Less words these days. Perhaps it is the languid pace of summer. Simply reveling in the beauty of the Earth. For me, the garden, Eden, is right here and right now. From poet and author Susan Griffin:

This earth is my sister;
I love her daily grace, her silent daring
and how loved I am –
how we admire this strength in each other,
all that we have lost, all that we have suffered,
all that we know;
we are stunned by this beauty,
and I do not forget;
what she is to me,
what I am to her.

The Art of Waiting

From my July Newsletter:
In last month’s newsletter I wrote about contemplative living and the practice of slowing down and being present to what the late Trappist monk Thomas Merton referred to as the “spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life.” (Click here to read the issue). Another aspect of contemplative living is practicing the “art of waiting.” We live in a world driven by productivity, so the notion of waiting can feel uncomfortable and generate some anxiety within us. I was noticing this for myself recently after having come through a very fruitful time, artistically and intellectually (post graduate school). I wanted to keep the momentum moving; instead, my energy waned and my efforts in the studio came to naught. While I attributed part of this inertia to my despair over the Gulf crisis, I discovered that it was necessary for me to surrender, to rest in the unknown, and to wait. Instead of trying to push my agenda forward, I had to trust in Spirit…have faith in Divine Imagination. It was about this time when I was drawn back to Sue Monk Kidd’s “When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions.” In a chapter entitled, Quickaholic Spirituality, she writes:

What has happened to our ability to dwell in unknowing, to live inside a question and coexist with the tensions of uncertainty? Where is our willingness to incubate pain and let it birth something new? What has happened to patient unfolding, to endurance? These things are what form the ground of waiting. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that they’re also the seedbed of creativity and growth.

This also brought to mind the poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice in “Letters to A Young Poet.” He wrote:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Even though it can feel uncomfortable, even chaotic at times, the “art of waiting” (like gestation) is the natural state prior to giving birth. To our Self. To our art/creativity. To a new chapter in our lives. And collectively, giving birth to a new vision for humanity. For me, this is a vision grounded in our interconnectedness in the web of creation and our co-creating a world that works for all. We are living with much uncertainty these days but our spiritual leaders also speak of this time as a period of great transformation and that we are all part of this evolutionary process. The art of waiting…with patience and kindness towards Self…creates space for listening to the soul, discerning inner guidance, developing creativity, and answering the call towards healing ourselves and our world. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed that life isn’t progressing as quickly, or in the way you had envisioned it might…surrender, wait, listen. And remember to breathe!

To sign up for my monthly newsletter, go to www.sacredartstudio.net

Hummingbird poem

Summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. The garden is bursting with color and the vegetables are singing with delight. Meditation in the garden this morning, watching the birds play and feed, the bees loving on the roses, listening to the birdsong, and reading Mary Oliver. Gratitude for life. Being present and inspired by Beauty. Look! says Mary Oliver. Look!

Hummingbird Pauses at the Trumpet Vine
-Mary Oliver

Who doesn’t love
roses, and who
doesn’t love the lilies
of the black ponds

floating like flocks
of tiny swans,
and of course the flaming
trumpet vine

where the hummingbird comes
like a small green angel, to soak
his dark tongue
in happiness–

and who doesn’t want
to live with the brisk
motor of his heart

like a Schubert,
and his eyes
working and working like those days of rapture,
by van Gogh, in Arles?

Look! for most of the world
is waiting
or remembering–
most of the world is time

when we’re not here,
not born yet, or died–
a slow fire
under the earth with all

of our dumb wild blind cousins
who also
can’t even remember anymore
their own happiness–

Look! and then we will be
like the pale cool
stones, that last almost