My favorite seasonal celebration.
But this year my two sons were not interested and social media conveyed that guising in the village was going to be pretty low key, due to COVID.
The weather was stormy, so I did not drive into town to get a large swede.
(I refuse to buy pumpkins anymore. So sick of ‘America’s treat or treat’.)
So no carving or soup either.
Really missed the gorgeous smell of candle-roasting ‘tumchie’ lantern.
Stayed up late with candles, watching to see if the blue moon would show it’s face. It did not.
And ‘talked with the dead’, but it was not like other years at all.
Missing all the ususal costume dramas, I decided it was time to work with the old faux-fur coat I had had stored in my studio for, at least, the last 3 years.
An old coat that I have always just known was to become ‘Bear’ in my, incrementaly evolving, ‘dream’, puppet show.
It was the coat that inspired the character.
It felt good to work with Bear. So familiar to me. Bear medicine.
Hibernation now never far from my mind.
Quite a journey in patience and understanding too!
I would begin folding and stitching, then see, over and over, that, to make it better, I had to unpick it all.
It felt ‘complete’ a total of 3 times, but then it would stare at me and show me better ways to approach it.
Which always meant taking it apart and starting again.
I like the way this has roughened this faux-fur coat.
It’s evolution took a couple of weeks.
It was not just the way it looked that was important, but also the way it worked, as a prop.
It was frustrating me that what was to have been a quick, fun, project began to eat into days.
It simply was not working as I had imagined.
It was very difficult, and clumsy, to wear.
Then, on November 2nd, I woke from a dream about how to approach it from a completely different angle.
Making the arms the snout, not using the neck, and I unpicked it all for the last time.
Everything fell into place.
Complete with naturally forming eye-holes, in the right place, so I could wear it and actually see where I was going!!
Which had been a real problem until that point!
Now it is a joy to make the simple folds and have/be ‘Bear’, then undo them and have ‘coat’.
Definitley going to be part of my show……think more items will be tied onto it over Time….
Mama Bear prowls in the kitchen…..
In the show it will only be the head that shows (in quite a few different ways), but it works as a fun costume too.
Amazing to wear when meditating! A Bear Woman!
Old cat not bothered.
Below is a wee gif I made for the fun of it all….
51 years old.
Think this might be a mid-Life crisis, or even the effects of lockdown weariness….but I highly recommend it.
(Looking at all the above, I think it needs some whittled, willow, teeth….and perhaps I will paint the eye ‘buttons’…..I would like for this ‘teddy bear’ to become a bit more fierce!)
Letting go of any plans and ideas.
Just playing in the Gaia Hut with what springs to hand.
Letting my intuition take me where it will.
Sometimes I surprise myself!
I recorded this video of me playing with these slate ‘heads’, then halved the speed of it and extracted the audio of the stones ‘ringing’ as they they were hit/bumped together.
I then took that audio to the Audacity app and sampled that to create a rythmic soundtrack for the video.
The ‘singing’ was created in layers on top of that.
Intuitivley. As it came through the ether.
Another kookie offering to the world ……
It all started with the invitation from fellow artist and member of ArtMap Argyll, Lizzie Rose, to join her in the village of Ardfern, for this event.
This was a perfect, first, trial of the travelling gallery/studio on wheels. Only 6 miles of country road between our house and hers.
The whole 10 days was quite an adrenaline rush for this quiet, simple living, hill dweller! I am only just landing over a week after it finished!
I already shared a cheeky wee video of us arriving at hers, but here I will share more of those 10 days and of all I learned from working with this Hut, that I affectionately call the ‘Gaia Hut’.
It really was a joy to share space with another artist and her lovely family.
A joy too to be more in the centre of things, in our local village, and meet so many new, curious, people.
To experience the Hut working.
Perhaps I will start there, with these words copied from my FB profile. Words inspired by watching this wonderful video , titled ‘Guardians….not Gardeners’, featuring Mary Reynolds.
“Loved this so much I am weeping Especially this part in her introduction.
“The real truth of these goddesses is that they were wild, they were ambiguous, they were not gentle. They were as mad as a brush in the way that any good wild woman is. They are angry, very highly sexual. There is nothing hidden in them them, only truth. The truth of what true Nature is when it is allowed to be. We have actually lost Nature.” Mary Reynolds.
I am no goddess, but in this last week of public exposure, I often felt ‘mad as a brush’ as I clumsily explained ‘Gaia’, standing barefoot, or described how I garden with ‘weeds’, my deep love of them, how we have to sit in Nature, really look, really listen and learn the lessons from it.
How we need to become stiller to hear that.
When I explained the role/how I use my home-made smudge sticks. Showed others what I see in the branches, got excited about the beauty of the collected wasp-spit paper, babbling re-compost the importance of soil, of ‘shit’, my new love of ‘brown’. Talked of how we need to learn new ways with what grows now in abundance, the bracken, the rushes, demonstrated my rush cordage making. Talked of indigenous understandings and ancient myths.
How ALL my art comes from this place of honoring, playing and being curious.
How I am, slowly, phasing out big works and framing, the buying of factory produced pigments and materials, in favour of home-made pigments and recycled backings.
How my work now focuses on, slowly, using up all the hoarded materials of the years.
Also how I am moving away too, from the retangle ‘cage’ of conditioning. How my art is becoming all ‘small and original’.
How I have ‘reconnected with my inner child at 51 and am determined to never let go of her.’
How my own creativity is becoming a multi-media, travelling, song.
A loving response to the environment I find myself in.
How WE ARE NATURE.
One lady described my ‘wilder’ illustrations, with horns and talons, as ‘gruesome’. We had a good chat about that
Others eyes twinkled at my ‘battiness’, but I could feel were rejecting my message. Not listening really.
Many loved the physical trailer, but barely looked at my expressions. Too small, not impressive. Ridiculous even.
