Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Once Upon a Word

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

This was just send today over the Art of Hosting emaillist and I just love it! A nice story by Martin Challis (looks like his whole blog/site is amasing!

Once upon a time and in place that is near to where we are today. A few simple words decided to see what they could be together. They wanted to know if they could achieve more collectively than they could as individuals? As words went, some were better known than others as some occurred more frequently in common usage. Each one enjoyed being spoken out loud. Being announced gave them life and they experienced delight when uttered in song. Being whispered softly in a moment of intimacy or friendship was equally considered quite a treat. Each word possessed unique characteristics. Some were made up of more letters, others had more syllables. However the words did not judge their differences, in fact they celebrated them. They knew that their differences; some being older, some longer and some more experienced, gave them strength. The words also possessed latent talents. They were able to change their shape and appear as different expressions of themselves. They called this, playing a role, or being characters. After much discussion the simple words agreed that if they were to serve their greatest purpose they should work together in a way that would be of benefit to all who uttered or heard them. Ultimately it was decided that of all expressions, they should come together to form a question. It was unanimously agreed that this was their best option. A question they considered, could, when expressed in the right circumstances and in the right way, provoke deep thought and wise conversation. The words agreed that the best question would take the following shape: What are the clearest words we can summon, to ask the best questions, to be the best and give the best that we can be, right now? From this they noticed, to their great delight, other words often came along in response, partly in admiration but mostly to contribute to creating insightful responses. To this day the work of these words continues and people who use them are often very satisfied and very pleased with what emerges.

Pods of Awakening

Monday, May 9th, 2011

My dear friend, Judy Wallace, is great in sensing the subtle. She is trying to bring her experiences in that domain into language, in an effort to share the wisdom she gains in this way. She started recently a series of blogposts called Pods of Awakening. To me it seems like pieces of the new story that we are in need of, and that are now showing up more and more.

I see pods of human and collective creativity, of all beings, now more visible to us and working intentionally, all of us together. Circles, morphing, moving effortlessly, interpenetrating realms and functions as we gracefully and effortlessly move in a life of wholeness, of co-creation. The pods seem like large bubbles of light bouncing on the land, connected to energy places on the Earth where the new collaborative wholeness of Earth civilization is taking form.

Outside the bubble of light there are still many areas of devastation, and suffering, death, or humans barely surviving. The old ways are dying, the new is manifesting in the midst of the compost heap of the old. The humans still living the old way do not see these lighted bubbles, these places and pods of joyous collective aliveness. We see them (from the bubble) around, they do not see us as they still do not perceive beyond the veil.

There are those of us who are Bridgers, the connectors, and we are teams of humans and invisible beings on the outside. We pierce the veil to re-enter the dying space-time continuum, to work with and offer possibility to the young especially, who are curious, open, and wanting to transform. They are open to new learning.

I know that once I saw an artwork from Dana Lynn Anderson that was exactly picturing these bubbles in the landscape. I still remember the imprint this art work had on me, although I didn’t have the financial means to buy it. It is still on my inner eye, and Judy’s blogpost revived this image. (Too bad I couldn’t find a picture of this art work.)

Creating Cultures of Place

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Art and Community; Creating Cultures of Place
The recent newsletter by Michael Jones, with a link to his latest essay – worthwhile reading!

Several years ago I was a keynote speaker at a Celebrating Communities Conference in Atlantic Canada. During the keynote I asked the group to share a story of a place where they experienced the greatest sense aliveness, vitality and connection. How did this connection to place shape how they thought about their leadership and their community now?

They reflected on finding common ground in their deep ties to land and sea and how these close ties to the wildness of nature instilled a resilience of spirit in their leadership and in their communities.

Shortly after the conference, in a conversation with Peter Block, who has written several wonderful books on community, he said; “we cannot begin to understand community without first talking about place”

Since that conference I have been convening place – based conversations with leaders in communities and organizations. I have learned that leaders who are place-based recognize they need to know where they come from in order to see where they are going. In a turbulent world where there are no rules, no consensus and no clear way forward, if they have no place to stand they will lack the grounding to act wisely in the world. In this context an intimate relationship with place helps us see – and clear sight helps us create a new story of possibility rooted in where we come from and who we want to be.

