A Prayer

image

God, Goddess, Spirit that be,
I pray this night watch over me.

Hold me in the arms of angels,
Safely from all harm and danger.

Bless all those I deeply love,
And tend their needs from up above.

Thanks to you for the gift of life,
Courage and patience to journey through strife.

My gratitude from deep within,
Please open my heart with your love, Amen.

*I wrote this prayer in 2007 and came across it in one of my old journals yesterday. It always surprises me when my writing has more profound, personal meaning, years later. The photo is a retablo of Our Lady of Guadalupe by New Mexico artist Lynn Garlick.

Vulnerability

IMG_0500

First, inspiration

A consuming fire

Relentless and tangled

 

Then, writing

A tentative rain

Of keyboard clicks

Slowly intensifying

 

Fire and rain argue

Until sparks turn to steam

And soften into grace

 

To find inspiration

And write from source

Feels easy, free and pure

 

Baring my soul

Not knowing

To whom I am opening

Showing petals and thorns

 

Is the artist’s way, I suppose

Until inspiration

Ignites again

Love for the Creative Process

I have a lot of love for the creative process and its mysterious ability to discover me. Lately, new projects, ideas and stories keep finding their way into my dreams. It’s simultaneously inspiring and overwhelming. Slowly but surely, I am honoring these gems with the time and attention they deserve.

These little collages are from one of the new art collections I’m working on: LOVE. Stay tuned, more artsy stuff is on its way!

IMG_0889

Love letter from the past

photo(16)

I attended a winter yoga retreat in Lake Geneva with the fabulous Dorie Silverman a few weeks ago. During the retreat, we were guided to write a love letter to ourselves, self address an envelope, and hand it in to be mailed at a later, unknown date. I received my letter in the mail a few days ago. I won’t share all the details, after all it’s my personal love letter, but here is a line that I am drawing a lot of inspiration from: “Magic is created in the woodlands, but it can survive in the city if nurtured by the sun and water and your dreams.”

There’s something really special about receiving words of love and wisdom from your past self. If you’ve never tried it before, I highly recommend taking the time to write yourself a love letter. You don’t even have to send it, just set it aside and mark your calendar for a random day a few weeks or months from now. There is even a website, http://www.futureme.org, where you can send yourself an email at a set, later date.

Even if you have a regular journaling or reflection practice, it’s amazing how sometimes, turning inward and writing a letter of love to your future self can bring the encouragement and support you need, right when you need it most.

Edgar Degas

photo(2)

I spent the morning visiting an old acquaintance

Saw his familiar expressions and heard his stories

Captured in the madness and mastery of brushstroke

 

Peeking behind the wings at the ballet

I saw nervous dancers feet beneath tulle skirts

Rehearsing with anticipation moments before the curtain

 

Listened to a café singer in Paris while

Sipping an espresso from a dimly lit corner

Her melodies floating over the smoky room with ease

 

Caught a glimpse of a woman bathing

In a symphony of limbs and abandonment

From an oval-shaped tub and the illusion of water

 

Yet, the mystery of art lies not with technique

But the reminder that when it encounters faith

Ghosts from the past become remarkably opaque

Buddha Seated in Meditation

IMG_0733

Today I spent a lovely winter afternoon wandering the Art Institute of Chicago with my husband.  In the Alsdorf Galleries, there is an impressive sculpture of the Buddha seated in meditation from India, c. 12th century. Along with many other people, I spent some time studying the piece, reading about its history and listening to my audio guide reveal an unseen story.  I marveled at the Buddha’s size, condition, and gentle expression and thought about its journey to Chicago’s art wonderland.

As we meandered all over the museum, I passed the sculpture several times, the last just as the gallery was about to close and was nearly empty. I stopped to take a photo and felt more connected and inspired by the Buddha than my previous visits. It struck me that in meditation it is hard to allow thoughts, ideas, details and crowds to fall away. And then, occasionally, if I wait long enough, there are quiet moments bursting with stillness, inspiration, love, connection and maybe even peace. It has been several weeks since my last meditation session, but today, watching the Buddha diligently seated in meditation, juxtaposed against the surrounding chaos, a little bit of tranquility found me.

Grandma Jean

Scanned Image 57

Grandmothers are special people. My Grandma Jean was a wise friend, reliable confidant, engaging storyteller, vocal cheerleader, expert baker, tradition keeper, hard worker, savvy shopper, warm hugger, fierce protector, and more. I am grateful to have been her granddaughter and for her friendship and love.

Since her passing, I’ve been thinking a lot about our time together and the small, thoughtful ways she made everyday special. A crystal donkey dish filled with Hershey Kisses set out for me and my sisters, warm grandmother hugs and favorite story books, getting tucked in at night with kisses and the scent of fresh laundry, shopping for shoes, and long talks while baking oatmeal raisin cookies and burning a few, on purpose, for grandpa. I never want to forget those memories, or her.

“You won’t. I know a little about that. When you lose someone they take a bigger place in your heart, not a smaller one. Every day it grows because you don’t stop loving them” (The Shoemaker’s Wife, Adriana Trigiani, page 78).