My favorite visitors were always the children……as without exception they all got it. Instantly.
I am deeply grateful to all those that purchased pieces from me and made this whole event a ‘success’. To experience that the Gaia-Hut can be ‘viable’ has helped my confidence enormously. (It also has helped our family dynamics in this econmically driven world!), but it is the MESSAGE of the Hut that means most to me.
I can only pray that some felt it…..I am exhausted now from standing in my truth under such public scrutiny for 10 whole, continuous, days. Shattered. Unsure, even now, whether I should share these words, but this video come in Divine Timing, and this lady’s eloquence encourages me to do so.
Perhaps I can learn from her how to refine my schpeel….or perhaps my wild, ambigous, slightly angry and sensual approach to creative expression is just enough…..?
Perhaps we can all become humble gods and goddesses, loving guardians of this land???”
I think perhaps these words hold most of the experience for me!
This little hut has been a long time in the dreaming.
I also, significantly, learned that ‘Gaianism‘ is becoming ‘a thing’ these days. Something I had been unaware of.
Definition of Gaia by Merriam-Webster
: the hypothesis that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system in such a way that the living component regulates and maintains conditions (such as the temperature of the ocean or composition of the atmosphere) so as to be suitable for life
also: this system regarded as a single organism
(More words copied from my FB profile.)
“Gaia.”What is Gaia?”
So many people asked this during my wee exhibition with the Gaia Hut. All I could really say is that I understood it on a deep level from the first time I heard this expression, this word. I explained in simple terms and pointed them in the direction of James Lovelock’s work. His marvellous, remarkable, life changing, Gaia theory.
Randomly I wondered, as I ‘spread the word’, if I was a ‘Gaianist’. If there was such a thing as ‘Gaianism’. I googled it and blow me….there is now! Not really one for ‘ists’ and ‘isms’.
I do find I resonate with nearly all contained here though.
I wonder what James Lovelock makes of this new branch of ‘his’ tree??
I do not see him as a ‘guru’, certainly not a spiritual leader, ….but I am deeply appreciative of his brilliance as a great thinker, scientist and author. And for giving us this glorious word to discuss the WHOLE of it. “
Perhaps this is enough words?
All that is left is to share a few videos of the event, the second and third cobbled together from all the photos I took, and to thank again all who came and enjoyed.
To thank, also, all who bought my #100daystreetales and other experimental, Gaia-inspired, artworks.
Please look out for the Gaia Hut in the lay-bys, camping and beauty spots around Argyll next year.
You would always be most welcome to come in for a chat and a cuppa!
Hope you enjoyed those!
(The music for the last one was one of my kookie music experiments. On my own, in my box room, playing with myself and Audacity app. It just happened to fit perfectly. So Grateful. )
I have been so buzy. Getting the Gaia Hut finished and then there was the epic first journey over to Ardfren village (approx. 6 miles of country road) to take part in #ArtMapArgyll open studio event.
A local artist freind had invited me to come and join her in her beautiful garden. It really is the perfect ‘first trip’ for the hut and could not imagine a more perfect place to be. Surrounded by flowers, butterflies and bumble bees….
More pictures of the build and goings on at the event to follow……
Prompted by the invitation to contribute some music to a project, and divinely ‘poked’ by feeling the need to revisit the, (actually NOT all so happy), lyrics of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love. One Heart’.
In these ‘pandemic’ days ‘getting together’ is becoming increasingly difficult and nothing, as yet, seems clear.
I found myself wondering what his song would sound like in a MINOR key?
That, in turn, ‘jumped’ me back to India and the, often melancholy, Indian scale.
I once studied classical bansuri (flute, taught in a similar way to voice) in Benares, for a short while, (over 30 years ago!), so have the very, very basics….
My guru, of then, would be appalled at this. Like martial arts, each tone/stroke/phrase, in the classical traditions, must be practised for many, many years, before such experimentation can even begin!!
I also attended a wonderful raaga learning afternoon, more recently with our very own, local, genuine, raaga STAR, Rajeswar. Pretty sure he would be appalled too!
Anyhoo… in the end….in the spirit of One Love…..this is what ‘arose’, in a few hours of playing around with Audacity app and an old keyboard.
A Jamaican inspired, Hindu-raag-style melody, sung by a middle-aged, Anglo-Finn, in a box room in Scotland!
ONE EARTH. ONE LOVE
(video is of a kind of ‘altar’, of collected, treasured, inspitational, ‘forms’ I stare at a lot when I am working: on my windowsill. Yes, there are dead insects…..and a real spider’s web there at the moment!
Also some of Frances Drewery’s, (local friend and very talented artist’s), work….that I kind of collect …placed among them….)
Sa- ni sa re / pa- ga re sa re sa ga- re- sa-
(One Love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright)
ga ma ni sa’ ga’ re’ sa’ / ga’ re’ sa’ da sa’ da ma-
(Hear the children crying, hear the children crying)
Da- ma pa ga re ga sa ga- re- sa-/
Da- ma pa ga re ga sa ga – re- sa-
(let’s get together and feel alright)
ni sa ni ma ni sa (optional variants)
Ma- pa ga- ni da ma
(let them all pass their dirty remarks)
ma da ma- pa ga ma pa ga pa ga-
(there is one question that I’d really like to ask)
ma pa ga- sa’ ni da ma
(Is there a place for the hopeless sinner..)
ga re ma ni sa’ ma pa ga sa ma ga- re- sa-.
(Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?)
(repeat One love section…fade out with ni sa varients)
All in the link!
“What happens when an online sister requests of the world that her freinds connect with each other and create Joy Spirals as her birthday wish. Asks for them to do something, anything!
In this instance, one plays violin, sent the clip to another, who then paints in mud while listening! Never having met before, yet all connecting in the moment. Such fun!! Let us all create Joy Spirals!”
