Friday, February 18, 2011

Haiku My Heart - Hunger Moon

NASA image

full-bellied sister
sails the deep winter sky
hearts rising

In the wee hours, the full moon shone bright and beautiful in clear skies, beckoning us to stop for a time and honor the deeper parts of ourselves.

Reading about the current full moon on the blog Virgo Magic, written by astrologer Emily Trinkaus, I was smacked upside the head by this statement:

"Chiron in Pisces triggers the wounds of separation. [...] The wound of living in a culture that denies our interconnectedness with all life, and that denies the existence of the invisible realm of intuition, imagination, spirit and dreams."

Whoa. Even if you have never heard of Chiron or think astrology is just a bunch of hooey, does this statement resonate? I've spent a lifetime feeling a connection to, or in my earliest memories, at least an awareness of something beyond what I could see or touch... alternating with the feeling of not quite belonging here. From an early age, I knew such feelings were not the accepted norm and so I learned to keep them to myself. I also understand that I'm not alone in this lifetime of knowing. But I've never considered it in this context.

According to Ms. Trinkaus, this full moon in Leo is urging us to open our hearts to all of our painful wounds – to acknowledge and allow this pain to flow through us, thereby dissolving the wounds of (perceived) separation. Cracking our hearts wide open...

Our Native ancestors called this the Hunger Moon, because it is the full moon of deep winter, when everything is frozen and dormant. Food sources were scarce for our ancestors.

On a very basic level, separation from the source of their existence.

Hunger Moon.

Seems a fitting metaphor for this moon, as well.

Rumi said, "The wound is the place where the Light enters you".

Let it be so.

I'll leave you with this, another celebration of this particular full moon. Beautiful and flowing with peace  – and light – to fill those spaces in your heart:

Watch in full screen mode.

Haiku your heart here.

Read a little about this beautiful Lantern Festival here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Haiku My Heart – How Many Angels?

Orion nebula, NASA Hubble image

what artist's brush
reveals the colors
of angels dancing?

Always, when I look to the heavens, I see them. From a small child, when I first noticed them swirling in ethereal raiment through cottony clouds, Angels have graced my skies. They are just there... in the clouds, in the nebulae, in the auroras. Even in the patterns on my wallpaper. :)

I saw this beautiful imagery yesterday, and my first thought was "So many Angels!".

Color me crazy. I see what I see. :) Maybe you see them, too.

Visit Rebecca and friends for Haiku My Heart Friday goodness.

Peaceful Angel-gazing...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Mandalas

Three more from the same source image:

I like the depth and texture in these, and the interesting shapes. It's fun to see what can be created from one image, and how the essence of that image changes. It's as if that frayed and tired rope has blossomed. Like snowflakes: each so different. The beauty of ordinary things.

I forgot how addictive this is. :) I really heart Photoshop. 

Peace and warmth on this blustery, snow-covered day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I missed Haiku My Heart Friday, but I did create some mandalas from a photo I took last fall. Over on 14 Secrets, Susanna shared a link to her friend's beautiful mandala art. It reminded me that I had created mandalas using a Photoshop tutorial I'd found online several years ago, that allows you to replicate a slice of a photograph in a kaleidoscopic fashion. I was surprised and delighted to find that the same tutorial is still available. The creator of Earth Mandalas, Komro Atiri Cheyean Moriko, had been kind enough to share her process for the rest of us to play with, way back when. I'm always amazed and grateful for the generosity of folks who offer the fruits of their creative labors so freely. Such a gift. Even if you aren't interested in the tutorial, please take a look at Komra's art. 

The Earth Mandalas tutorial is very clear and thorough. It was written for Photoshop 5, though, so if you're using a later version and you want to give this a try, there's one change that I discovered that you'll need to know. Where you're instructed to enter the numeric value of the rotation, you won't find it in the drop-down menu, as shown. It's in the option bar at the top, when you select 'Free Transform' from the drop-down:

The process may seem a bit daunting at first, but after you've gone through it once or twice, you'll see how simple it really is. There are several options available, as well. I chose to use the one offered in the tutorial for these - the eight-sectioned smaller version.

Created from the same image:

This is the source photo for all three:

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning, literally, 'essence' (manda) and 'container' (la). So beautiful. Each holding sacred space. Of course, these, while honoring nature, are mere nods to the true and authentic origin of the mandala and its creation.

Read more here

If you decide to give this a try, I really hope you'll share the results. Thanks, Sus, for the inspiration to make these once again. 


Friday, January 28, 2011

Haiku My Heart - Soul of my Soul

Click to enlarge

soul of my soul––
traversing other worlds

The above photo was taken of my grandparents along some unknown lake shore, presumably after having just gotten their feet wet, sometime in the late 1940s or early '50s. Yes, the actual photo is of all of them – head to toe – but something about this piece of the picture just simply captured my imagination. I can't explain it. They were together for a long time in life, and I feel them together now. Somehow, this image speaks of that.

In an effort to preserve old 'memories' (some of which have only been told to us but feel like ours, just the same), we've been busy scanning lots of old family photos. Rather than trying to restore them to their original lustre, I have been embracing their imperfections and letting the photos gently reveal their secrets as I attempt to bring out the story in each instead. Old snapshots are grainy by nature, and decades of either fading or darkening offer a challenge. So far, I've been surprised by the results. Some are dream-like and almost other-worldly. Some feel as if the black-and-white subjects are ready to step through the frame into a world of color. Each image is a bit of poetry.

