I’ve been dreaming of a room where air is colored muzak pink and voices echo like electronic synthesized gongs. This place vibrates with crescendos and walls morph into manipulated waves. Everything is in motion; nothing is solid here.
It’s raining a soft darkness. The electronic music I’m plugged into while writing splashes. My brain synchs in with the notes and vibrates at a frequency allowing inspiration. Reset, I hear myself softly whisper I’m alive. Dichotomies transparent ripple like ghosts and dance above me. The wake of laced breeze is warm and undetected, I listen coatless..
“Turn off the news”… I’ve already done that.
“Move off social media”… been taking widening breaks..
Things are breaking down radio waves taunt: ‘The planet, Social conventions, Un-healthy ways of living, Leadership. Norms are changing.’
Today while driving a man in a suite walks by. “What a strange uniform,” I think out loud. “Fashion with patriarchy woven in every thread.”
My shoulder aches. The physical therapist I see tells me it’s my ribs. One side is frozen unmoving. My asymmetry apparently causes my shoulder to ache while painting. Too many ribbed injuries. The small inter costal muscles on the right side of my body have contracted deeply.
I attribute this present dull pain to too much painting and too little yoga. I’m off balance.
Ducking into coffee shops rather than marching into the studio because painting hurts. What is calling me? What is the message from ribs and shoulders?
Moving moving in perpetual motion. Airplanes and airports. Flying here and there. Reading again. I crave expansiveness and have landed on an old text by Ksemaraja “The Recognition Sutras” The philosophy of Kashmir Shivism. Awareness aware of awareness unconstricted unveiled, like sun melting snow revealing spring! “—recognition, that is, of oneself as a direct expression of the universal divine Consciousness. Recognition also that this Consciousness is, in truth, all that exists, and that its five fundamental powers of awareness, enjoyment, willing, knowing, and acting are the sacred endowments of every sentient being.”
I’m unthawing and cracking open and in synch with seasonal change. Adams rib or mine? My name is Eva. Much is happening both above ground and underground. My body aching begs for attention. With therapy, softness begins to seep into my muscles and pulls me into something new.
Life does not always gift us what we crave. Life does gift us an opportunity to reboot into what we are part of. Seasonal shifts are opportunities, remembering us to the earth, reminding us we too transition and change. In the Northeast seasons inform us. Winter brings 10 extra pounds and contraction. Spring brings preparation and engagement. Summer brings fruition. And in Fall we harvest what we have sewn.
As the light strengthens and snow recedes long brown un-cut grasses and and falls un raked leaves are unveiled. In my body old patterns unattended and avoided also appear. There is work a head of me on all fronts: The house, the yard, my thoughts, the animals. Yes everything is begging for my attention. Outside and Inside. Everything.
As I continue on this Robotic journey, I’m surprised and delighted by the ‘words’ that arrive. The word titles chosen thus far are paradoxical by nature; a word containing it’s opposite meaning is close at hand.
‘Dissolve’ for instance may easily move to ‘Resolve’. When we see or hear the word dissolve we may think or see resolve. Both beautiful sentiments as well as useful when thinking about what is being called toward dissolution and why?
There is a natural order of all things. The Buddhists point us to key truths. One of the main tenets of Buddhism is impermanence. Things come and things go. Feelings and thoughts rise and dissipate. Seasons change. The circumstances in our lives change. Our youth, if we are lucky to age, too will pass and our bodies different with each year, will embody marks of aging.
This Robot comes to re-member us toward the dissolution of all things. And that there are times we must dissolve a situation in order for it to resolve. We don’t always ‘know’ how this will happen. Actively surrendering to our own breath is one practice. The breath comes in and out. Holding onto the breath at either end, ‘grasping’ for non breath for too long can cause discomfort. So it is with ‘grasping onto’ anything passed it’s season. Sometimes the best action is to let go, and simply allow a thought or situation to dissolve. Dissolving creates space.
As we ‘dissolve’ we open ourselves to Big Love and possibility.
For what do we dissolve into?
Sweet day all!
Todays Robot: Creation
The Great Sages of the Tantra traditions speak of humans as forms, created from the breath of the Goddess; as she breathes so do we. We are no greater or smaller than She. She has gallantly veiled herself from us. And it is only through a diligent meditation practice or the grace of the Guru or simply Grace will our eyes and hearts wake to who we really are.
Everything is made of the same stuff. I find this ‘truth’ both liberating and terrifying. We as creators are the holders of golden keys. The blue print of creation is etched in our bones. It is a marvelous gift, the ability to create. Some may call it a curse when we understand the amount of waste and destruction our hands have sewn. Yes we are the curators of all things and so is SHE.
