Thursday, 30 August 2007

Poetry Thursday - an open window

Poetry Thursday is no more. Thanks to the efforts of Dana and Liz we have had an amazing time sharing our poetry with other like minded souls, being inspired by each other each week.

I am so sorry to see Poetry Thursday go, however we are assured that we will be able to continue as a poetry community in the future.

So this is my last Poetry Thursday post, but certainly, not my last poem.

Through An Open Window

Sleeping softly on my sweet pillow,
sinking deeper with every breath,
a vibrant dream slipped in
through an open window
carrying me swiftly
to a place I knew somehow,
but had never been.
I saw things I understood,
but didn't comprehend.
Faces I knew,
but had never seen.
I reached out,
but couldn't touch you.
I wanted to run,
but stayed frozen.
My eyes snapped open,
dream potency thick in my head,
forgetting everything that was
and everything that wasn't.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

My Sacred Life - A Kitchen Garden

Helen is lucky enough to live on five acres where she has recently begun cultivating a kitchen garden. I am very envious and interested in its progress, as I have always wanted one of my own. We live on a fairly shady block which is not conducive to growing fruit and vegetables, so our 'kitchen garden' consists of one very hardy lemon tree, a very healthy looking rosemary plant and some garlic chives. Even so, there's no better feeling than going outside to pick sprigs of fragrant rosemary from my own garden to sprinkle over meat and vegetables for roasting, the flavour and freshness is just wonderful.

Soon, I hope to plant a tahitian lime tree in a tub for our sunny patio, as we in fact eat more limes than lemons. I will also plant another patio tub with summer grape tomatoes, which are bite size, sweet and juicy and have a high yield. I'm sounding like a farmer already!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

My Sacred Life - Feng Shui

I found these two books on Feng Shui a few years ago when I was looking to improve the energy around my home. I didn't realise just how important they would become to me. The first is the "Western Guide to Feng Shui" by Terah Kathryn Collins (Hay House Inc) and the second the "Western Guide to Feng Shui - Room by Room" (Hay House Inc), by the same author.

This type of Feng Shui uses the Bagua Map (a nine square grid) to designate each 'square' of your home into areas such as Health and Family, Fame and Reputation, Love and Marriage, Wealth and Prosperity, Creativity and Children, Knowledge and Self Cultivation, Helpful People and Travel, Career and the Centre (or Earth). I used this method to systematically declutter our house, an exhausting, but once it was all over, exhilarating experience.

Terah Kathryn Collins says if we 'open our Feng Shui eyes' and take steps to enhance certain areas of our house and garden, our lives become simpler, more prosperous and the energy becomes sparkling. Focusing on each Bagua Square sends a positive message out to the universe. This has proved to be true for me.

I now think of housework in terms of creating good energy (I love cleaning windows!), instead of being a chore and keeping the clutter away has become an every day obsession of mine, but not to the point of being minimalist, you still keep all your special, meaningful things around you. I liked these two books as they explain feng shui in a very simple way, without all the superstition that often comes with it.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Sacred Bees

This picture was taken of our verbena hedge this afternoon - 27deg C and a beautiful spring day. Because we haven't been too diligent with pruning the hedge, there are plenty of flowers this season and the bees absolutely love it. It is said to be good luck to have bees in your garden and I couldn't agree more. My garden is organic and all creatures are welcome in it, but I especially love bees, they make me smile and are definitely a sacred part of my gardening life.

Some Bee Folklore;

"Bees have often been regarded as wise and even holy insects, having foreknowledge as well as knowledge of many secret matters. In antiquity they were sometimes divine messengers, and their constant humming was believed to be a hymn of praise"

"the ancient Egyptians believed the bees sprang from the tears of the Sun god"

"Bees are symbolic of sexuality, chastity, fertility, purity and care. They are also considered to be an image of a human soul due to their natural ability to find their way home from great distances."

"A single bee or bumblebee entering a house means good luck, probably in the form of money."

A nursery riddle from the 16th century - and the answer is ?

