with herself that she would keep on the know, well-worn path of conflict.

I understood. I saw the entire contract that she had authored, signed and intended to keep until her ceasing to exist.

But who was I? In that place of loss and sadness; in that place of quelling pain with alcohol and gambling; in that place of restricted movement, tethered to an oxygen tank or a trance inducting machine or to alcohol, I got up alone and I danced. I danced through my fear. I danced through the sense that others might judge me. I danced through the anxiety that people would think me “out of control, crazy, weird.” I stayed in the music, drank water only and smiled at other women beckoning them up to join me. Come celebrate having a body, being incorporate, hearing beautiful music, and moving as God moves through us. Come celebrate the energy of expression. Release the tight game of “I am”. Release the tight patterns of circling neurosis of “this is all I can be.”

And so I drove through blizzards in which people died. And so I danced alone within a circle of ashen, frightened people. And so I stand on stage and perform my poetry.

Sitting meditation I watch myself, I watch the deals I make with myself to avoid passion and growth. But I trust that all will be well.

I will have a tidy house, floss my teeth, drink enough water and remain always, always kind. I can be more, bigger, allowing the power of the gifts to flow through me without loosing my core.

The frightened child must be comforted and lead into the blizzard obscured road, if I am to move beyond the vortex of repeated neurotic patterns. Maybe I am not a chair, maybe I am a giant fifty year old Maple tree that can stand in every wind, branches twisting and know the roots are safely in the earth which holds me in love.

Fully Now. Fully Here

The question of when will I no longer be in a quantum blur often occurs to me. Like the field of energy around an object, I float, I pulsate.

Every Atom Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You

Every Atom Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You

My physic professor explained to the class that a table was not solid and rigid but was in fact constantly changing its shape. I was excited and thrilled to learn. I walked out of class looking at the clouds, at the trees and hillsides knowing I was incorrect in my perceptions. This moment was the first time that I had substantiation for my sense that the three dimensional universe was like a movie set. Facades. Ghost town. Structures build by the Scene crew.

Lately, I have been noticing some major shifts in my life. As I address the issues of flow, I have become more solid. Throwing out, giving away objects I no longer wish to cling to is creating a thick, downy feeling of peace surrounding me.

To be still is to grow

To be still is to grow

I feel driven. I feel like I am being on purpose to sort my jewellery, to throw out past income taxes, to dispose of past prescriptions. Linens which are worn, rings which were never worn all go.

And in the process I am bringing myself into a sharper focus. As I discard memorabilia for my 18 year marriage, I am grateful for the feelings that come up. Like a person checking a wrist which was broken to see if there is any residual damage, I find that I feel nothing but relief and gratitude for no longer being in the deep pain and sadness of that interaction.

Energy Management

Energy Management

So I release objects, I release memories, I put papers in order. My eye is looking around in my environment to see what else I am merely clinging to in order to make myself feel somehow impenetrable, secure, immortal.

Sitting on my freshly sanded and painted deck on a new chair at a new table under a new umbrella I see my blackberries are ripening. I hear the birds in the large Oriental richness tapestry of the 50 year old Maple tree.

I have siliconed the cracks in the water falling surfaces of the house built in 1946; refinished table tops; diamond coated the heavy traffic floor but most of all I have brought myself into the present. My eye is looking for what I can repair, discard, be done with. My eye is looking for what I am done with.

The surprising result is that along with working out consistently, I am feeling stronger. I am feeling that there are more possibilities. I am feeling that I can change the shape of my “destiny”.

Wearing my heart on my chest.

Wearing my heart on my chest.

I have an estimate coming in. This beautiful bungalow that houses me has one wall essentially uninsulated and a kitchen floor that I have been holding down in place with the yearly coat of appliance paint. That area of the house will be upgraded with a new sealed wall and a newly laid floor.

Yes my caution with money for three years has allowed me to pay down a fragment of the large debt my collapsed marriage created. However, in order to go forward, I have chosen to go forward.

I will finish the house. I will continue to get the physical world around me in order. And as I do, I feel stronger, quieter and more full of possibility.

I am not anchoring my Self by my attention to the material world. My spirit is starting to see that I am not living “around” myself. I am not tied by tendrils of objects, paperwork, photographs, jewellery, documents to an association which is done. The past is the past. And now. Well now is about caring for my body, my house, my finances, my family, my friendships. Out of these strong roots a new shape is growing.

Societal projection androgenous manikin and real self

Societal projection androgenous manikin and real self

I don’t know yet what it is and my mind does not go there. Because I do not want to live as a shimmering ghost energy in my life with the past, the present and the future all exchanging places in my mind. I know my body is “all over the place” according to quantum physics and that I am actually living all times at once. I accept that and it is kind of exciting.

