Archive for the ‘beauty’ Category

Beauty

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

An idea occured to me Sunday, working in my garden the whole weekend, I’m not growing vegetables, I’m cleaning this piece of land that I am currently stewarding and I’m doing my best to grow a good and healthy soil. On top of that I’m trying to create beauty along the way; and I am anjoying it all tremendously!

What follows is a little video of one of the many TED-talks, of which I am a fan. The Beauty of Pollination!
Beauty indeed!!!

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

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.

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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.”

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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.

Autumn harvest

Friday, October 8th, 2010

From one of my friends…

Sisters,
I felt the call to share this with you… feeling like it is a beautiful description fo the harvest and reminding me that no accident that we are harvesting our work now (from Women Moving the Edge) – in this autumn harvesting energy. I hope you enjoy… from one of my teachers Richard Heckler of the Strozzi Institute. I find myself full of longing to be with real food and women creating the next form of fruit to jam…. ugh! That longing!

Here is what she send along; pictures are mine, taken on Genesis Farm – a great place to be!

Let The Arrow Fly

outdoor

A nickel-plated summer sky, gloomy and cool, finally opens to an unrelenting sun. Bingo! Everything ripens at once. Yellow squash, beans, zucchini, arugula, lemon cucumbers, blackberries, watermelon, roma tomatoes, cantaloupe melon, lettuce, and chard are the bright headliners in the garden. I also collect the windfall from the pear, apple, plum, and peach trees and give them to my neighbor Amy. They return as applesauce and jam. There is plenty enough for both of us. Fingernail dirt and sparkling glass canning jars, reciprocity is well remembered when the jam spreads resplendent on morning toast.

I return to the orchard and harvest the remaining fruit. The ground is wet from the night’s dew and the mourning doves break from the top branches and fly to the dojo roof. I ramble through the trees first shaking the larger branches and see what falls. Then I eyeball their color, cup them in my hand and feel if they’re keen to surrender their relationship with the mother tree. Each piece of fruit is different; their unique timeline of sun, water, the biology of photosynthesis, and the Great Mystery all factor into their readiness to be plucked into a new life. As I wander from tree to tree it occurs to me that, besides simply harvesting fruit, I’m engaging with the questions: “What is being ready?” “How do we know that something is ready to come to a new form?” This is not the ready of, “I’m dressed and ready to go.” But, more in the theme of the Old Testament author who says in Ecclesiastes, “There is a season for all things. There is a right time for everything.”

abundance

What is the right time to harvest the fruits of our actions? What is the moment to surrender? What is it that longs to come to form? What yearns to be released into a new life?

If I wait too long the fruit falls bruised, immediately settled by squatter ants and yellow jackets. If I force them off the stem, they’re hard and without the sugar load that makes them what they are. When we force something we’re usually ahead of ourselves and off center, acting out of self-interest and fear; if we hesitate or procrastinate our fear drives us to inattention and we don’t heed what is required and the harvest is lost.

what do you see?

Perhaps our part in evolution may be simply to attune to what has now come to fruition and is to be harvested. Yes, there are certain logical predictors of this but if we wholly rely on our mental decision-making we will lose the wisdom of a vaster intelligence. In kyudo, the Japanese art of archery, the moment of releasing the arrow is called hanarai. This is the result of ai or harmony. It is the moment where the fully drawn bow, in synchronization with the body and spirit of the archer, can no longer contain the energy of the union position, and the arrow is spontaneously released. The release or surrender then is naturally birthed from ai. A legendary kyudo Master said, “When the time is right, the arrow flies, as a fruit falls from a tree.” The arrow flies simply because it is what must occur next. It is a poetic completion of dignity and daring.

The deep inner wisdom that tells us when to take action and how to do it skillfully is part of the path of mastery. Feeling and sensing the current of energy that moves through us is the doorway to contact that wisdom. This requires that we listen deeply to the impulses, images, and streamings that are part of our livingness. Take a moment and walk through your inner garden and feel and sense what has ripened in you and can now be harvested; notice what has not yet come to maturity – needing more time to develop. See what can be composted to enrich your future visions. Hanarai!

Take It Easy, But Take It

Witnessing, brilliance and radical amazement

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Some time ago I posted a question on my Facebook wall: “Sitting with this question: what makes witnessing so powerful? Is it because it links with our deepest soul?” A whole lot of answers came, and really nice ones.

