DAY 4 : AIR

lichen drop second gif

                          (Participating in 7 Days of Rest and Reflection as a Heartist!)

Steely grey skies again today and, again, weirdly still.
Like the whole world holding it’s breath.
Heavy, cold, humidity.
Slept late today meaning I missed out on my usual few hours peace and slow unfurl into the day. I tumbled straight into grumpy teenagers and half awake husband…all too confrontational and narky for me. Suffocating….needed air….escaped to my artcave again.
Opened the window wide to the sky. Put on another jumper over my nightie and furry boots.
Caught sight of myself in the mirror.
My faith wobbled again.
What is it exactly I think I am doing? So deeply immersing myself in this invitation?
The fluffy, saggy looking, 50 year old woman ‘hunched’ back at me.
This invitation to ‘dive deep’ into all that sustains us, that is us, to honour ‘it’, means so much to me, the sheer possibilities, so worth becoming curious about. Especially now. It feels like long overdue. I am called for I am a child of the universe…these elements are all of me and more….it seems natural to me to explore possibilities of positive evolution and expand….isn’t that what consciousness is for? The internet also an open opportunity in divine timing?
The worth is in the doing not the being seen I tell myself……again.
I straightened my back and smiled back at my reflection.

AIR.

All that lies between me and the mirror.
Distance doubled by illusion. Like with the internet!
As I sat up and, even as I smiled, the air was displaced.
The spaces in between changed.

Air is all that lies between the perceived and the one who is doing the perceiving.

It flipped and for a second I saw the air define me.

To gain a perspective we need to create that space between us and the viewed. Offering little resistance the air moves between and around our every gaze. So accommodating. Gently holding all , but giving way constantly. Letting us through. Drawn by us into and through us. The glue that holds us all together. Constantly equalising and balancing. Running into the spaces created. Nurturing and replenishing.

Oxygen is the most abundant element in our Earth’s crust (including atmosphere). It is the third most abundant in our known universe (Hydrogen being the most abundant, followed by Helium). A massive 46.6% of the earth’s crust comprises of Oxygen with hydrogen at only 14% and carbon a tiny 0.03%. (We are mainly oxygen too, but carbon is our second most abundant element.)

That’s a kind of perspective too.

Little air between these typed words though.

Sat for Shelley Ostroff’s Rest and reflection with Air guided meditation.

Was very aware of my incense, wish I had not lit one today, as its perfumed particles tickled my nose. Visualised a purer, cleaner air for all.

Go lightly.

Thought perhaps a song or a musical experiment, for air is woven with sound, but then my mind becomes full of lichen as I open up to the damp, forest, air.

AIR.

Usnea lichens, or ‘old man’s beard. Food of reindeer and believed to have strong anti-bacterial properties.
This indicator of clean air is so abundant here.
It jumps out and dazzles as the leaves fall. Plumping up with all the rain, softening and shining blue silver in the winter half light. Not a plant at all. But a symbiotic wonder, woven, layered, filaments of two distinct species of algae and fungus, each mutually benefiting the other and clinging to the trees. A living combination filter of metals, it cleans the air for the tree and the tree gains the compost that dropped lichens provide…..the lichen needs the tree for height and light, but takes nothing else. Totally independent. Living on thin air. Reproduces through air-born fungal spores, somewhat magically, connecting with algae, in just the right conditions, and a new lichen is born.  These lichens cannot grow in places where pollution is high, it chokes and dies. They are a good indicator of clean air One of the oldest living organisms on the planet, some are believed to be virtually immortal.  The usnea lichen often becomes my muse here. Such a powerful symbol of adaptation by working together,  the art of taking less…a complex, yet rootless survivor. This form also, though, a dependant on Tree.

I created a simple mandala using one of my Lichen photos and the GIF above.

lichen air mandala
Keep it light.
Go lightly.
Breathe.

Light as a feather…

I was inspired to create some ensos.

This is an ancient Japanese tradition of ‘painting with the breath’. I often create these using plants, but a crow’s feather was what called on this day of honouring and exploring Air. After finding stillness and creating a space, each enso is painted in one breath, representing the Ah-Un, or Ohm, of life. Absolute totality. Birth to Death. The inhale and the exhale. They are made in a very controlled way, but each is it’s own beauty that is outside of the artist’s control, especially when using organic brushes!
I especially like the one that looks a bit like a bird! I used the crow feather to ‘sign’ the ensos….

crow feather enso dcrow feather enso a

….then used that feather signature to create another mandala!

crow feather signature mandala

While I was scanning all the ensos into the computer I found myself doodling a kind of open yin yang….subconscious symbiosis creeping in again? Seems Air connected to me, swirling in through around and about……everything.

optical yin yang
And breathe out…..tomorrow’s focus is Climate.

Something that has been interesting me is how all intricately all these elements overlap and ‘dance’ together. Each influencing the other. All in constant motion, yes, even rocks! Interesting also that there are only four and yet so much in between….mind the gap…..

Deep Bow and breath to AIR.

AHO.

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