Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Change of address

The blog is back but reincarnated over at The themes are similar, although I share more of my own art and vignettes from my life over there.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I keep drawing the four of swords, in the metaphorical sense. I need to rest, long and hard.

It's hard for me to rest, when there are so many inspiring words and songs and works of art that I want to share here. In my non-virtual life, too, I have trouble resting when there pictures and stories to create, and there are the practices of body/mind/heart to attend to. But rest is trumping everything for the moment. 

I will return refreshed and with new perspective, I think.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Postmodern Hymn: The Earth Forgives

"The World," from the Zombie Tarot

Today's hymn is literally postmodern; it was written by Margaret Atwood for her book The Year of the Flood. It is part of a collection of hymns that members of God's Gardeners sing. While Atwood's invented religion is far from perfect (she says so herself in an interview on To the Best of Our Knowledge), there are aspects of it that clearly are meant to resonate with contemporary culture. The website devoted to the book includes tips on how to become more saintly green, which I love. But there's also the lurking message that no religion is the whole story; no religion can make a perfect human adherent.  

The hymn itself is so simply sweet to my ears. After just a few listens, I feel that John Denver would be a better representative for the God's Gardeners' hymnal, but I do appreciate the critical tone of the hymn.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sacred Space: Basilica of Agony

The Basilica of the Agony, photograph by Hans Mast

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed long into the night. The Basilica of the Agony is built at the foot of the Mount of Olives, near this garden. I like it that there is a church to mark Jesus' dark night.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Amar-elo, by Nanda Correa

"I am Protennoia, the Thought that dwells in the Light. I am the movement that dwells in the All, she in whom the All takes its stand, the first-born among those who came to be, she who exists before the All....I am incomprehensible, dwelling in the incomprehensible. I move in every creature...

I am the real Voice. I cry out in everyone, and they recognize it (the voice), since a seed indwells them." 
    —excerpt from Trimorphic Protennoia, translated by John D. Turner

I'm fascinated by revelations. Somehow whenever revelatory in-spiration strikes, there is an element of creativity to it—playful, heretical, perhaps not the whole truth. How many revelations have been excluded from sacred scriptures because they don't quite match what religious leaders expect to hear? This creative aspect of transcendent experience is something I can't stop thinking about. To be willing to receive a revelation means to be willing to revise what is true. And if you keep revising "truth," what is true? 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


by Joan Miro

"The gods live in a blue place of metaphor... 

The mind from the beginning must be based in the blue firmament, like the lazuli stone and sapphire throne on mysticism, the azure heaven of Boehme, philos sophia. The blue firmament is an image of cosmological reason; it is a mythical place that gives metaphorical support to metaphysical thinking... 

Alchemy begins... in the blue vault, the seas, in the mind's thinking in images, imagining ideationally, speculatively, silveredly, in words that are both images and ideas, ... the blue power of the word itself, which locates this consciousness in the throat of the visuddha cakra whose dominant color is a smoky purple-blue.

...Your mind moves in the caelum, touches the constellations, the thick and hairy skull opens to let in more light, their light, making possible a new idea of order, a cosmological imagination whose thought accounts for the cosmos in the forms of images."

    —from "Blue," by James Hillman

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Creative Work of Hope

Mechanitis butterfly chrysalis
(no attribution that I can find on the internet...)

Hope is a word that has been floating around on the surface of my awareness lately. Here are some of my encounters with the word:

"Hope is not an emotion, but hope is a cognitive, behavioral process that we learn when we experience adversity, when we have relationships that are trustworthy, when people have faith in our ability to get out of a jam." (Brené Brown on the work of C. R. Snyder, in her interview with Krista Tippet)

"I do like that . . . idea of hope as a function of struggle. It's almost like, you know, it would be counterintuitive, counterculturally, to say we need to struggle with this honestly, vulnerability, to cultivate the hope that we need to figure out what's next." (Krista Tippet in her interview with BrenĂ© Brown)

"There was a theologian from the mid-1900s who kind of described hope as an attitude toward the future that we cannot see, but we trust that somehow it's held by God and that there are possibilities beyond what we can even imagine." (Father Mike Surufka in his interview on Losing Our Religion)

Hope used to mean something escapist and fantastical to me, but lately I've been seeing it more as hard work, as practice in walking the invisible path. Hope has become a constructive enterprise that calls for creativity—anticipating future possibilities with the attitude of an artist who has seen the final creation in her head—as well as vulnerability—accepting the possibility of hope unfulfilled. Hope, these days any way, is a truly brave act.


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