(NOTE: this blog post is subject to tweaks as I ‘ride these rapids’ of information!)
So here we are.
I had predicted, even hoped for, some kind of natural wake-up call for the planet, but I had never really thought I would live to experience a viral pandemic.
A pandemic of sci-fi proportions by measure of the media frenzy and the government measures imposed!
I was not prepared for this.
Although it seems so obvious now.
I lie awake each morning, with every new day inspiring, and the media triggering, so many responses.
So many philosophical perspectives. Changing with the days.
Sometimes The Fear.
But often optimism and intense revelations.
I should like to call it the virus.
To take away it’s crown.
It is after all, just another virus. That is all.
It’s massive effects on our present human colonies cannot be downplayed, but I am not sure it deserves a crown!
(I do see though, in it’s form, the reasons why they named it so.)
Like so many other humans on this planet I am having such an intense journey with this unfolding pandemic and it is this that screams to be expressed.
The only way I can see how to do this is to just sit down and let the words pour out.
To be later edited and wrangled into some sort of form.
I am realizing now that it all began for me with a vision in at the end of January.
I became unusually haunted by a pattern of sorts.
As a large part of my work involves talking with other spiritually-minded people, light-workers and energy-workers, around the world, all focusing intent and weaving a ‘net of light and love’ around the planet and praying for Earth balance and wholeness. This pattern seemed, initially, obviously connected, to be interwoven with, arising from, this work.
Connected. Connection. Weaving. Spinning. Protection.
I developed many images to illustrate this pattern I was ‘seeing’. All shared previously on this blog.
I worked with a wasps nest to inspire these.
Post publishing, a friend, on seeing it, shared this image of a pollen seed with me.
It bore an uncanny resemblance to what I seemed to be channeling here.
This made me happy.
Positive pollinating. Spreading the healing. The idea of Earth-healing networks.
Then a darker shadow began to emerge as I was divinely guided to research, to try and understand, the physical infrastructure of 5G.
How it worked.
The towers and satellites proposed.
The Earth surrounded, this time, by artificial, man-made, networks.
Signals bouncing between the surface towers and the surrounding satellites in a 3D, 360°, sphere.
A different kind of, Earth to Sky connected, invisible, spiky, ball.
It filled me with a deep terror.
I began to wonder if this was connected to the pattern somehow.
If this was what I had been sensing happening.
If the pattern that presented was actually a warning.
A stroll through my Facebook profile shares and my daily connecting with the zeitgeist seems to show this journey well.
The original images.
The expressed fears about this new technology.
‘When old growth ends’ video.
Images of the delta patterns in trees, Laniakia, blood vessels, eyes, returned to my consciousness.
Then came that spell of wild weather.
Intense rainfall and repeated storms.
I made videos of the quick changing light across the land.
I referenced the need for resilience, the ability to bend.
New evidence, from NASA, of the sun’s cellular structure echoed this pattern again!
These surface spots that reach out from centre and form, visible, cellular structures on the surface of a sphere!
Then I also noticed how Ai companies were utilizing the honeycomb/bee image, in their logos, branding and presentations.
Some kind of hive mind.
This began to feed more of my own conspiratorial, free, thinking.
I struggle with deep waves of nostalgia and ‘end of days’ feelings.
Feelings of powerlessness.
Ideas of extremes and extremities haunt my mind in meditation.
The gap, that I am so fond of ‘putting myself in’, now had edges/boundaries that were stretching, wider and wider, apart.
So far apart that I feel sometimes I am loosing sight of them.
I pondered the roles of the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons in the brain.
How the synapses, (the gaps between transmitters and receivers), become larger, when natural hallucinogens are introduced to the body.
This, I have always assimilated, allows more SPACE for dreaming.
When our schedules are less tight and restrictive/prescriptive there is more space for dreaming.
Hence my long time fascination in all aspects of altered states and the stillness of meditation.
This has been the entire concept that lies behind this Rolling Om experiment.
It began by turning my own negative feelings of felt, geographical, isolation into something positive.
A healing of sorts, a way to strengthen the feeling that, despite my lack of social contact, I still belonged.
Embracing my isolated situation, the ‘gap’ I found myself in, by putting myself even deeper into it.
BEING HERE FULLY.
Facing my fears of social isolation.
At the same time tuning into, assimilating, the zeitgeist that came pouring into my own ‘sphere of influence’ through these screaming screens.
Then exploring inner landscapes, my honest, personal, response, and sitting with it.
Trusting what divinely presented, responding intuitively, using my varied creative abilities, then sharing this with the world online.
Trying always not to over-think or to please.
Just to present it as it arose, in it’s raw state.
(Allowing only for basic editing. Sometimes the ideas do also evolve during this process, but the aim is to stay true to initial, intuitive impulse.)
For all who witnessed either to take or leave.
The basic brief to self being:
What happens when a, creative individual, connects with all this human noise, steps back from it, assimilates, then turns their attention to their inner response and emotions? Then, while holding the whole of it, without allowing that ‘monkey mind’ to control/manipulate the impulse, bringing this into some kind of form, using what ever medium calls?
It did not take very long, due to my location, before the natural world, immediately around me, leapt, sharply, into focus.
I found I was not ‘alone’.
It became obvious that I was totally supported.
And it is this that has evolved to be the main ‘message’ of my work now.
I have certainly found that the more I release myself from the conditioned routines and expectations, I experience less anxiety, become more focused on the NOW and I am enabled to see the whole more clearly!
And these experiments have resulted in a lot of art, essays and poetry which help me to see myself as a ‘real’ person, with a purpose (outside of mother and householder which still take priority), something I really needed to see, as a large part of my depression was the feeling I was not using my gifts, in any way, to benefit (?) the world.
Transmitters and Receivers.