All are single moments in history, my family's history, and they lead me on a flight of fancy as I imagine what might have transpired before each click of the shutter. I will continue to work on them and plan to create an art book for the most interesting ones. Maybe one for each of my kids, too. That should keep me busy for awhile.

My mom at 16, dancing with my grandfather.
Photo was taken in 1956.
Judging by how often my grandma said that Grandpa had "two left feet", I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Mom was teaching him a few moves. ;)

Me, Mom and my brother, about 1968.
I love the effect of the sun shining through the windows behind us.

To haiku your heart, please visit Rebecca and company here. Join us if you feel so inspired.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Haiku My Heart - Dreaming

sun-soaked sand
tickles my toes & fancy––
through my window, snow


Dreams of sun and sand sustain me through these times of bitter cold and endless gloom. The photo above was taken some summers ago where the Au Train river spills gently into Lake Superior, creating a warm pool perfect for swimming, in contrast to the chilly waters of the big lake. Sigh... it fills my soul. Do you hear the gulls?

I've been MIA for awhile, I know. The holidays were a strain, and were followed by a nice, persistent stomach virus that we just seemed to keep passing around and around. Blehh. I didn't think it would ever end, but thankfully we all seem to finally be over it. I just want to throw open the windows and breathe in fresh air, and let it flow through the house. Alas, with temps in the teens and single digits, I'll keep dreaming of warm sunshine and spring breezes for awhile, yet.

What do you think of the new blog attire? The company hosting my old background changed servers. In theory, all I had to do was grab the new code, plug it in and I'd be good to go. Nothing's ever as simple as it seems, though. I discovered that my old background was apparently 'retired', forcing me to find something new, which in turn necessitated an upgrade, and, of course, a new banner, etc., etc. So, here we are. For now, at least. I'm still considering... At least it pried me out of my winter rut and back into some semblance of creativity, and that's always a good thing. And I do love the colors. Fresh, like that spring breeze that keeps flirting at the edge of my dreams.

I apologize for my late offering to Haiku My Heart Friday, but I've spent the last two days entrenched in the blog remodel. I didn't want to post a brand new haiku on a half-dressed blog, after all. :)

Peace (and warmth!) to hearth and soul. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Haiku My Heart - Rockin' Robin

out of place
against a winter sky
rockin' robin

He isn't rockin' around the Christmas tree, but Robin and I wish for each of you a heart filled with love this Christmas and moments to just breathe it all in. Breathe deeply...

Peace and warmth to hearth and home.

Haiku your heart here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Silent Flowers

Click to enlarge

Somehow, in the midst of making lists and researching gifts and recipes, etc., yesterday, I completely forgot that it was Friday, and therefore completely missed Haiku My Heart Friday. Well, I knew it was Friday, but just... forgot. Holidaze.

But I remembered when the mail delivery brought a lovely and thoughtful gift from my art sister, Barbara – a little book of Japanese haiku titled 'Silent Flowers'. It's filled with wonderful translations of the works of Basho, Issa, Buson and others, as the one in the photo above.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

"Wordsworth defined poetry as 'emotion recollected in tranquility.' Japanese haiku fulfill that definition with significance and beauty. They represent a whole world, a manner of daily living and a religious and poetic experience. Masters at recognizing a certain 'something' in unexpected situations, haiku poets recreate small moments discovered in the real world but suggesting the world of the spirit."

I think that sums it up very nicely. The book was edited by Dorothy Price and illustrated by Nanae Ito. Copyright 1967. Just lovely. I just want to sip my hot tea on this cold, gray winter day and read the springtime poems again and again.

I'll leave you with a few selections.

Sacred music at night;
Into the bonfires
Flutter the tinted leaves.


Treading on the tail
Of the copper pheasant,
The setting sun of spring.


The sound of tears
Hissing, quenching
The banked charcoal.



Friday, December 10, 2010

Haiku My Heart - Like the Moon and the Stars and the Sun

Click to enlarge

a peaceful heart,
life interrupted–-
still we all shine on

This week marked the 30th anniversary of the shocking and violent death of a peace-loving soul. There was so much tragic irony in that single, senseless act that it still befuddles me today. I have to wonder what earthly wisdom and visionary creativity might have been birthed in that 30 years... I think John Lennon was just reaching his stride when his life was so rudely interrupted.

We'll never know. 

Visit Rebecca and friends to haiku your heart with love. 

Peace... and shine on.... 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Haiku My Heart - Sea Treasure

Click to enlarge

The spiral theme continues. This little shell sits on a small porcelain dish on my desk. It reminds me of the Milky Way. Interesting connection, I know. :)

I cleaned my desk this week and unburied the rather large collection of beach stones, crystals, shells and other goodies that have taken up residence there. In fact, if it's possible I think they've multiplied under the stack of papers, art supplies and assorted Luke things that also collect on my desk. Each dish, bowl and cup in the photo below holds stones and crystals. Many are beach stones gathered from the shores of the Great Lakes over the years, including several Lake Superior agates and a neat specimen of a Petoskey stone. Some of the shells have traveled here from the ocean, from places like South Carolina, Florida and California.

Lots of crystals have found their way to me over the years, as well. I love the mystical and healing properties of stones and crystals. I enjoy being able to reach out and pick up whichever one speaks to me and feel its presence, the weight of it in my hand... the way its energy and spirit pulse gently into my own being.

My desk holds a nice representation of beautiful gifts from earth, sea and forest, millions of years in the making. Once and future treasures.

You'll find more haiku treasures here.