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Posts Tagged ‘changing seasons’

may sarton p20110614-235734

Moments Of Flowering – 22/52, BlackBerry 52, Golden Valley, Minnesota, June 2011, photo © 2011 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Medium: original Droid snapshot of the last peony in our garden, June 2011. Polaroid effect and text added with Little Photo. Jump-Off from Lotus: Not Even Deep Into The Summer, a haiga collaboration with Robin from Life In The Bogs.


Dark clouds pile high over the hill, whipped cream on dirty snow. The sky smells like damp moss and rotting leaves. I squat in a swarm of rain-ready mosquitoes, and aim the camera toward the one surviving peony not browning at the edges. Though strong, she will falter under the weight of the next crack of thunder, pregnant with hard rain. Aching knees. I swat away a bead of sweat, listen to the pretend shutter click.

The pink peony lures me in, along with a lonely ant crawling toward the vortex of petals, sucked in like the prey of a Venus Flytrap. I think of a page from May Sarton’s journal—Journal of a Solitude, the entry from June 23rd. Summer in New Hampshire could be Summer in Minnesota. The humidity feels heavy. The world has gone mad. Too much happens these days. But the peony rises every year from buried piles of January snow, from the trampling of the mailman over her Winter stalks, from under the tire tracks of the neighbor’s SUV the night it drifted off the pitched driveway and on to the muddy grass.

It takes a whole year of work to bloom. I pay attention to the garden. My whole life comes alive there.



_____________________________



June 23rd


Almost too much happens these days. How can I be enough aware of all that opens and dies so quickly in the garden? It takes a whole year of work and waiting for this supreme moment of the great snow-white peonies—and then they are gone! I was thinking about it as I lay in bed this morning, and also of Mildred’s wise remark, “The roots of love need watering or it dies.” When she leaves, the house is at peace. Beauty and order have returned, and always she has left behind a drop of balm, such as that phrase; so her work here is a work of art. There is a mystical rite under the material act of cleaning and tidying, for what is done with love is always more than itself and partakes of the celestial orders.

It does not astonish or make us angry that it takes a whole year to bring into the house three great white peonies and two pale blue iris. It seems altogether right and appropriate that these glories are earned with long patience and faith (how many times this late spring I have feared the lilacs had been frost-killed, but in the end they were as glorious as ever before), and also that it is altogether right and appropriate that they cannot last. Yet in our human relations we are outraged when the supreme moments, the moments of flowering, must be waited for…and then cannot last. We reach a summit, and then have to go down again.

   —May Sarton from Journal of a Solitude. First Published 1973, by W.W. Norton & Company.



-posted on red Ravine, Friday, June 17th, 2011

-related to posts: The Ant & The Peony, WRITING TOPIC — NAMES OF FLOWERS, Secrets of the Passion Flower, WRITING TOPIC — SPRING CLEANING — (HOMEMADE CLEANING REMEDIES)

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By Teresa Williams




What if rebirth
is like stepping into a room,
something ordinary, then
              Surprise!
Giant crimson tree, temple of hexagons,
a magic cup of moon-tea.

                          Rebirth.
Incited by luminescence, light chaser, Isis.
Through layers of ancient skin you came
from black to red to breathing center.
Now here, you are the shimmering one
the one who ripples and shines
glittering the air, gold and bright. You
shooting star of a songbird light.

Once again,
feel your freshly found face
flooding the room with new freedom,
star nectar, white queen, gleaming.

And again,
savor this renewal this taste of dawn
as you swallow death's end,
from bitter and night, bitter
then sweet
             holy crescent,

oracle of brilliance

you

stepping into

       a new room.




Nacer de nuevo (To Be Reborn) by Remedios Varo,
oil on Masonite, 1960, 31 7/8 x 18 1/2 in. From
The Magic of Remedios Varo by Luis-Martin Lozano.
Translated by Elizabeth Goldson Nicholson and
Liliana Valenzuela.


_________________________




About Teresa: Teresa Williams is a psychotherapist, poet and translator in Seattle, Washington. She has been writing and trying to live poetry for as long as she can remember. Her love for travel and the Spanish language has called her into translation work. She is also an active member of Grupo Cervantes, a bilingual writer’s group and literary community in Seattle.

