A conversation with a friend has prompted me to repost my manifesto ( a written declaration of intentions or objectives). It is a great reminder to remain focused on my values.
1. Use my energy level as a barometer to gauge the value of my relationships. Nurture those who increase my energy, avoid those who drain it.
2. Enhance the quality of life by using creativity to have more FUN! Schedule fun and adventure!!!
3. Take the time to stay in tune with my spiritual self.
4. Respect my health as a precious gift. Use exercise and nutrition to be healthy - not to look good. Have a health-based, not-ego based, life style.
5. Continue to spend time in, and learn lessons from nature
6. Embrace education and learning - knowledge, skills and attitude.
7. Dharma - use my passion in all aspects of my life's work through paid and volunteer positions.
8. Keep clutter to a minimum. Give away at least one item for every new one that comes into my home.
9. Incorporate systems to simplify housework, business, finances, etc.
10. If it isn't good for my soul, don't think it, watch it, read it, talk to it, buy it, wear it, eat it . . .
One of my favorite courses this spring is Authentic Hauntings. Dorothy, the instructor, has made the course educational as well as entertaining - she really should do stand up comedy. She understands that there are people in the class who haven't had experiences with spirits so she keeps it light. She also encourages sharing from those of us who have had encounters with spirits, and yes, that includes me! We've studied ghosts who reside in Gettysburg, Washington D.C. and Baltimore! Visiting Fell's Point will be even more intriguing, now that I know where to look for ghosts!
As a thank you, I made her a 40 page mini-book on Haunting Herbs. In this tiny book she will find a wealth of information including which herbs to use to attract ghosts, which will repel then, how to predict the future, calm the poltergeist and even how to help zombies move on to a peaceful death!
Last week Mycala took some photos of the radishes she purchased at Fresh Market and I couldn't rest until I had my own bunch to paint! We went in last week and they were out with a delivery expected yesterday. It was worth the wait! They arrived and I carried my precious bouquet home. I did a quick water color sketch and think I'll do the final painting on black.
If eaten, instead of merely painted, radishes increase lust and may actually contribute to spring fever! And there is a plant related to the radish family in Germany that enables those on the hunt to find sorcerers! Unfortunately I didn't read about it until I was back in the states, but if I ever go again I'll give it try. I would love to find a modern day Merlin!A Filipino legend, the legend of Labanos (radishes), tells the disheartening tale of the damage done by misunderstanding and judgement.
When people are born they are gentle and soft.
At death they are hard and stiff.
When plants are alive they are soft and delicate.
When they die, they wither and dry up.
Therefore the hard and stiff are followers of death.
The gentle and soft are the followers of life.
Thus, if you are aggressive and stiff, you can't win.
When a tree is hard enough, it is cut. Therefore
The hard and big are lesser,
The gentle and soft are greater.
- Yi-Ping Ong, from the introduction, Tao Te Ching
Until recently my first winter in Maryland has been unusually warm - 50 to 60 degrees has been common. But on January 21st, frigid air moved in and it has been below freezing since then. It is snowing lightly and I'm snuggled in my new apartment making Valentines!
African Venus at the Walter's Art Museum in Baltimore, MD
History was made today with the Inauguration of the second term of our first African American president, Barrack Obama. Over a million people traveled to Washington D.C. to participate, an event even more meaningful as it took place on the day of the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day.
Mycala and I celebrated in a different way, traveling into the heart of Baltimore to visit the Walter's Art Museum
. It was the last day of the Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe
. The exhibit featured paintings, sketches, sculpture, and printed books depicting Africans and their descendants. "Artists, aristocrats, saints, slaves and diplomats" encouraged the viewer to consider a variety of roles as well as possible implications related to their varied roles. It was enlightening to see such a variety of scenarios. Snippets of information were included, enough to raise more questions than answer, but even knowing enough to ask questions that hadn't previously occurred to me made the exhibit worthwhile.
We viewed the Greek, Roman and Etruscan Art section as well as the Egyptian Art. We only saw a fraction of the displays. There are more than 35,000 one of a kind objects covering 55 centuries of art. The collection is even more remarkable when you consider that it was the vision and interest of only two men, William Thompson Walters and his son Henry Walters. There is no cost to tour the museum but there is an opportunity to make a donation in the lobby, and there are membership and donation opportunities.
Examples of Egyptian Art from the New Kingdom are below.
Faience Bowl 1550 - 1450 B.C. (New Kingdom)
Woman kneeling with knife 1450 BC New Kingdon
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Funerary Stele of Tembu 1500 - 1470 B.C. (New Kingdom)
Lessons from Nature
is a topic that has fascinated me for a lifetime. Even so, I was totally unprepared for the insights of Esther Krinitz, a holocaust surviver, artist and story teller, whose work was featured at the American Visionary Art Museum
in Baltimore, Maryland.
When I first walked into the museum I was captivated by the whimsy and humor. My guard was down. Had I heard this story at a holocaust museum or concentration camp in Germany I'd have been braced for horror. But I was at my most receptive - my heart was open and unsuspecting.
I glanced at the tapestries before noticing an accompanying video, and sat down in child like wonder, expecting only delight. The video began. "This was not what I came to see," I silently protested, but stayed, mesmerized and paralyzed, enthralled, captivated, stunned.
Esther weaves her mesmerizing story with a needle and thread, creating tapestries to depict her memories of the holocaust. Time and again she referenced the gifts of nature in her journey. She and her sister were hidden and sheltered from the Nazis by nature. A kind gentleman provided them with a garden plot to grow food for their survival. One tapestry depicts a Nazi soldier being attacked by bees when he began interrogating her. A cherry tree, laden with fruit, depicts 'money growing on trees' in America.
I'm still processing my lessons from Esther. My perceptions and understanding have been heightened and altered. She relived the nightmares and miracles, creating an unforgettable story of horror, survival, and gratitude, one stitch at a time.
We were asked not to take photographs inside the museum, but you can read more about her journey here - Art and Remembrance
Get ready to be a star in 2013!!! Carry this mini-booklet with you to remind you of your lessons learned, affirmations, blessings and dreams and goals for 2013.
To make the mini-book, you'll need
- 2 3 inch squares of card board for the cover
- 6 4 inch squares of paper for the inside of the star book
- ribbon, 24 inches long
Follow instructions below.
Carry your mini-book with you and look at it daily to remind you of your assets and goals!
Begin with 2 3 inch squares of heavy cardboard
4 6 inch squares of paper I used parchment
Fold each square into quarters
Fold diagonal edges towards center
Then fold diagonally
Glue outside squares together as shown. Glue all four squares together.
Line up squares diagonally and center and glue ribbon across them. Glue squares to covers, open ends facing out.
Your mini book will look like this when opened.
To finish your book, make borders around each page and add a heading.
- Lessons I've Learned
- My Affirmations
- My Blessings
- Goals and Dreams for 2013
You can customize your booklets any way you like and they make great gifts to remind your friends how wonderful they are!
The night air was chilly when the baby Jesus was born in the manger, but Mary was too tired and weak to tend the fire. The wind was raw and cold and the fire was beginning to go out. Mary asked the animals in the manger to help her but none responded.
A small Robin was flying by and heard her pleas. She took pity on Mary and her infant and flew into the manger to help. She flapped her wings until the flames rekindled. Some of the sparks seared her breast but she continued to fan the fire to keep it burning throughout the night. The Virgin Mary was so grateful that she blessed the Robin for her kind spirit and since then every robin has had a red breast to remind us of their kindness and love.