EMPATHY 4/7

(working inspired by the ‘7 Days of Rest and Radiant Diversity 2020‘ global, online, earth healing, experiment)

Difficult to settle this morning.
Watered, and talked to, all my houseplants.
Loved watching the birds as I did the dishes.
This is how my mind felt this morning.
Darting about all over the place.
Like the wren I saw first thing today.
So quick and bright.
Is this empathy?
How I watch and, in watching, feel how light, fast and miraculous these tiny birds are?
Recognizing my own mind in their darting movements?
How I feel for the birds in winter and so put out food for them?

Or is it just my selfish delight, the acute pleasure of standing in our, warm, house and watching them through the glass, jumping with life and taking it in turns.
Well….they take it in turns most of the time…..watch that goldfinch!

By the time I got into the artden today I thought I knew what I was going to do.
But then yesterday’s drawing of the Moss Caller began to annoy me…it really had not captured the character I encountered in the mandala the day before.
Moss Caller was a much kinder faced, more Empathic being.
I suddenly saw a way to make the failed digital experiments of yesterday work. I had to give it another go.
(All the while wondering why I was not concentrating on Empathy and listening to Shelley Ostroff’s guided meditation for the day.)
The, carefully measured, little pencil drawing (below) went ok, but I just couldn’t get the photoshop idea to work.
I gave up on that and then made a GIF, illustrating the way these mud paintings dry …. it worked brilliantly, but then I saved it in the wrong format, having already deleted the project.
Gone.
So that was 2 precious hours wasted.

Time to get in the zone and focus.

I listened to Shelley Ostroff’s Empathy guided meditation.

When asked to envision what Empathy might look like, Empathy looked like me!
I feel a bit embarrassed admitting that, but ‘she’ did!
I suppose that being the very best at ‘standing in another’s shoes’ could mean Empathy can appear like them?

I rested deeply and let the meditation move through me.
Letting go and rooting. It was a deep, nourishing experience.
As I slowly opened my eyes I realised that I did, really, want to continue working with this pencil drawing.
That I really wanted to use the mud with it….. soon I was in that inspired, creative, buzzing, mindful-mindless, zone again.
Bliss.
This is the stuff that heals the world.
I actually believe that and in showing gratitude for this gift of letting go.


What I learned was that one can have ’empathy’ for a medium too. Learning what it likes and does not like. What works and what doesn’t.
It is a very intimate relationship.
Every time I work with soil/water I am feeling into it, always learning something new.

I made a slide show that shows how much the painting changes as it drys. This is all part of the joy I have in working with soil.
It kind of looses all definition and becomes flat, opaque, dusty….. muddy.

But then….when I add the linseed oil ‘sealant’ it all ‘pops’!

The only thing is …. I have little real control over what the finished piece will actually look like…and no way of turning back.

Loving ‘finding’ new effective ways to move the mud around, always thinking ahead to this point in the process.

And as I do so it is impossible not to gain deeper understanding of the moss that inspired this, to feel the sense of this being sacred SOIL I am working with and I feel some satisfaction in seeing the Moss Caller I ‘saw’ better represented, in the end.

Is that a kind of empathy too?

I love it when a project does not end up in the bin.

Anyone empathize?

kat robertson artist

2 comments

  1. Shannon McArthur

    Thank you for giving her the face she wanted, and an honourable face it is. Is her intent to sip dew from the moss, perhaps, or is she going in for a kiss on the forehead of a fairie? Thank you for sharing your process. Inspiring…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kat Robertson

      Thank you for reading!
      I think she calls from the moss….hoping people will look closer at all the wonderful intricate beauty of her work….but she’s very tiny and few hear her! She surely does sip dew….and wash in it. There were fairies too in the mandala…but they all looked quite naughty…..maybe she reads them bedtime stories?

      Like

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