I begin to see more patterns.
Perhaps I am looking out for them? Reading too much into them?
Or are they simply asking for my attention?
The random hail storms played Tetris on my window pane.
Each ‘block’ landing and toppling the next.
‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’
I made a video.
I struggle with feelings of anger toward the companies who now threaten the Earth by ‘playing God’ with frequency.
I am often reminded of the huge lesson I had learned living with the with the Kalash tribe in North Pakistan over a few years in the early 1990’s.
A learning I have never forgotten.
Their elders, their shaman, (badyash), having no culture of lying, complained re-the the loss of something that they used to hear, but that is now drowned out by some kind of ‘interference’.
What they used to hear had been crucial to their entire spiritual existence, it informed them of right action, guided them.
Lack of being able to hear this was why their elders were dwindling in number and the reason they were so resigned to their fate.
(I can feel a separate blog post coming up on this.)
The indigenous struggles, globally, take a high place in my awareness.
The ‘innocents’ whose knowledge we now need so urgently, but whose environments are, so severely, threatened.
I find myself playing with the word ‘culture’.
Instead of celebrating it as a word to describe diversity, the beauty of human imagination and intelligence, I use it instead as ‘culture’ meaning something that grows on something else, taking from it, often something that is sick or dying.
Our civilization as a petri dish.
I search for positive, Utopian, dreaming and find so much.
I mourn the loss of habitats, this time of mass extinction, and find so much to mourn.
I cheer all Restoration.
I was, quite suddenly, gifted, and driven to draw, in pen and ink, a balancing, yin-yang, design, that spoke of the wonder of transpiration in trees.
I shared it with Treesisters. It sold almost immediately.
Always a hub of singing, sistering and evolution. I value my connection with these sisters so deeply now.
A golden thread.
Connecting like-minded women, and providing a supportive network, form the basis of much of their work.
That and reforestation projects.
A beloved online group keeping me connected with the Earth, the Mother, the cycles of the Moon and with the TREES.
Those other stunning, unfathomable, Earth to Sky connections.
Those living aerials.
That also grow outwards, from this revolving sphere, while also knitting it together with their network of deep roots.
That pattern again.
Except with the downward anchor of roots. As above so below.
I have been twisting soft rope, from rushes, for another online project.
A fellow artist, Adrian Baker, was calling out for ‘strands’ made from any fibre for an installation in Canada.
‘The installation is inspired by ‘the underground ‘network’ of mycorrhizal fungi which enables trees to communicate with one another through their roots. It also represents our connection to each other, in person or through the online ‘network’’
A technique I intend to continue, as it is very calming, productive and satisfying.
Connected. Connection. Weaving. Spinning. Protection.
Positive pollinating. Spreading the healing. The idea of Earth healing networks.
Transmitters and Receivers.
I picked up loads of usnea lichen, blown off the trees by the storms.
I made a mask of lichen.
And found myself, not for the first time, connecting intensely, with this extraordinary, totally independent and symbiotic, clean-air reliant, dual organism.
I became even more fascinated with its intricate, branching, structure.
Then, as if by magic, a local lichen-walk popped up on my Facebook thread.
I went to that, just a week before this ‘lock down’, and wrote this blog post about it.
I worked with ideas of natural masks, to camouflage us in the forest, as if to hide our humanity.
Also with ideas of ‘the invisible masks’ we all hide behind.
Now so many are wearing masks. Masks of protection.
I am hearing, more and more, new, great discussion and drama, on BBC radio and television, somehow connecting into all discussed above. Primarily new si-fi works dealing with ideas of new technology, Ai and potential evolutions, but also much connecting to Nature and our relationship with it.
So many talented artists searching for new narratives.
News of the virus in China was beginning to really hit the headlines.
Then I looked at published pictures of viruses under the electron microscope and was struck by their beauty and, again, by the similarity they held to my original drawing!
Just what was going on!?
Something significant was shifting.
Around this time I also began to work on breaking this, now 3 year long, self-isolating, practice and to become more involved in the community.
New projects, that I have long encouraged/supported and wanted to see locally, were beginning to appear.
I experienced a need to be more involved, physically, in these seeding initiatives.
Creative Hubs. Re-wilding groups. Gatherings of pro-active persons. Working together in areas that have long fascinated me, that I have accumulated a lot experience in.
I have never had the status, strength or confidence to lead these initiatives, but have long dreamed these into being, in conversation and, occasional participation.
I learned of a giant puppet, called Storm, that is coming to our local town in September.
I understood it’s message, felt it, on a deep level immediately.
A storm was indeed coming.
It resonated in my bones.
I already knew Vision Mechanics, the organization that created and built this mighty, travelling, Goddess, quite well. I had attended some of their workshops and had travelled long distances, often with my children, over the years, to support their work and expand my knowledge of puppetry. I had even networked with them with regard to, one day, building my own, travelling, puppet show.
Due to taking one of my breaks from consuming information through the internet, I had missed her debut in Glasgow. I could not believe it!
I called them asking what I could do.
I began to dream of offerings, that I could gather, with others, to make real, for her visit.
I thought some singing sirens would be great, or perhaps, some pavement art.
I called the one person I thought it would be great to work with and it turned out that she was one of the artists who had written the soundtrack for this performance!
What was the likely hood of that!?
She agreed that it would be good for me to get some local ‘happenings’ together.
I began to put out feelers, reach out to others, began to network, to attend a few events.
This, as usual for me now, brought up much anxiety, challenged my fears of collaborating with others, but I have been working hard on creating the boundaries, necessary for an extreme Empath/sensitive to have in social situations, and I felt I was ready.
I became involved in other ‘thread/fibre’ projects.
Sending out still more strands around the world, as part of ‘Weaving women back into matter’ within Treesisters.
