Tuesday, October 29, 2013

creative joy

last week i journeyed to new york's breathtaking hudson valley to attend the creative joy retreat.  it was four luscious days filled with love, yoga, play, writing, photography, laughter, rest, tea, dance and stories.

i cannot conjure sufficient adjectives to give written justice to the october beauty of this space.  our retreat was held at the garrison institute, an old monastery made of stone and stained glass and a thousand seeking souls that now holds programs of contemplative practice. the grounds are expansive and include woods, trails, a garden, a labyrinth, bamboo groves and an opportunity at every turn to be one with your thoughts.

the beautiful jane lafazio, filling up her sketchbook.

tiny blooming miracles:  flowers in late october.

practicing being fully present and attuned to the beauty inside and out, asking myself the question, "what do you want?" and acting on the answer without apology or explanation...these are the things that filled my days.

these two bright spirits are half of team aliveness, our small group in which we practiced witnessing, not fixing.

A is for awesome.  and aliveness.  and awareness.  and answers.

giving fears, negativity, criticism, etc. to the minion to hold is one of many little practices i'm bringing home with me.

i find myself struggling to find the words to describe the experience.  i believe it's because i allowed myself to be fully present and truly experience the retreat and the kindreds who gathered.  i did not feel the need to document (either with camera or pen) every single minute with an eye toward blogging about it.

also several of my experiences were just simply beyond description.

thank you thank you beautiful brilliant women of creative joy.

thank you jen louden, marianne elliott and tracey clark for bringing us together and creating a program so deeply meaningful, fun and unexpected.

Monday, October 21, 2013

mosaic monday: the farm market

my local farm market is reaching its final days as we move deeper into autumn.  i did so much better this year at getting to the market each week (with the exception of photo #5 here...i overslept that saturday).  more importantly, i made an effort to explore new plants to eat:  jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, baby ginger.  we are lucky to have a few small organic farms worked by beautiful people in our area.  just last week, i ate a sweet potato grown by holly at island creek farm and it was the BEST SWEET POTATO EVER.  i love my market and will miss it over winter.

Monday, October 14, 2013

the underneath

i'm taking the lovely and talented flora bowley's course, bloom true.  it's so very much more than painting.

yes, art is always so very much more than the medium, materials and techniques.  my own creative process parallels a personal journey.  understanding and loving what is underneath.  knowing and trusting what to open and reveal, what bits to transform.  the hidden, the happened, is always there.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

sunday grace: indian summer and the serendipity of leaves

an indian summer has such a poetic ring to it.  i try to love it and appreciate it for what it is, but the reality of a string of ninety degree days in october almost always feels harsh.  it happens nearly every year:  the trees begin to speak the soft language of autumn and then summer, the party guest that was asked to leave a few days ago because we are all exhausted from the frenzy she brings, loudly bursts through the door for one last poorly executed joke.

what is the message here?   for me it is nearly always about soothing my impatience and slowing down and being present in this moment.  instead of the moment that lies ahead, that i'm hoping for (in this case, my favorite season, autumn).  because undoubtedly when i reach that moment, i will be thinking ahead to the next one.  and so on...

i love it when i notice patterns in the collection of images i capture along the way.  lately, there are leaves.

leaves that nourish...

leaves that mesmerize.

on saturday, we were lucky to hear photographer binh danh speak about his work and see some of his incredible photos.  mr. danh speaks of nature...leaves, grass, ground, bark...holding the memories and emotions of events that it witnessed.  just as the photograph does.  some of his work involves working with photography on leaves and grass, particularly haunting images from the era of the vietnam war.

there is just something so incredibly beautiful about the leaves holding our stories.