Wednesday, November 30, 2011

your task of tasks

Joseph Campbell talks about the Hero's Journey, where in Celtic (and many other mythologies) the hunter is lured into the woods by a deer or boar, then finds himself lost and in the dark forest, needing to find his path home. In some weird way, life is like this -- we take on challenges and responsibilities, and then find ourselves in the wilderness. I am just finishing up 25 years of child-rearing, the two oldest are on their own and the youngest is almost. During all these years I focused mainly on my family, while still doing art. But suddenly now for the first time, I find myself with a studio and time and the ability to really follow my bliss with abandon. And weirdly, it does sort of feel like I have been left in the wilderness. All the structure of jobs and carpooling and cooking and caretaking is replaced with a day I get to choose how to fill. I have been making art, teaching, working in journals all along, but never before has it felt this open-ended, and it is a bit unnerving. We also moved 3 times in the last 3 years, including 3000 miles across the country, and I faced serious health challenges which required surgery. So now, here I am, I have followed the deer into the wilderness, and I find myself in a new place, ready to figure out how to get home. . . . I am eager to see what happens.
Carl Jung suddenly realized "what it means to live with a myth, and what it means to live without one." Jung asked himself, What myth am I living by? Finding that he did not know, he wrote, "I took it upon myself to get to know 'my' myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a service art can provide

"The work of the artist is to present objects to you in such a way that they will shine.  Through the rhythm of the artist's formation, the object that you have looked at with indifferencee will be radiant, and you will be fixed in esthetic arrest."

--Joseph Campbell

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where have I been?

I have been busy getting ready for my soap selling table at our local Holiday Craft Fair, so my journals are getting a little dusty.
You can read about the soap here:  WhiteOwlBotanicals

Me and my journals will have a lot of art*dates in the new year to get to know each other again - and we will share our adventures here, with of course, lots of quotes to keep our inspiration jars filled.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Inspiration Connection

**Link Love** So here's a shout-out to all the kids in the digital photography class at JFK High School in Iselin, NJ. Your oh-so-nice teacher pointed to my blog as a source for inspiration, and I want to thank her and YOU for visiting with this little promise: if you submit a photo to me, I will put it in the next issue of Creativity Cafe Magazine. You can send a high res (300 dpi) image of your own, to me at Make sure you have your name as you would like it published and any info you want as a caption. I will post a note here when the magazine is out, early Spring. As payment for your submission, I can send you a copy for free, and hey - go ahead and add "published photographer" to your resume, although peeking at your work, I bet some of you already are! (If you would like an issue, do let me know your address, which won't be published.) Don't you love the internet?
"Never exclude anything - open your eyes for the unknown and uncommon and take your camera to collect these ideas. It may be worthwhile." --Petra Voegtle

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


"As the design scientist Buckminster Fuller noted, most of the work that our society creates produces no real benefit for the earth, and in fact subtracts from it. Most of the work we do requires pointless expenditures of energy and makes more waste. Rather than having people drive to jobs and use up endless Styrofoam containers and toner cartridges, it would be cheaper -- in the real terms of the vitality and thrive-ability of the earth -- to subsidize them to remain in their home communities, support them to grow their own food, foster permaculture projects to increase biodiversity, and encourage them to educate themselves and their children, to make art and perform ritual if they felt so inclined, and to generally celebrate the sacred mystery of being with a minimum of interference." --Daniel Pinchbeck

Saturday, November 12, 2011

my tin kettle

"As if the fullness of the soul did not sometimes overflow in the emptiest of metaphors, since no one can ever give the exact measure of his needs, nor of his conceptions, nor of his sorrows; and since human speech is like a cracked tin kettle on which we hammer out tunes to make the bears dance, when we long to move the stars." --Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where do you find your joy?

Because that's your life calling. I know we all have bills to pay, so it might take some creativity to figure out how to make your joy into your job. I read an article on macarons (my favorite French cookie) recently in the New York Times, and one of the bakers was a Ph.D. from Princeton, who had opened a French Bakery in Brooklyn. That got my attention because some of us spend a lot of time getting on a track that is not our truest calling, and it is quite scary to jump off that train and begin following the real calling of our hearts. I think her years studying at Princeton are only adding to the glory of making French cookies that are exquisite and wonderful. (I want to go get some!) I also have been very inspired by people who understand that a life in the arts means pairing down, living on almost nothing, and learning to find happiness with little material comfort. It can be done! Go to the library and get a book called "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavin. You will read how a couple in NYC spends a year making no impact on the environment, and in the process learns that just being together brings more rewards than running around consuming. and for some of us, following our bliss can mean a regular job that supports us and our family, but we can fill in the cracks with our dream work, our art or music or dance or acting or whatever it is that adds joy to your world. Try it. Following your bliss does take creativity, but what is the alternative?
"What a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die for the liberty of the world who will not make the little sacrifice that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage." --Bruce Barton