I wove my dreaming into a heart of braided rushes and hung that on a white barked, Himalayan, birch tree, leaving the wind to carry my prayers.
Then I had the Buddha’s head incident!
(text below copied and pasted from original Facebook post)
‘This morning, in trying to open my window fully, so I could sit IN the sunshine, while still INSIDE (the sun came did come out for 1/2 hour!!), I accidentally knocked the head of a beloved, small, clay Buddha! (It had been a gift from the Sri Lankan Buddhist centre in Glasgow, where I studied teaching mindfulness, so was precious to me.)
I then struggled to close the window and found that it was the tiny head that was jamming it!
At first I was very upset, finding negative significance in this ‘event, but as I sat with this ‘loss’, held the two pieces, I began to find this more and more interesting….the metaphors in this small ‘happening’…the meaning of it….the whole concept of a headless Buddha….I realised that my initial ‘upset’ was clearly materialist and linked to attachment.
A buddhist approach to the mind, meditation and mindfulness, IS what ‘keeps the window open’ in my experience…
In ‘opening the window wider’, for more Light (vitamin D! ), I knocked the limiting, physical, head off Buddha! And, curiously, the resulting ‘headless’ body definitely speaks louder to me of the experience of meditation than his whole form ever did!
Online I found many images/stories of decapitated Buddhas….mostly ransacked/defiled by invaders , also a story from Cambodia where the Buddhas were beheaded by the villagers themselves for the real ‘gold inside’ ( in itself another intriguing metaphor!). I also found an interesting Asian artist that makes this the subject of the majority of his work. He reunites heads and bodies in a conceptual way…..in a kind of healing I suppose.
There is definitely a koan/poem in this tiny happening for me….so all in all….a gift.
Love this picture of one of the (aggressively) decapitated heads at Angkor, lovingly, carefully, placed in the tree roots….Think I might do this in my garden somewhere with ‘my’ tiny clay head!’
The day I posted this friend contacted me to say that exactly the same thing had happened to her Buddha statue….that day! A few days later another friend commented how strange it felt to read my post as she had been talking with an acquaintance about the decapitated, Cambodian, Buddha’s that day also!
I picked a book at random, today, and it fell open on these words;
‘Carrying a Buddha nothing can happen, because how can you carry a Buddha? You can only carry a statue. Buddha has to be lived, not carried. Buddha has to be loved, not possessed. You have to dissolve yourself in the Buddha, not carry him as your possession.’
(Osho: ‘No Water. No Moon: Talks on Zen Stories)
There is a message in all this somehow.
What can it be?
What am I not seeing?
Are we all ‘losing ‘our heads’?!
Or is it, as above, simply Time to examine/explore events from other perspectives, to find the positive in, what may appear to be, negative events?
I was carrying the hoover downstairs and I stood on the electric plug and found these words…
Yesterday I stood on a plug.
The electric kind.
Man it hurt.
It left its three pronged mark in my sole.
It reminded me of this piece I drew in 2017.
Not to get too involved in all this Fear.
Not to get lost in this artificial narrative.
To leave this screen.
Turn off the computer.
And return to the unpopulated Wonder
And Beauty that IS all around.
Seek that out.
Listen instead to the bird song,
Walk barefoot on deep mosses,
from all this infernal human
Breathe deep and Open my Eyes.
Kat Robertson March 17 2020
I was out walking and saw some natural, local, clay. I was guided to dig some up for processing to make some, ceremonial, prayer, ‘earth pots’.
I contacted a local potter to make a date to learn how to ‘pit-fire’ them later in the year.
On the ‘otherside’ of this pandemic.
I am looking forward to that.
I played with this raw clay and the Buddha’s head.
I ‘planted’ his head in the Earth, as if he was growing from it, or sinking into it.
I then ‘fixed’ the broken Buddha with this earth clay.
I changed the angle of his head.
He took on a much more lively and playful attitude.
He came ALIVE.
Mended with earth.
All around the throat chakra.
Talking for the earth.
My meditations begin to undergo simple evolutions.
Still simply asking ‘show me’ and opening myself up to all around, but they also became more deeply about sensation in the body.
Often I would find myself responding in more movement.
Sometimes standing, often squatting on the earth, head bowed.
Being more open too to the visuals that arose behind my closed eyelids.
And there it was again.
The same pattern keeps coming up.
The ‘net’ around the sphere lit up, but with a dark spot, a rip in the web of light, similar to the hole in the ozone layer.
Each time this presents I work to visualize closing/mending the hole in the net.
The virus was really began to hit home.
Like all families, so far affected, we have had to assimilate all the ever-changing information, disruption of routines and learn to lean into the discomfort.
Many events, I had signed up to participate in, were cancelled.
Gaia seemed determined to get me to focus.
To stay in this solo conversation with this infinite micro-macro, living, world I now inhabit.
To sit ever more firmly in the gap.
While I feel for all affected, I cannot help but see so many potential solutions.
The possibility that this, this horror, this terrible virus, could also hold so many answers to the problem of climate change.
In consequence I also can be a bit obsessed by the question as to whether it was natural or designed.
Unsure now of just which side I am ‘working’ for!
If indeed there are any sides in this at all, or very many?
I do know, however, that I feel trapped between two distinct ‘landscapes’.
The human/humanitarian and the Gaian/holistic, view.
While I have despaired, often, at our collective, human, seeming lack of ability to change our behaviour when faced with the threat of climate change, I have always managed to remain a humanitarian.
Now I almost feel we deserve this virus.
I have never felt quite like this before.
I became involved in a debate about a supposedly ‘fake news’ list of tips to survive corona virus that was being damned by the mainstream media.
A friend had sent it to me and I liked it so much I shared it.
I was immediately inundated with others, blunt posting, of ready-made, ‘warning: this is fake news’ articles.
Links that, in my reality, appeared even more fake!
