Relax.Enjoy.Create

Hot tub time machine. Tonight. Takes me downstream (no more going upstream to work out old karma, unless I want to paddle against the current). So, I go with the flow. Toward a beautiful waterfall. (I’ve had this lucid dream before. The first time I had enough faith to go over the edge, was quite an adventure. But now it’s easier. No more clinging to the rocks at the top, in fear.) When I land in the gorgeous pool at the bottom of the falls I notice more souls than ever before are there. (It is so lovely you all could join me.) It is peaceful, yet exciting. And the pool has seemed to expand to contain so many of us, without feeling crowded. AHHH. Well, back to the message….

I ask, What have you got for me tonight?  I hear it LOUD. Repeated. “Relax, Enjoy, Create”…”Relax, Enjoy, Create”…”Relax, Enjoy, Create”.  Then, “R.E.-create”… “recreate”…”recreation”…”RE-creation”… “Get it?”  Yeah I get it.

Now let me explain so that you can “get it too”. My thoughts the last few days have been on setting my new moon intentions for November. I scanned through my journal from the last few months and a word jumped out at me. “Productive”.  As in, “I wasn’t very productive today” or “I really accomplished a lot. It felt good to be productive”.  But a month ago I made a major life shift for myself, on purpose. And it is giving me an opportunity to take a new look at what it means for me to be “productive”. So, that is what I am setting as my intention. Re-define what it means to be productive. (Does floating

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My new studio

in a hot tub, talking to the stars counts as “productive”. Well, yes I think so. I just need to get used to thinking of it that way!)

I moved my art studio/gallery out of a public location (the last 13 years) into the privacy of my home. I moved from a 800 square foot space to a 7 ft. x 12 ft. space. Yet It feels more expansive as I can look out continuous windows on three sides from a second floor space. I call it my treehouse. I am adjusting. I am settling in and getting ready to get “productive” again, but in a new way.

So, today I also “played” in my new studio space in a way that was relaxing, enjoyable and creative.  I salvaged a pile of old cashmere sweaters that I had washed, and cut apart. By stitching them together, I RE-created a new “up-cycled” cashmere afghan, throw blanket. This is a technique I have used a lot in the past. But, it has been awhile (because of the studio move) since I’ve had time to enjoy creating and have fun. Soon I plan to get several of these cashmere blankets posted to my Etsy Shop. They would make a lovely holiday gift for someone. Something to snuggle up in and Relax, and Enjoy! Something a Stitch In Time Saved!

 

 

A Void Dance or Avoidance?

Here it is the end of summer.  Labor Day here in the United States.  As I reflect back over the last 3 months I can say I spent a lot of time in both avoidance and a Void Dance.  I believe it is ok to spend time in either, the important thing is to know which place you are in.

Avoidance:  The act of avoiding something.

A Void Dance:  Time spent in the quiet space between the “stuff” of life.

I have recently decided to relocate my business and my art studio after many years in the same location.  It means sorting, clearing, organizing and packing the “stuff” of my life.  I have spent much of the time between other work obligations this summer doing just that.  Sorting.  Cleaning.  Organizing.  Packing.   At times I’ve been doing it to avoid doing other things I’d rather not be doing and sometimes I am doing other things just to avoid doing the difficult work of deciding what to “do” with the stuff.   But either way, it’s been a therapeutic process.

As an artist you learn to appreciate the voids or negative space.  It’s not always the matter that matters.  (a good thing to remind myself of, as I purge and de-clutter)

20160903_202301The voids are where the fertile earth feeds the roots.  The voids are where the flames lick and spit between the burning logs.  The voids are where the oxygen is.  The voids are what make the beauty of the antique lace.  The voids are what lets the soft breeze come through the screen door.  The voids are the blue sky between the clouds.  The voids are where the damp sand squeezes up between your toes on the beach.  The voids are where you run your fingers through soft hair.  The voids are where the sun peaks through the branches of the tree canopy.  And the voids are where and when we dance.  

I hope as you enjoy your last days of this summer you find time to Dance in the Void.  It is this space and time between the stuff of life that is important.  It is different than avoidance.   It is this fertile space that feeds our creativity and our souls.  It feeds what matters.

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“A Void Dance” artwork by Pamela Penney (c) 2015

 

 

 

Keep the Line Open

Tonight as I ventured out to my Hot Tub Time Machine I caught sight of the sliver of a waxing new moon, just a couple of days old.  It looked like “God’s fingernail”.  My first thought was that it is just enough to scratch “it” off.  What?  Anything left that still needs to go.

As I soak in my tub my Guides tell me to “just relax.  You’ve earned it.  Climbing the mountain was hard work.  There will be days of white water rapids ahead in this river, so enjoy the warm spring fed pool at the top of this ride.”  I then ask my Guides if there is anything I should do.  They tell me, “just be available.  Keep your LINE OPEN.  If we call, PICK UP THE PHONE!”  Ha Ha.  My Guides have such a good sense of humor!

Mountain Top

Mountain Top
My view on a camping trip to Shenandoah National Park circa 2007.

