Hello Dear Friends,

The above images are from my Studio Notebook. It takes a bit of courage to post them here, as they are certainly not “fine art”. Yet, I deeply want to encourage you to do a little creative something most days —- and if we wait to post only the “fine art”, not much will ever be shared!

The first two are meditation images, where I trace an old cd for a circle, intuitively draw a design that expresses my inner self in the moment, then try out different colorways. It’s the fastest way into silence for me! The second two are my very early attempts at a new love: geometric designs, especially Islamic geometric designs, created with only a compass and a straight-edge. (And unintentionally photographed on a crooked angle!) The final image is what I created, just like taking notes, from a simple art process from another Intentional Creativity teacher, Ally Markotich.

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Today is both the Solstice and the New Moon: In the northern hemisphere, both the Sun and the Moon return! Perhaps not visible yet, but surely promised! What have you been doing to mark this season? Or are you gobbled up by obligatory family traditions and expectations around Christmas?

My guys (spouse and son) are not into Christmas. (Well, I do have a present or two for each of us hidden away!) I’ve reframed the disappointment of little or no festivity as relief that the holiday does not entail more work from me, but can truly be a holy-day to be made into what I want it to be. And that means art and writing, assessing and planning! Of course I know that “planning” is the only sure way to make God laugh — but I hold things lightly, and laugh too!

I’m deeply in the midst of my traditional year end re-reading of my journals from the past year and deciding, to the best of what I can control, what to keep and what to let go of. One thing I will keep is my relatively new habit of an artist’s Sketchbook, or Studio Notebook, in which I regularly try out new ideas as well as use my art as spiritual practice. Above are some of my quick creations.

I keep journals for two primary reasons: throughout history, women’s lives were not, and still aren’t taken very seriously. Actually, neither are most men’s lives either, unless they were either conquerors or extraordinary saints. (Remember that who gets proclaimed as a saint is always a political statement.) I’m not a conqueror, an extraordinary saint, nor a servant (the expected role of many women). I want to honor and appreciate ordinary lives, and feel the power of honoring and appreciating my own.

The other reason I keep a journal is to make visible to myself all that I do on a daily basis that unless documented in some way falls into invisibility. If I don’t keep a journal, a week or two can go by and looking back, I can barely remember anything I’ve done. This then triggers my social conditioning that says I must be wasting my time (a very serious sin according to the overculture). I banish those old voices by documenting the truth: I have a full and interesting life and while I do many, many things, I do not waste my time.

Since I’m still in the midst of the great “re-reading”, I’ll tell you more of my discoveries later. But for you, what are you saying goodbye to? What will you be keeping? Is there anything new wanting to happen?

With much love and many blessings,

Cat

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