Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

fear

Fear is a dreadful bedfellow.  It steals all the covers till we lay shivering in the night.  It sits heavy on our chest laboring our in breath and out breath.  It cramps the heart and shoves the mind into unbridled overdrive.  It terrorizes the body, dominating energy, attention and view.
Yet...I wonder... when we find ourself lying next to its icy form, shaking in the dark, perhaps we could try a new tactic.  What if, rather than ignoring or throttling it with a noose of words, thoughts and plans, we reached over and curled against it, breathing in the sharp odor of pain and sorrow.  Breathing in... an open space to be.
Perhaps.
Perhaps.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

hiking

 I love this mountain...I call it mine... a dear friend... a paramour of earthy splendor (I've recently taken a shine to the "...").  Upon her shoulder (of course she is a she) I lay my head and cry, I tell her my woes, my heartache, my pain and she holds me, carries me.  She caresses me with her breeze and fills me with wonder, exchanging my sadness for her simple wisdom: birdsong, flower, deer grazing, billowed cloud, smiling with a face so immense all I see are her laugh lines.
 I breathe, carried on her back and she fills me with fortifying courage to return to the world below. She is there too, a tower of rolling earth, rising above the landscape of imagined littleness... a reminder of something deeply more immense.

Every summer I get giddy thinking about the sweet, sweaty hours to come immersed in mindless books.  Oh I know, mindless is a bit strong, but summer reading has a flavor that sets it apart from other more intellectual seasons. As school ends and the temperature rises, I escape into new worlds, meeting interesting characters who keep me company through the long lazy days of sunshine.  Thus far I have plowed through three books, The Gift by Lois Lowry, The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, and most recently The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (positively lovely).  I recommend all three with enthusiasm and although I have no intention of penning a literary description of any kind I will say, that each book left me feeling a bit lighter, not smarter but certainly lighter.  I'll keep you posted as my hefty stack of unread books continues to shrink.  Just imagine what enthusiasm I will garner for my literary pursuits once the weather outside no longer looks like this:
Can anyone say "ENOUGH ALREADY!!!"?

another gift from my brothers

Monday, May 23, 2011

a gift from my big brother


"As a bee seeks nectar 
from all kinds of flowers, 
seek teachings everywhere. 

Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze, 
seek seclusion to digest all you have gathered. 

Like a Lion, live completely free of all fear. 

And finally, like a madman, beyond limits, 
go wherever you please." 

~A Tantra of Dzogchen 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

what have I been up to?

Art glorious art!  Oh how I love my job!  Children, Art, Children, Art...throw in a little nature and I am in heaven.  I recently curated our annual art show for the students and after weeks of labor and months of planning it went off without a hitch.  Here are a few photos to celebrate its success:
The picture above is an example of some of the children's seasonal explorations
And here is a sampling of a classroom space study, complete with a collaborative robot and solar system...
 In this picture you can see both our study of watercolor media and the powerful immergent project of worry dolls that evolved over several months in the studio.  Each doll is accompanied by an original story from the artist.
 These are a few of the self portraits and interviews we did using water soluble oil pastels.  Every child in the school made one and I compiled yearbooks using their photos, portraits and interviews to sell at the show.
 Here is another angle of the space display...
 And here is a photo of the Autumn door we created as a mural in the style of Tony Ortega, 95% of the artistry on this door was done by children aged 3-5.  How great is that!
The school spent several months learning about Egypt.  Here is a sphinx that we made with the help of my dear friend and sculptor, Amy Laugesen.
 And here is the pyramid and palm trees we made during our Egyptian immersion.
 These are some of the beautiful oil pastels created by the students
 and a few more surrounding one of the murals we made with Tony Ortega this year in the studio.
 And this captivating piece of art was done by my budding resident artist BODHI who is also one of the students I get to work with...can we all say "PROUD".
And here I am moments before the show.  Proud of the show but my greatest reward is that if you ask any of our students if they are an artist they will say YES without hesitation or doubt.  They are celebrated, inspiring, creative artists and I hope that truth will plant itself deep in their hearts and continue to grow throughout their days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

my mother's day gift

For Mother's Day my two boys woke up at six in the morning and trekked up Green Mountain with me.  I loaded their pockets with almonds and raisins and carried my weight in water on my back.  The two mile hike took nearly two hours but it was worth every moment to be out in nature with my boys, celebrating life.
Bodhi gave me a bouquet in miniature, as we walked along the trail.




And Owen regaled me with tales of mythical creatures, theories on the nearby geology and possible inventions for a utopic society that he has been considering.  While mama nature gave us the gift of herself in glory and rapture.


A perfect day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

three

The three of us...my brother's and I.  For years we were symbiotic, integral to one another's existence.  Even now, at 37, I occasionally marvel at the fact that they are drawing oxygen and exploring life independently, on a trajectory uniquely their own.  With the stubbornness of youth,  I took their presence for granted, a given within the uncertain flow of life and now rather than walking and battling beside them,  I carry them with me along the way...a part of who I have become.

Monday, May 2, 2011

put this design in your carpet

Spiritual experience is a modest woman
who looks lovingly at only one man.

It's a great river where ducks
live happily, and crows drown.

The visible bowl of form contains food
that is both nourishing and a source of heartburn.

There is an unseen presence we honor
that gives the gifts.

You're water.  
We're the millstone.
You're wind.  
We're dust blown into shapes.
You're spirit.  
We're the opening and closing of our hands.  
You're the clarity.
We're this language that tries to say it.
You're joy.  
We're all the different kinds of laughing.

Any movement or sound is a profession of faith,
as the millstone grinding is explaining 
how it believes in the river!  
No metaphor can say this,
but I can't stop pointing
to the beauty.

Every moment and place says,
"Put this design in your carpet!"

Like the shepherd in Book II,
who wanted to pick the lice off God's robe,
and stitch up God's shoes, I want to be
in such a passionate adoration
that my tent gets pitched against the sky!

Let the beloved come
and sit like a guard dog
in front of the tent.

When the ocean surges,
don't let me just hear it.
Let it splash inside my chest!

        -- The Essential Rumi,  Barks,  1995
(thanks mom for sharing)