Summer has been lovely. All the walks in the woods, the time spent wandering aimlessly, for a while, just looking, peering into the faces of flowers, the dark edges of ponds, the soft plop, plop of mysterious creatures coming up for air, or food perhaps. Reading poetry there, and beauty of course. The silence and the incessant chirping, all falling with equal grace upon the eager, grateful ears that like to hear nothing and everything, that are married to sound and silence with equal fervor. The rising and softly falling away of images, day dreams. Some known, others unknown. Strange yet strangely familiar. All this and so much more.
Summer has been so lovely.
This sweet little bud that flavored my tea. Thank you for granting me a moment of grace, for soothing my eyes, for softening my heart with your sweetness. There is so much to be said for thanking the food on our table. For taking a moment to be grateful for the sustenance, for this gift of nature that was given freely. I am saddened that I have moved away from it. I am saddened that I take it for granted and only praise the colour or the pretty picture that it makes. Isn’t true mindfulness understanding the wholeness of the gift of the moment? Looking beyond what we gain from it?
As an adult, I have always shied away from plucking flowers and leaves. I enjoy them so much more on the trees and plants, their natural home. The only time I buy flowers is when we have a pooja, a religious ceremony, where we offer fruits and flowers to the deities. I remember absolutely sobbing when the people we hired to do our driveway cut the beautifully arching honeysuckle to make room for their truck. I remember the bewildered worker calling his boss to inform him about the crazy lady crying over the honeysuckle. Poor man! But I couldn’t help it, and I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say that I felt the pain physically. I feel it still. I know it’s deeply hypocritical of me because I do eat fruits and vegetables plucked from vines and trees, but there it is. I guess I am quirky that way. 😛
But one thing I do hope to do from now on. Express my profound gratitude for every meal and morsel. It is the least I can do.
I always love the summer days when we forego solid gym work for a walk in the woods. It feels like a mini holiday. A small breakaway. Fingers tracing the rustling green, glad hearts.
There were so many bunnies. Ears twitching, noses in the air, mouths full of moist green grass. Such sweet, gentle creatures. I wanted to hold one, or two, but they didn’t seem too wild about the idea, disappearing into the tall grass lickety-split.
And then, the butterflies, and the flowers….
If only I could make a bouquet of these days, I would place them in every room, a burst of light and warmth for the coming cold winter days and nights.
After a long time, paint on my fingers.
I have always been a reader, never without the essence of another story running in parallel with my own. Except for a few months in the immediate past where I just couldn’t. I don’t know why. And I have never felt so disconnected with my self. So adrift and empty. But thankfully, this phase has passed and I have been reading voraciously again. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Journal of a solitude by May Sarton, My cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, just to name a few. It feels insanely good. So much so that I have devoted every spare moment to reading thus neglecting my painting. But that, too, has passed and I could paint again yesterday. Yippee!! So, here’s to getting back into the groove! To painting, reading, creating, to immersing oneself in the little things.
Here’s to feeling connected!
How beautiful the earth is today. How gentle. It’s a gift, a mother’s love. The blooming honeysuckle, the gentlest of breeze and soft soft sunlight. There is a peaceful, pervading stillness, a self contained quiet that is persuasive, leading me into absolute silence and being. No thoughts, no wishes, no dreams. Just pure being and unfolding under this warmth. It makes me want to come back to myself, to gather all those frayed, tattered bits and pieces that constitute my person and, just once, hold them tight to my chest with all the strength in my body, and then, to let them go into this light, so they can fall, softly, gently into place, making me whole once again.
Of soul, of spirit.
With nature, with self.
It’s a long and arduous walk uphill and I am still at the base, looking up, the bright sun in my eyes. But if knowledge and awareness are half the battle, then I am half way up. I hope to walk on, consciously shedding the unwanted weight of self-doubt, of superfluous thoughts and needs, of judgements and self-righteousness, to empty, empty, empty all that makes me blind to the beauty of this hill, the flowers growing there, and the cool shelter of trees. The running brook and it’s cold sweet water. The birds and the foxes. To emerge from the fog, the dark cloud of self-absorption into clarity, into light.
It’s a long walk uphill. I will not be done in this lifetime, or possibly the next. But I have taken the first step, and maybe that is all I will achieve in this lifetime, but hey, it is a step forward, and that gives me hope.
It was so difficult to come back into the sheltered cool of the house. The sun is so bright and happy today, after days of gloomy grey. I just wanted to sit out there, with the sun on my back, melting melting, simply looking at everything, and nothing. A slow soft gaze without purpose, repose-ful. Days like these fill up the soul brimful of light.
Nowhere to go, nowhere to be, except to stay in this light, bathing in it’s warmth.
Look at these happy campers. Just thrilled, I am sure, to feel the sun on their bright little faces. Tiny lemon drops of pure joy.
through quiet solitude,
through the silent movement of pen over paper,
reaching for the self,
again and again and again….
36″ x 36″ Acrylics on Canvas
The world is ablaze, and everyday, the fire reaches in more and more. More and more everyday, I try to stave off it’s heat for fear of going up in flames, of being consumed. More and more everyday, the outside threatens to become the inside.
But I won’t let it.
Not until I have this breath, this light, this birdsong, and the firm belief that there is more kindness and love in this world than fire and meanness. And I see that kindness and love everyday in the voices raised against injustice. That is what I choose to believe and focus on.
Kindness and love.
Be the light.
Loose, loose, loose….
The more I write, the more I draw and paint, the more I realise how important it is to stay true to your own voice. When the art flows naturally, it feels right, it belongs. The judgement falls away making room for acceptance and for being.
So here’s to staying true to our inner voice.