Creation holds many forms. When I traveled in India I came to understand the ancient temples I visited were not simply archaeological digs solely in place for tourist revenue and entertainment. The Great Shakti/Shivah temples are alive and thriving. They buzz with energy. Priests chant mantras and deliver blessings for the pilgrims who enter. Sacred statues are ritually cleaned and attended to daily. The care takers adorn the statues with flowers while singing special prayers. Each temple deity is freshly dressed as their mantras are chanted. Yantras are freshly painted on walls and on the ground and flowers and candles are lit and blessed. The temples are living alters: creation at it’s best, teaching us what we are capable of.
We carry the hands of the Goddess and are veiled by the Goddess. This divine plan is designed by the Goddess as a sacred game. WE forget who we really are and as we re-member so does she. The Goddess carries the ability to both reveal and conceal.
When we follow our thoughts in meditation we are privy to her dance. Thoughts arise from awareness and are created and maintained through attention. The thoughts will dissolve when our attention turns away. If we sit long enough and ask pointed questions like one gifted to me by my teacher: “Who is the one who thinks the thought?” We may catch a glimpse, a moment, of non thought and drift into awareness. And then the process of creation will begin again. A thought will arise from awareness and carrying it’s own resonance, become manifest, once again maintained by attention, and as our attention wanes so does the thought.
All material creation arises from thought: the tallest sky scrapper or the sailboat designed for a swift race or Robots. All creation is thought manifest.
This Robot comes to align you with creation. Breathe and you are created and so you may create.
Sweet day all.
Tonight this Robot shouts “Wake”, not ‘Awake’, simply ‘Wake’.
I remember times I’ve boarded boats and set sail on rolling oceans and a vessel larger than the one I travel passes near. My boat is rocked by incoming waves. The captain’s skill will gage how the wake’s impact is received.
Seated I allow the waves oscillation to wash through and gently rock me to and fro. However, when unsuspected wakes arrive, I may be rattled and find myself flattened on the deck, feet akimbo with hands flailing in the air. It happens. How will the residue of the experience be held? Will bruises from my fall mark my skin? Will I shake the shock from my bones like a Gazelle after a shocked freeze?
Wakes, residues of painful past experiences, can be carried in our bodies. How do these regurgitated ‘ghosts’ color our lives? In yoga teachings these hurtful memories are called samaras. Do the residues allow us to be present so we may wake? Or are we clouded by the past and relive scarring and hurt over and over? Can we use these memories as information? How long will we be rocked and rolled off center before we simply sit down and allow the past to wash over us? We can change the story… after all the passed ‘long agos’ are simply phantom wakes, samaras of once upon time events.
Samaras that have grown into trauma are not always easy to detach from. Meditation is a tool. Good talk therapy, somatic practices, a conscious Yoga practice, or dear loving friends who can hold the grief, sadness, and hurt of an old story long enough and lovingly hold our hand, walking us forward toward a new tale, are all good strategies.
Its lovely when new wakes rise unattached from passed hurts. When awareness of old triggers becomes conscious we are no longer so reactive. We can develop new skills. Widening our center, containing the hurt, watching it dissipate, and disappear is one technique. Here we honor the old as part of ourselves, and not the definitive lens. Here, within awareness, we accept, re-pattern and unbind. Our spontaneous intuitive nature comes back on line. We regain freedom of choice. We wake!
This Robot comes to hold your hand through the rocky times and portends successful navigation.
Yesterday I thought, “What if I painted a Robot a day and asked the Robot for a message while I was painting!” Crazy idea, I know, and I thought I’d go with it any way.
The message received today was BELONG.
Belong. What are the underlying messages here?
Yesterday while working in my studio I felt vulnerable and not at ease. I felt I was not serving my community. I felt a bit out to sea so to speak. It was one of those art funky days: wondering if what I’m presently doing in my studio mattered… I felt constricted and small and not a part of the larger stream. You know this place! The place where negative speak mode sets in: I don’t know what I’m doing, who cares, why am I doing, what if’s … ad nauseam.
And today I receive a message from my painted Robot: ‘Belong’. Be part of, a member.
I sit with this word and find there is a history of feeling ‘outside of’ or ‘not a part of’. The belief of not belonging is located near my heart. I understand how truly wrong this is. And yet I still carry the woundings of being born into a Jewish immigrant family. Both my parents left Nazi Germany and came to a country they did not know. They were persecuted for belonging to a faith that was not accepted by their parent country or culture. Waves of not belonging are residual tides inherited from my ancestors. I still unwittingly carry the samsara of Jewish wandering. After all we were in the desert for a long time…(a little humor helps!)
I begin understanding how the feeling on not belonging has colored my life. The Judaism of my childhood did not speak to me. The spiritual aspects had been sanitized and was delivered from a masculine pulpit. I sensed the patriarchy. I sensed the unease stitched into my natal faith. Being of faith meant threads of ‘the chosen’ as a succinct explanation, explaining persecution can be carried as a gift towards betterment simply did not offer me the solace or a deep truth I believed. I liked lighting the sabbath candles and feeling into the ancient texts. And was proud of the ethnicity of Judaism and yet I did not feel like I BELONGED to this tribe, even though I recognized my tribal mates easily. Because I was labeled as Jewish by Texas Christian society sometimes I was politely considered an outsider by the dominant community and subtle antisemitism also waked into my system . I belonged to survival and not to belief. Trusting still can be hard for me.