Teresa’s poetry has been featured at births, weddings, funerals and several talent shows held by the closest of friends. Her first piece on red Ravine, Sound Falling From One World Into Another, was published in August 2010 and featured the poems: Swans, Two Coyotes at Dawn, and Tarot. It was followed by The Devil’s Bridge, a poem that speaks to the legends and mythology surrounding bridges throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia, and continental Europe. Her last piece for red Ravine featured the poem Tortoise Highway.

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then…


jumping jack wagon
Jumping Jack Wagon (in June), wagon at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, June 2008, photo © 2008-2010 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.





and now…


jumping jack wagon in winter
Jumping Jack Wagon in March, wagon at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, March 21, 2010, photo © 2010 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.





-Related to posts Homing Instinct (in which the photo “Jumping Jack Wagon” first appeared) and Sunrise On Taos Mountain (Reflections On Writing Retreats), which includes a summary of several Taos-related posts on red Ravine.

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Befriending The Dragon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Befriending The Dragon, hand-drawn mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



ONE: Hand-drawn mandala incorporating the internal conflict and fight of the Dragon. Started as a blank circle, drawn with a black Sharpie, and colored with Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.




Eye Of The Beholder II, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Eye Of The Beholder II, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



TWO: The eye at the center of this mandala signifies the Ego, the part of you that you call “I.” The birth or rebirth of Ego happens many times during your life as the understanding of your relationship to yourself, and others, changes.




Eschers Dragons, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Escher’s Dragons, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



THREE: Dragon Fight brings about polarization of opposites: dark and light, male and female, angel and devil. Increased inner conflict creates energy that can be channeled into expansion of consciousness. The drawing is based on M.C. Escher.




Mother Earth, Father Sky, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Mother Earth, Father Sky, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



FOUR: A new viewpoint emerges when you endure the tension of opposites during conflict resolution in Stage 6. Opposites are incorporated into one another as Mother Earth, Father Sky. Or the white and black of the Yin Yang symbol. Solutions to conflict bring something entirely new to the situation, something you may not have thought of prior to that moment.




Animal Spirit Guides, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Animal Spirit Guides, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



FIVE: Dragon Fight is experienced during adolescence and other transitional periods as a new phase in your life. Tribal peoples heighten the normal fear and stress of young people to intensify their initiation into adulthood. Initiates are given secret teachings about the animals that serve the tribe as helpers and guides to the Spirit World. This mandala design was inspired by designs on the creation of ancient pottery and based on an illustration by Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess.





June Mandalas — Stage 6 – Dragon Fight


I bet you thought I’d never get June’s mandalas posted. Here’s how it goes — I get the mandalas done, but then need to work them into the energy and timing for the posts; it’s time to publish June’s mandalas!

The theme for the 6th Stage of The Great Round is Dragon Fight. We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, working with the archetypal circle, and following the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round.  June’s mandalas are colored and drawn with Crayola markers, Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, Reeve’s Water Colour Pencils, and a black Ultra Fine Point Sharpie (Sharpies are my favorite writing and drawing utensils).



      Totems, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Synthesis, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




Dragon Fight takes you face to face with your own internal demons. When you are young, Dragon Fight plays out in adolescent conflicts and helps you separate from your parents, or the tribe or community in which you grew up. You find yourself wanting to break out of traditions; tension increases, issues are polarized, until a new psychological perspective is generated.

As adults, transitions in midlife can bring you around again to the stage of Dragon Fight. On the spiritual level, the 6th Stage is concerned with working through contradictions in belief systems, until your own spiritual footprint emerges.



Eye Of The Beholder (Dragon Close Up), Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 6 — Dragon Fight are:

  • learning how to confront self-doubt
  • facing temptations to misuse power
  • learning to incorporate and synthesize both sides of a conflict
  • learning the value of standing independent from tribe or community
  • working through contradictions between religious dogma and personal spiritual experience


With Dragon Fight behind me, Stage 7 falls at High Summer, in the month of my birth. I’ll be traveling over much of July and have a few mandalas left to color for the next stage. Maybe I’ll create a few of my own while I’m on the road.



        Swoop!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Avocado, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Polka Dot Curve, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Monday, July 14th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February Mandalas, Labyrinth — March Mandalas, Beginnings — April Mandalas, Target — May Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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First Strawberry II, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by
QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



June — every year she embraces Summer Solstice, holds the light in the palm of her hand. June is the month of bleeding hearts, peonies, strawberries and tea roses.