The original message stressed natural healing and there was nothing in the advice shared that clashed with my knowledge of how to keep healthy in the face of a flu virus.
It was, perhaps rightly, being decried as it did not also stress the need for hand cleaning and social distancing and some of the science was unproven….
But fresh air, sunshine, salt gargles, deep breathing did not seem like advice that warranted the reaction it received.
I began to mistrust this whole virus.
Not that it was not real, but exploring ideas that it was not natural.
It just seemed too much of a coincidence that Wuhan happens to be the location of one of the world’s biggest centres for virology…..I have since read many articles ‘explaining’ why this not the case, but they still ‘ring hollow when tapped’.
Somewhere, online, I learned that Bill Gates, apparently, owns the patents for two other, previous, types of corona virus……
For a few days I became lost in ideas of this being man-made, but soon realised that that way of thinking, even if true, does nothing to protect my family or change what is happening NOW.
Besides, who knows what to believe in all this hysteria?
And this virus is most definitely here.
I began to find others believing, like me, that it could, indeed, be the best thing that ever happened to this planet.
There is a long list of pros. Here are some off the top of my head!:
Cleaner air as industry grinds to a halt.
Cleaner air would mean far fewer deaths in the long run.
Encourage people to see air travel to other countries, exotic locations, as a real adventure, a special privilege, not something to be taken for granted. Never a commute.
Who wants to find themselves trapped on the other side of the world?
Travel is a risky business!
New approaches to economy.
Ideas of free internet being muted by educationalists.
Re-nationalization of our transport infrastructure being discussed.
Deeper respect for our treasured health services and other vital key workers. The waste services I notice are little mentioned or celebrated.
The understanding of how interconnected we all are.
The leveling of humans around the globe.
The spreading of kindness. More thoughtfulness for others.
Enforced isolation bringing many to face themselves, given an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives.
The re-emergence of LOVE.
LOVE as a counter-virus, spreading fast.
Experiments with new forms of education.
Need for increased awareness re-resources.
Weeding out of dependency on state.
Encouragement of more free thinking independence.
What a wake up call!
In every way the kind of shift that so many of us had been praying for! For so long!
The planet can breathe better again!
All in Nature sings with joy.
Thank you! Thank YOU! Thank you!
Can you hear it too?
Now we can ALL begin to breathe again.
For this is GLOBAL air.
Enough to, healthily, stimulate our boundless brains
To invent, re-invent, circumvent, vent,
Encourage effective ventilation! Transpiration!
An opportunity to learn to see, at last, new ways to live in better harmony with this
Our Earth. Mother. Ship.
As this threat rises and ebbs away
Let’s not return to our old ways blindly.
Like most addictions, we must learn to resist temptation.
Lean into this discomfort.
Less is more.
Cleaner air brings fewer deaths in the bigger picture.
In Time may we be able to drop the masks of conditioned culture.
All is in the balance.
Bow to this virus, whatever it’s source, and assume responsibility,
Like any Mother, there is only so much she can give,
Before it becomes Time to look after Her.
Kat Robertson March 19 2020.
Again a surge in purpose. An affirmation.
The timing has been violent in many ways.
Just as I begin to reach out from my own self-imposed retreat I find myself confined again.
But also, as a consequence, I have been more able to help others in our community.
Signing up as a volunteer to keep an eye on folk, to help with getting shopping. Making myself available.
Offering learned alternative wisdoms to those who ask. Herbal tonics. Plant medicines. Foraging tips.
How to live without toilet paper.
Nothing much has changed for us here on our hill.
I enjoy isolation. I have skills to share that many others now need to form. The contented ability to withdraw.
How to enjoy spending time alone, in one place, without becoming lonely or trapped.
My public, online, celebration of Gaia and the space around me here, did come into question though, when 1000’s of wealthy ‘corona refugees’ swarmed out of the cities, to their second homes, or in motorhomes, to our more remote communities.
For a short while our rural, health and food infrastructure was threatening to buckle under the pressure.
I wondered if, through social media, I should be ‘advertising’ the beauty and space available to us?
I do experience huge empathy with this need to find places away from urban development, to breathe, to escape contagion, but they bring with them such problems for our existing infrastructure.
I saw posts saying ‘Go Home Idiots’ and found myself agreeing.
I was unable to buy pasta (or toilet roll for other members of my family, I am content with washing!), as they cleaned out our stores in search of supplies. It seemed all so selfish of them!
Then the government began threaten fines for this behaviour, driving the message to ‘stay at home’ and this wave, has now, receded.
(I noticed too that that same government never acknowledged that it was their, fearful, message that instigated that panicked response)
These are the same, urban, people who generally refer to people who choose this rural lifestyle, as remote ‘country-bumpkins’, when in fact we are far from it.
We are connected. Earthed.
We choose to live away from others, their confusing, urban,social games and complexity.
There are other sacrifices made to in order enjoy this space.
Not all easy.
The sheer distances involved make for a pretty hardy, self reliant bunch of folks. Support networks all further away. Everything requires planning.
Take ways, cinema, cultural events, for example, are seen as luxuries/treats never taken for granted.
Our small communities now also largely rely on them. On their ‘tourist dollar’….often partially ‘enslaved’ to their visiting….
Yet this emergency means they become ‘not welcome’….
So many gaps closing, walls being built, as the extremes become wider.
Then another extraordinary turn of events meant I was also brought face to face with our own dependency on the system, having been feeling quite smug about our ability to sit out this pandemic on our remote hill.
We are the kind of family that rarely has need of the NHS.
But, shortly after this virus began to impact on us all, my son began vomiting violently. We telephoned our surgery on the 3rd day. He could keep nothing down and was visibly fading. The doctor said he needed to see him.
