Gratitude, Mandala Series, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2016, photo © 2016 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Archive for the ‘Silence’ Category
Posted in Art, Gratitude, Holidays, Mandalas, Personal, Practice, Seasons, Silence, Spirituality, Structure, tagged creating mandalas, end of the year rituals, giving thanks, inspiration, making a Gratitude List, seasonal rituals, Thanksgiving, the practice of gratitude on November 28, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Animals & Critters, Haiku, Nature, Poetry, Practice, Seasons, Secrets, Silence, Things That Fly, tagged 5lines, Charles Anderson, dragonflies, dragonfly migration, gogyohka, Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, nature as muse, prehistoric insects, summer, the magic of mystery, The Nature Conservancy, Wandering Glider on August 8, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Wandering Glider, Droid Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2014, photos © 2014 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
in purple rain–
migrating thousands of miles
to sit still in my garden
Dragonflies have existed for over 300 million years. According to the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, about 16 of the 326 dragonfly species in North America are regular migrants, some traveling hundreds to thousands of miles each year. The major migratory species in North America are: common green darner (Anax junius), wandering glider (Pantala flavescens), spot-winged glider (Pantala hymenaea), black saddlebags (Tramea lacerata), and variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). Learn more about the mystery of dragonfly migration at The Nature Conservancy piece, Dragonfly Migration: A Mystery Citizen Scientists Can Help Solve, and at Dragonflies That Fly Across Oceans, a TED talk by biologist Charles Anderson.
-posted on red Ravine, Friday, August 8th, 2014
Posted in Place, Poetry, Seasons, Silence, Writers, tagged places as muse, poetry of Willa Cather, Prairie Spring, promise of Spring, stepping out of silence, Willa Cather, winter, youth on January 5, 2014 | 3 Comments »
by Willa Cather
Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharp desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.
“Prairie Spring” is in the public domain and was released by Poem-A-Day from The American Academy of Poets on December 29th, 3013. Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-A-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends.
Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873, in Virginia. She grew up in Nebraska and studied at the University of Nebraska, before moving to Pennsylvania, and then to New York. Cather is best remembered for her novels depicting frontier life on the Great Plains. “Prairie Spring” was first published in 1913 as the prologue to Willa Cather’s novel O Pioneers! Although Cather received widespread recognition as a novelist, her first published book was April Twilights (1903), a collection of poetry. In 1923, Cather was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours (1922). Cather died in 1947 in New York City.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
After our New Year’s book cleaning, I pulled out all of our poetry books and was inspired to read poetry every day. On a frigid winter weekend, when the air temperatures will drop to -27°F in the Twin Cities, it helps to read poems about spring. I felt closest to Willa Cather when I traveled through Nebraska on frequent road trips to New Mexico where she met D. H. Lawrence in 1924. I stayed in the Cather room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House and wrote about her after one of those trips in Valentine.
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, January 5th, 2014
-Related to posts: Discovering The Big Read, Midwest Poets & Writers — When Can You Call A Place Home?, The Vitality Of Place — Preserving The Legacy Of “Home”, The World According To Mr. Schminda (et al.)
Posted in Art, Body, Bones, Death, Dreams, Growing Older, Holidays, Life, Mandalas, Practice, Silence, Spirituality, Structure, Wake Up, tagged Accept loss forever, Archetypal Stages of the Great Round, archetypes, circles, Coloring Mandalas, Death as a new beginning, emptiness, grief, Joan Kellogg, letting go, practices that sustain me, Susanne F. Fincher, The Great Round, the passage of time, the things I leave behind, Wheel of Life on November 30, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Wheel Of Life, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
ONE: Gates Of Death, Stage 10 of The Great Round, begins the natural process of ending the Great Round cycle in preparation for a new beginning. Experiences that open this stage often come in losses or obstructions that challenge us to question who we are. The first mandala, Wheel Of Life, brings us face to face with the relentless passage of time. The Wheel of Life turns on, sometimes up, sometimes down, urging us to let go.
Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, Rainbow Magic pens that erase and change color, Reeves Water Colour Pencils
Celtic Cross, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
TWO: In Stage 10, we are being separated from that which is no longer needed. Celtic crosses made of tall, silent, enduring stone dot the landscape of Scotland. They stand against the sky, washed by the winds and rains of countless seasons, reminders that even though things change, there is a part of us that lives on.
Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils
Lotus, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
THREE: In mandala three, based on the Kali Yantra of Hinduism, destruction opens the way for creation. The eight-petaled lotus represents the goddess Kali in her nurturing maternal aspect. The inner circle, traditionally colored black, reveals her also as a Destroyer, the dark womb that absorbs all into non-being. The central triangle, ultimate symbol of divine feminine creative energy, holds the spark of new life.
Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils
Gateway, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
FOUR: Stage 10, Gates of Death, opens the last segue leading to the completion of a Great Round cycle, and urges us to walk through the gate into the unknown. It is time to let go of the way things have been and clear the way for a new beginning.
Medium: Reeves Water Colour Pencils, Crayola markers
October Mandalas — Stage 10 – Gates Of Death
The last few months I have been feeling empty, like I am nearing the end of a creative cycle. I have been wanting to shed the old, to wrap up lingering projects and push them out into the world, so that I can open to something new. It’s disconcerting to not know where you are going—a good time to revisit old practices. Yesterday, I spent most of the day in silence and opened the book on mandalas. When I revisited Stage 10, Gates of Death, I knew it was time to sit with the lessons it had to teach.
The mandalas are from the 10th month of a year-long mandala practice that began with the post Coloring Mandalas and followed the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s Archetypal Stages of the Great Round. I spent that year taking the Great Round to completion. But there was something I had yet to understand—-it would take until 2013 for events of my life to catch up to the last cycles of the Great Round. Some of the signs of Stage 10 – Gates of Death are:
- losses or obstructions that challenge us, causing us to question who we are
- things that once seemed important, seem empty & meaningless
- bittersweet parting with what was; painful rending from what can no longer be
- desire to let go of life the way it was, with no sense of what is to come
- sense of deflation when the connection between Ego & Self grows more distant
- aware of cycles of decay in nature and the eventual approach of death
Adding to the sense of disorientation I’ve been feeling, I lost a writing friend in July. And in November, I found out my blood father died on October 31st, ending any chance he might have to read the letter I wrote. Death. Decay. Loss. Rebirth. I still believe that anything we take on as a practice takes us where we need to go. It is the time it takes to get there that remains a mystery.
Archetypal Stages Of The Great Round on red Ravine:
Crystallization — September Mandalas
Functioning Ego – August Mandalas (Goethe & Color)
Squaring The Circle – July Mandalas (Chakras & Color)
Dragon Fight — June Mandalas
Target — May Mandalas
Beginnings — April Mandalas
Labyrinth – March Mandalas
Bliss – February Mandalas
The Void – January Mandalas
-posted on red Ravine, Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 30th, 2013
Posted in Art, Photography, Place, Practice, Silence, Structure, Taos, Vision, Wake Up, tagged Archive 365, black & white photography, collaborative photography, film photography, Kodak, Kodak bankruptcy, Kodak Tri-X film, motorcycles, photography as Muse, photos of Taos, the art of photography, the practice of photography, vintage technology, yearly practices on July 2, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Motorcycle In Taos – 2/365, Archive 365, Taos, New Mexico, January 2003, Tri-X black & white film print, photo © 2003-2012 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
I miss black & white photography. I recently felt the old pangs for film when I ran into Tricia Vetrone’s work at Ingrained Photography while looking for peers for our Casket Arts 318 studio page (our brick and mortar art and writing studio. Would love it if you Liked us there). She shoots in black & white with vintage film cameras. Beautiful work.
Motorcycle In Taos was taken on one of my first writing retreats in Taos in 2003. It was a talking workshop, long before the silence befriended me. We were walking around the Mabel Dodge Luhan House with Natalie. I didn’t own a digital camera then and was still shooting with a Canon Rebel film camera and trusty Kodak Tri-X b&w.
It’s sad to me that Kodak declared bankruptcy this year. In a long history that began in 1888 with the slogan “you press the button, we do the rest,” George Eastman put the first simple camera into the hands of a world of consumers. He made a cumbersome and complicated process easy to use and accessible to nearly everyone. I’m sure in his wildest dreams he never imagined we’d be taking digital photos on our cell phones. Time changes everything; photographs capture time.
ARCHIVE 365: Since the completion of BlackBerry 365, I have missed a daily photo practice. There are so many photos from my archives that no one has ever seen but me. So I asked skywire7 if she wanted to do a daily practice for one year, taking turns posting an unpublished photograph from the past.
Archive 365 is a photo collaboration between skywire7 and QuoinMonkey featuring images from our archives. We will alternate posting once a day in our Flickr sets from July 1st 2012 through June 30th 2013. You can view our photographs at skywire7 Archive 365 set on Flickr and QuoinMonkey Archive 365 set on Flickr.