photo by Teri Petz, http://www.worksofbeauty.ca
Welcome to my world this April! I’ve just finished two university classes that I’ve been auditing this semester at the University of Lethbridge: God on Trial, a philosophy course that dealt with theodicy — the question of how to reconcile a good God with the presence of evil and suffering, and Comparative Mysticism, a religious studies course. Both were great, but together, just about killed me off —- I reluctantly have to admit that going out every day (or 4 days a week) is just not sustainable for me, health and energy wise. I had thought that since I was very excited about the courses and that the logistics were manageable, that I would be able to add them to my days. But no, getting to the courses took almost all my energy, and other projects suffered.
It was really delightful, though, to relate to the profs and other students in lively intellectual discussions, something I’ve missed for many years. I’m a life-long learner, and am always taking courses on-line or in person, but the intellectual banter of the academic courses was stimulating and fun.
Art-wise, I’m experimenting in new styles. I’m painting in rhythm with the new moon, including simple ceremony and a monthly intention. Here’s what I just finished an hour ago:
There are about 5 layers of paint in here. Here’s an image in progress:
The words in the background are “feel, think, remember”. They are cues for associating to images from dreams or stories: “When I think of x , what do I think, feel, or remember about this image?” Associating to personal images, especially in dreams or in experiences of synchronicity, is one of my prime ways of accessing inner knowledge, and in this painting I was pouring a whole set of my current concerns. A new medication I’m trying suppresses the remembering of my dreams, and that’s a big issue for me! I’m re-teaching myself all my tricks to remember dreams, and appreciating the fragments and stray images that still manage to come through.
The cauldron is reminiscent of Ceridwen’s cauldron with the magical elixer — where even just three drops are enough to grant full wisdom and knowledge. The decorations on the cauldron are two intertwined snakes, visually associated both with healing (the caduseus) and with the shape of our DNA molecules, a tripartite intertwined shape reminding us of the movement in groupings of threes (thesis, antithesis, synthesis; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Maiden, Mother, Crone; the phases of the moon; etc.), and a row of frogs. The frogs are imaged in the shape of a woman giving birth. For me, frogs are symbols of irrepressible energy and new possibility. In a dream I had many years ago, I was carrying a bucket that was lidded, but it was filled with a few frogs that kept leaping out of the bucket no matter how I tried to tighten the lid. The rose is a symbol of so many ideas for me, also associated with so much mythology, especially the European mythology of my ancestors. Here, the rose reminds me of the unfolding mystery of life, which never fails to pull me in.
My intention for this New Moon is to develop a new habit: I will check email and the internet no more than three times daily. I don’t have a problem with internet addiction, but I’m certainly not immune to the dopamine hits of an email here, a FB message there. And I want more of my time to be invested in exploring the mysteries that call to me, rather than finding that I’ve unintentionally spent an hour, for the 3rd or 4th time today, lost on the internet highways. So! We’ll see how it goes. If only three drops of the magical elixer are enough for all wisdom and knowledge, then I figure that three check-in’s per day on the internet is enough for what I might need, too.
Thank you for reading this far, and thank you for the many wonderful comments so many of you share with me about my artwork and blog. May your Spring blossom beautifully!
With much love and many blessings,