This spring I will be continuing these place- based conversations with municipal, government and arts leaders in a community conference in the Muskoka region of Ontario on the theme ‘Creating Cultures of Place’

To read more please go to my Leading Artfully blog, Art and Community; Creating Cultures of Place

Themes in the Feminine Archetype

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I said it before here, I’m way behind in blogging what I want to blog about… one big chunck that is on a pile right next to me is writing about the experience in our last Women Moving the Edge gathering. I know that one of the reasons that it hasn’t been done yet, is that our experience is getting more and more subtle, and in that way it is more and more difficult to write about it, at least when you don’t have a lot of time.
But my dear friend Helen comes to the rescue, as she has done incredible artful blogposts – using some of her fabulous pictures – on different topics or themes that are present for us. So instead of stressing myself to write I’m going to point you to her blog and my writings can still come in later.
Exploring radiance
The power of our daughters
Power of Place
Poetic response from the world
Widening the circle
Invisible beings and other dimensions
The presence of Ria’s book (Yes, mine)

A piece of art by Elena Leibbrand

A piece of art by Elena Leibbrand, made during the gathering

The power of art

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

I came acrossa blog posting by Arlene Goldbard saying this – bolding is mine!:

Below is a video made by Helen Titchen Beeth, from footage taken during our recent (10th!) Women Moving the Edge gathering. It ‘speaks’ about how we connect to different realms of knowing, when using art, color, lines…

And then I came across a blog post, written by Arlene Goldbard, related with this – bolding is mine!
“In my most recent talk, I spoke of six capacities best learned through art – social imagination, connectivity, improvisation, cultural citizenship, empathy, creativity – and their essential roles in so many realms: human evolution, healing, education, even the remarkable changes taking place in Tunisia and Egypt. My aim was to show how something that had been trivialized into mere entertainment is actually the secret of survival and resilience; and thereby to encourage people to show up full-size, claiming the space and support that the public interest in culture really warrants.”

Women Moving the Edge10

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

I’m way behind in blogging and in making notes and sit down to capture learnings…
but here is a great post by Helen on our latest Women Moving the Edge gathering here in Belgium. The slideshow with all the drawings we made is just stunning! (this was not a drawing workshop or art class!)

Economy, artistry and poetry

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Someone named Postnikov – I never heard about him before – has written some interesting thoughts on Economy. His post starts with a few quotes:
Let the beauty we love be what we do. – Rumi
The environmental crisis is the crisis of aesthetics. – James Hillman
The poet knows of no “waste”… Ecopoetics is the way of thinking economically. – Hwa Yol Jung

His opening line says: “It is the right time for poets and artists to engage in economics.” Mmmm, wondering what that would mean… What follows are snippets of his post:

“The idea is that the systemic collapse could be prevented, or, at least, alleviated, by invoking an inner artist in everyone…”
“Roughly speaking, in order to survive, we need to decentralize the economy as soon as possible by reducing it to an individual craftsmanship.”

I don’t agree fully with him here, I think the individual indeed needs to learn more craftsmanship, but the individual is too small a basis to live from. We will need the community in every sense… and a lot of different crafts! but what he says is still interesting.

by “poetics” I mean the extended notion of poetry, comprising arts, music, etc; notably, any artistic work. The etymology of the term “poetry” comes from the Greek poiesis which means “making, or creating”. Semantically, it is close to the term oikos (root of ecos, ecology) which means “household.” A household, or the ecosystem, involves creativity, and, like good poetry, the home should be beautiful and harmonious.


This brings me back to our recent ‘building’ of a chicken tractor. Now, building doesn’t seem to be the word that really fits here. We didn’t have a plan beforehand, only ideas and some materials to be re-used. And yes, we had tools. New ones! What a joy to work with tools with a high quality! It makes any ‘building’ or mending or creative effort into a real joy. It is just fun to be able to use the materials – the wood, the wire-netting – in a way that works for your ideas to materialise. You know what I enjoyed the most? Re-using little pieces of iron wire that I have kept since many years. Now they served in the best possible way!

The core premise of the economy of poetics is thus the assumption that the artist, more than anyone else, feels the aesthetic satisfaction from his/her work, and is able to create sustainable living. “Poetry,” says Heidegger, “is what causes dwelling to be dwelling. Poetry is what really lets us dwell. But through what do we attain to a dwelling place? Through building. Poetic creation, which lets us dwell, is a kind of building.” [4] And, as an elder of the Findhorn Eco-village, artist and permaculture teacher, Craig Gibsone says, “There is no sustainability if it’s not fun.”