Texas itself felt strange to me. I loved the land scape and open plains yet I never felt I belonged here. I wonder now if this was simply an overiding tone intuitively picked up from my family and community. So even though I was born in Texas I unconsciously became an outsider continually adjusting to my surroundings.
It took me years till I understood that I had not belonged to myself. Why do I constantly question or care what others think? We all want to belong and be part of. We are tribal. However, if we are at odds with who we are at heart level, unable to march to our own soul-beat and continually find our grounding from outside ourselves, we will 1) Be unsatisfied 2) Will be unable to belong to groups or communities we really do want to belong to. I know all these paradoxes. 3) Will be ungrounded in our relationships…there will be a need to continually push away.
I am loving exploring the concept of ‘belonging’.
I think the Robots have come to teach about programing: What do I buy into and what don’t I buy into and why? Where does the programing/belief arise from? What programs are hold overs from old woundings? What are collective programs? What are generational programs? What are communal programs? Can morality stand on it’s own? When are ethics unattached to programs?
I find the more I Belong to my own heart, the more I am able to become vulnerable and listen to the heart of others. I don’t need to defend as much.
Brene Brown speaks of this same discovery in her beautiful new book Braving the Wilderness the Courage to Stand Alone. I will not go into Brene’s work here. Since I am aware of her work, I did want to mention it for those who would like to explore the subject of belonging more and all the paradoxes this juicy exploration holds. Of course Brown’s book is about much more.
Today I offer up this Robot as a possible way we may reach each other. If we truly courageously belong to our small self which is part of the BIG SELF/The soul self/The Goddess, in some traditions, how are we not connected to each other?
A lovely group of folks have been working on this site for awhile.
Of course an active site is always a work in progress!
My hope is to keep this site alive and breathing, with
weekly Blog posts and new images uploaded monthly.
For now take a walk through and let us know what you think!!
Braden Bueler of Narative Design is our designer.
Andy Woznica is our developer extraordinaire,
Sarah Speare amazing friend keeps me in check
And the wonderful members of our REEAL artist group keeps me real.
Thanking you all!
Hugs everybody and enjoy!!
P.S. I’m so excited to share with you that I’m one of the featured artists in the Maine Arts Quarterly Journal take a peak here as well! http://maineartsjournal.com/
After the holidays do you find a momentarily lull, a breath of sweetness, until…
An edgy thought crashes across the ‘relaxation barrier’.
The thought that upsets the cart: ‘What will your goals be for the new year?’ The anxiety of organization momentarily blinding and binding all senses. The next thought: ‘How will I be able to accomplish anything this year with out a plan?’ And then the feeling of underwhelm and overwhelm hits like waves.
“This is my year to pull myself closer toward my future self in a good way. The one who has it all together!” is said out loud and momentarily becomes an organizing field that eases the panicked system. Breath now once again is re-membered and floods the field.
You know this self, the one you’ve been feeding for this very moment.
So with a willing hand you grab your notebook and light a fire on a very cold morning and vow to stop binge watching TV and come to your senses and make your way to the studio the next day, even though getting to the studio feels like trudging through ice and mud with barb wire fencing guarding the door.
You sit there with your notebook in hand with all thoughts that pull you into ‘less than’ and ‘not good enough’ and ‘undeserving’ riding themselves piggy back, black tiered monsters stacked in neat succession foul smelling and complete with horns. You could run. And for some reason you don’t.
We know these demons by their first names. They are armed and dangerous and carrying weapons of mass destruction: ‘Who am I to be making art and thinking I have something to say that the world may want? What if no one ‘likes’ this painting on FB? or…Who will want me’… etc etc.
In between these thought forms appear momentary flash points of choice. I could embrace the transitional awkwardness at hand, the glorious fear of creation, instead of deeply escalating into suffering. Or I could get the hell out of here and do something else.
These tantrums I have found do serve.
As painful as they may be, these moments of frantic self doubt help me re calibrate.
By the next morning I laugh with myself about my first world problems and will pick myself up and realize transitioning into a new phaze artistically can be unsettling.
Breathing, I say to myself, “There there.” and coax myself into believing I do have something to say and realize that perhaps that yesterdays thoughts and feelings may be covering something I’ve been unwilling to look at, or may point to an aspect of my life that needs tending. Or maybe I’m creating needed tension that will propel me forward; negative rocket fuel. Maybe I need a break.
(This is tricky because I’m very good about fooling myself…)
Staying accountable and keeping my inner fires stoked does require self care and tending to all my life. When one aspect is terribly out of balance the creative house of cards can fall. I find when I surrender to the Goddess, the one who really runs the show and understanding I am simply an appendage of her many armed creation all seems to fall into place.
Sweet Winter to you all!