Little bird of Paradise,
She works her work both neat and nice;
She pleases God, she pleases man,
She does the work that no man can.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

My Sacred Life

Carla from Zena Musings has begun my sacred life So I am happy to be joining in and will make a regular posting of those things around me that I find sacred.

My first photo is 'Sylvie's Pot'. Sylvie was a long time friend of my husbands family. The families lived next door to each other for many years. Both families were filled to the brim with six kids, both families were struggling to make ends meet, both families were filled with loads of love. Sylvie was like a second mother to my husband and his brothers and sisters and they are all still close to this day and share so many childhood memories.

When we moved into our first home 25 years ago, Sylvie visted and brought with her as a house warming present, a pot that she had made in pottery class. It was planted with a cactus, which only bloomed every second year and then only briefly. But it was all the more beautiful because of this. Years later the cactus died and I replaced it with an african violet. The pot is not symmetrical and leans a bit to the side, but to me, it has always exuded such character and 'attitude', and I have always looked after it as though it was from the Ming Dynasty. Sylvie also had loads of character and attitude, but still remained a gentle and creative soul. She died a couple of years ago with cancer, only months after her husband died, leaving a great hole behind. The pot has always been special to me and I think of Sylvie every time I look at it.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Food for Thought

Some quotes I found while browsing artquotes

On Art:

"art is not about how well it's painted, but how much attitude it's got" - Frank Malerba

"I've never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso" - Diego Rivera

"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious" - Andrew Wyeth

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep" - Scott Adams

"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter." - Stuart Wilde

On Other Things:

I like to think of psychic energy as akin to radio waves. Even without the radio on, the air is filled with invisible signals from countless radio stations operating on their various frequencies. All you have to do to receive them is to flick the radio on and tune the dial. - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse. However, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that." - Carl Gustav Jung

"For the warrior, there is no "better" or "worse"; everyone has the necessary gifts for his particular path." - Allison DuBois

"Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. And you can change your life anytime if you aren't enjoying the dream. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices."

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Recent Pastimes

listening to: Joni Mitchell 'Blue' album.

'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle - this is children's literature published in 1962. The book is said to reflect the tyranny of conformity rife at that time i.e. communism. But for kids, it is simply a magical time travelling story about a planet with an evil brain called "It". On the side of good are three adorable creatures called Mrs.Whatsit, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Who. The heroine 'Meg', who struggles with being different from everyone else, is left only with her faults and her love, to rescue her small brother from certain peril . I don't need to tell you that love does conquer all in the end and Meg learns to accept herself. If you're into possibility thinking, you won't be able to help thinking about "what if" we really could time travel - mind boggling! Children's literature has a lot to offer even when you're all grown up.

researching: Australian artist Ken Done on the net. Like me, he is big on colour and I am hoping to learn some of his colour secrets by studying his paintings. I have been lucky enough to visit his gallery at the Rocks in Sydney - just wonderful. No one paints the spirit of the city of Sydney quite so well. I really enjoyed his site as he gives a commentary on the background of each painting.

journalling: This is an ink drawing of the beautiful Jess. She's a bundle of energy, so I was lucky to capture her while we were quietly sitting on the deck in the sunshine.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Tree Magic

"Hope Tree" - the colours look like neon when the light is on the painting.

This weekend was definitely t-shirt weather - very warm in Oz, I actually got sunburnt watching a soccer match on Saturday. It is nearing the end of soccer season and my son looks like getting into the finals, so lots of excitement there. The garden is beginning to sprout - freesias, snowdrops and violets everywhere. My neighbour's magnolia tree next door I can see from where I sit here at the computer. It is in full bloom - just lovely.

Morning walks are such a pleasure when the weather is so good. So that's where Jess and I are going now..............


Thursday, 9 August 2007

Poetry Thursday - Fly To The Moon

Fly to the Moon

Fly to the moon and share with me
your dreams and angel dust.
We’ll touch the stars and fill the air
with sparkles, light and such.

Fly to the moon, look down and see
blue oceans surge and swell.
The fish will dance in moonglow,
salty secrets yet to tell.