It was fun! Both Chrisje and myself enjoyed and now are proud. We know quite well that it won’t last long, as the wood will rot soon and the wire-netting is old and will decay. But it will work for us women to give it a start. It is light, it won’t blow away, we can transport it easily and we used a lot of materials that otherwise would go to the dump…

In short, the basics of the economy of poetics is this: everyone has to invoke an inner artist to begin the dismantling and transformation of the wasteful globalized economy and its infrastructure into his, or her, personal work of art (engineers should change their heart and provide the assistance). I take it that we have already accumulated (more than) enough material and tools for to begin perestroika of the environment. And under “environment” I mean the immediate space of everyone’s personal environment, both inner and outer.

Sharing dreams…

Monday, February 14th, 2011

It has been quiet on this blog since some months… recently I came across so many examples, so many eruptions maybe, of what I see as manifestations of the new feminine archetype. It seems the feminine energy is finding a new voice, a new expression in a multitude of forms, new forms sometimes. I plan to share some over here. Instead of making one big blogpost, which was my first inclination, I think it makes more sense to post them one by one.

This is a first video, a song that stays with you… the video itself explains it all.

The Story of Us

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Un unseen spark
fertilizes the space
ripening what is
between us…
Who are my mates
and who wants to play?

Who is here
and who wants
to partner
in the story of us?
What is the juice
that drips from your soul?
How do your passions
nourish the world?
If your heart is a spoon
whose holy mouth
do you feed?
What is the story of us?

A covenant with nature
without the illicit affairs
without electricity,
and things.
Un collaborateur
with my body and yours
us-ing is a verb.
A collective presence
in an unseen field
of purple energy
tucked in a wild canyon
of artful learning
and joyful play.

What is the story of us?
5 hybrids in the parking lot
with “PLU” (people like us)
on the liscence plate.


Community Conversations
and Servant Leaders
longing to language
something unseen but felt
What is the story of us?

Feet in two worlds
with our heads in the sky
and our shoes in the dirt
of intentional community.
Seeding the moral imagination
in a polarised word
where Self is the Other
and things are not what they seem.
Cosmic identity
in a universe of voices
where boardrooms
and warrooms are
one the same.
What is the story of us?

What does the world need?
What brings us fully alive?
This is our quest;
The Great I Am
And Who You Are
could heal the world.

To be human is possible.
If we just live the shift
In the midst of the crowd.
What could Real Also Be?

The story of us is
the faces we see
the poems we write
its rewilding
and sometimes walking out.
The deep collective inquiry
is the future growing in us.

Here Now.

This is the story of us.

Captured by Ed’veeje, from the sharing in circle – on the second day – around the question: How is our passion, our emergent work the new story of us?

Elements for the New Story

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Third day in our learnIng gathering. We started with some singing and then moved to some excersises that were inspired by the systemic constellation work. First it was a relating to our highest potential – life’s work – soul – higher self; all in silence and using the body to sense the nuances and try new things out.

Then we did a collective sensing in how we relate with The New Story. As intro we used a poem, written by a dear friend living in Greece, and these days confronted with the reality of living without oil and what then comes to a halt. Again all happened in silence, and being aware of the many subtle ways that we know. What follows here are the nuggest spoken in a circle about what we learned, new insights we got, out of this last constellation; either on elements of the new story or how to relate with it.

I advice you to read it slowly, letting time between each line; maybe read it twice as we did in the circle this morning.


Expansion and flexibiity
Opennes and uncertainty of direction
Potential and bodies reaching for each other; no sense of what the new story is.
There is an opening between humanity and the source; the connection is beginning.
Role of attraction and allurement; of beauty; and the attraction of the trees.
Opening out.
Wicked cool! Wicked friends! Cool!
The light coming through the leaves and looking at the ground. The trees are solid.
I am the Earth, the old and the new story. I want respect.
Slowing and noticing.


Creative tension between opposites. Is humanity ready? It does not have to be big.
Spirits are here to guide us. Learn to ask and listen.
The call of the great wild cosmos.
Aware of pressure.
Each of us connecting to the earth, and the rest of the universe, and each of us seeking each other.
Being open to receive source.
Like a kid in a candy store: curiousity, playfulness and so much to discover.
It doesn’t seem incidentical that we are passing time (a little clock being the talking piece); counter clockwise.
People trying to connect in many different ways.
Lots of energy and potential and conversations and relationships.
Receiving the trees, guarding the forest; knowing there is no away.
Wonder, awe and curiousity.
Aware of being a small node in a vast system.
When you turn the clock face over there are stars.
Attention to the shifting whole.