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Week 20: Day -To - Day Painting Life in the Time of Coronavirus (part 2)

Souls love. That's what souls do. Egos don't, but souls do. Become a soul, look around, and you'll be amazed-all the beings around you are souls. ​Ram Das

I had written this week's blog and was ready to edit, when I received news that someone I know has died of Covid-19. She was not a close friend, but someone I knew well enough to know that she was a defender of social justice, an artist, a ceramist who made beautiful things, a strong woman with an easy laugh.​

Suddenly the numbers lose their potency and this becomes real, the question becomes more about who we are at this moment. I had to abandon the post I had written, and instead look for what is sustainable and sustaining in the time of great upheaval. Many of you may have lost someone already, and we all expect that we will lose people who are dear to us before this pandemic is over.

I know that many do not believe in the soul. I do. My practice of meditation has enabled me to observe my thoughts coming and going, my emotions rising and falling. Prior to my practice I would have identified my mind as the seat of my personhood. I now see that awareness/ consciousness, exists apart from my intellect and my emotions. ​The root of my being resides in timeless consciousness. This consciousness is experienced in the here and now, in my body, but I am not my body. I would suggest that this is also true for you. You are love. ​ The automatic response you have to help someone in need, the reaching out you feel when someone dies, the burst of joy that arises when a baby is born, all emanate from that core of love. The love that you are, is the root of your being. ********************************************************************* I was cleaning my studio this week and I found notes I had written sometime ago when I was thinking about circles and patterns in my work. ​ I wrote, "Nature's patterns are familiar to everyone and they make it possible to access our inner life". "Archetypes are universal to everyone, everywhere, in every era". And so, to these works from the end of October 2019. Looking at them overall, the colors of autumn predominate and they all remind me, to varying degrees, of birds nests. I am also reminded of ultrasound scans of ovaries showing the reserve of eggs remaining for a woman. Either way these images are of pure potency, in a protective environment.

Burst out with love. Be a carrier of hope. If there is a funeral, send them off with a song. ​Jack Kornfield

Continuing with my notes, "cosmos representing the inner and outer space in harmony, the unending cycle of creation and destruction" Do you see a nest with three eggs in this image ? Or is it a nebula?

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! Anne Frank

I like how the movement and volume in this piece depends on where you are looking. IN some areas it looks completely flat, in other areas there is sense of moving down into a concave structure. The shape of the marks and the contrast in color create a surface and define the composition.

The "egg" shapes are vacuoles here, or vortexes pushing everything around them out to the edges.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle

More notes to self, " Loosen the grip of literalism, strive for a poetic and synthesizing vision."

I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. Anne Frank​

As I was completing this blog, I heard from a friend who is 70 years old and immuno- compromised. He contracted Covid-19 and has recovered. We are not being handed a death sentence, only a reminder that death is part of life. We are called to live fully while we are here, in this existence.​ Again form my notes, " My aim is to reintegrate familiar expressions in nature with core sacred wonder". A spiral movement is winding around in this one.. The process of transformation is represented in the swirling movement, as the long smooth marks break up into shorter ones with space between them. What will the next stage bring?

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle

Lead with love. I encourage you to discover heart to heart connections with all beings. Allow yourself to live fully and thrive within the physical constraints that we are subject to now. ​Whether you live alone or with others the challenge is to open yourself to self compassion and compassion for others, exploring the love that is at your center. Keep coming back to kindness and loving compassion ​​

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