This morning as I transitioned out of sleep I heard that Voice that whispers to me before my head gets cluttered with the thoughts of the day.  (I am not a person who likes to jump out of bed at the sound of an alarm. I linger and listen. I get my best guidance in this liminal space.)  The Voice said, “We are so pleased, Pam. You made it over the mountain top.”

What do  I see from the mountain top?  I expect to see a beautiful fertile valley below, but it’s still “early in the day” and the fog is hiding the view.  So, I will linger here for a while.  I will wait for the path ahead to clear. I will enjoy the beauty as it gradually appears through the mist.  I know the trek ahead will become so much easier. I have made it over the Mountain Top!  Thank you, Guides for helping me get here and for celebrating my arrival.  I couldn’t have done it without You.

 

 

Quieting the New Mo(o)nkey Mind

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Saturday, June 4, 2016. New Moon. Card of the Day (for me). The Hanged Man XII.  Well, I should have seen that coming! That is exactly the energy I am feeling this morning. This new moon energy has a feeling of sadness and a little grieving as I try to release “the old”. But that is the message of the hanged man: “Waiting, Surrender, Release”.  So easy to say. So hard to do.  The “monkey mind” just wants to know ” what’s next?”.  The hanged man just answers, “take this time of waiting as an opportunity to practice being present with yourself.”  The new moon says, “the answers will show up with the light of the full moon. Just wait.”  And so I let go of yesterday and sit with TODAY.

Warrior New Moon

The Warrior archetype is showing up all over the place for me. According to Jose and Lena Stevens of The Power Path School of Shamanism we all have the Warrior even if we have another over-riding personality or archetype. I am primarily of the “artist” archetype and often have a difficult time tapping into my inner warrior. The Power Path 2016 Trends forecast indicates that this year will have an energy of dominance and aggression. It could be very beneficial to utilize my inner warrior So, how do I reach my Warrior?

Well in late February I pulled the Tarot Card: II High Priestess and chose to work with it as inspiration for a mixed media sculptural art piece.  I had two 5th grade girls coming in after school and they wanted to work on sculpture boxes.   It is sometimes easiest to teach by example.  So, this was to be my example!  I like to work on process pieces that evolve over time answering some inner subconscious questions for me. (Learned through my time spent at Whispers from the Moon) This piece did just that.

I began my sculpture on an old blue box with the brand title “Crown” embossed upon its cover.  I created a tape and foil female figure with a long flowing skirt.  Each week she gathered more details.  Paint in violet and a red flowing skirt, beads, a “sea glass” face and jewels in her skirt.  Her hair was wild like vines with silver sparkles.  Her arms outstretched.  Yesterday I finished the box by collaging a magazine cutting that I had snipped and held in the box from the first day of the project.  “It’s a New Day!”  I then water-colored a sun-rising from the eastern edge of the box (This was inspired by Rebecka Eggers vision for over-coming the Domination System through the symbolism of the Great Eastern Sun of Chögyam Trungpa.)

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Last night I finished reading book that I started a few days ago, Coming Alive! Spirituality, Activism, & Living Passionately in the Age of Global Domination, by Rebecka Eggers.  (mentioned in yesterday’s post)  In the final chapter Egger’s states, “I want to address the aspects of the Passionate Warrior that are contained within the one who came to me.  Ishtar is inside of me. She is knocking around the edges of my being threatening to explode in a red-hot fountain of lava. Can you feel her too?”  Today I went to my trusty source Google, to find a comparison of Ishtar to the High Priestess.  I found this at the Tarot of EliThe Thoth- THE HIGH PRIESTESS.  The Tarot High Priestess ….represents the Supreme Mother, without her smiling mask, revealing a True face of cold yet beautiful countenance.  This “cold and beautiful continence is also known as Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna/Ananna), who is depicted on The Babylonian key 2 card. One of Her titles was Belit (demonized by the Christians) the feminine of Bel, meaning Lord. As does the Moon, which is the planet attributed to The High Priestess, she has her “light and Dark” sides.  Complex and of many roles,  Ishtar/ Inanna (Lady of Heaven), had Three distinct Functions (As does the Three Paths of the Upper Triangle of the Tree of Life).”

Yes, Ishtar has indeed come to me.  I can feel her.  My Ishtar has a face of polished glass, cold yet beautiful.  She has a skirt of Lava.  From the Tarot of Eli, “The Thoth High Priestess is shown with all veils  removed, all illusion is dispersed, and we must face the crystalline reality of our own absolute free will when facing her; a task not for the weak who fear mortality.”  Yesterday I also felt compelled to add the word “Crone” to the box.  In my mind the word Crone played off the existing word on the box “Crown”.  I believe you earn your crown as a crone!  And as the silver threads start to appear on my head I just smile and tell myself my crown is coming.  The Crone is also a female character who has aged out of the fertile years, she is a bit more androgynous.  The Tarot of Eli goes on to say, “the High Priestess is the Womb of Consciousness, but she is both Male and Female, much like a Hermaphrodite (Hermes-Aphrodite) that can impregnate itself.” 