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The question had been fueled by recent experiences in some gatherings or learning events. One was were we did a listening circle – instead of speaking when you had the talking piece, now you were the one to listen to the others who would share what they saw was your precious gift. To me, it was a very special moment and someone said: This is even beyond Appreciative Inquiry! It was special because we could all touch a layer that we normally don’t give words to. It was about each others essence. I would say it was about and from the soul level. Also in the Immersion, a learning gathering around Living Wholeness the witnessing was very present.

Here are some of the answers that came on my FB page:
I have been sitting with this question as well 🙂 Some words from Alan Watts made me wonder if that’s a possible answer!
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” ~ Alan Watts

Often I’m reminded that our anatomy doesn’t let us see our own beauty except in a mirror. We can do that for each other!

There is definitely something about being seen and heard – and maybe that is about the universe being seen and heard through each of us.

mirror neurons?

perhaps the gracefulness of not attempting to change but accepting something…

there’s also something about seeing and hearing ourselves within that process which makes it so potent for me too.

The Vedas talk about unmanifest Being splitting itself into Rishi, Devata and Chandas – the Knower, the Process of Knowing and the Known – in order that it might know itself. Witnessing is a practice of being consciously aware of all three to complete the trinity, rather than just focusing on the ‘Known’ …

Isn’t there a lot of wisdom in my friends? I really was surprised by the abundance of the answers, as this was more or less the first time I engaged myself in this way on Facebook!

Photoblog

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Collages from our experience in nature… the invitation was to listen to nature. This was the overall question: What is it that humanity needs to remember in order to rewild, repattern and restory?

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Witnessing and radical amasement

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Some time ago I posted a question on my Facebook wall: “Sitting with this question: what makes witnessing so powerful? Is it because it links with our deepest soul?” A whole lot of answers came; and really nice ones.

The question had been fueled by recent experiences in some gatherings and learning events. In one we did a witnessing circle. It was a listening circle – instead of speaking when you had the talking piece, now you were the one to listen to the others who would share what they saw was your precious gift. To me, it was a very special moment and someone said: This is even beyond Appreciative Inquiry! It was special because we could all touch a layer that we normally don’t give words to. It was basically naming each other’s essence. I would say it was about and from the soul level. Also in the Axladitsa Immersion, a learning gathering around Living Wholeness this witnessing was very present throughout the gathering.

Here are some of the answers that came on my FB page:
“I have been sitting with this question as well 🙂 Some words from Alan Watts made me wonder if that’s a possible answer!
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” ~ Alan Watts”

“Often I’m reminded that our anatomy doesn’t let us see our own beauty except in a mirror. We can do that for each other!”

“There is definitely something about being seen and heard – and maybe that is about the universe being seen and heard through each of us.”

“Mirror neurons?”

“Perhaps the gracefulness of not attempting to change but accepting something…”

“There’s also something about seeing and hearing ourselves within that process which makes it so potent for me too.”

“The Vedas talk about unmanifest Being splitting itself into Rishi, Devata and Chandas – the Knower, the Process of Knowing and the Known – in order that it might know itself. Witnessing is a practice of being consciously aware of all three to complete the trinity, rather than just focusing on the ‘Known’…”

Isn’t there a lot of wisdom in my friends? I really was surprised by the abundance of the answers, as this was more or less the first time I engaged myself in this way on Facebook!

The witnessing evoked in the Immersion the notion of Radical Amasement. To me, to be in a state of real witnessing, be it something in nature, an old tool or someone else, I become radical amased about the ingenuity of what is in front of me. The wonder of life, that explodes in these myriad of different forms, so many different ‘solutions’ to so many different ‘problems’… it is just awesome!

Then you realize it is not about solutions and problems, but it is about how life tries out each and every way to express the richness of itself. It seems always trying out what kind of life forms are life-bearing or life-affirming. It just goes on doing that; and it never stops. Still the big bang is happening all the time….

Summer solstice

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Summer Solstice is a celebration of the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. Since ancient times humans have celebrated this time in festivals honoring the life giving power of the sun, and the abundance and vitality of life at its zenith.

Ancient systems of knowledge were universally orientated to celestial events, particularly the solstices and equinoxes that mark the seasons of life on earth. Honoring of these cardinal points is found throughout the world in sites as diverse as Stonehenge in the British Isles, the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, USA, the Caracol Tower of Mexico, and the Pyramids of Egypt.

Solstices happen twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward (summer) or away (winter) from the Sun. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstice the Sun appears to stands still in its path before reversing direction. Of course as we view this time from a global perspective, it is obvious that the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposites, so that the summer solstice of one hemisphere is the winter solstice of the other.

In the Occident, the solstices and equinoxes mark the beginning of the seasons, such that summer solstice is the first day of summer. In East Asian Cultures, they mark the middle of the seasons. This reflects the understanding that the Chi, or energy, in the movement from yin to yang crests at the midpoint. Hence the Chinese character for solstice means “extreme”, signifying the zenith of the energies of summer and winter.

Summer solstice in Tirol

A similar sense of flowing between seemingly contrary forces (as symbolized by Yin and Yang) is expressed in the traditions of the British Isles, where the Oak King- who rules the waxing year, reigns from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice when he abdicates to the Holly King who rules the waning year. Thus, in traditions of both East and West, we acknowledge that in the realm of duality opposites give rise to each other in turn. We experience this mystery every year when the longest day marks the beginning of the light’s incremental waning toward winter’s darkness, and again at winter solstice when the darkest night heralds the return of the light.

Many ancients, such as the Druids, celebrate the marriage of Heaven and Earth during Midsummer Solstice, reflecting the alchemical fusion of spirit and matter at the heart of creation. Though celebrations held in different parts of the world differ, they reveal a common essence of celebrating light at its zenith and the bounty and goodness of life that is given by the vitalizing radiance of the sun.

Thanks to Dana Lynne Andersen for the text and to Ursula who forwarded the picture!

The Great Turning

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

THE GREAT TURNING*

You’ve asked me to tell you of the Great Turning, of how we saved the world from disaster. The answer is both simple and complex:
We turned.

For hundreds of years we had turned
away as life on earth grew more precarious.
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river, the children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa.

We turned away because that is what we had been taught.
To turn away, from the pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes, from the drunken father or the friend betrayed. Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away. And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world moving too quickly, too mindlessly toward its own demise.

Until it seemed as if there was no safe place to turn. No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.

Yet on one of those days someone did turn.

Turned to face the pain.
Turned to face the stranger.
Turned to look at the smoldering world
and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.

And then another turned.
And another. And another.
And as they wept, they took
each other’s hands.

Until whole groups of people were turning.
Young and old, gay and straight. People
of all colors, all nations, all religions.
Turning not only to the pain and hurt
but to the beauty, gratitude and love.
Turning to one another with
forgiveness and a longing
for peace in their hearts.

At first the turning made people dizzy, even silly. There were people standing to the side gawking, criticizing, trying to knock the turners down.
But the people turning kept getting up, kept helping one another to their feet. Their laughter and kindness brought others into the turning circle until even the naysayers began to smile and sway.

As the people turned, they began to spin, reweaving the web of life, mending the shocking tears, knitting it back together with the colors of the earth, sewing on tiny mirrors so the beauty of each person, each creature, each plant, each life form might be seen and respected.

And as the people turned, as they spun

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like the earth through the universe, the web wrapped around them like a soft baby blanket, making it clear all were loved, nothing separate.

As this love reached into every crack and crevice, the people began to wake and wonder, to breathe and give thanks, to work and celebrate together.

And so the world was saved, but only as long as you, too, sweet one, remember to turn.

–written by Christine Fry (October 19, 2004)
*Thanks to Joanna Macy

Symptoms of Inner Peace

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Posted by David Sibbet, but worth re-publishing!

Symptoms of Inner Peace

. an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment

. loss of interest in judging others or yourself

. loss of interest in conflict

. loss of ability to worry (very serious symptom)

. frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation

. contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature

. frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes from the heart

. tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen

. tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fear based on past experience

. susceptibility to love extended by others and the uncontrollable urge to extend love

If you have all or most of the the above symptoms, be advised that your condition of peace may be incurable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting these symptoms, remain exposed at your own risk. These conditions of peace are highly infectious.

Unknown Author

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