Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spirit of Snake

A snake has represented sin in many a world religion, the tree of knowledge was shown to Eve by the snake. Snake Oil is synonymous for a sort of a lie.

Women have been called snake-like by men who are scared and don't trust them. The allure of a slithering, graceful creature calls them, and I guess this can be a threat. I like the idea of channeling the better parts of snake nature, and letting the cunning and freedom to sin be positive traits of the snake.
I also love the amazing geometric patterns on snakes - I recently saw a 12 foot Burmese Water Python at the National Zoo - it was decorated with green and brown diamond patterns of such precision and beauty.

but the very best thing about snakes is the way they shed their skin and become new. Not being attached to the old skin, we can reinvent ourselves and start totally fresh.

Thank you Mother Earth for snakes.

"I’m a tiger when I want love, but I’m a snake if we disagree."
--Jethro Tull

Thursday, September 24, 2009


May the patterns of my life reflect joy and love for all living things.
May the patterns I create be for the best good of all around me.
May the patterns of my thoughts be uplifting, positive, peaceful and seek the higher way, always.
I vow to radically focus on all that is love, all that is of connection, and to let all else fall away.

If believing life should be this simple is an illusion, then I choose this illusion over the aggressive, plastic-wrapped, consumer driven world I see around me.

Blessed Be.

"Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!" --Pink Floyd

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

my journal helps me honor important words:

I want to thank Spirit for words of wisdom I get when Shamanic journeying.
I want to thank Spirit for words of wisdom others' find for me when they Shamanic journey for me.
I am so honored and blessed to have this channel to Truth.
Namaste - Spirits of Truth.

“Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be... Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before.” --Erich Fromm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Janet Lowry

This beautiful person just channeled creativity and inspiration.

**a short film about her studio and work**

She died yesterday.
Her visual journals have been accepted into the Smithsonian, and if you watch this little film about her life, you will see why.
Her work can inspire any visual journaler to stick with it - you will see her shelves with 30 years worth of her wonderful personal and exhuberant books. You can also see some of her work process.
And reading of her passing in her blog is a wonderful affirming account of a very graceful way to go with friends, family and even an angel present:

**Her Passing**

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death.” --Robert Fulghum

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall - a time of coming darkness. . . .

As the dark time of year approaches, I have trust that even in darkness, stillness can give me insight and be a powerful tool for growth.
The cycles of light and dark can make me feel depressed, but I know and trust there is coming light, and new life down the road.
Without death there can't be life, so without the dark, there can be no light.

I am learning to honor the darkness with my own inner stillness, not to just rush around in the dark, bumping into things.

I thank Spirit that this wisdom comes with my aging, that as I approach my own Autumn in life, I will be still and know all shall be well.

Trauma, struggles, effort to meld the world into my own way of being, all the work of twenty years of raising kids, making a house, moving here and there with a family, trying to make some meaningful art; I trust that all these efforts will bear fruit, even if not in my own time of seeing that outcome.
Planting seeds is sometimes like this -- we blindly send forth our best work into the world, then we endure a time of waiting while the fields seem to be fallow.
The waiting can be really hard, the not knowing if our efforts mean anything.

But under it all, in the dark, seeds are germinating, I know for certain my efforts will not have been in vain.
I thank Spirit for the coming time of dark, a coming time of reflection, contemplation, a time of just being and waiting.
Blessed Be.

"In Mabon -- Mother Goddess becomes Crone and her bright Sun consort has lost his fight for supremacy over the night . . . . " -K.D. Spitzer

Saturday, September 19, 2009

moving forward, but not in a straight line

Sometimes it feels like I am way off track, things are strange or going wrong, my rational brain is concerned that all is a mess or falling apart -- I just don't get what is happening.

Then a series of synchronicities, or convolutions happen, and everything seems to snap into place, and usually a much better place than I imagined or even hoped for:
A lost job means a new opportunity, a disrupted relationship means new, more loving communication, a chance off-the-path meeting means a whole new way to get my art into the world. . . .

It's a sort of spiral path that way - seems like things are way off track, but really they are just getting closer and closer to center and wholeness.
Keeping track of things in my journal really helps me see this pattern.
I am so not a linear person, and the straight and narrow is never a way that attracts me or feels right to me.
The beauty of the spiral is it always ends up right where it is supposed to be, and the path is beautiful and elegant.
Just as it should be.

It just takes some faith that all will be well again, all will be well.

“This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than a perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.” --Frances E. Willard

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jung had an art journal!

Huge news is breaking - and I am just amazed but not really at all surprised. Our old friend, Carl Jung, the man who gave us massive changes in the way we view the psyche with his ideas about archetypes and the collective unconscious, kept a personal art journal. He used a big red leather book to mine his own inner feelings, dreams, inner journeys and fantasies for many many years. He recorded all this in a large, very detailed leather volume, which was kept in a bank vault.
The book was kept secret, and his family has suppressed it's publication because they felt it was all too private and very non-rational. (surprise, surprise.)
Well, guess what, world, this book is about to be unveiled. Early in October, it will be published for us all to read.
Also awesome is that the actual book will be on display, yes, on display for us all to see, and not only on display, but at the very museum where my daughter interned this summer, the Rubin Museum in New York City.
I feel like this is such a personal gift - I will be there at the opening, and hopefully take some photos.
In the meantime, you can read all about this book, and how it came to be published in this very good New York Times magazine article:

The Holy Grail of the Unconscious

and here is a page which shows Jung's style was very detailed and colorful, an inspiration to all of us who work in creative journals:

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” --Carl Gustav Jung

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We are facets of the creative force in the Universe. . . .