Through synchronicity,  my dear friend, artist and writer, Sallie Wolf discussed her encounter with the Warrior at our March New Moon Meeting. (I am part of a small group of artists and writers who meet monthly to set our creative intentions, plan action steps and witness the progress for each other)  Sallie had felt some inner resistance when her yoga teacher had asked the class “what are you a warrior for”.  I’ll let you read her story HERE.

Today is the April New Moon.  I feel it is the Warrior New Moon.  It is also “a New Day” symbolized by the rising Great Eastern Sun.  Let us bring the Sun, the Stars and the Moon together, masculine and feminine, for a new Dawning.   My Warrior looks like the High Priestess, Ishtar.  I am a (Com)-Passionate Warrior for utilizing my talents and skills as a catalyst for Change through A Stitch In Time Saves.

Post-Script:  yes, the boxes that my students created turned out wonderful too.  See their finished creations at www.PamelaPenney.com.

Manifestation

Can we manifest the world we would like to see?  If so, how?  I believe we are being called to.  At least I know I feel  called to this.  In searching for the “how” I have recently come across the book Coming Alive! Spirituality, Activism, & Living Passionately in the Age of Global Domination, by Rebecka Eggers.  (In fact, I don’t remember selecting it, but it seems to have just appeared in my Kindle about a week ago!)

Eggers lays out a story which refers to mythology, religion and anecdote to explain how we have created the “Domination System” in our current world.  She explains how this current system is the root of the troubles we face as a society and as a world.  She describes a process of how that old system can be transformed.  Much of her story resonates with my personal path.  My “wounds” and my healing path that have led me to my own revelations. I have an inner knowing that my healing is important as it will also assist in healing the Collective.  I believe we are all responsible for our own healing because it is necessary for the Whole.  This is the Way we influence the Collective Consciousness, at some point reaching the tipping point and shifting the Whole.  She inspires (me) us to find our own places to use our personal medicine to heal the issues we see hurting the world.  I believe that is what has brought me to “A Stitch In Time Saves” as my personal medicine for the world.  (Although I am still very much on the first steps of the path to how this may play out in healing the issues I see in the world!)

So, how am I currently seeing this play out in my life?  Well, yesterday I rode my bike to my studio from home and was giving some thought to the discussion from a meeting of artists/gallery owners that I had attended the evening before.  We are working to put together an art exhibit for this fairly new gallery to open in a little over a month.  Our show title is tentatively “He Said : She Said”.  The gallery had some interesting artwork currently on display with guns as the subject matter.  I was thinking how outside my comfort zone working with that subject matter would be for me.  Living near the west-side of Chicago has really made me very aware of the issue of gun violence over the last couple of decades.  And this is “worlds” away from my upbringing in rural Michigan and the use of guns for hunting and sport.

I reflected on these thoughts during my bike ride and I had a vision of a gun that would follow the bullet as it wounds with a needle and thread that would immediately “heal” the damage that the gun created.  Or perhaps it was some sort of sewing machine in the shape of a gun that could both shoot and stitch.  Anyway,  I got into my studio and I drew this sketch (today I added the watercolor paints to it).

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I titled it “The Seam Stress 2016” –  Designed to mend wounds as soon as they are created.  If guns must continue to remain “legal” then we must create different guns.  (I’m still not sure if this will lead me to create a more complete work of art with this subject for the exhibit!)

Today as I was eating my lunch at home I glanced at yesterday’s New York Times  Business Section lying next to me.  I noticed the headline of an article titled “In Rwanda, Blood Delivered by Drone”.  I immediately assumed this was about drone weaponry and how they were being used to kill (bring blood).   In my opinion, drone weapons remove the “human” connection making it even easier to kill without conscience.  But no, this article was about a small group of engineers near Half Moon Bay, California (I’m not making that up!) who have designed and are launching small fixed-wing drones that can carry medical supplies to remote locations almost 40 miles away.  This start-up called Zipline, plans to begin operating a service with these drones for the government of Rwanda in July.    “The new drone system will initially be capable of making 50 to 150 daily deliveries of blood and emergency medicine to Rwanda’s 21 transfusing facilities, mostly hospitals…”

Well, it may be just me, but I see this as an example of our weapons  being “created different”.  And as Eggers has described it is happening “from the bottom up”.  We can no longer look for our solutions to come from our so called leaders, from the top down.  We must create our own solutions and start putting them in place when and where we see the opportunities.  She calls this being a Passionate Warrior, embracing the shadow side and incorporating it into what we transform our World to be.

In order to create this change I believe that first, we must be able to envision these solutions.  (Eggers talks about the Seer)  I see this as the role of the artist and the dreamer.  So, that is where I will continue to play out my part.  Sketching and dreaming of solutions, no matter how crazy or impossible….a sewing machine that can shoot and mend?  A gun that stitches closed the wound it creates???  Maybe someday.  Or just as soon as someone sees my Vision for it.