I heard the call of the Unknowable One. They left a trail of scarlet breadcrumbs For my soul to follow, Because I was lost. Because my heart was baked hard like the stony desert. Yes, it was The Unknowable One Who scattered their hearts and flowers across my path. "There's beauty even here", I heard them say (when the ocean of my thoughts subsided a little). "I have no way of understanding. This new country is unknown." I replied. And so, they enfolded me in mother-arms; I was cocooned there. Nothing else to do But be carried by the Unknowable One.
My Soul Will Glorify the Lord
I made this little video in collaboration with Kylie and Sammy Horner, with lyrics by Beki Hemmingway. Artwork is mine and is an amalgamation of older pieces, some from my ‘Angels and Archetypes’ collection from 2019, and a couple of paintings from my most recent series “Butterflies With Tattered Wings’.
I was participating in an ‘Introduction to Trinitarian Theology’ course with Baxter Kruger, and part of the content was to explore the Mary, the mother of Jesus and the very significant role she played in the story of redemption. She is the link between us and the humanity of the Christ. I hope you enjoy.
The Room of My Soul
In the room of my soul, there are arched windows.
Made of stone, they crumble a bit.
But the windows frame the ever changing landscape.
I keep an eye on the important details.
As the shadows shift
Summer and Winter
Are gloriously displayed in their whirling dance.
I can see the broody sky,
and the sweeping hills below.
My Guardian angel like the breeze
hovers over my life.
Ready at my aid, eager to help.
But for now, just sending blessings on my head saying,
“Rest,rest,rest and be still now”.
Could I be this cherished, precious, valuable?
Though it seems I am only a butterfly with tattered wings.
I find in my doorway a tentative harmony,
A soulful dialogue, a childlike prayer.
Full of hope
Like those Monarch Butterflies
weaving patterns in the air.
Robust little messengers.
The room of my soul,
contains all of the little details of my time here
Woven together, hammered together
Painted and furnished by me
Yet held with miraculous hands.
The Illusion of Independence- a Meditation about Love
We are like colours that collide and form an artwork.
We are like jewels that recognise the stardust in one another.
We see the face of God mirrored back to us.
The eternal truth that is at the core of all great spiritual teaching is to love God, and love others. Love is the supreme force of the universe generating creative power, healing and unity.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about how this can be accomplished in the day to day material stuff of life, I find myself out of my depth. I know it’s impossible to truly love and be devoted to God without loving others also.
I realised today that I was thinking about this in linear terms, or in terms of dominant culture which has essentially submerged all of us into a kind of illusion of independence. But we are not independent, we were never intended to be, either.
We are designed to live in community. All are needed, all have a part to play which goes way beyond just the bread and butter of existence, way beyond vocation, success, failure and finding a niche in life. It operates on an energetic, cellular level. Our actions and thoughts truly ripple out, affecting those around us for better or for worse. We are often unable to see how we affect others, especially when we have blessed or encouraged another human being. Deep is the mystery of how souls intertwine and nourish one another. Think of how plants grow- we can’t observe it happening in real time, but plants do indeed grow. Or how children grow physically at night while they sleep. The changes that happen quietly and in secret are the most profound. So too is that ripple effect of our souls. Who knows what that water will stir up or reflect.
To love others is to live with open palms to the world. To loosen our grip on our own ideas and let the water of love do as it will. We can have our intentions, yes, but we can neither know nor guide the outcome. I see it as a divine alchemy, as we come into contact with other souls in a somewhat random way. Jesus says that when we welcome or serve just one little child (or one small, seemingly insignificant anyone), we are also welcoming and embracing God. Love has a habit of hiding in the small and inconsequential.
My prayer is that this sense of unity and solidarity will wash over the world.
We were not made to be independent..we were never intended to be. There is no such thing as a small act of love, for love is found in the things that the world will overlook in it’s chaos. Love is often found in the quiet, the still, the hidden things
Water Baptism- a dream reflection
I want to share with you a dream I had, as the imagery was so powerful, it has given me much to reflect on. I’ve called the dream (and the painting above) ‘Water Baptism’
In the dream I was up in the clouds. There was a teacher with me, relating all sorts of wonderful things about a global perspective. I could see the horizon and the earth below, and it was glorious. But somehow I was slipping and wasn’t able to stay in the sky. So I fell. But the fall wasn’t dramatic as in many dreams, it was soft. I gently landed in the ocean, and woke up as I emerged, face first from the water, which was a beautiful aquamarine blue.
It feels like sacred ground to try to interpret this dream in a linear fashion. I think I will only be able to catch the overarching message, and trust that my deepest soul understands more than my conscious understanding. The most obvious metaphor to me, of the water at least, is baptism. Baptism is a way of representing an inner surrender, as death yields to life.
Submerged in the ocean, we are utterly engulfed by the water, but also buoyed up by it- if we relax. When we are drowning, they say the more we struggle to stay afloat, the more likely we are to actually drown because we are expending so much energy in our panic. To swim, one must learn the skill of relaxing into the water and thereby the body becomes its own life raft and floats. There is a humble beauty in yielding. To circumstances, to God, to who we are. In dreams every element can also be understood as parts of ourselves. So, even the body of water that held me is a part of me, perhaps that sacred space in my heart where God also dwells.
Dreams provide wonderful inspiration for art, and this one is no exception. For me, to paint a dream is a way of imprinting it onto my psyche, and I’m sure the meaning of this one will evolve just as I am evolving. Hopefully others too will be able to resonate with it, since after all, dream symbols are part of our collective unconscious.
St Theresa of Avila describes spiritual metamorphosis in terms of a butterfly which emerges after days and days of being in a cocoon spun around it’s body. It is changed on a cellular level, no longer resembling in any way the lumpen worm that chews its way through mulberry leaves. It’s not merely a worm with wings, it is utterly different, transformed. This body of water can also be seen in terms of a chrysalis. When we are in our mothers’ womb, we float in water, before we emerge into another reality…Truly, as the psalmist says; “Your ways are too wonderful for me too lofty to attain”. Some things are so beautiful and true that we can only trust that somewhere deep in our soul there is a flicker of understanding.
May we all find quiet trust in these waters as we surrender to it’s depths.