At Solstice, a friend pulled a necklace from around her neck and gently placed it on the birch fire; it was of green strawberry caps she had sewn together one by one. This morning at 7am, she is heading out to a Minnesota farm to pluck the last of this season’s strawberries.

I watched the Moon carefully in June, paid homage to the longer light of the Sun. I tried to stay present to the Moon’s many faces. Days she held her ground opposite the brighter, bolder Sun. (Why can we see the moon in the daytime?) Nights when moonlight was so bright, it woke me out of a dead sleep.

Yesterday morning, when I went to do June’s moonwriting, this poem came out. It was written stream of consciousness, like Writing Practice. I’ll call it a Practice Poem, a work in progress. I did only light editing, a few revisions. I don’t claim to be a poet. But some days poetry tugs at me, and something takes hold.





    





Strawberry Moon


plucky June, Strawberry Moon
creeps through a slit in the blinds
2:30 a.m. (wake up call)
crawls in and out of my dreams
sandpaper white, curdling violet

unsure of what it means, I duck behind a cloud
rain pummels the peonies, silent dance between ant and bloom
wise beyond her years, the Moon doesn’t have to bother
with what she does or doesn’t understand

in the morning, sitting on cloistered heels
directly opposite the sun, 6-inch spikes in a medium sky
you’ll recognize her muted fire
solar light reflections, created for perfect balance
— human chaos and confusion

everyone hates each other, no one gets along
not even the Democrats can agree,
a handshake and a smile do not cover
old wounds and battle scars
the clean slice of a wrist before dawn.

No longer that desperate,
I used to be — hidden under dirty compost
of wormy black soil, the moon a lighthouse;
I must have seen something, a spark
inching past strips of cedar bark,
lawn clippings after the blade

the Algonquins didn’t question
her power, or rename her “rose”
red is the color of the June moon
as fierce as she is peaceful
don’t underestimate the stillness

6th moon,
moon when the berries are good
turning moon, full leaf moon
christening the strawberries, greening the leaves
ripening my summers
with things I have yet to know.





-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, July 5th, 2008

-related to posts: PRACTICE – Blossom Moon – 15min, winter haiku trilogy

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Diamonds At Solstice, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Diamonds At Solstice, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



At Diamonds they say, “Come for the caffeine, stay for the camaraderie.” Diamonds Coffee Shoppe — Your Atomic Coffee Stop — is located in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis. It’s a great place to write. To Dawn and Lucy, it’s not just coffee, it’s a philosophy.

Three of us were there last Wednesday evening to write and do art. It was our weekly creative project meeting, part of our dedication to our practice. Our small group of four alternate between the studio in the Casket Arts Building and Diamonds a few blocks away.

Last week the Pop-A-Lock guys were there; 8 of them formed a circle in the hall next to us (across from the vault), and had their business meeting. As fate would have it, one of them had helped me change a flat tire a month ago over in Brooklyn Park. The world gets smaller every day.



Diamonds In Primary Colors, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

Diamonds Coffee Shoppe
1618 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 789-5282

Hours:
Mon through Thurs – 6 AM to 10 PM
Fridays 6 AM to 10 PM
Saturday 7 AM to 10 PM
Sunday 8 AM to 10PM




 

There were three things on my mind tonight. The first was an end of week meeting with my Gemini friend ybonesy. All went well; we are right on track. The second is Diamonds. I downloaded the photos I took last Wednesday. Maybe there will be a Fotoblog to follow. The third?

Summer Solstice. Liz and I are going to a Solstice celebration tomorrow night at a friend’s house. Fire and water. In Minneapolis, the longest day of the year passed a few hours ago at 5:59pm. When is Solstice in your part of the world?

Below are some links that might help. I was looking at archived photographs of the same date last year; the peonies were well on their way. This year the ants have opened only three blooms. Spring is late in coming. I welcome the light.

Time for Summer. Have a diamonds and light Solstice.



HELPFUL TIME LINKS FOR SOLSTICES & EQUINOXES



  • Times listed for Winter & Summer Solstices (and the Equinoxes) beginning in 1900:

Holoscenes – Textures of the Earth: Seasons From 1900 To 2099 (LINK)

In the Midwest, we have to subtract 6 hours from UT to get Central Standard time (and 5 for Daylight Saving time (LINK). See also Holoscenes – Textures of the Earth – Special Projects (LINK)


  • Here’s how to translate UT time to our time, wherever we are:

Earth & Sky: How Do I Translate Universal Time To My Time? (LINK)


  • Here’s a final link to different systems of time:

U.S. Navy – Systems of Time (LINK)




Diamonds At Dusk, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, all photos © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




-posted on red Ravine, Friday, June 20th, Summer Solstice 2008

-related to posts: 8 Minutes, Winter Solstice – Making Light Of The Dark, Solstice Fire In Winter, 15 Hours, 36 Minutes Of Light

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Mandala Shield, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Mandala Shield, hand-drawn mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




ONE: Hand-drawn mandala, setting pie-shaped boundaries. Made with Crayola markers, glitter glue, and Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels; started as an empty circle.




Celtic Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Celtic Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

TWO: Celtic mandala set up much like a castle and moat, with mazelike bands of designs protecting tender, leafy vines at the center. When emotions intensify, personal habits and rituals help you feel safe.




Protection, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Protection, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

THREE: Perceptions can make you feel sensitive and vulnerable, open to criticism from others (real or imagined). Mandalas during Stage 5 are about vigilance, protection and defense. The walls don’t have to be heavy – your fortress can be a connected ring of flowers.




Hildegard Of Bingen's Vision, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Hildegard Of Bingen’s Vision, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FOUR: Mystics transcend the emotional intensity of Stage 5 by using the Target mandala to communicate insights and experiences. This mandala represents the 9 circles of angels and humans in Hildegard of Bingen’s Vision. The empty circle at the center is the mystery of the center where beauty is born.




Circle Boundaries, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Circle Boundaries, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FIVE: Ringed mandala used to explore feelings. The inner circle is filled with things you fear most. The ring around that is a color that represents courage. The second circle contains mentors, guides, teachers (living or dead). The third, negative thoughts that arise from fear. The fourth, positive behaviors that help manage fear. The fifth circle is filled with positive affirmations.




May Mandalas — Stage 5 – Target

May is a turbulent time in Minnesota. It’s tornado season; the weather is unpredictable. Moods in the month of May seem to follow the seasons. The theme for the 5th Stage of The Great Round is similar to Frog Medicine — protection — setting and keeping good boundaries. It is a Catch-22 that strong boundaries allow us to feel safe when exposing our vulnerabilities. I found it difficult, and comforting, to work on Stage 5.

It was Carl Jung who introduced modern Westerners to the psychological significance of mandalas. He believed we all strive to live out our own unique potential, to experience wholeness.  We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, working with the archetypal circle, and following the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round.

Target, the 5th cycle of The Great Round, begins after age two, when you discover yourself as separate from your caregivers, and go after what you want. Sometimes seeking creates conflict, and can lead to disappointment or frustration.

In adulthood, we set and seek personal, creative, and career goals. We may run into resistance from others, feel tired and vulnerable. In Stage 5 we explore ways to set healthy personal boundaries, which allows us to feel safe when we take risks or are in situations where we are emotionally vulnerable.

Continue, Continue, Continue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Continue, Continue, Continue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Continue, Continue, Continue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

 

May’s mandalas are drawn with Crayola markers, glitter glue, and Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels. I find drawing and coloring mandalas fun and relaxing. But there are some artists who consider coloring a serious business. Last weekend, in On The Road, Jason Davis profiled Minnesota Artists. I was delighted to witness the work of Don Marco from Duluth, Minnesota who has been coloring in his Fine Art since the late 1960’s.

In an act of synchronicity that Jung would have loved, about a year ago, a 24-yr-old named Christina Nelson from Superior, Wisconsin decided to try making art with crayons. She thought she was the only one using the medium. Then she met Don Marco working only a few miles away in Duluth; he became her mentor. Now she goes under the name Tiona Marco.

According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 5 — Target are:

  • learning to ritualize behaviors of self-care and self-protection
  • realizing and appreciating daily rituals and routines
  • knowing how to set good boundaries with others
  • knowing your limitations and working within them
  • cultivating the ability to exceed and transcend limits when needed


The high humidity and blue skies, with a backdrop of billowing, dense gray clouds tell me we are well into June. And I’ve already begun Stage 6.



