God is present
God is present ...
I am a landscape ...
"I am a landscape," he said.
"a landscape and a person walking in that landscape.
There are daunting cliffs there,
And plains glad in their way
of brown monotony. But especially
there are sinkholes, places
of sudden terror, of small circumference
and malevolent depths."
"I know," she said. "When I set forth
to walk in myself, as it might be
on a fine afternoon, forgetting,
sooner or later I come to where sedge
and clumps of white flowers, rue perhaps,
mark the bogland, and I know
there are quagmires there that can pull you
down, and sink you in bubbling mud."
"We had an old dog," he told her, "when I was a boy,
a good dog, friendly. But there was an injured spot
on his head, if you happened
just to touch it he'd jump up yelping
and bite you. He bit a young child,
they had to take him down to the vet's and destroy him."
"No one knows where it is," she said,
"and even by accident no one touches it.
It's inside my landscape, and only I, making my way
preoccupied through my life, crossing my hills,
sleeping on green moss of my own woods,
I myself without warning touch it,
and leap up at myself -"
"- or flinch back
just in time."
"Yes, we learn that.
It's not a terror, it's pain we're talking about:
those places in us, like your dog's bruised head,
that are bruised forever, that time
never assuages, never."
"Gratitude is the open door to
the power, the wisdom, the creativity
of the universe.
You open the door through gratitude."
Art as an agent of change ...
Art is a vehicle for change.
It transforms the artist; the viewer; the community gathered.
Art alters our perspective; challenges our prejudices; inveigles its way into our hearts.
An arts practice is an invitation to enter into a relationship with yourself; with a community.
Making art is a valid and important human activity.
The moon ...
Smile or die ...
Aaaah - the power of a smile :-)
A smile shared recognises our common humanity.
A smile shared expresses empathy or sympathy or "Let me share your pain'.
A smile shared is a powerful means of communication; of empowerment; of consolation.
A smile heals: the giver and the recipient.
A smile crosses all barriers: social, age, class, culture, gender, religion.
A smile is easily transportable; requires no complicated instruction manual, has no start up costs.
Use a smile to 'pay it forward'; to show gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.
A heartfelt smile is an instrument of change.
Let's use a smile for radical change today :-)
Contemplative practices ...
The Casa del Sol ...
The Casa del Sol
Prayer of Jesus
Ground of all being,
Mother of life,
Father of the universe,
Your name is sacred, beyond speaking.
May we know your presence,
May your longings be our longings in heart and in action.
May there be food for the human family today and for the whole earth community.
Forgive us the falseness of what we have done as we forgive those who are untrue to us.
Do not forsake us in our time of conflict but lead us into new beginnings.
For the light of life,
the vitality of life,
and the glory of life are yours
now and for ever.
John Philip Newell
Anyone can change the world ...
It seems outrageous - "anyone can change the world" -
but is it?
Imagine if everyone planted a tree every time they bought a book or magazine.
Consider the impact if everyone in a first world country
sponsored one cataract operation through the Fred Hollows Foundation.
How wonderful it would be if we smiled at everyone we encountered today.
What if we always car-pooled or used public transport every journey we took.
Inner cities would be transformed if shops were not allowed to be vacant
and artists and artisans and craftspeople and writers and film makers and music makers
could work and exhibit there for free until it is let.
Imagine if we all got to know and relate with our neighbours regularly
so no person would lie dead in their home for days or weeks.
We can all change the world:
one thought, one action, one person at a time.
Try it today.
I am a doll-maker; a doll interpreter; a doll activist, perhaps, using this medium to reflect on the human condition.