The prompt for the local art challenge was ‘Inside Out/Outisde In’ and as I have been ‘carrying’ this idea, for quite a while now, I thought I’d give it a go.
Inspired by a small birch I planted, years ago now, that has been shining, opposite me, where I often meditate, outside in the garden.
A part of my practice involves breathing as ‘Tree’.
This little tree and I often cross ‘boundaries of being’.
My ‘edges’ drawn in Air, defined only by the tree’s branches.
I felt it kind of fitted the breif! (Although most of the other entries were the view out of a window!)
I sat down and painted this, in ink, freehand, but felt it was not complete. The shape was wrong, my attempts to make the outer twigs lie like hair made her too conifer-like and it is spring!
She needed leaves!
So I worked with a photograph of this birch.
In photoshop I selected only the leaves and then super-imposed that image on top of the drawing, to test what it could look like, before I committed to painting them on.
Well that works!
After deciding to go for it and paint the leaves on, I had another play with the completed painting and super-imposed that onto a sky image from another of my photos.
This seemed to stress the Air body better…..
Still not totally happy with it if I am honest.
This is a work I will probably try and create again though.
Re-work it with finer branches, more interesting anatomy and a less chunky trunk.
I love this idea and can see where it could go.
The title’s pun was intended.
Not ‘Bohdi Tree‘, but ‘Body Tree’.
I am not Buddha!
Or we all are……
It was only later, after painting this that I found out it was Buddha’s birthday a few days later.
I also was reminded of how he died.
Did I mention I have been thinking about death, a lot, recently?
(Note to self: Do not eat the meaty, mushroomy, pig dishes my, ‘blacksmith’/engineer, husband prepares, full of salt and a smoker’s over seasoning!) (wink)
The Time spent with this little tree and painting came into our, monthy, Treeisister’s Full Moon meditation too:
“Response to Treesister’s May Full Flower Moon Call: Healing the Amazon.
Got a bit lost in ‘doings’ and missed the live call, but joined on replay the following day.
I was ready to pray.
Outside was that super-still way, wet with the first summer rain in a long time. Droplets of mist hung on everything around. Bird song thrilled through this ‘heavy’ stillness. Today I love the rain. We really needed it here after a few dry weeks.
Very quickly, as the meditation began, I became Tree.
I became a little birch I know very well, that grows opposite me where I regularly sit to meditate, outside in the garden. I planted it years ago. It shines so bright now with all its new leaves. I have been photographing it, and even used it as the inspiration for a recent picture of the ‘tree’ ‘drawing’ a meditating figure with the air between its branches.
I called the picture simply ‘BODY TREE’.
I became that little tree even before Clare’s breathing suggestions and her invitation to call our guardian tree. I was so completely with the experience that this tree was obviously the tree for this session.
Water droplets hung on each new leaf.
I could feel myself shining, brilliant in the sunlight. Each time I trembled, or was stirred by the breeze, droplets fell to the ground. Feeding our network. Feeding the entire Earth. I loved how this felt! So I continued to work with this, mainly.
The Amazon, from an eagle eye’s view became very clear, held by our circle. Vast and Lush. Then as Clare continued with describing its destruction, it’s wounding, I saw the huge scars across the canopy….the gaps in it.
Then I began to ‘see ‘ it fighting back…..I saw a perplexed farmer who, every time he tried to cut back the trees, thousands of tiny seedlings would spring up in their place. I saw vines creeping in real time over cutting machines, strangling them. The jungle became like a huge triffid, accompanied by orangutans and butterflies, swallowing all of man’s attempts to conquer it.
In tiny, water bejewelled, tree-form, I connected deeply with the relationship between this mighty canopy and the clouds and mist that wove through it. I trembled and let ‘my’ water droplets fall. Water became the conduit. I saw all the trees ‘breathing’ in the water and this tree-breathed water rushing into the black, polluted, veins-like deltas of the river and diluting the poison….clearing the water……
I ‘met’ an unidentified Amazon shaman woman. We bowed to one another, she took my hand. She encouraged me to continue with this simple action.
So I trembled /shivered my body over and over, releasing this shimmering gown of water to my roots and off into the wider field. Water flowed from me through my roots, into others in the circle and out wider and wider world. Water hung on my tongue, my tear ducts, my vagina, my ears and nose…..on each hair……each tiny shake and the droplets fell.
I saw myself Shine as this tiny tree.
I did not need to ask it for anything else. It had already shown me so much beauty and given me what I needed in this Time.
Praying for all Life and hoping this connection proves as powerful, as it felt during this meditation, to me.“
Response to meditation posted on Treesister’s Nest
It was only later I was given the understanding of my vision dream when all Time stands still.
Only later I had more warning dreams illustrating a magnificant, Earth, lightning strike and had further bright flashes of realization….but that would be a story for another post…..