Sacred Circles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Sacred Circles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Sacred Circles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Monday, June 9th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February Mandalas, Labyrinth — March Mandalas, Beginnings — April Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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Hail To Spring, May 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Hail To Spring, hail storm on the last day of May, 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.







rising heat currents
confusing mixed messages
5 in the bathtub


weather radio
candles, pillows, and matches
Kiev runs away


hail rips off shingles
angry green kicks and sputters
two-faced blue Sunday








 

Peonies & Hail, May 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Peonies & Hail, May 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Peonies & Hail, May 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Peonies & Hail, May 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, June 5th, 2008

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)

 

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Blossom Moon, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Blossom Moon, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The May Blossom Moon rose quietly over Lake Michigan. Saturday night, she dodged high cirrus clouds and streaks of intermittent rain. Sunday she was more sure of herself, dressed in pale yellow with a silvery sheen on glacial tides. Does the Moon pull the tides across the Great Lakes? I think she does.

The Chippewa and Ojibway called May’s moon, Blossom Moon. The Eastern Cherokee, the Planting Moon. The Farmers’ Almanac blends into Flower Moon. In some climates, blossoms are slower to the surface than others. Spring arrives in southern New Mexico or east central Georgia much quicker than it does to parts of the Midwest or Minnesota.

There are moon references to shedding horses from the Sioux and the Northern Arapaho —   When the Ponies Shed Their Shaggy Hair. That reminds me of a horsehair carriage blanket I inherited from my Aunt Cassie. I had it hanging on the wall for a time in Missoula. The horsehair served as a lapwarmer.

I was surprised at how stiff and coarse the blanket was. How did they weave it together? With white-knuckled fingers, long needles, and bleeding fingertips? Two artists in the Casket Arts Building are working with horsehair in their art. One has incorporated it into an oil painting. The other, as hair sprouting from a clay-fired face.

Yesterday, I walked in our small gardens. The bleeding heart bells are in full white regalia. The day lily greens rose a foot over the weekend I was in Wisconsin. Four of the rosebushes we transplanted late last year show signs of life. We lost three of them. Not bad odds.

We lost the bush clover. The deer ate it last year when we transplanted it down by the lilac bush. So Liz dug it up and nursed it back to life in a planter on the deck. At the end of the season, we transplanted it again and put a wire cage around it from the Garden Lady across the street. We were sad when it didn’t make it. Why? Too little water or rain? Or was it the clay-like earth in the spot where we planted it.

The strawberries we moved to the sunny rock garden hill are wild and flowering. I couldn’t see the moon last night. I think we are into the New Moon phase now. Blossom Moon was full last Monday. Sunday night, we all walked down to the beach to take a closer look at her full moon skin. You could hear the lake tide lapping the shore. The remains of Maurine’s funeral pyre rested on the sand. There was a light wind.

I took a few shots without a tripod. I never know if they will come out. Handheld night shots are risky. But I wanted to capture the energy — the Full Blossom Moon sinking into the lake. She floats on top for a time, mesmerizing me, making me want to dive into the light. But the Mermaids know better. Never fall headfirst into the Siren’s call.


Moon Over Lake Michigan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Moon Over Lake Michigan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


posted on red Ravine, Sunday, May 25th, 2008

-related to posts: winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min, PRACTICE – Snow Moon (Total Lunar Eclipse) — 20min, and PRACTICE – Wind Moon – 20min, PRACTICE — Pink Frog Moon — 15min

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Gateways, Lakewood Cememtery near Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Gateways, Lakewood Cemetery near Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008. Spring blooms in Babyland, near the Chinese Community Memorial. Photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.








white-belled bleeding hearts
spring sweeps through silent gateways
cemetery pause








-posted on red Ravine, Friday, May 9th, 2008

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)

 

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The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       






SunWheel, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






Eye To Eye, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. 






Mother, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




April draws to a close in a few hours. Though it snowed last Saturday, the light of April’s last day is clear and blue. The front yard is bursting with new life:  erratic shoots of thick, green grass, day lilies skyrocketing out of tender wet ground, red-stemmed dogwood buds, one purple bloom in the rock garden on the hill.

