Gilbert's words with my morning coffee, the day after a long hike and some rather profound introspection and philosophical discussion on a mountain, have me thinking. Thinking about the threads of connection and words and interactions that create ripples. Some of those ripples are positive, while others leave a heavy stain the requires a lot of internal scrubbing. But in this case, Gilbert was influenced by David Whyte, who coined the phrase "the arrogance of belonging" and "claims that it is an absolutely vital privilege to cultivate if you with to interact more vividly with life" (Gilbert paraphrasing Whyte). And here those very words are, smacking me in the forehead, because interacting more vividly with life is exactly the course I want to sign up for! Positively sparkling ripples, joining the ripples of dazzling hikes and art rumpuses.
Vivid might be a wee bit of an understatement.
Blogger and blog will take a tiny hiatus for a long weekend and a mini vacation, but will return next Thursday. In the meantime, Wonder Mike hinted that it has been a long time since there was a reader giveaway! Post a comment below with your thoughts Gilbert/Whyte's words and how you live creatively, or post a really good recipe using rhubarb. (!!!!) Either way, one lucky commenter will be selected by my studio hound and receive a copy of The Storyteller's Apprentice (written by the amazing Dana Kumerow and co-illustrated by me).
If you aren't receiving blog notifications by email, subscribe in the column to the right. Wonder Mike says you'll be so glad you did!
But maybe that's the purpose of it all. To spend enough time sorting through the mess, getting to the truth, understanding a little of who we are - enough time that we can sit with that mess all around us and say "well, ok then." And then maybe take a day off of all that mess-sorting and be ok with not having figured out all the mysteries of the universe. Becoming more like sheep lice, just for a moment or two. Who knew I would ever write that? :)
This piece makes me smile...a contemplative moment, "the resignation that living brings."
Torn and tattered feathers - perhaps many of us can relate to that? After this year, after these lives. And yet we soar, dear reader! I see you there, with your brave and crazy wings. Still flying. :)
After more than a year of narrowing our circles to the smallest possible sphere, we are beginning to move in wider circles. Not me, yet. But the world around me - restaurants, shops, people. Wider circles. And soon, me, too.
What grabs me about this song, these lyrics, is the idea of being beside someone through fear. The concept of compass and lighthouse. And haven't we, dear reader, marched together through this past year? So many of you have been (and are and are becoming and will become) my lighthouse. And if I'm lucky, I'll be a compass for someone, too. (Disclaimer! I can't use an actual compass yet, but I will learn!). The darkness is passing; the clearing is coming. We are opening our circles.
We become our choices.
There is an inclination to philosophize while hiking. To untangle the experience of life and reframe it in the expansive view of sky and sea and soil. And there it is easy to look back at a life and say - yes, this. I became my choices. And I still become my choices. Except now, sometimes, if I am listening well, the choice becomes obvious - the moon full, information revealed, choice easy. I choose. I become. Slip and stubbornness give way to slide and surrender. I become.
About the art: This piece happened spontaneously. A late evening spent purusing Pinterest boards of avant-garde fashion. An antlered woman in a white lace gown inspired the pose. Bones - of animals and of trees - collected on a beach hike informed the stark color palette. A quick sketch with charcoal, then very wet titanium white to rough in the form. Ultramarine blue and raw umber and titanium white only, brushed on in thin, watery washes. Resisting the urge to complete the background...allowing her to emerge, half formed as if in mid-transformation.
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation