Caught in the pages of time

May 14th, 2014
Isn't it strange how time stops for people who move out of your life?  This point was brought to my attention the other day when a girl I last saw in primary school commented on my previous blog.  She said, "You write so beautifully. I knew nothing about your life now. Just remembered the wonderful girl you were in primary school. Was so sad to read of your loss - until I read your blog I never would have imagined that you had had such a shattering experience."

It was then that it struck me, in my mind's eye, she too was the sweet girl from primary school.  Not the grown up woman (who her Facebook page says she is), but the sweet little blond chicky with the bob hairstyle and bestest friend in the world, M.  It just doesn't seem possible that my sweet friend is all grown up, wears a greek surname and lives on the other side of the planet.  Oh, and it seems she has even had children!

 And so there I was, off on a tangent once more and thinking of all the cutsey, bordering on nauseating posts you get telling you not to judge a book by it's cover when it is actually quite true.  I have no idea what the "book covers" of my old friends are protecting.  Which of them have suffered enormous loss of property, friends or even family?  Who has made excruciatingly difficult decisions that have affected the rest of their lives in totally unexpected ways?  Which ones have made mistakes that took them along devastating paths?  Which of the more fortunate ones had unexpected, happy events happen to them?

It's as if all of our acquaintances and old friends are stuck in a position in our book of life with a little yellow post-it keeping their place forever when we saw them last.

On further reflection, I realised that it is no different for people you meet along your life's path.  Whether you like it or not, each new person you meet has a history beginning only at the time of your meeting.  Oh, they may tell you all kinds of things about their past.  They can show you photographs, mementos and even video of their previous life, but your stubborn little mind just cannot make the connection.  Not truly!   It is impossible to see that big, handsome, capable man you fell in love with as the helpless little infant he once was.  Or the beautiful woman cradeling her baby as the gawky, coltish teenager she once was. Their history is only valid from the moment of your meeting.

We're a rather egocentric bunch, aren't we?

A journey of the soul

April 17th, 2014

My super talented (and very beautiful) friend C took me on an amazing journey on Monday night.  I don't know if you have ever had the privilege to partake in a "Sound Journey"?  If you have, you will have an idea of what I mean.  I you haven't, try to get yourself to one!  It is AMAZING!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what exactly a sound journey entails, these are the words of our guide from Monday night, C:

 

"A Sound Journey is a powerful modality which requires nothing but an open mind and open heart.  Ethnic and indigenous instruments from all over the world along with vocal melodies and percussive rhythms guide the participant onto a meandering musical journey.  The experience is made by simply lying down, warmly covered and comfortable and closing your eyes.

A sound Journey is basically story telling in song.  You are encouraged to simply breathe and to allow the sounds to evoke self-connection, sensation , reflection and rest.  A Sound Journey is inspired by a deep love of nature and the diversity of this planet.  The Journey assimilates the sounds of nature, and the feeling of being close to the earth.  Sounds that evoke landscapes, oceans, animals and the many different indigenous cultures are created.

All Sound is frequency and vibration and these constitute our world, it is the interplay of our very cellular nature thus harmonious sound and song made with positive intension is a medicine, an ancient part of our life on earth.  We today are in a constant state of over stimulation. Many of us assume this to be the norm and manage to filter or numb much of this stimulus to maintain our daily activities.   If we are highly stressed or emotionally strung we will find that our whole body - mind - spirit system is affected. A Sound Journey creates a space for the outside world  "too many worries" to slip away and creates the possibility to find sense of deep peace and relaxation."

This was my second fully fledged sound journey.  I've had two minis with kids and now two real, big people ones.  Every one of them has been a totally different and unique experience.  Last night's experience for me was especially moving and shaking. 

You may be aware from a previous blog post that my man, best friend, lover and soul mate was ripped from my life almost three years ago. It was sudden (no illness, no time to say goodbye), unexpected, devastating and as far as I'm concerned, totally unjust. Never-the-less, it happened and, as they say, life goes on.

But does it?  I still miss him SO much every single day of my life that I'm not entirely sure that life CAN go on.  After all, what is life without my friend, confidant, anchor and compass? I'll tell you what it is, it's a life in limbo, adrift and alone with no aim or purpose.  And I must add, they all lied!  It doesn't get easier with time!  All that time does is give you methods of coping with the pain on a day-to-day basis.

I think this is the reason that Monday's sound journey was so hard hitting.  The visualisations evoked in me were very vivid (I'm a very visual person so they always are) and super clear. 

Many of my visions seemed to be either Native American or Tibetan.  The very first thing I saw, was a little South American man with short, straight black hair wearing only a loin cloth and a bright white bone through his nose.  He was carrying a bow and peeping through lush green forest.  Soon, a line of women came walking past, singing, on their way to the river to collect water.  

The journey continued in a peaceful manner until I was being walked through a building with tall white pillars and sunlight slanting through more green forest.  I realised that I was at a ceremony for the passage of a soul into the afterlife.  There was a white haired old man, chanting and singing and sprinkling some kind of liquid onto the body of what recently had been a strong young man.  I felt a sense of extreme sadness but at the same time of peace, reverence and serenity. 

The body was picked up on a stretcher made with vines and wooden poles and carried into the forest.  As the people carrying him walked away from me, I noticed fresh, intense green buds breaking from the earth into the sunbeams.  It was as if I was being told, though one life has ended, new life springs forth. 

This theme continued through most of the journey with various burial ceremonies followed by new life.  Each time with a sense of calm dignity, respect and love.

Finally, I suppose when I should definitely have got the message, I saw my Chief Joseph (the younger).  He was a child, sitting on a rock next to a river.  He was sharpening a stick with a knife.  I watched him change into a young man and saw a whole lot of women taking a young woman down to the river.  They were performing some kind of ritual in preparation for her wedding.  Then I saw that she was marrying my chief.  After the ceremony, they went into their tepee and torrential rains fell onto the leather.  I heard her singing love songs to Joseph which turned into songs of love for their baby.  

I saw her holding a little baby with night black hair and eyes.  I felt the world at peace and then I was brought back to here and now. 

I'm not sure if I'll ever be the same after this journey.  But the message I got is that it may be time for me to pick up the pieces and return to the land of the living.  Though one life has ended, new life springs forth.

Drawing people into my life

April 6th, 2014

Girl with wavy hair in profile, white on black

This is the most amazing phenomenon.  I have, on more than one ocassion, drawn people I was not intending to.  For example, I drew a picture of a woman in profile with soft looking wavy hair sweeping her face in 2010.  It was a reandom picture of nobody in particular but just one that I liked.  It was also a development on my experimentation of drawing with white pencil onto black paper.  All in all, I was quite pleased with the result.

Fast forward to late 2012.

One day, this amazing woman blows into my life in a whirlwind of enthusiasm and joy.  She becomes a corner-stone of support and a spring of inspiration.  A while later, I was showing a mutual friend some of my work and she blurted out: "Oh wow, that's C!"  Looking at it now, I can also see it.  Wow!  What an amazing coincidence.  Imagine drawing someone into your life?  Cool idea!

Sorry, she's been soldThen, sometime last year, I decided to draw a dancer.  This time to see if I could get some colour into my life.  Once more on showing my work to a friend, I was told that I had drawn my daughter's dance teacher.  I promise I was not trying to do so.  It was just some random dancer and I had no intention of drawing anyone I knew. 

Just imagine what an awesome gift that would be to have.  The ability to literally draw people into your life.  Hmmm, looks like there could be some potential here . . .

I've been man-less for some time now since my soul mate was taken in a horrible motor-cycle accident.  I think I might be ready to get myself a new one.  So I began to draw and to paint.  

Young dancer leaping through the air

I drew a young dancer leaping through the air.  Hmmm, yummy muscles . . .  In fact, it would appear that his muscles actually have muscles!  And talk about a "six-pack"! No fridge at our local bottle store has EVER had anything that could compete with this guy's stomache!  Phew!  Bit young for me though . . .

Gorgeous topless young man, oil on canvas

Next, I turned to painting.  Those arms look like they could do some serious hugging, and the light and energy just glowing from his body . . . Who wouldn't want a young man with such abundant energy?  Well, I don't.  Yet again, I believe the beautiful thing is just too young!  Oh dear, I hope I'm not drawing them for my sweet little 13 year old daughter!

 

Wise looking old Native American man

Back to the drawing board, or in this case the drawing pile.  Now this excercise I found really interresting.  I have these gorgeous, hunky young eye-candy type men in my collected creations and yet I just cast them aside.  Curiouser and curiouser.

I eventually landed on this drawing, which I completed in 2011 (a few days after my man's passing in fact), and just knew that he is the kind of man my soul is seeking.  There is life in this man's face.  He has lived and he has suffered.  He has loved and he has laughed.   He looks wise and thoughtful, a man with kindness and compassion in his heart.  A man with strength of character and bearing.  The lines next to his eyes and mouth look like they have smiled their fair share.  The eye-candy young men of my other work are all fine and well, but by comparison, they're just blank canvases.

Yes, I think I'll have this one please!  I only have one question: "Does this show that I'm getting old?"