We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, following the twelve passages of The Great Round. The initial circulation of The Great Round coincides with early childhood, and physical development. Thereafter, the passages focus on spiritual exploration and maturation, awareness of one’s center, and seeking balance and harmony through working with the archetypal circle.



   Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Beginnings, the fourth cycle of The Great Round, opens prior to the age of two, when a mutual bond is formed between baby and mother. The child develops trust; the mother takes pleasure in nurturing. Later, as adults, we learn to trust and nurture our own creative energy through avenues such as writing, music, and art.

In Stage Four we explore ways to quell the self-doubt and insecurity (Monkey Mind) that bubble to the surface when we create. On a spiritual level, we learn to nurture ourselves, to feel compassion (for ourselves and others); we learn the importance of giving service from the heart.


The April mandalas are drawn with Crayola markers, colored pencils, and Uniball gel pens. Liz’s mandalas are all hand-drawn. But April was the first time in The Great Round that I drew one of my own (from a blank circle with a dot at the center). The simple design is found on the walls of a birthing chamber in an ancient palace on the island of Crete (archeologists suggest it may represent the cervix). The dot becomes the beginning point of our own design, reflecting something we may be ready to birth.



The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 4 — Beginnings are:

  • learning to contain and focus energy
  • deepening and nurturing the relationship with the inner self
  • understanding the value of service to others
  • developing patience and a belief in the process
  • knowing something new will be created and produced even though its form can not yet be seen


ONE: The first mandala (top of the page) was drawn by hand, unplanned and fluid, beginning with a circle and a dot. It is based on an illustration by Marija Gimbutas in The Language of the Goddess, where she illustrates a circle and dot found in a birthing chamber on the island of Crete.

TWO: The second mandala represents a flower or the sun. The center of the template started as empty white space. Everything within the blue center was added in the process of drawing and coloring. Beginnings are a time to contain and focus, to hold our projects and creations close to center, so they can develop. Talking, explaining, discussing, can dissipate valuable energy. Silence holds the space.

THREE: The third mandala draws from the heart chakra. Holding focused energy deepens the relationship to the self, intensifying and expanding the heart. Sustained effort toward nurturing our insides, allows more room outside to see the way clear for unconditional love — a generous love dedicated to serving others.

FOUR: In Beginnings, we learn to cherish the new, to care for what is young and tender. After Winter’s heavy runoff, we wait a few weeks before we rake and scrape the earth, protecting tender shoots of Spring grass. Be gentle with the self. Make room for and nurture your creative ideas, so they have room to come to fruition.

 


  Trimotto, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Signs Of Spring, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Sliver, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Find The Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Trimotto, Signs Of Spring, Sliver, Find The Mandala, hand-drawn labyrinths created by Liz, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The four mandalas above are hand-drawn by Liz, created for The Great Round – Stage 4. She agreed to let me photograph them from her sketchbook and post them with the April mandalas.

Mandalas have been used in Christian churches, in Eastern and Western traditions, by mystics and ancient peoples all over the world. Like labyrinths, mandalas cross all cultures, and represent Spirit coming into matter.

Spring teaches us about new beginnings. About trusting the process of movement — through Winter’s deadening hibernation, to the rebirth and new growth of Spring. We learn to trust ourselves. To know that what appear to be chaos and death, will be followed by renewal and prosperity.


    

Centering, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

-related to posts:  The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February MandalasLabyrinth — March Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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I was torn. Pink Moon, Frog Moon, Moon of the Greening Grass. I liked Flower Moon and Broken Snowshoe Moon. I imagined fumbling out of a leather strap on an antique snowshoe, ice jamming the buckle, stepping out just long enough to sink knee-deep into what’s left of Winter. But it is the Frog Moon that stuck with me.

In April, the frogs began to call from across the fields, lakes, and valleys. A throaty, mating call, unmistakable in pitch, guttural. Pink is for the wild ground phlox, first blooming flowers of Spring. Spreading like wildfire.

Pink Moon reminds me of Nick Drake, loner, folk singer of the early 70’s. He died in 1974 of an overdose of the antidepressant, amitriptyline. You might know his song, Pink Moon, from the VW commercial that aired in the year 2000. It skyrocketed his song to stardom in the long slow wake of his death. How does that work, that mournful brush with fame.

