It didn’t take long for the message to come tonight. I stepped my toes into the “Hot Tub Time Machine” with my heart filled with love and gratitude for all my family, friends, guides, supporters, students and well any-one who has helped me get to this point in my life. I feel like I have been running a marathon the last several weeks and I’ve made it to not so much of a finish line, but to a transition line. Deep exhale~
But, I digress, back to the message: Well, I said my prayers of thanks to the heavens as my body sunk into the warm waters. Tonight is the Harvest Full Moon and as suggested by this forecast, I decided I should follow the advise of #6 and channel my “inner mermaid”. I felt so filled with thanks that I had this thought that “I am the chosen One”. There can be no other explanation as to why everything has fallen into place so synchronistically the last few weeks. I’ve experienced things like the rain stopping or holding off until just the second I get the tent up for camping, or the car unloaded. Time even seemed to stop in order for my daughter and me to get the U-Haul unloaded and back by closing time for her move into a new apartment a couple of weeks ago. There has been so much to do. And yet, it has all gotten done. And with relative ease. I must be “special” if the clouds are parting and time is stopping for me. Right?
Ha ha, my Guides laugh. Yes, and no. The truth is “you are all the chosen One”. Some just realize it sooner than others. Others use their “free will” to delay the awareness of it. Well, I don’t think I am at the arrowhead on this realization. But, I am not on the tail end either. I hope you hear this message too and join me in gratitude for being “chosen”. There are greater things in store for all of us. Tonight’s Pisces Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse Hold The Key To Letting Go & Moving On. Join me in letting go, filled with gratitude for what has brought us to this Now. Join me in Celebration. Join me in Moving ON~~~It is Time we all realize that WE are ALL the Chosen ONE!
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)
The 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.
Ooh, Summer. With all your distractions. Some Good. Some Challenging. Where have I been? In avoidance? Or, in A Void Dance? Probably a little of both. (more on that later).
But today I am in the midst of one of life’s little challenges. Dealing with the illness of an aging pet. Our Dog showed up in early 2002 as a young pup. She was found by a neighborhood friend just running along the side of a Chicago city street. No collar, skinny, sun-faded fur. She was about 2 months old. That put her birthdate at about 1-1-2002. She was adorable, but what would she turn into? We had no idea of her breed or origins. Could she be a menacing, agitated fighting dog in a few months? She sure seemed sweet.
You see, the summer and autumn of 2001 were particularly challenging for our family. We lost our first dog, Molly to illness at 11 years that July. I learned much from my relationship with Molly. She was supposed to be our “practice child” to see if my husband and I were ready for parenthood. But, I mostly learned from her that you can struggle with the personalily of someone in your life and still really love and miss them when they are gone. This was an important lesson for me at that time. She was a “high-strung” border collie/belgian sheepdog mix who liked to bark (a lot) and as we got her a few years before having our children, she always seemed a bit jealous when they came along. Not really the “family pet”. Then a few weeks after we said a sad good-bye to our Molly my husband’s grandmother passed away. And in August the death of my father-in-law was a huge blow to our family. Followed of course, by the event of September 11th of that year that rocked the reality of the entire nation. Yes 2001 was a tough year for many (most) of us.
So then that following spring, some brightness and joy bounced into our life. Was I ready for another puppy? My kids ages 7 & 9 at the time were ready. They named her Lucky aftera story they had read about a stray dog, but we were truly the lucky ones. She has been the ideal dog (well if you don’t mind a lot of shedding fur). She is calm, patient, great with the kids and topped out at 40 pounds, just like we like! She has been lucky several times over the years too. Once, when she was young she bounded out of our back gate as my son left it open just a moment too long. She ran into the street and bounced off the bumper of a passing car. She was stunned, but nothing more. And she never did that again! And 2 1/2 years ago at the end of 2013 we noticed a change in her behavior. She quit jumping up on the bed, and seemed a bit off. This again came at a very difficult time for us, just 2 weeks after we lost my mother-in-law to cancer. A trip to the vet and an x-ray revealed a tumor on her spleen. We were willing to do whatever we could for our Lucky. We had the tumor removed, all 5+ pounds of it! (a stitch in time saved!!!) And she recovered to be as active as she had always been.
I realized today that at 14 1/2 years, sleeping next to my side of the bed, and under my feet everyday, I have spent more of my “life minutes” with her, than with any other being. Probably more than with my husband of almost 29 years. And now the last couple of weeks she has been struggling to walk up and down our stairs. She is just not “herself”. We went to the Vet a few days ago and they gave her an anti-infammatory that seemed to improve her movement, but she has been “up and down” every day this week. I can’t tell which direction this is going. And at her age, I’m not sure what to do. So, I’ve been bringing her into my work studio the last couple of days with me. I want to spend as much time as possible with this sweet baby, and I want to watch how she is feeling. This morning she was in the backseat, trying to lay down for the ride. As I turned on the radio this song came on the radio. I believe she was singing it to me.
