willow, benjamin and the sand dollar
Our lives are full of ordinary miracles...
the things that if they weren't there we would miss
or if they had never been invented would be so amazing that we would listen increduliously to someone who dreamed them.
"appendages on the ends of our arms that allowed us to hold and feel and create and caress... hands you say... preposterous..."
But here we are living in a world with hands and love and cats and clouds and lungs and friends and green grass and fingernails and the fact that we don't experience each of these and every other thing around us and within us as miracles may be one of the saddest things about being human....
This connection i have with you in this moment, the fact that you are reading my words with your eyes and your heart, words that i have written early on a sunday morning with a purring cat on my bed (oh the miracle of a tabby - i mean if those markings never were and then an artist invented them wouldn't we sigh and exclaim?) ... that connection is a miracle and i am savouring it and using that to nourish my soul...
what can you find to nourish your soul today? something that is right there beside you, even better within you?
When the beautiful Nicole from Studio Margot asked me to write for her St Nicholas day series on love as the basis for art and life i was flattered and pleased and as i sat to write this i became more pleased.
Firstly i have been wanting to make a blog where i can have my art work and expand other ideas i have too and there never seemed to be the right time to do it... and then when i thought about the theme of love in our lives it seemed right to launch with a blog post that was all about my deepest intention.
Nicole told me about St Nicholas who comes bearing gifts and it seems so appropriate to write about love with that image in my mind... love is like a gift in the lives of all of us - it can come in tiny boxes or need a truck to move it - but it is always being offered to us... often in ways we least expect.
Having the chance to sit back and examine why love is so central to all i do has been difficult lately - the tendrils of busy have been deep in my daily life... but sitting here to write this this morning makes me realise that i truely feel powered by love.
Not the "oh he loves me he held my hand and took me to the movies" love... but the deep true love as the basis of everything love... that ancient force that you can feel when you sit in the shelter of an old tree or in silence by the sea...
it is a love that is not always gentle, can sometimes be feirce and nest shaking, but i believe is a love that guides us into the best selves we can be as long as we listen and act with integrity.
it is a love that requires us to be above all kind... a love that requires us to think widely and with our hearts and not just our brains. it is a love that requires us to challenge some accepted understandings... it is a love that connects us around the world - not just from Romania to New Zealand (which is remarkable enough) but to all living creatures (and yes i mean trees and flowers and mountains and bees and....)
that love is present in everything i do, if i am centred enough to listen for it... sometimes it takes a big event in our lives (an illness for example) for us to align ourselves with this love - giving us a chance to examine what truely counts and be present to the existence and the constancy of this all embracing force of generation and regeneration.
I have found gratitude lists such a good way of connecting with this love - some days i can only muster being grateful for being able to breathe and see ... and then i notice the green out my window and the birds singing and pretty soon that list has 12 things on it and i see, in the midst of sadness and other bleak things, that love is still with me.
It is just a process of finding your way back to love.
It is like that in my art - when i am holding an intention (and the best intentions are loving and playful and not intellectual) the art that appears is always full of love when i look at it... there is a peice of my heart out there for the world to see - not in a sacrificial way, but in an offering to love that gets paid back 100 fold... watching what i make touch other people and instruct me is a blessing beyond what i can describe here... sometimes i get caught in thinking what people will like and what will sell, but if i am kind to myself and realign myself with love and curiosity and play then i am welcomed back to the ease of love's arms and i grow a little more....
it is not a process i am perfect at, i am not a perfect selfless mother Theresa, but then i don't think i need to be - i just need to keep practising, keep aligning with love and goodness will keep unfolding in my path..
it really is that simple