We drove the 30 miles to the surgery and blood and urine samples were taken. Judging by the queues outside the pharmacy and the new protocol at the surgery, it was becoming clear that this pandemic was making it’s mark. The doctor prescribed some pain killers for the acute stomach pain my son was experiencing and anti-nausea pills, suggesting that we return home and keep a close eye on him, but not to hesitate if the situation worsened, as he believed it could be appendicitis.
One hour after arriving back home, the phone rang.
His bloods showed that he was at risk of appendicitis!
We were requested to return immediately and attend the hospital, to pack a bag, as surgery may be necessary.
We jumped back into the car.
The hospital really was the last place we wanted to go in these times!
Some workers were installing a huge ‘Corona Virus protocol’ sign outside the A&E department.
As it turned out it, it was decided that it was a false alarm, that it was just a tummy bug.
With a huge sigh of relief we completed the 120 mile round trip and returned home.
He is well now.
Then that same week we had to call an ambulance.
A man, working on site taking my husband’s, fire damaged, steel shed down, fell 15ft, off a ladder, onto concrete.
Seems he has smashed his shoulder blade and broken his ankle.
I experience deep gratitude for all key workers.
All in the balance.
How lovely my life is now with all my boys home, safe.
(Despite their teenage tendencies to consume and spend all available time on screen, ignoring our advice and calls to come outside. Draconian measures soon to be instigated within our four walls!)
Lovely too that the garage is quiet.
No industrial work continuously grinding on around.
Although goddess only knows how we are going to survive, financially, without that income.
It has been one year since that catastrophic fire and we are have still not received all the monies owed to us through the insurance.
We had, at long last, received the permission from them to ‘tear-down’ the damaged shed and things were feeling more positive, less ‘stuck’ in limbo. But now all plans for the new structure and rebuild are on hold again, due to the ‘lock down’…..
Small comfort that we certainly are not alone in this dilemma…..
A part of me is hoping that things never go ‘back to normal’.
I have always detested ‘normal’.
A Terror or a Cure?
Potential sci-fi plots grow in my mind.
What other reasons might there be for ‘them’ to want us all indoors, stuck on our screens?
An email from this appeal dropped into my mail box.
‘On Wednesday, March 18, SpaceX launched 60 more satellites into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, bringing the total of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites orbiting the earth to 350.
Also on March 18, OneWeb launched 34 more satellites into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, bringing the total of OneWeb’s satellites orbiting the earth to 74.
None of these satellites have yet gone into operation, but on March 13, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX permission to sell one million user devices to American customers.
This has turned a long-standing concern into an emergency. For last fall, SpaceX announced its intention to begin providing 5G service to the northern United States and southern Canada after it had at least 400 satellites orbiting the earth.
The threat to terrestrial life — at least in portions of North America — may now be only weeks away.’
Seems that, for some, business continues very much as usual.
Why too does the media down play that Wuhan connection?
Blaming Chinese eating habits without ever even stating that Wuhan is the location of that international centre of virology?
I cannot be alone in finding that stark omission suspicious, especially when then are so many precedents for genetic ‘mucking about’ resulting in similar epidemics….
(Here I am speculating about things I cannot change again….it seems I cannot help it…)
It has been clear to many of us that ‘too many humans’ has been the problem for some considerable amount of time.
Is this their solution?
Or the Earth’s solution?
Whose side am I now on?!
If it is a ‘them’, do they even know what they are doing?
It has also been clear to so many of us that the worlds resources could be shared far more efficiently for a very long time.
Is this their aim?
Or is there someone, somewhere, who stands to gain more out of this than the rest of us?
(I quiet my mind and stare out into our spring garden. All appears exactly the same as before. Feeling , not for the first time, to be in the eye of a storm. A blue tit comes and hangs off the window frame.)
Of course I am full of sadness/grief for all those that will lose their lives and/ or family.
Affected also by the Fear I feel in the air when I make my weekly shopping trips (for two families now) and in the voices of friends and families when we talk on the phone.
Let’s face it, it could be me or those I love.
But the bigger picture continues to haunt me.
I had a very powerful dream last night.
One of those ones that verges on a vision.
A castellated fortress sticking out into the water.
Whole communities living within its walls.
I lived among them.
Our peace was being threatened by an unseen enemy.
We were preparing for war.
A vanguard of the best looking men you have ever seen, true warriors of all races, arrived in a dramatic convoy, to help with the fight.
They paid little attention to me.
That is until I flew!!
I really flew!!
I can remember the feeling now.
It is years since I lucidly flew in dreaming.
I was in complete control of it.
I demonstrated my ‘power’ to them and earned respect.
I guided them through this sprawling, labyrinthine, structure, and found ways to get higher, to the top, the ramparts.
They needed to get a grip on the lie of the land.
From there we could see far across the water to the hills beyond….the enemy was lining the horizon….an army of identical robotic, holographic, soldiers….
It was then we stopped Time itself.
I woke up knowing that I had to get this all out how ever it came.
And now here it is.
This massed, knotted, thread of words.
An alternative documentation of exceptional times, my unique response to the experience, so far……
It seems to suggest that I need to trust my intuition more.
Perhaps it was, in fact, the virus I ‘saw’ coming in those first patterns?
Perhaps this virus is, in fact, little more than the common flu?
The hype making it far more dangerous than it would have been if allowed to take it’s course?
If it was or was not it is of little relevance now.
What I choose to take away from ALL this is how connected and intertwined all of our, collective, dreaming and inspiration is and that, in this, lies such huge potential, a potential that we can neither measure or even predict, a vast, unknown, potential that calls for us all to be the change we want to see. To learn to be stiller. Less is more. To learn to trust in all beyond our understanding. To practice Gratitude for small things and cleaner air.
And LOVE more.
(Just today another artist friend contacted me, from the local village, asking me if I would like to continue her ‘red thread’ of connection, a joyful art response, over on this side of the peninsula. It is based also on the idea that we are all connected and designed to be a visual reminder of this.
