Saturday, April 27, 2013

WAKING UP–Renewing connection with the soul

 I was sleeping, and being comforted
By a cool breeze, when suddenly a gray dove
From a thicket sang and sobbed with longing,
And reminded me of my own passion.

I had been away from my own soul so long,
So late-sleeping, but that dove’s crying
Woke me and made me cry. Praise
To all early-waking grievers!
  -Adi al-Riga quoted by Rumi in The Essential Rumi

Dearest Readers,

Yesterday I rescued a beloved collection of Rumi poetry from a dusty corner of my bookcase. On the blank page before the introduction to The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne,  I found a list of seventeen words and phrases in my handwriting that I had isolated from the intro to describe the generous form of the mind of the mystical poet–not monuments, but fluid explorations of the individual longing for union with the divine. Each is a textual jewel to contemplate. Waking Up is where I find myself today. 
Waking up
Sound of the mourning dove
A salt breeze
Within something
Poetry and Music
Faint and playful

In a month or so I will begin my northern sojourn in Vermont, my heartland. Anticipation of my summer stay starts my creative juices bubbling even now. The mountain air, the silence, childhood memories, the long link to ancestors who emigrated in the mid-1800's to escape the starvation of the Irish potato famine kindles a deep creative spirit.  My condo in Georgia is ready for my summer tenants, and my mind is released.

I began a painting of wings a few weeks ago awash in the under color of a golden dawn-a fitting base for waking up.
Golden Wings-Phase 1
I drew two swirls of abstract wings that seemed to stare back at me,

Golden Wings-Phase 2
Applied some preliminary color, and dragged fat black lines of soot from the remnant of a burned log.
Golden Wings-Phase 3
Wings are my metaphor for human transformation into the spiritual realm. The very act of painting is a process of metamorphosis. I may start with an idea, but if I remain open, the application of marks alters my conversation with the original intent.  Friends see plant life and a pair of dancers...more to come on this one.

I’ll end with a Spring Ikebana arrangement that embodies renewal, and after a long absence, another quilted portrait hankie, entitled Day 6-Itchy pulled from my box of feelings.
Azalea, Magnolia and a spiky succulent from the DeKalb Farmer's Market.
Day 6-Itchy-Photo print, quilting thread on vintage cotton handkerchief, and batting
Little hatbox of feelings