Grandmother’s Coat

Grandmother-s coat heller kleinI have always been fascinated by Clarissa Pinkola Estes idea of making a full length scapecoat to detail in painting, writing, with all manner of things pinned and stitched inside. But I really love what Alice Wellinger has done here. This beautiful piece truly resonates and fuels the desire to do something using a grey coat that I have had hanging, unworn for many years.

In order to come to know them better it could also be good to explore what the inside of a character’s coat looks like

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The Key in Riversleigh

It would seem that a magnetic force is drawing kindred spirits into Riversleigh. To learn more about Riversleigh and to find your way there simply follow a guide.

healing haven

It was one of those lovely winter days when I was lying on a branch of a tree, content to have shifted into a small female human and be hidden – or so I thought.  Suddenly the raven flapped down beside me and squawked.   I took it to mean “hello” so I responded appropriately.  She muttered as she reached under her wing and pulled out a small key on a string with her beak.

holding out the key

Extending it forward towards me, she nodded and murmured.  I tentively reached out and she nodded in response.  A key!  Whatever for?  As if she could hear my thoughts, she replied, “It is the key you will need as you travel in a variety of ways and many places.  Use it wisely!”

I was already in this realm of Riversleigh, so it wasn’t for me to get in.  Where might I need this?  Always more questions than answers.  As…

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Arriving at Riversleigh

It is so good to see residents arriving at Riversleigh Manor! A warm welcome to Sleepy Raven

Simple, rustic, beautiful <3 I love the disheveled way the curtains are draping.

I do believe this will be the year I get out of bed. But don’t wait for me. It will be a while. I am a sleepy raven. My feathers are heavy with memory. I cannot fly anymore. I have come to Riversleigh to clean my feathers that have become coated by the by-products of a natural disaster of a life.

I am a sad and sleepy raven, but a raven still…a trickster. Don’t count me out. I am a gatherer and an assembler. I work with what I find and there is no end to what I discover on my ravenly way.

Steph

Purveyor of Creative Stimuli

I used to pride myself in being a purveyor of creative stimuli! Feedback from those who trawled through Soul Food supported my claim that I was quite good at triggering creative responses by providing a smorgasbord of tempting fragments.

Here is one I used to love to use with students. I would insist that there was complete silence and then I would take them through this guided imagery. After we completed the imagery exercise, the students would write what they saw in their imagination and then share their writing with other students. The experience was always exhilarating and there were times when the class spontaneously broke into applause.  I was always impressed by how insightful my students were.

You are walking down a road…. As you are walking, you see a house. Look at it. Notice its details…. Walk towards it. What do you notice about it?…. You start to walk around the house, looking at it as you walk…. Now you are halfway around. Notice the details of the house as you continue to walk around it…. Now you come back to where you were when you started…. As you walked around the house, you noticed a way to get in. Now go into the house…. What do you see?…. Explore the house, what’s inside?…. As you were exploring, you noticed a secret door leading to a secret room. Go inside that room. What do you see?…. Now leave the secret room and go back into the main part of the house…. Now leave the house. As you are walking away from it, you look back at it one more time…. You are back on the road once again, walking.

It was sessions like this that led to a collection of prompts being housed at Soul Food.

Acts of Giving

photo-15

Two and a half years ago, when building work forever altered the back yard of my home here in Castlemaine, I envisioned the back yard becoming like a woodland and planted lots of trees.

My vision is becoming a reality as the yard is full of happy trees and the ground is littered with the leaves that shower gently down, softening what had become a harsh landscape after all the construction work.

Each tree is special but it is the two Manchurian Pear Trees who really seem to have minds of their own. They have determined how they will shape themselves and fit in with those around them.

A strong wind snapped the central limb of one of these twelve  months ago. Effective pruning has resulted in this tree having a relatively compact, bushy effect. She is now just the right size and is looking particularly lovely these days.

By contrast, the one shown here had grown tall and lanky and her upper limbs seemed to suffer from any winds that swirled past.

So two nights ago, she took advantage of a very gusty southerly change this tree, and discarded a central limb.

I was distressed to find branches laying at her feet and to see another limb left waiting to snap.

What is interesting is the timing of it all.

I was going to lunch with Carol, who felt the need to share a leg of lamb and who happens to know about trees. She had invited another friend who was only too willing to come to my house and provide the much needed surgery to ensure that the tree would effectively reshape itself as its ‘friend’ had done.

The unexpected visit of these friends to my home to help my tree led an interesting exchange of services.

John perused my book shelf and his hand went to one of my favourite books, the Tao of Art by Ben Willis. I photocopied a chapter for him, we relaxed over coffee and talked more freely.  I offered to help John get his work on line and to release his equivalent of ‘Anastasia’ in an online setting.

Clearly there is something to this concept of Random Acts of Giving.

Creative Compulsive Disorder

Zina

Zina Nicole Lahr

As a subscriber to Colossal I came upon the work of Zina Nicole Lahr. Tragically she recently died during a hiking trip. When you read her blog and her feelings about the loss of her sister this is all the more poignant.

Zina describes herself, in an inspirational video made by her friend, as having Creative Compulsive Disorder. There is no doubt that she was full of the most amazing creative energy and this makes her death harder to come to terms with. In this video, alone, she talks about so many creative projects. It is totally life affirming.

Zina was a Creative Forager and I am in awe of what she achieved in her short life.