sacred

Those Who Wait

  

My newest work-in-progress (WIP), currently titled “Those Who Wait.” Normally I don’t have a title until I’ve finished the piece, but this one popped into my head as I was working on it. A lot has been on my mind lately and I think this title pretty much sums everything up at the moment. I feel like I’m waiting for everything…I tend to get impatient when I want something to happen, and get frustrated when things happen at much slower pace. 

There are times (frequently) where I question whether anything will really happen or not. It’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex of despair and sadness wondering “when…if ever.” I tend to have an all or nothing attitude…if it doesn’t happen now, then it will never happen. Not quite fair to the universe or myself, but it’s a way of protecting myself in case it never does happen. Then I think I won’t feel the hurt, anger, despair, sadness as much. Wishful thinking. 

Sometimes I even wonder if God is listening or am I just blowing hot air into the empty sky? There are only questions and no answers. Waiting sucks. Royally. And I suck at waiting. So all around this just sucks. I start wondering…am I praying hard enough? Am I seeking enough? Am I doing something that is making me wait longer? Am I being punished for something? What more do I need to do? HOW MUCH  MORE DO I HAVE TO GIVE?

Every day I think I’ve hit the bottom of the well. I’ve been sucked dry. My soul is beaten down and I’ve given up. But, my stupid self with my damn eternal optimism, wakes with a glimmer of hope every morning. I feel the grounding roots pushing through my feet, drawing on the the earth’s energy, Her Sacred Divine, and my soul slowly unfurls to the sunlight, no matter how stubbornly I try to block it out with my misery. Still no answers…and for the time being…that’s okay.

In the past two years, I have fallen in love with working with oil pastel. I love the rich, buttery texture and using my hands to blend, smooth, carve into, and work the painting. I’ve used it on canvas, construction paper, and watercolor paper. One of my favorite things to do is to mix it with chalk pastel. I love the dichotomy between the two mediums. Which I suppose is apropo considering most of work has dichotomies in it…dark and light being the biggest theme. 

The biggest appeal of pastels….to use it directly with my hands. I’m a no frills kind of woman. Gardening and digging in the dit? I don’t wear gloves. Washing dishes? I poo-poo those rubbery things. I need to feel, to touch, to sense, to immerse my physical self into my work, whatever that may be. The oil pastel is slick against my skin, engaging my senses, grounding me yet losing me in the process. The chalk pastel makes me sneeze, blowing dust acros the plain. This is where all my questions, wonderings, skepticism get poured out from my fingertips to the medium to the artwork, allowing room for the optimism and sacred breaths to grow. 

Breathe…

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I Hate The Word Submission

 

 I am a woman. I have dreams, hopes, fears, desires, thoughts, opinions, aspirations. I have a voice. But often it is strangled into silence. Submission. 

I am a woman. What on earth could I have that’s worth contributing to the world? I watch other women stifle their voice, bury the woman they are at the expense of a man. They were taught that we are less than a man. A woman is made to support a man and be “submissive” to him. 

Oh, how I hate that word! Submission. Often times it appeared in life, spouted at me as my role as a woman. It’s the Christian way to be. A wife submits to her husband. It was used against me when I was married eons ago. I was to be quiet, subservient, speak when only spoken to woman. 

Sure, it says “submit” in the Bible. I know the verses. And I have an issue with them. Why must a woman submit to anything, especially to a man? But the more I think about it, the more I discern a deeper message, rediscovering the Sacred Feminine, the core of all humanity. And yet we have forgotten, or been denied, the depths of this mystery, of how the divine light of the soul creates a body in the womb of a woman, and how the mother shares in this wonder, giving her own blood, her own body, to what will be born.  Our culture’s focus on a disembodied, transcendent God has left women bereft, denying them the sacredness of this simple mystery of divine love.

What we do not realize is that this patriarchal denial affects not only every woman, but also life itself.  When we deny the divine mystery of the feminine we also deny something fundamental to life.  We separate life from its sacred core, from the matrix that nourishes all of creation.  We cut our world off from the source that alone can heal, nourish and transform it.  The same sacred source that gave birth to each of us is needed to give meaning to our life, to nourish it with what is real, and to reveal to us the mystery, the divine purpose to being alive.

Because humanity has a central function in the whole of creation, what we deny to ourself we deny to all of life.  In denying the feminine her sacred power and purpose we have impoverished life in ways we do not understand.  We have denied life its sacred source of meaning and divine purpose. 

Did you know that the ancient religions on Earth celebrated women? We were revered, honored, worshipped. God was the Goddess. He and She were one. Women create life. We are the only ones who can do that. It’s a gift from the Divine. We were celebrated for that gift. The Divine Goddess was the Mother of All, Healer, Queen, Giver and Sustainer of Life. She is LOVE. 

The feminine IS the core of creation that is LOVE. Every woman instinctively knows that she is at the center of this great mystery of bringing life into the world – the sacred transformation of light into matter. Every woman intuitively knows that nothing can be born without the feminine Creatrix.

Sophia is a very ancient form of the Goddess of Wisdom. She is known in many traditions by different names but she carries the mantle of intuitive intelligence. Sometimes she is Isis, spreading her wings of ascension. Sometimes she is Asherah, the original bread of life. Mary Magdalene is said to have been an incarnation of Sophia.

The Old Testament’s King Solomon had a deep and profound relationship with Sophia. She was revered as the wise bride of Solomon by the Jewish people. In Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess of wisdom and weaving; the owl and the olive tree were sacred to her. 