Fly to the moon and watch God’s earth,
from way up high above.
Turning, ever turning,
all magnificence and love.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Blogger Reflections Award

Elizabeth has nominated me for the "Blogger Reflections Award". Thank you for your lovely words Lizzie!

The idea is: reflect on five bloggers and write at least a paragraph about each one. Then leave a message on their blog to say they have been nominated. I could easily write about all the blogs on my blogroll, they give me daily inspiration which I am so grateful for. However, I have selected four;

Elizabeth who of course nominated me, must receive a mention. She is an artist of very high calibre whose life-like work of animals and even cup cakes (!) is enchanting. Lizzie encourages other artists out there to have confidence in their creativity.

Kate from Thru My Lens Lightly is a gracious, creative blogger, a generous spirit, who delivers such interesting posts time after time. Kate's digital art is always beautiful - go take a look!

Mich from The Road To Infinite Bliss is a friendly, warm hearted soul who has created a virtual circle Rainbow Dreams, for women who wish to share their spiritual journey. Mich believes in the power of the Chakra Dance and helps other women search for the beautiful goddess within.

Cate from Serendipity . A talented teacher of children, she has always tackled the world creatively and with true spirit. Cate lives by "Improv Wisdom's" maxims, with which she titles her posts.

There - I could go on and on, but this will do for now.

Monday, 6 August 2007

How Do You Journal?

I recently posted that I was back to journalling to stimulate my creativity, and the talented Elizabeth asked what I actually did in my journal. The answer is, everything! Everyone has a different way of doing things, but when I journal there are no rules, I believe it should simply be 'right' for you.

I actually have three journals that I run at the same time. I know this is probably crazy, but I find it works well for me. You may prefer to use just one.

The first one is a large spiral journal for painting. The idea here is no plans - paint loose and free, spontaneously experimenting with colour and line, fearlessly taking risks - this is where you discover all the juicy creative brilliance. Mistakes are welcome and you don't have to be neat.

A second one I use for sketching and doodling which usually evolves into designs. The third is for my personal thoughts and ideas. This is like writing 'morning pages', except I write at any time of day or night, whenever I feel like it. I use both these last two for writing poetry and will often write 'key' words down the page in fancy lettering, just to remind me of the mood or theme I might be searching for in either poem or art. These keywords will stimulate that creative spot in your brain. Often, I have begun doodling only to end up writing poetry or vice versa! You could scrapbook here too if you wanted, use gel pens, crayons, stencilling, anything - go crazy! No pressure to do it daily, but it does pay to show up regularly.

I recently read a post by Alyson B. Stanfield at her artbiz blog where she talks in a podcast about "gathering your artistic brilliance". Here she suggests using a box to collect all those written down creative ideas, saying that Julia Cameron's method of daily morning pages is "not for everyone". It's worth a listen if you're looking for a different way of doing things.

Magical artist Judy Wise regularly posts some really beautiful journal pages, and shares here, (titled "what I do") what journalling means for her.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Poetry Thursday

I did promise a story about a magic snake, but this is still brewing. So here in the mean time is some verse inspired by a snake painting of mine.


Between two blades of grass
I spied your ankles and your toes.
I slithered out, all slippery,
So quiet, you wouldn’t know.

But you saw me there right at your feet,
and released a little gasp.
Your eyes grew wide, you tried to scream
But your voice came out a rasp.

I decided not to bite you,
I let you back away.
So I just slithered off all slippery,
To your absolute dismay.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

True Self

I have been doing lots of journalling, supposedly with the idea of creating a different style.......

....... but I just can't help myself, I love these black outlines and vibrant colour.

Have you ever tried to be demure and reserved when you really love to live with gusto? Or tried to be neat and fastidious when you're really quite messy and easy going? I have discovered that I always default to who I really am, ending up being true to myself, which is not such a bad thing. So I continue on with the journalling which is so good for creative brainstorming and finding new ways to inspire. I will not give up trying though and if a new me does sneak out and surprise me, I'll let you know!