The following is a hypothetical letter. I wrote it myself as though my sister has written it to me 26 years from now on my birthday. I wrote it as an exercise for a Circle of transitioning Women led by Circle Tender, Susan Lucci that I am a part of. The assignment was to imagine a celebration near the end of your life and ask some of the guests to speak on your behalf about your life and how you fulfilled your “Life’s Desires”. In light of the issues our world is facing in the NOW this was very therapeutic for me. Here is the hypothetical letter from my sister:
Happy Birthday Pam! Can you believe that you are 80 years old and I am just a couple of weeks from being 79? Who would have thought this is how the world would be in 2042? Oh yeah, you would have! You always believed and you were right, that the world and the humans living here would begin to transform and shift when we were in our early 50’s. That we could overcome the issues of poverty and climate change during our lifetime. I always loved calling you on the phone, (remember those crazy old devices necessary to communicate?) and hearing about the books you were reading about the Unity Consciousness and our Higher Selves. And that ET’s are Us!
Yes, I remember when you were younger that you would get frustrated and discouraged that you weren’t sure how to bring your value and implement your desires in the world. And you were disappointed that your work didn’t really support yourself. That you always had to rely on your husband’s income for the survival of your family. But remember, that was back when we had the old money and banking system. You were one of the few who believed we could find a better way to “survive”. Oh yeah, not survive, but THRIVE and flourish. And that abundance was a “basic right” that All Humans were born to on our planet Earth. And you were correct. Just see how fast that concept came to be accepted and implemented? And your energy, faith, and creative vision were a part of our collective ascension into this new flourishing life for ALL. You helped others SEE that this was possible. You helped me see it, even though it meant I had to transform my own business and livelihood away from helping people file their annual income tax returns. (And pay the taxes! Oh, remember how horrible it was for people to have to do that every year?) The fact that there are so few people suffering and “in need” now, and that we no longer pay for WAR and military expenses as a nation has really made it so much easier for people. And I much preferred helping people decide what to do with their abundance and decide how to best share their wealth and “pay it forward” as they used to say!
Oh, and remember that summer evening under the stars when our children were young and we were sitting around the bonfire in my backyard? The kids were running around in the dark playing on their “walkie-talkie radios” (Talk about old-time communications!) You pretended to talk to them like an alien from “Planet Micro-Brew”. A few years later micro-breweries were everywhere! And then a few years after that the Earth made peaceful and mutually beneficial contact with Advanced Life out in the Universe. It was like you could SEE it that night looking out at the far away stars above our fire. You also had a way of looking into the Flames of the Fire for “Life’s Answers”, too.
I thank you so much for being my older sister, my friend, guide, mentor and visionary. You’ve always been there when I’ve needed you. It’s so nice now to be psychically connected so that we don’t need to worry about the phone to communicate anymore. Now, whenever we need to we can hear, feel and KNOW how much the Other One cares and loves us. Even when we are apart. Oh yeah, there is no such thing as “apart”. We are each our individual spark of the Unity that is Life. Thank you for making the Soul Contract to be the spark that guided me into this life with you in it. As you Know, I love you.
Your Sister, B~
Note: I went searching in my gift card pile for the perfect card to imagine having this letter written on and I found this. The artwork is by Helena Nelson-Reed. The Synchronicity of this card’s message goes beyond “perfect” to DIVINE!
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.)
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 Eli: “The 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.
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).
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.
I like to start my week with yoga class as often as I can. I have been going to Ahimsa Yoga here in Oak Park for a bit over a year now. I’ve been an on and off again practitioner of yoga since my knitting teacher loaned me a book of poses when I was about 13 or 14 (yes, that makes it 40-ish years of yoga!) Synchronicity brought me to Ahimsa. Last winter I created my textile art piece titled “A Stitch In Time Saves” (the inspiration for this blog moniker) to publicize the One Earth Film Festival and my work was hung on display at Ahimsa. So this monday morning I made it to my class where my lovely teacher and now friend, Jackie shared an Inspiration deck from which I could draw a card. My card for today is “Detachment“. Perfect, of course, as I’ve been making an effort toward the goal of detaching and letting go. I spent much of last week cleaning out my basement and detaching from my physical “stuff”. Now, time to work on my attitudes, thoughts and beliefs~
Coincidentally I cut out a page from the May/June 2004 Yoga Journal during an art making session a few weeks ago written by Sally Kempton on Detachment. She writes, “the way I ease myself toward detachment is to practice offering…….I offer up whatever it is that I’m doing, whatever I’m intending or wanting, or whatever I’m trying to get free of……Offer the fruits of your labor to God.” …..”Offering our actions helps train us to do things not for any particular gain or personal purpose but simply as an act of praise or gratitude, or as a way of joining our consciousness to the greater Consciousness. Offering our desires, fears and doubts loosens the hold they have on us, reminding us to trust in the Presence- the source of both our longings and their fulfillment.”There is no expiration date on this advise!
Then I spent a little “art journaling” time before working on some commission pieces that I need to make headway on in my studio this week. (And I did make some great progress this afternoon!) Here is my journal entry embellished with my tree imagery and the Yoga Journal article with wood and bark texture~
And here is the the work I made progress on in the studio today. First, an acrylic and mixed media canvas. The working title is “Can You See the Forest for the Trees?”
And I’m working on this sweater vest for a client made from Salvaged Cashmere, some of which I hand-dyed. This is “a Stitch In Time Saves“~
I am pleased with the progress and enjoy the process. I remain detached from the outcome and welcome the work as it evolves. And I like Mondays~