Living Artfully

Line art on Scraped Paper

One of my visions is to have a spacious, well-lit studio that looks out onto a creek and forest. The studio is stocked with what ever art supply I need. And, wonders of wonders, the studio magically tidies itself up at night.

Playing with this vision while I napped this afternoon, I asked myself what is my true desire, my authentic desire, my heart’s desire? Is my true desire is to have a studio space or, is the true desire to live life artfully. Or, to live an art-filled life?

What would an artful life look like, feel like? It might be a life where I can follow the energy to shift, change and reveal patterns, be they patterns related to paint, paper, pen, and ink, or energetic patterns. Where I can co-create ceremony, celebrations, community. A life where I am a creator of content, of my life, rather than a consumer.

When I consider the desire for an artful life, I feel like I am growing wings. One moment the white, graceful feathered wings of a swan, another moment the powerful, wide wings of eagle, condor, hawk. And then, raven wings to twist and turn and dance within the forest.

And now, to the studio, to make some wings, to be a wingmaker, a dream weaver, an artist of my life.

Where is the place that I put my sorrow?

Black and white line Drawing micron pen

 

Where is the place that I put my sorrow?

It no longer ebbs and flows with the moon or blood, but rises unbidden

In the early morning.

It caught me unaware as I walked out of a dream.

There it was.

A gossamer woven through my connective tissue

Holding, unyielding, unbidden, unseen until

I called upon compassion, counted the flowers of my blessings

The sorrow rose,

To be held.

Bathed in love, the threads loosen, open, dissolve

Into the one heart.

image ©2012 Occupy Your Heart

Skeleton Woman

 

“She had done something of which her father disapproved, although no one remembered what it was. But her father had dragged her to the cliffs and thrown her over and into the sea.”

Three words from the opening lines of the story Skeleton Woman haunted me all night and into today. Last night I saw a wonderful dance performance, that brought the story of Skeleton Woman to life.

No one remembered. No one.

No one remembered.

And there she lay, in a bay where no one fished. They had forgotten why they didn’t fish there.

No one remembered.

What to I do, that I have forgotten why I do it. What have I abandoned, thrown over a cliff and forgotten why? What parts of me need to be reclaimed from the sea? What parts of me needs to be untangled, warmed by the fire and brought back to life, to dance the dance of life again?

These questions are asking me to live them into life.

What have you forgotten? What needs to be re-membered?

What has our culture forgotten? What needs to be re-membered? What needs to be brought up from under the sea so that we may dance the life we were meant to live?

An insider look at the Montreal Student Protests

I haven’t really known what to think about the student protests in Montreal.  Montreal is a city I loved to visit, when I lived in Ottawa, I felt like I was taking a weekend trip to Europe. But, living in Western Canada, understanding the mood and feeling on the streets of Montreal would be a stretch.  I had only heard of the tear gas and arrests, and the complaints about the noise on the streets. Until I came across this video and article  – the author and videographer show that joyful protest builds community, builds power, builds love and connection.

An Open Letter to the Mainstream English Media:

By @TranslateErable |  May 25 2012 | Originally posted on Translating the printemps érable

Thank you; you are a little late to the party, and you are still missing the mark a lot of the time, but in the past few days, you have published some not entirely terrible articles and op-eds about what’s happening in Quebec right now. Welcome to our movement.

Some of you have even started mentioning that when people are rounded up and arrested each night, they aren’t all criminals or rioters. Some of you have admitted that perhaps limiting our freedom of speech and assembly is going a little bit too far. Some of you are no longer publishing lies about the popular support that you seemed to think our government had. Not all of you, mind you, but some of you are waking up.

That said, here is what I have not seen you publish yet: stories about joy; about togetherness; about collaboration; about solidarity. You write about our anger, and yes, we are angry. We are angry at our government, at our police and at you. But none of you are succeeding in conveying what it feels like when you walk down the streets of Montreal right now, which is, for me at least, an overwhelming sense of joy and togetherness.

Norwegians Refuse to Step into Fear or Hate

 

Singalong protest in Oslo

People gather in central Oslo to sing a song hated by mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Photograph: Kyrre Lien/AFP/Getty Images

Up to 40,000 Norwegians have staged an emotionally charged singalong in Oslo near the court building where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial for the murder of 77 people in a protest organisers said showed he had not broken their tolerant society.

“It’s we who win,” said guitar-strumming folk singer Lillebjørn Nilsen as he led the mass singalong and watched the crowd sway gently in the rain. Many held roses above their heads, and some wept.

The protest followed several days of defiant testimony from Breivik, who has admitted killing his victims but denied criminal guilt.

The crowd chose to sing Children of the Rainbow, a song that extols the type of multicultural society Breivik has said he despises and one he dismissed during the trial as Marxist propaganda.

People then marched to the district courthouse where Breivik was on trial, close to the site where he set off a bomb that killed eight people on 22 July last year.

Thousands more Norwegians held similar musical protests in towns across the country. The protest came as survivors lined up inside the courtroom to take the witness stand and describe the bombing. …..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/26/thousands-sing-anders-breivik-hates?newsfeed=true

Thoughts on Vulnerability and Courage

Brene Brown continues to inspire me with the tender, clear ways she expresses her experiences. In the post below she shares here experience of being personally attacked on comment boards. The tightwalk metaphor works well for me, as may days I am wobbling this way and that on the wholehearted living balance beam.

She writes,

“I’m writing this because I’m always asked how I became so strong and immune to the criticism. The answer is that I am strong, but I’m not immune. It hurts. Like hell. Even though I know that “it’s not about me” or “some people are projecting” – it still hurts. I’m human.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. When we stop caring what other people think we lose our capacity for connection. When we are defined by what people think we lose our willingness to be vulnerable.

2. When we close ourselves off to feedback we stop growing. When we open ourselves up to ongoing cruelty, we shut down to self-protect.”

for more: my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Moving from Shame to Vulnerability

Video

 

 

One of my hero’s is Brene Brown. She researches, teaches and talks about the unmentionable emotions: shame and it’s companion, vulnerability. Her work has helped me bring awareness and compassion to the shadowy, sticky, uncomfortable experience of shame. Brene Brown is bringing light to the dark corners of our collective psyches. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Brene Brown’s TED talk on shame and Vulnerability

(image is from Brene Brown’s blog.)