The point of power, however, is in the present as I am now perceiving it. And the awareness that I am training my mind, working with my body to create a clarity leads me out of the chaos of too muchness which is where I was choosing to live.

It seems so counter intuitive that the more I release, the more rich my life becomes. It goes against the siren song that our culture teaches us. Even the homeless push carts full of plush toys, car parts, shining objects around with them.

I am enjoying the exploring. I am enjoying the travel in the orbit around myself without the space debris obstructing my journey.

And now. Now I feel full of possibility. For the first time in three years, I am no longer feeling like a patient in recovery. There is something just around the corner, and there is now. The breeze blowing on my back, grapes ripening on the vines in my yard, people coming into my house and saying, “This is an angel house.” There is now. Gratitude for all my lessons.

new growth, tender leaves

new growth, tender leaves

Reconnecting in a Confusing World

Neon Waves Design for CD jacket

Neon Waves Design for CD jacket

And the theme for today, ladies and gentlemen, will be reconnecting in a confusing world. This morning I had the opportunity to skype chat with Jean Francois Provost a painter from Quebec who is shown in galleries across Canada. The wonderful, vibrant artist Rian Kerrane sent through to me pictures of her new daughter.

On facebook I have now over 100 former students that I have in my friend’s folder. It is exciting and informing to see what people have made of themselves and what kind of life they have created. To see an adolescence’s face fleshed out and forty is almost magical. The last image I hold of some of these people is when they were 15 or 16. Now with families, responsible jobs and various ways in which they contribute to the community, they own the power that was once only a promise. It is wonderful to have one of them step forward and say, “Hey. It is so good to see you.” I did not expect to have so much emotion and such a feeling of gratitude for the chance I had to spend time with these people and make some kind of impression.

Today I must work two images and finish the graphic design for a CD cover. It will be slowly because I feel very weak, tired and have carried around a migraine for the last three days. My body is calling out for care. I need to reconnect with it and see what I can do to bring some ease into my days. I have pushed myself too far.

Reconnecting with artists who were at the Biennale and beginning the adventure back to Vienna. Reconnecting with more former students and settling into what the day will bring. Gently, gently.

Is Life about Work?

Heritage Award for preservation of Veteran's houses

Heritage Award for preservation of Veteran

Sunshine is pushing against the two windows in the kitchen. The furnace sounds like the ocean during a storm. Air moving through the space where I am sitting is both cold and warm. Breezes of technology brushing across and under me. I awoke with an incipient migraine and my head full of lists.

As Pema Chondra recommends that we “keep out seat” and stay in a neutral place between manic and depressive, I am aware of the error of my ways. Work…businesses…running out of time. These adrenalized issues are once again playing out in my life.

I awake already two days behind. I have promised myself out to so many people. When I hear that a fellow artist needs publicity or help, I am triggered and attempt to help.

Currently I am finishing a CD jacket which promises to be very lovely and will be reflecting of the beautiful meditative compositions that Vernon multi-talented artist Devon Muhlert has written. But I have difficulty finding time to complete the project. The upcoming show for SOPA gallery called Under 8 is pressing and I have images to paint for that. Tuesday I have to prepare a presentation for the Central Okanagan Photographers’ lecture of Images of Europe.

Images of Europe show coming up Tuesday

Images of Europe show coming up Tuesday

I was attending the Okanagan Institute Board meetings until the projects just started piling up and I didn’t have the time. Artists@Work First Thursday Art Crawl needs to be organized more tightly for upcoming times when the tourists will appear like rescuers from our winter doldrums.

My neighbours Ray and Sarah Lewis have in essence carried the North End Resident’s Association on their already over burdened backs for the past three years, so I have stepped in to serve as the President this coming year. There is much to do.

Three other amazing artists will be part of the group show in Vienna, Austria in May and I have the graphics and conceptual statement to complete for that.

But it is strange how just when I think I am about to go mad with constant work, an opportunity opens up.

After the Central Okanagan Heritage Society presented our block, 500 Okanagan Boulevard, with a heritage award for maintaining the vets houses in such good repair, Cameron and I were dead tired and driving around. “Let’s go pick up food,” I suggested. We ended up doing something we haven’t done in over six months… we went out to dinner. The two of us sat alone at Yamato’s Restaurant under the four foot round string encased lights reminiscent of 60’s decor and the Japanese paper lanterns. We were across from one another at the acid green formica tables and had nothing to do but look at one another. I could feel the rhythm of my body set for scrimmage action: running without protective gear through the barriers of the day. I could see my mind flashing through the lists of things yet undone. I could step back and see how depleted I had become.