What do I want to say about the Pink Frog Moon? Early in the month, I could not see her. She was hidden by the gray, foggy end of Winter. In her first quarter around the 12th, I saw her high in a powder blue sky. It was morning; daylight reflected in deep craters with names like Sappho, Isis, and Isabel, washed her out.

At the Full Pink Moon, I was sleeping. The night was cold. Liz came into bed, said, “The deck is on fire with moonlight.” I wanted to drag my body up, to walk out into the cold and bathe in moonlight. But I was too tired. I slept right through the full moon.

This week, we are at the last quarter of the Pink Frog Moon. Liz’s family is in town for her graduation. When we got home from dinner, I grabbed a giant, double package of toilet paper and a 12 pack of Zero from the silver trunk, closed the door, stopped and looked up behind the oaks before ascending the steps. No moon. The sky is clear. She has yet to rise high enough for me to see her.

Last Saturday, it snowed, blizzard flakes and 18 degree winds. I stepped out of the church without my coat, walked around the stained glass windows with the Canon, took a few shots of snow resting on green leaves, snow kneeling at the feet of Jesus, falling indentations between layers of budding, yellow tulips. How do they survive in April snows? It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, another hidden moon.

I’m thinking about ybonesy in Colorado, her uncle hiding behind the moon. I miss her energy when she’s gone. It is quiet. The seasons change. We have to answer the call. Alicia Keys wears earrings in the shape of a quarter moon. They are big as as the moon, too, and fall low to her neck. David Letterman reaches over to give her a hug.

I sit in the background, chattering away on the keys. I don’t have anything profound to say. Only this practice. I am tired and need to go to bed. But first, the Pink Moon. And the croaking of ancient frogs.


-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

-related to posts: winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min, PRACTICE – Snow Moon (Total Lunar Eclipse) — 20min, and PRACTICE – Wind Moon – 20min

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Coming Up For Air, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Coming Up For Air, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






buried in March snow
cedar branches flex and bend
coming up for air





-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

-related to post: haiku (one-a-day)

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Sun! Thank you!, Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 2007, photo © QuoinMonkey, all rights reserved.

Sun! Thank You!, Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 2007, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






dark in a half light
seed buds pull out of hiding
snowless sun, thank you





-posted on red Ravine, Spring Equinox, Thursday, March 20th, 2008

-related to post: haiku (one-a-day)

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First Strawberry, July 28, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

First Strawberry, out on the deck, July 28th, 2007, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


Liz and I like to plant our perennials in pots on the deck, then transplant them later into the gardens. It gives us the advantage of enjoying a summer full of thriving foliage, bursting blooms, and wispy green stems close to our living space. I am loving gardening like never before. It’s an endless source of pleasure and ground for me.

It’s also something we do together that makes the humid Minnesota summers bearable (I’m a winter girl all the way). To me, it is gardening, motorcycling, and geocaching that make summer fun. This year, the thing I’ve done the most is gardening and yard work.

I discovered the first strawberry yesterday in the pots at the top of the stairs. When I photographed it, I noticed the naked white that will soon turn to crimson.


Saturday, July 28th, 2007

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It’s the end of June. ybonesy and I will be traveling over the next two weeks. Different times and separate destinations. Expect slight delays, possible blasts of summer rain, seeds of a sunset poppy, the beat of a gyrfalcon.

Tonight I feel like poetry. Away from home, there is ground in the simple. A blinding light pours through the picture window. And I am not alone.


Fourth Moon (June)
by Li Ho

Cool dawns and dusks
lots of shade
a thousand emerald mountains
rising toward the clouds

a fragrant rain
patters through green foliage
thick leaves and blossoms
shine behind gates
water in the pools
quivers with green ripples

in heavy summer
blossoms expect to fall
fading red flowers
glowing in light and shade.


…every day he would go out riding on a donkey….with a tapestry bag. As he wandered through the countryside, he would compose poems and toss them into the bag. At home in the evening, he would dump out his day’s work and finish the poems, allegedly provoking his mother’s comment: “My son will not stop until he has vomited out his heart.”

-from 12 Poems on the Months by Li Ho (791-817)
Five Tang Poets, Translated and introduced by David Young
Oberlin College Press, 1990

-related to these two posts:  

Among Ruins – Li Ho (791-817)
Tu Mu on Li Ho, 15 years after his death

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

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