Roses Falling from My Shawl, Cat Charissage, (c) 2017 a.r.r. acrylic on canvas
Happy New Moon, in this week of light revealing itself after such darkness —- literally in the new moon appearing, in the Winter Solstice (in the northern hemisphere), in the lights of Christmas, and metaphorically in the sunflower of my painting as light at the center of my being, in perseverance in the darkness of depression, in hope that justice and compassion will prevail in the conflicts of our world.
I wish you could see this painting in real life. It is full of texture: the flowers are literally three-dimensional. The painting references the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, when Juan Diego visits the bishop with the message from the Lady, and in the middle of winter, fresh red roses tumble from his tilma (poncho or shawl) —- a miracle to show the bishop that our Lady’s words are true. If you know me, you know that I often wear shawls. I’d love to dance under the stars with my shawl, with ease and joy. As well, I hope that goodness and compassion come as a result of my presence, my intentions, my actions. We rarely know of the far-reaching effects of our lives, for good or for pain, and I would hope to send ripples of joy and compassion out, without concern for knowing exactly what has come of it, without concern for gratitude or recognition. (Well, one can hope. . . . . !)
Both sunflowers and roses have deep meanings for me. Both unfold petals, and seeds in the sunflowers, in beautiful patterns of universal growth: Fibonacci sequences of beauty and practicality, “sacred geometry”. Sunflowers are such happy flowers. I love how they move throughout the day, following the light of the sun. They model for me how I want to be in the world: to be of use, as sunflowers give nourishment through their abundance of seeds, and to be of beauty and encouragement. They live and offer themselves wherever they are, whether in a backyard, a florist’s shop or a roadside ditch. I want to be like the sunflower —- beautiful, among so many others who are beautiful; special, among so many other special individuals; ordinary, among so many other ordinary beings.
Roses speak to me of the Great Mystery of life —- mystery not as something that can never be known, that we just have to accept, but rather mystery like a rose that continually unfolds, revealing more and more complexity, and beauty, as the mystery unfolds in our hearts and lives.
And it’s the Mystery of life that is the “Beloved” of my poem below. I don’t know what “God” is, if God “is”. So much I don’t know. (Ask me 35 years ago and I would have had lots to say. Now, not so much.) But I do know there is Love, and the possibility of Love, within ourselves, able to be offered and received.
So in this season, be of good cheer, be as well as possible. Don’t lose hope in love.
With much love and blessing,
“Roses Falling from My Shawl”
I raise my eyes to you, my Beloved.
Let me attend to you, my Love, my Life.
Let me hear your song,
O One in whom we all are,
so that every step is my path in you,
that the dance of my life reflects
your geometries of Beauty, Love.
Let roses fall from my shawl
to bring your fragrance into our ordinary
til “ordinary” reveals
more than enough of
whatever is needed.
May I follow my dance with you
so that healing, joy, goodness
are known wherever we step.
Let me not be distracted by other voices
nor by accolades
nor be concerned with “doing it right”
or if I’m doing “enough,”
but let me simply do what is mine to do,
simply be what is mine to be,
til following you, my Love,
Mystery unfolds, and
seeing You, I see all.