|Small Abstract in matte 11"x14"|
For my birthday I got myself a big new free happy unusual life! Nice of me, don't you think? I've been wanting this for quite some time now but every year I forget. Mostly I am never quite sure where to get this, what it looks like and if I can afford it. Can you think of a better gift, really? You might even want this yourself? Oh, did I mention it's a book? By Nina Wise. No I forgot, well memory's not what it used to be and there are up sides to that. The book is subtitled "self-expression and spiritual practice for those who have time for neither" It is my good fortune to have time for both, but still the book appeals.
I like to think of a birthday the same way I think of the turning of the year on January 1st. Our birth was a new year for us as we inhaled our first breath and this is the anniversary of it. I like to think of my birthday as a time of re-orientation and reflection, a time to consider where I might go from here, to consider and set intentions, instead of just stumbling along the well worn ruts or reciting the lines of my life by rote. And always with a nod to the bigger picture and the fact that life may have other plans for me.
And of course more than anything, a birthday is a time to be grateful for life so far. The normal inclination is to pick at what remains undone like some small sore, to notice what doesn't please and what we wish we hadn't done. But there is a moratorium on this line of thinking that comes accompanied by a bar of chocolate (it's a party, right?). This is a time of celebration, don't you think? We tend, in our busyness, in our usual state of partial awareness to forget the essence of these defining moments. Someone bakes a cake, someone buys us a gift, we get a few phone calls, maybe have a nice dinner but the deeper essence of it scuttles along the ocean floor of our lives. I say, get out the Zen pom poms and do a little cheer, shout into the forest. What is the sound of one more year passing? Which way are we pointing ourselves, deeper into the forest or craning, like a wise seedling toward the light?
This year my dharma radar has picked up some previously hidden hot spots. The power of our minds and how we can train them in more wholesome ways of being has been an important aspect of practice this year. A retreat, a general tiredness of the landscape of fear and the book the Buddha's Brain were all auspicious opportunities, pointing me in this direction. I have spent some time just being with worry and fear, getting a taste of their particular flavour in the body and then watching them move through time and again like little dust storms of angst. Seeing how these emotions pull like twisted stitches on the fabric of my days has been sobering. Seeing that I have a choice to sew a different stitch has made all the difference. The power of the mind led me to consider the energy of intention and its cultivation. Like any year, this one has been rich with opportunity to wake up. I like to think that the keel of my little boat has balanced a little more evenly and steadily this turn around the pond (even if I don't have both oars in the water all the time). I have been reminded of the preciousness of this human life by some brave souls which has encouraged me to consider how I really want to spend my time.
So in the tradition of the native people of this land who give gifts when they hold a celebration, I would like to invite anyone who would like a small trinket of art to send me their snail mail address and I will pop a little something in the mail to you. It seems a fitting way to hold a party.
And here are few of the treasures that have come to live with me and give me great delight, bring beauty to my eyes and and inspire me.
|By Jeane Myers|
|by Juana Almaguer (Gallery Juana on etsy)|
|Tag by Leslie Avon Miller|