I am learning how our perception creates our reality.
If we imagine the worst, we might get the worst.
If we imagine the best, we might get the best.
We may as well look into the world, and see the best.
Our current media does not support looking at the best -- they seem to use fear to attract viewers and thus make more money. Their goal is not to enlighten, but sort of to darken, in order to keep their money flow strong.

Even in school, we got the message that if you shine too bright, you will threaten the structure -- to be where you are supposed to be quiet in your seat cranking out the papers that regurgitate what the teacher told you. That creativity belongs to the few creative geniuses, not to the individual.

We need to counteract this with our vision - we need to add lightness to our perception so we add light to the world.
I am so deeply learning this for myself. If I look for the worst, I will see it. If I look for beauty and light in all things, I will see that.
Yes, there are some toxins out there, but our focus does not need to be on the bad stuff.
Our lives can follow our joy and our bliss and our passion and then we have meaning. Then we have joy.
If you don't have passion or joy in your life, you will end up seeking external help for this - the advertisers really cash in on this, and lure us with all their stuff so we think if we get this new thing, we will feel that passion and joy again.
Instead, we just are in debt and have too much stuff in our closets.

So following our own inner joy and bliss is actually essential to the health of the planet!
So go enjoy yourself today - make some art, sing a song, shine your light and hug someone you love. . . .

Look for joy and you will find it.

"Everything in the universe is a pitcher brimming with wisdom and beauty." --Rumi

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We are all in this together. . . .

and if we really knew this, and acted on it, we would have such infinite acceptance of our selves and our own path toward knowing who we are and how we fit into the world.

"The spirit of rejection finds its support in the consciousness of separateness; the spirit of acceptance finds its base in the consciousness of unity." --Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, September 14, 2009

Today . . . .

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all." --Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You find what you look for.

Once a very wise friend said to me you usually find what you look for. I was complaining about something or other, and he pointed out this simple truth to me in response.
And I have been working with that notion a lot lately -- right now my family life is in transition, and it is a choice to greet these new life circumstances with wonder and trust that a newer greener pasture awaits, or sink into negativity over the job/money/housing stress.


It really is a choice.
For me, my work in my journal is a chance to affirm this each day:
Creativity Counts.
Making a colorful, meaningful "mess" in collage in my art journal is my way of saying YES to the world.
and I really have learned if I look for love, kindness, connection, and bliss, I will find these things.
The sky is blue.
A pink flower blooms from the cracks.
When I come in the front door, my fluffy dog greets me with more enthusiasm than I can imagine.
Life goes on.

Why would I want to only find the bad parts of this one short adventure?

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life 
I was a bride, married to amazement. 
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms." --Mary Oliver

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What makes you insanely happy?

What makes you insanely happy?
That is your calling.
What makes you insanely happy?
That is your purpose.
What makes you insanely happy?
That is where you need to put your attention.
What makes you insanely happy?
Go there today!
(in health and wisdom . . . . )

"This luminous chaos of divine thoughts and feelings is called enthusiasm." --Friedrich Von Schlegel

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where are you going today?

“Over-preparation is the foe of inspiration” --Napoleon Bonaparte

Monday, September 7, 2009


I know I have blogged before on the question "What Would Frida Do?" but it really does bear repeating.
I often go to other artists' work for inspiration -- we saw an amazing documentary about three guitarists: The Edge, Jack White, and Jimmy Page, called "It Might Get Loud." They are talking about guitars mostly, but really, they talk about the creative process. I got so much out of this movie. . . . . but the main thing would be -- do your thing.
You have a voice, a unique voice, and if you follow it to the extreme, if you are sure this is you and that you need to express whatever it is in you, you will succeed.
The trick is that the success you find might be just that you find your voice.
Money, fame, all that other tinsel, can't even be the goal. It might be the by-product, but if it is the goal, the unique calling of your own voice is going to be mightily challenged.
Authenticity does not come when chasing money, for most of us. Some lucky few might hit gold with their art, but if that is the goal, the process will be very compromised.

Jack White, especially, was so inspirational in his story, and the way he just does what he does, and does it to the extreme. I have been listening to White Stripes and really understanding the beautiful simplicity in the music, and the raw power of his self expression.
I am planning on bringing this attitude to my own collage work.

That's a big part of it.

I think Frida got that -- look at her self portraits, and the attitude just screams out at you.
Thank you Frida.

"It is a myth that art has to be sold. It is not like stocking a grocery store where people fill a pushcart. Art is a product that has no apparent need. The salesperson builds the need in the mind of the buyer." --Jack White

Sunday, September 6, 2009

why make art?

If Shakespeare had just stayed in Stratford-upon-Avon, worked for his father and been true to his wife and four children, we would not now have Hamlet.
If Van Gogh had stayed in the Hague selling art for his uncle, we would not now have Starry Nights.
If Frida Kahlo had let her back pain stop keep her in bed, we would not now have her amazing self portraits.
If B.B. King had stayed in Mississippi and helped his father farm, we would not now have his transcendent blues guitar riffs.

Art does not make sense, or probably even money.
Do it anyway.
Working in an art journal is a chance to dialog with your art.
You talk to it, it talks back.
It is a gift you give to the world when you work and work and work at this dialog.
What are you going to say in your journal today?
What does your journal want to tell you today?
You might not ever even see the benefits, the legacy you leave.
Do It Anyway.

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." --Ralph Waldo Emerson