And Cameron was across from me. For the first time in months he didn’t have a computer in front of his face. Hey. He has eyes. He has really nice eyes. I think I could love this man. Yep!

So trusting that all will get done is work that I need to do. I even see that as work. Blocking in time to do nothing is important. Taking time to have dinner with my dear friend Lil, last night I got another chance to just sit and get grounded by the presence of another voice. Not just the voice in my head like the overseer of the one man crew of my body. The voice whipping me on to do yet more.

Learning to move from a place of love and security instead of a place of anxiety is what my lesson is. Learning to discipline myself to not spend money or put both my hands in the sugar bowl, figuratively speaking, when I feel anxious is my lesson.

But today. I sit here in my soft yellow bathrobe with my hair sticking up. The sun is knocking at two windows. The air is moving across me and it sounds like the beach. I will begin my projects and they will be completed. I will plan my journey to Vienna, my show for Artscape at the Kelowna Community Theatre, my drawing for the Okanagan Erotic Art Show, my lecture for COPS, my works for Sopa knowing that the universe supports me and that all will go well.

The idea that there will be a stopping point is both real and delusional. Now is the stopping point. The mind says, “When you finish this……” The promising mind entices me into the future. There is a stopping point and it is called death. And now. Pause.

http://www.okanaganeroticartshow.com/

http://www.artsco.ca/kelowna.php

http://www.copsphoto.ca/

http://www.sopafinearts.com/news.htmI

http://www.matthiasschmidt.at

When does an artist know he or she is “making progress?”

http://www.art-in-progress.org/project/stroll.html Is the sight where I have entered and had accepted my January Stroll project. While I frequently feel that I am not moving forward, am not making the kind of money that I need to finance my career, what I can point to is the fact that I am getting my work into more shows. This year alone I have had works shown in juried shows in Chicago; Ferrar, Italy; Toronto and the newest is the Stroll project in Berkeley, California.

I read a wonderful art blog which I wish I had remembered and could link you to right here. The artist said, basically, that you work on your technique, you work on your voice and then make attempts to get your work out of your studio in any manner that you can. The secret is NOT to attach to the outcome. As Pema Chondra says, “Keep your seat.” Fall off of your central, balanced point neither on the side of depression or of reactive elation. It makes sense in the artistic process as well.

How does one keep in the flow, in the connectedness to self if one turns over the feelings of proper actions to others? You become a puppet just waiting for your strings to be pulled one way or another.

What others can do for you, is feed back the feelings and associations that they have as they interact with your art. I have learned how people feel the energy dance in my work and the joyous, alive feeling that they get from my work. It changes my self-concept. I have often thought of myself as guarded. Frequently, I pull back because I feel as if my life force is too much, too energetic, too colorful.

Now I have learned to work my art until it gets to that central place where “the furnace” lies. It is the force that fires my life. It is the force that has turned me aside from possible destructive behaviours, that has kept me dancing to my own tune.

Yes, of course I want people to throw themselves into my arms weeping over the beauty of my vision and while they are clasping me close to their hearts, shove thousands of dollars into my pockets. We all want to  be loved, accepted and validated. We all want power. And what I am coming to realize is that I am quite ambitious. However, I am also a warrior. I am ambitious to create beauty, to attract riches and to leave a trail of kindness behind me. Life is NOT a battle except with the self.

If one can live in a way that is about being self without feeling that one has to protect oneself… then there is no hooking into others’ reactions. Unless, of course, they are positive. I’ll take thousands of dollars and expressions of praise… but I am not hungry for them. I feed myself.

The art of living is about living artfully. We all do that in differing ways. Some create art. Others create a beautiful life. Blessings on all who go into the world with intention and a calm heart.

Waiting for spring and flowers

Waiting for spring and flowers

Wine Art and Music at the Rotary Centre for the Arts

Two nights ago the WAM event brought in 45 people to my studio space. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share my work with others. Many of the attendees were residents of Kelowna. Even more pleasing is that locals are supporting local art.

Michael Garding put together a group for the show. Cameron came down after he finished his gig in Penticton at the wine festival there and sat in for a bit. He has played with the drummer, Martin Lord, in Just in Time. For three years the trio was the award winning Jazz group at the B.C. Music competition. And strangely enough NONE of the guys got ahold of friends or relatives and had them send in nominations or votes.

The leaves are turning intensely beautiful colors and are as my neighbour’s mother exclaimed, “Fairy Trees.”

I intend to load up my new photos from our travels through the area in the last couple of weeks so that you can view the beauty of the Okanagan in the fall.

Stay tuned for upcoming arts shows and great places to look at new works by local artists.

Happy Autumn. Fight the urge to hibernate.View from Knox Mountain of Kelowna