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The Artisan

This past weekend I took a two day  black smith class to learn the basics of working with metal to create, whatever the vision might be. Initially we worked on points (similar to an arrowhead) and then moved on to S hooks. ending with making a forge tool.  The building of the forge fire with respect for the dangers of forging metal were also learned.

Working with fire and metal stirs up ancient memories stored in our DNA.  It takes you on a journey back through time, to a place where skill was needed to survive the uncertainty of daily life. When creating the necessities needed to provide for life itself, was paramount to survival. So the class became unto itself a sacred journey that allowed each of us who were there,  to connect with the spirit of the fire and the power of creation.

One of the instructors, a true master of the skill and trade gave a demonstration,  during which he made a three dimensional leaf with stem.  It was amazing to watch him create and form this nature inspired art with such ease.

Fire from the forge’s heart,

works with the blacksmith’s hammer,

forming steel into art.

 

Earth Art

On the Island of Santorini, are three lava beaches. One is made from black lava rock, another is red lava rock and yet a third, of white lava rock. These colors came about when different geological layers of the earth,  became exposed and solidified with the lava from the volcanic explosion that occurred around 1646 BC.  As a consequence, Nature has provided each beach, with its own uniqueness.

Black, red and white lava,

splashed with blue Aegean water,

Earth’s impressionism.


 

 

 

True Enlightenment

You may have seen the news about a town in Maryland, whose main street was totally destroyed by a 1000 year flood for the second time, in less than two years. That is my town, where I have resided for 6 years. Fortunately, I live on one of the seven hills that surround the main street.  So the amount of water that came into the basement,  was not enough to be more than a very small puddle.  But the historic main street was totally destroyed by raging waters from two rivers.

Now to have two floods of that magnitude in less than two years,  makes one take notice that the weather patterns have become more drastic and severe. Whether this is due to climate change or something else all-together is not clear. But one thing I can say, is that the so called weather reporters,  never ever acknowledge -that the weather has been different, the seasons not quite the same, and our planet  is changing. Most likely because they like all of science,  demands empirical proof before acknowledging the reality. This is the equivalent of staying on the Titanic even after hitting the iceberg.

What most of us have also ignored,  has been the warning of the Wisdom Keepers. The keepers of the ancient knowledge. These are the Elders of the Native or First Peoples of the Americas. Not too long ago the Elders gathered from the South and North and warned all of us that the earth was going to undergo changes. They warned of the increase in severity of the weather, They told us to start paying attention and that these were the signs of the coming of the end time.

Perhaps its time to start paying attention and listen to the wisdom.  Humans run around on this planet like they own it and the truth is we don’t. We are but the caretakers and we have done an absolute horrible job.  If the Earth was a corporation,  we would all  be fired and sued by the stockholders.

There is that line from that song by Buffalo Springfield which speaks to this point

I think its time we stop, children, what’s that sound, Everybody look what’s going down”  

I follow-up on these very succinct words , with one of my favorite quotes by Chief Seattle. He was one of the great Native American leaders, a gifted orator, who it is said is comparable to Abraham Lincoln. His words are as relevant today, as they were, when he spoke them-in the early part of the 19th century.

” Man does not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand of it. What man does to the web, he does to himself”

These words are absolute truth, there is no denying it. Yet, humanity refuses to kneel before God the creator,  with respect for these words and continues to be driven by material greed, power and wealth. Which is what drives all of the modern ills, we have inflicted upon the earth and in doing so ourselves. So lets make this absolute fact: Nothing will change, unless we stop, listen, pay attention and, put an end to the self.

I sit and ponder,

What if ego was cast out.

humanity awakened.

Kylemoor

In 2010 on a trip to Ireland,  we visited an Abbey known as Kylemoor located in Connemara, County Galway. It had been built as an estate home for the family of a wealthy doctor from London (Mitchell Henry) between 1867 and 1871. It became an abbey when it was purchased by Benedictine nuns in 1920.  On the grounds was a church,  built to memorialize the love Dr Henry had for his wife (Margaret). The church was built to be like a small grand cathedral.

As we stood in the church, suddenly  sunlight was streaming through a window on the back wall. Whether carried by the light or residing there all along, there was no mistaking the presence of God.

God’s radiant love,

fills the grey Gothic church,

touching our divine hearts.

 

Hawk Spirit

All of us have animal spirit guides that are sent to us by the Universe. It is just that most of us do not pay attention and miss connecting with these guides, who are there to support us in the physical world. These guides will come to us when we need them and leave when their work is done. Animal guides can also change, in that the animal spirit guide(s) we needed yesterday,  is not the the one we will need in the future. Always showing-up when we least expect and yet on time when our need is greatest. Then again, some animal spirit guide(s) have always been with us and will be, until we slip the surly bonds of our planetary home.

For as long as I can recall, I have had two-the wolf and the Red tailed hawk. My long familiarity with them, has allowed me to develop the ability to know when they are around. One day,  last autumn, on a breezy afternoon, as leaves continued to drop,             I attempted to rake the front lawn. Suddenly feeling drawn to turn my head, I looked toward the woods across the street.  There flying through the trees and falling leaves, coming towards me, was a Red tailed hawk.

Like the swirling wind,

the Red tailed hawk’s powerful wings,

scatters the leaves.

 

 

Hinterzarten

In the southern part of the Black Forest in Germany is the town of Hinterzarten. The town is like a resort, in that each season, there is an abundance of outdoor activity and many of the homes are available for renting a room or have been turned into the equivalent of a bed and breakfast/hotel.  It quickly became a favorite destination for a few days, either in the spring or the fall. One Sunday in early April, we had intended on taking one of the many wanderwegs south through the dark and dense forest.

Sunday morning hike,

aborted by the hard hail,

momentarily winter.

Wisteria

For part of the time I worked in Zurich my office was located in the section of the city known as Enge.   As part of my morning commute, I would walk down a street named after the German composer Richard Wagner. Wagner during one of his exiles from Germany, had lived in Zurich from 1849 to 1858.  One of the private homes on the street,  had a beautiful purple Wisteria.  When in full bloom by late spring, the fragrance was so intoxicating and sweet, it reminded me of the grape jam-I ate as a kid.  I would stop and take a few deep breaths, getting my morning fix

Fragrant Wisteria,

Conjures up sweet grape jam,

Memories of home.

Across the street from the office building was a small but beautiful green area called Belvoir Park. The park had been at one time an estate. There original country house is the location of a chef’s school and a restaurant. The park had several paths which went through a number of different gardens, landscaped settings, and a natural area-left untouched. On the nicer days in Spring, after lunch, I often took a walk which went past a beautiful Iris garden and through an arbor near the western side of the park. The arbor was covered with purple and white flowering Wisteria, creating a tunnel like effect.

Walking the park path,

I enter the shade filled arbor,

of Spring Wisteria.