Saturday, June 16, 2012

Washed

8"x10" Vancouver Morning
I woke up this morning to the sound of rain crinkling.  Instead of being instantly dismayed I simply listened to the sound of water falling from the sky. I did not flavour it with the sweet taste of goodness or the bitterness of bad.  It sounded like someone gently crinkling paper, that's all, a simple sound. This could be the year the west coast invents a whole dictionary of rain. The Inuit purportedly have many words for snow, not just one. So it could be sogging out there right now or damping this afternoon.  And of course it was crinkling this morning. Apparently the number one topic for polite conversation in Canada is the weather, so there's been lots of chit chat about the rainy cool, greyness here. At least one local has decided to make a personal appeal to the sun by dancing. Some have taken to calling this month Juneuary.

Archipelago of the Heart 12"x24"

But the word that the rain whispered to me this morning was "washed". It wasn't oh #!%* it's raining again (seems I've caught punctuation mouth from my daughter).  It reminded me of a blog post I read at Mystic Meandering recently. Sometimes when we find ourselves repeatedly in difficult situations, there is a thing that happens inside.  Sometimes we can get so bombarded by life that the whining and wanting drops away. If you've ever been besieged by a series of difficult circumstances, especially big ones, it's like our ground gets "washed" away. We can become someone we hardly know as we enter a "groundless" space. We stop bargaining and hoping and just do what needs to be done. We might feel like we are drowning, we might feel like we're not handling it very well or we might not think about it at all. A little bit of self has been washed away, maybe momentarily, maybe forever. RM Jiyu Kennett from the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives used to say something like "the karmic washing is excruciating but the bathing is exquisite." I may be way off on the quote but I think she was speaking to how difficulties can "wash" away things like hopes and fears and leave us with an equanimity, an acceptance of what is. In a small way all this "weather" has washed away a little bit of the sun whiner in me (at least for now).
20"x24" On the easel

So if we are lucky life will offer us a "washing" every now and then. And perhaps if we take small washings on a regular basis, the bigger washings won't scrub us so raw when they arrive. Because, inevitably a little or a lot of rain is going to fall on us all some day. May your "washing" be gentle and come with earth friendly, non toxic ingredients.

I will end with a bit from my current read, "Gardening At Dragon's Gate by Wendy Johnson: "Three-quarters of the body of the earth is covered by water, alive and circulating, while our own bodies are at least 60 percent water. "Chemically speaking" runs a passage from the 1846 Farmers' Almanac, " a human being is 45 pounds of carbon diffused through 5 1/2 pails of water." From the depths of our cells, in the moisture of blood and sweat, tears and saliva, water speaks to water."

24 comments:

  1. ...ahhh I love this piece and the art too..Its so interesting this perspective of feeling ugh about the rain. I've felt that too in New York during that wet rain/slush days. But its such a different experience here this part of India that I live in now. Monsoon is a whole season by itself, completely welcome after the scorching summer. We have a whole range of foods and entertainment come monsoon. Of course towards the end comes the ugh feeling. Everything apparently is "good" only in bits.

    Sorry, I went off on a tangent. I just needed a prompt, it seems like. But monsoon has just begun here and its beautiful. Everything is green and cool.

    I love how beautifully you speak of this sense of "washing" away. In many ways I feel like I have been washed off the sweltering heat of the summer and the "suffering" that comes with it. Ok. will stop rambling :-)

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    1. lovely to hear your fond thoughts on the monsoon season. it expands my world to hear these. and it all makes me realize how we humans fill neutral events with the emotion of our likes and dislikes.

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  2. RAIN,RAIN,RAIN..the whole world over. Here we have had a month's worth of June's average rainfall in 24 hours. My bro, in Melbourne, reports rain eclipsing years vof drought all over the state of Victoria....SO, everywhere, it seems..and they sang ...."THE BEST IS YET TO COME, AND BABY...WON@T IT BE FU-UN..?? Anyway, i enjoyed reading this "post"...IT WAS FU-UN !!!