The symbol of Sophia is the dove, depicted as the bird descending from the heavens, known in Christianity as the Holy Spirit. 

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of magic, fertility, and motherhood. She has gone by many names, such as the Queen of the Heavens, Star of the Sea, Light-Giver of Heaven, Lady of Green Crops, and She Who Knows How To Make Right Use Of The Heart.

She is the Great Mother of fertility, of creation, of life and death. Some see the Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an incarnation of Isis.

Women AND Men need to rediscover the feminine principles of nurturing, of love, understanding, compassion, insight, intuition, creativity, forgiveness, healing, and wisdom.

Women, we need to heal ourselves and allow our Sacred Feminine the breath of life. We need to stop denying who we truly are. We must celebrate our Divine Feminine, give ourselves a voice. Stop thinking you are less than and start believing and feeling you are more than! You are someone. You do matter. You have a voice. You are real. You are valued. You are loved. 

You are a Wild Woman who is free to be who you are in ALL your beauty and glory. 

Are Books Sacred Objects or Just Pulp Fiction?

Reblogged from Anita M. King – Writing Window:

Book lovers — or at least some of them — are up in arms over a DIY craft video that uses books as a crafting material (thanks to @ShelfBuzz on Twitter for bringing this to my attention). In the video, Lauren Conrad demonstrates how to cut off the bindings of books to decorate a storage box, essentially disguising the box as a shelf of books.

Read more… 760 more words

I came across this post by Anita King of Writing Window and I had to share it with you (above).

I have books. Tons of them. Lining the walls of my home office, piled on the floor next to my bed, stacked on the floor and in a basket in the bathroom, in a magazine holder and on the table in the living room, on the dining room table, in boxes in the basement…it doesn’t end. Two years ago, I invested in a Kindle solely for the purpose of reading books and have loved it. If I had the physical book for every book I’ve bought on my Kindle, I’d have to rent a storage unit.  BUT that doesn’t mean I have lost the appreciation and reverence of holding an actual book. The smell of the pulp, the gleam of the ink, the intriguing covers. They still matter to me, but it’s not inherent that I have them, when I’m more concerned about the words contained within.

But could I physically destroy and re-purpose a book for art?

Being an artist myself, I’m reminded of the works of Warhol, Duchamp, and others taking “found objects” and pop culture icons and re-purposing them into works of art, most times tongue-in-cheek. Instead of destroying something, it is elevated into a new idea, a new concept, that opens the mind to things previously un-thought of.

The artist must imaginatively assemble ordinarily unrelated objects or experiences. They must help us look the second time, to explore beneath the surface of ordinary experience. Imagination penetrates ordinariness and things taken for granted. It carries us to the boundaries of what we normally see and inspires us to move beyond the confined commonplace.

If that means desecrating books in order to further the world’s conscience, or even just your own, then by all means, destroy the book. It’s not the physical books themselves that are sacred, but the thoughts and ideology contained within.

Even as our lives become ever more digitalized, the beauty of the printed page continues to hold sway. Take Jonathan Safran Foer’s recent literary dissection of Bruno Schultz’s novel The Street of Crocodiles, which he painstakingly pruned in order to create an entirely new story. Although the concept was more literary experiment than arts and crafts hack-job, the resulting book is a visually stunning reinvention of its preexisting form. To illustrate the multimedia value of this alternative usage, here are ten artists who have transformed traditional texts into works of genuine art.

On the other hand, Kathryn Hughes on Books Blog finds she can’t bear to throw away any book, no matter how bad the prose is or the state of the physical book.

The reason for this self-defeating attitude is, I think, something to do with being brought up to believe that books were almost sacred objects. My parents, who had been children in the second world war, filled my head with stories of how difficult it had been to get new reading material when they were young and so, by extension, what a lucky little girl I was to grow up in the age of the cheap paperback. Later, in school, I heard about how various authoritarian regimes – anything from the Catholic church to Stalinist Russia – had banned books as a way of controlling dissident forces. Later still, as a post-graduate studying the Victorian Age, I learned how the arrival of cheap books in the 1840s had propelled whole swaths of the British population towards self-education and political emancipation.

So to me, books – even bad ones – still equal freedom, knowledge and beauty. And to throw even one of them away seems to me like a crime against humanity.

Thomas Moore likens holding and reading an actual book (compared to an e-reader) to spirituality and a library being the chapel.

In our modern way of thinking, we believe we can separate the contents of a book from the material it’s written on and bound with. We think of a book as information. But anyone who loves books knows that the book is what you hold in your hand and put on a shelf. A library honors a book and easily turns into a sacred place, not too far distant from the sanctuary where I held the big red book against my little head.

When I sign a book — a ritual in itself that I take seriously, almost in a priestly manner — people sometimes tell me that they haven’t read it yet. I always say, “It doesn’t have to be read to be a book. Just keep it in a special place and look at it from time to time.” People know what I mean. I have many books I’ve never read and have no intention of reading. But I keep them enshrined on my home library shelf and would miss them dearly if they disappeared.

For me, a library is a kind of chapel. Spiritual traditions are not as abstract as people think. They are not all about creeds and beliefs. They are concrete, physical, tangible and sensual. There was nothing abstract about that moment in my memory holding the heavy book painfully against my skin as I held it stiff and formal. A library is not an information center, it’s a chapel for books. Your home library, as small as it might be, is also a chapel made sacred by the book itself.

What does this mean when it comes to “re-purposing” books or pieces of books as the materials for a craft project or piece of visual artwork? Is it okay to destroy something beautiful in order to make something beautiful? Or is a book something too sacred to touch for any other purpose but reading?