A red thread weaving through the landscape.
I will collect the red string from the box outside her house sometime next week.)
It is spring now.
With all this drama I have not celebrated this vernal equinox the way I usually mark it.
The weather is going to be fine these next few days.
It is in the garden that I will be found.
Weeding and seeding.
And loosing myself in wonder, gazing deep into the centre of spring flowers, singing with the birds, with mud under my finger nails and prayers on my lips.
So much love I send to this Earth and all sentients that dwell upon her.
All we can do now is look out for those around us, (not only the humans), and take each day at a time.
“Upon entering that rapid, what you must not do, is focus on all the different obstacles that could tip, shred or otherwise demolish your boat – because focusing on what frightens you, magnetizes you to them like magic. You manifest your fears. Instead, he said, you look for the ‘through line’ – the apparent pathway through the rapid that brings you to the other side, and all of you focus on that as a team.”
Now is indeed a time ‘to practice being fictional for a while’.
(a quote from Richard Bach’s Illusions: The adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
And, as he also wrote in that wonderful book…..
‘Everything above may be wrong!’
Deep Bow to ALL Life.
I love you.
I am Sorry.
Please Forgive Us.
I’m here standing with you!
This doubling as a tidy retrospective of this rolling om of Earth Love 2019!
Time for a Change!!
Looking for last minute presents? Why not buy a Treesisters (tre)e-card!?? Available from £5 up and all goes to world reforestation projects! Win WIn!
(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)
Japanese season called ‘Ritto’ / beginning of winter, 7th November – 21st November
Micro climate ‘daffodils bloom’ 17th November – 21st November
Nearly lost this entire blog just now!
Seems I may have been the victim of some kind of hacker….think WordPress and I have sorted it now….I was distraught!
All this years work for nothing!
It is even possible that I will be better seen now….as it appears that someone, somewhere was trying to control my activity!
Perhaps even ‘steal’ my identity or stop my simple message from getting out?!
Not really sure that it is that dangerous though….probably paranoid…
At least I always keep images and poems etc. on my hard drive….but this just goes to show how fragile our online existence really is…..
Daffodils are blooming in Japan right now?
Seems strange to me….they are so associated with spring here, but my Dad has always had some ‘rebel’ ones flower in autumn these last few years. Perhaps they are from Japanese bulb stock!?
We have been experiencing a very cold spell. The news still calls this ‘autumn’, but this feels very much like winter.
I love these ice puddle pictures.
Each one would look amazing painted as a large canvas.
Tempted to make an ice mandala….feeling very alive in his crisp, crunch….
(click on first image to see all as gallery slideshow)
The writing course seems to be dying down in urgency.
I spent a few hours working up this piece…live on screen.
I am very pleased with it.
Sandy suggested that this was a ‘ritual’. A rite of passage.
So I tried to do that as I wrote.
Returning to rhyming was both a challenge and a Joy.
Thank you, thank you, thank you….
Thank you, too, blank page of light,
That dark words, in this time, invite.
Drawing down with all my might,
For words to come
And then take flight.
A journey shared with all around,
Deep below, I sense a sound,
I could say I see it,
The aim is to be it,
The channel has only to be found…..
There is a wound, so deep and wide,
I cannot see the other side.
I only see our job to mend,
To heal, to feel, and Love to send,
To, somehow, this flowing blood, congeal,
At least that’s how I think I feel…..
The wound is, now, too deep to hide,
Still many ignore it, though millions have cried.
Our denial exposed now, for us all to see,
We need rainbow bridges, heartfelt stitches,
To fix the tears, torn, in our memory.
‘Big girl’ breeches.
Brave ‘out reaches’.
Each word like a stepping stone.
Much has changed, since way back when,
I first held this howling pen,
Now I know I’m not alone.
Throwing our whole selves in life’s rushing river,
Being never a taker, always a giver,
Creating a crossing by sharing our hearts,
This Rainbow Bridge growing, a spectrum of parts.
We stand on each other to leap ever further,
Holding steady, we put our whole faith in a future,
The golden thread tightens,
Our connection enlightens,
In fits and starts.
It fits and it starts.
Sometimes we just get washed away….
The distance to ‘bridge’ seeming longer,
But the more that we open,
to what we know how to say..
This invisible bridge gets stronger…
Go for the jugular….form platelets to clot…
Find the Grace to point out
What we really are not,
This balances vision,
This heals the division,
Simply follow this thread, dot to dot.
A stone in a river, a bridge to close,
A stitch in forever, a clot, hidden in prose,
Eons of endings meet again, their birth,
Wholeness becomes visible now
In this one, sacred, Earth.
A bringing together, to heal the divide,
Duality smashed as the mirrors collide,
The dams, an illusion,
For they held back the flow,
There is only one way for this water to go.
Stones in the river,
These words sink in silt,
The way over, directed.
No trolls under this bridge.
No knots in this twine,
The timing is crucial.
And this timing’s DIVINE.
A clot with a keyboard,
(That is what they say!)
‘Let it be so’
Closing this space.
Releasing these words,
Throwing them to the sky,
I love you, I am sorry, Please forgive us,
Three to the power of one.
This journey to wholeness has only just begun…
Be a bridge o’er this river,
Between death and birth.
Or a tree, stand connecting the heavens and Earth,
Masculine and feminine,
All in this together,
May this dance between both, play forever and ever…
In Gratitude I loose this song,
There is no right, there is no wrong
The River? It always goes back to the sea,
I hold my position, as it flows around
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Kat Robertson 19th November 2019
During the recent community action I also had time to make one all of my own!
This served a guideline to show what we were aiming for (with the community piece) and contains many personal prayers for our dear planet!
(Click on image to see larger and to see more of the story)