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    1. so we're not the only ones "waitin on a sunny day"? we do love our summers here in the northern parts of the world and look forward to them! and yet the great cycles of weather are unmoved by our longing and the damage we have done to these cycles is unremorseful in its response to our careless ways.

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  3. Beautiful pieces!! I love the palette, the simplicity, and the nuance of them!

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    1. thanks, Jann, I'm starting to feel a little less like I'm thrashing around.

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  4. Thank you for the link, Carole! I love your description of just listening and sensing the rain, as just raining, not something to label or judge. Kind of like life - life is just life-ing... It's just what it is, as you say.

    Ah yes, "washings" - have had a deluge of those haven't I :) Sometimes it does feel more like a drowning in the sea of life... I have to really *consciously* bring my awareness back to the Heart of Being, our True Nature, that deep place of just aware-ing internally - and deeply listen to that inner Flow and not get distracted by the externals of life in the mind. But as you say, to come from a place of radical acceptance for the truth of what is, and experience what is really going on behind "the washing"... :)

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    1. you are most welcome! always some teaching in what goes on around us and inside us!

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  5. Your way of writing is like gentle rain both soothing and refreshing, I have visited you for a little while and sense your calm, this is good for me, I have been in a situation where I've had a good scrubbing from life and can relate to the sentiment "difficulties can "wash" away things like hopes and fears and leave us with an equanimity" This rings true for me, I'm changed forever.

    Thank you for this.

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    1. hello, always love to hear from new voices. and it is such a 2 way street. good to hear your words this morning as I've had an unexpected mini scrubbing this week. It can be so hard for us to see these things as helpful, but truly they are.

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    1. ah the calmness of fog, something in me finds it so delicious! enjoy your mystery shrouded day.

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  7. this whole post rests in such a peace filled space - and the last painting is gorgeous!! all light and air and delicate lines, wonderful xo

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  8. Beautiful paintings of grey, the middle between right and wrong, yin and yang, the color of compromise and I like to think, compassion.
    Rain of many names...I like that idea. Rain between wind gusts predicted.

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  9. thanks, Leslie, she too of the grey coast! I hope you post about your exploration of non-toxic art materials. Just got a rabbit friendly gesso recipe from SoewnEarth. I think this is exciting territory!

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  10. You know I love the marble-ness of the one on the easel! The stone carver in me resonates to the implied cracks and, well, marbling.

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    1. interesting. one thing I've been drawn to do in abstraction is to kind of create the feeling of rock, as in cliffs. After looking at the one you mention I have a couple more tweaks for it. thanks.

      as I work I get to see what I like. It's interesting. I like subtlety. I don't want any brush marks and I want some feeling of mystery.

      I keep thinking my pieces lack form but maybe in the end I will paint the formless. I think in that case I will need the texture and colour to hold the piece more.

      I am rambling about process (and enjoying it!!). Thanks for sparking that!

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    2. http://www.guylaramee.com/index.php?/lineage/the-cloud-of-unknowing/

      You might enjoy this artist's paintings, Guy Laramme. I was initially attacted to his book carvings (landscapes, just wonderful), but his paintings of fog and clouds, and his affinity to Friedrich are also lovely. Speaking of painting the formless and the effect it has on the beholder.

      More here: http://www.guylaramee.com/index.php?/lineage/the-sacrifice/

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    3. thanks for that! His work is beautiful and I love his words that hold up his work. always inspiring to find dharma art!

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  11. Ah. I have to send you a poem... Into each life a rain must pour...

    I love that you've said in one post what took me a week of writing to articulate! If I could find a good rainpour I'd go dancing!

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    1. a rainpour, I love that. and yes I could use a little dancing myself. let's do the birthday boogie, shall we? and no we refuse to wear purple (well I guess I can only speak for myself!)

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  12. As I do not live too far from you I also get the gray cloudy days..the joke here is that we will get our summer AFTER July 4th.. I love how you have come up with such wonderful words to describe our abundance of rain... and applied all as metaphors for life.

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    1. Lots of indoor time to ponder rain words! Someone recently said to me "summer never starts here til July 15th"

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