Friday, July 12, 2013

Navigating By Heart

A Cave In The Heart 10"x10" mixed media
The other day while exploring the second hand store of my inner landscape I discovered the vast navigational powers of the heart. But perhaps you are more sailor-like than I, and already knew about this awesome device?  I  was combing the cluttered inner shelves of stories and regrets, moments of delight and longing, rubbing off dust and cobwebs, when I came across this valuable but rusty bit. I mean I have bumbled around with this navigational heart-tool, using it  haphazardly, perhaps even recklessly at times. And there have been stormy situations where I suspect this knowing tool steered the course while I choked and sputtered below deck.

But as I painted the other day, the words "navigating by heart" bubbled to the surface of my little mind pond and I realized that for once this is what I was doing. The imposing navigational device of my mind had dropped off the charts (perhaps for scheduled maintenance?).

Continental Heart Drift mixed media 8"x10"
I am not negating the awesome powers of the mind but sometimes reason and logic are not the best tools in the chest.  Perhaps they are best called into service as gathering tools?  The mind can collect and process vast quantities of information, bringing home jewels and treasures. And maybe then the navigational tool of the heart is called into service, working its magic, making  choices, charting the way through narrow or difficult creative channels where the course is best steered with the heart.  Sometimes you prepare a checklist for what you want in a new home or what elements should go into a story you are writing but in the final cut, you buy that home with your heart or the story veers deliciously off course to become something you hardly recognize.   When we trust our hearts we may find that the heart can know what you need when the head doesn't have a clue.

Rounding The Cape of Good Hope mixed media 12"x12"

And so it is with the process of creating as you stand before your project. The head is limited to what it can conceive of but the heart is open to unknown possibilities, its maps and charts are less well defined, more amorphous.  Because of this the heart has a reach that is greater than the head's and that's why it's navigational powers hold such strength.  The heart is charting the course by a map that the eyes cannot see, traveling in terrain where the mind doesn't go.  There are stars shining in the darkness that the heart navigates by.  There are tangles in the bushes that the heart somehow eerily anticipates, if you let it.

I recommend heartily (pun intended) that you get yourself over to the hardware store of your inner knowing, close your eyes and pick out a heart compass that is vibrating at just the right frequency for you.  Pick up a few and hold them.  You will know the right one by how it feels in the palm of your hand. There are wonderful topographical maps and charts of vast inner oceans waiting for your heart compass to navigate. I wish you wonderful travels.


  1. Beautiful metaphorical post that hits TRUTH throughout. Thank you!

  2. thanks, Chris. I think we must know a truth somewhere inside to recognize it when we see it somewhere outside, don't you think?

  3. wow! I do believe you are ahead of the game with your 'heart compass' - I'm a believer that it is equally important to develop as our head compass. xo

  4. I know that you know this one, Jeane! I think that's why you always say it's so hard to explain your process, it's coming from somewhere beyond words! happy Saturday!

  5. So weird that you should write this post now. My thoughts have been meandering around just such a topic especially in regard to my art. I have been allowing my heart to lead and though it may take longer I am definitely more satisfied with the outcome. The mind tends to hurry things up as if there is a deadline and really that is not how the muse likes to operate. Thanks for this post at just the right time Carole and I do love your latest paintings.

  6. It is funny how that can happen. It's like thoughts are out there in the ether building critical mass as more of us tap into them. Yes, there seems to be something quieter, less bossy and insistent about using the heart to lead.

  7. "Continental Heart Drift" takes my breath away! All three are lovely!
    Peter London has a new blog (found on his website Peter London) devoted to his connection with his mentor and will be writing his words of wisdom for the next couple of years...I'm mentioning this because I think you and I share an appreciation for his book "No More Secondhand Art" or maybe I've stepped into a memory black hole and have it all mixed up...anyway it looks interesting!

  8. Oh, that's great news! Yes I loved his book so much. Haven't looked for him online in a long while so thanks so much for this info. I am excited to go check it out!

    Thanks for the kind words. Happy painting and sewing! I am getting more drawn to the printing and sewing thing after seeing Robyn's post on hand made books.

  9. Oooo - "Navigating by Heart" - wonderful words that arose for you! I resonate! That is, my Heart resonates :) And I love how creatively you wrote this post! I am still working on getting the Heart navigational tool on-line, but the Heart is definitely calling to me in ways it hasn't before. And so I am paying attention - not allowing myself to be deterred, or is that detoured :) - no matter what life brings... Although I'm getting the impression it isn't going to be what I *thought* it would be :) Happy Navigating :)

  10. Hi Christine. Yes, I can see that this tool would suit you perfectly! Thats it isn't it with so many things, not allow ourselves to be deterred (or detoured)

    I think it's true in so many things, it isn't what we think it will be, whatever the "It" is.

    yes, happy navigating to you. may the winds be sweet and the sun warm on your back.

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