Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mindful, Day 20, The Goldfinch

I have been downloading photos of faces that I took while at LACMA and the Getty a few days ago. I ahve been working ona series of thread paintings called Beautiful Faces so I am always on the lookout for imagery that speaks to me. Among them is this statue of Mary holding the baby Jesus who is holding a goldfinch.  I loved the image of them both gently smiling but I wonder about the finch. And in doing some research I find that the finch is is a symbolic representation of the foreknowledge Jesus and Mary had of the sacrifice he would make on the Cross. And yet they smile. 

Be here now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mindful, Day 19, Labyrinth Thoughts

Although this is not a true labyrinth, when I saw it yesterday in the central garden at the Getty Musuem I was reminded of how walking a labyrinth is a mindful activity and helps you sort out your thoughts.  The slow and deliberate steps following a proscribed path allows your mind to meditate. And though you may walk into a labyrinth with a tangled knot of thoughts you often walk out with a clearer direction. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mindful, Day 18, Walking

I looked at some of the other images that I shot yesterday at LACMA and this one makes me laugh each time I see it. Going back to my original Mary Oliver poem -

Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

And in this case a photo of these feet walking by behind the sunscreen!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mindful Day 17, The Rain Room

Today we went to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, to see a variety of things, but most especially, the exhibit Rain Room. You enter in small groups and have limited time to be there. It is an entire room with falling water, going from a grid in ceiling to a grid in floor and the rain is UN- actiivated by your presence and movement through the room.  So wherever you walk it stops raining!  What fun to watch everyone walking around. The room is dark so the rain is so sparkly and white as it falls around you. The sound is so encompassing - like a big rainstorm but you can be in it and enjoy being surrounded on all sides by the water but not get wet (mostly). 

The other even more moving experience was the James Turrell installation piece called Breathing Light. (That alone is enough for me to stop and think). Breathing Light is one of the artist's Ganzfeld pieces: an installation designed to entirely eliminate the viewer's depth perception.We entered an environment where we were enveloped by color slowing changing like fog around us. And as you looked back thorugh the opening to the white wall beyond the complementary color builds and dissovles as the color you are part of slowly changes.  You could just fall into this and feel totally at peace and part of the color. No photos allowed and hard to describe but wonderful to experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MIndful Day 16, Patternmaking

Late afternoon sun throws strong patterns against the wall. I like how the cacti and the shadows are interconnected and the movement that is created. Nothing like a late afternoon walk with the sun moving down the sky to see things in a new way.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mindful Day 15, Stone x Stone

A beautiful hike in Palm Canyon which runs for 15 miles through the Aqua Caliente reservation. What makes it special is the running water that has created a lush area of palm trees throughout the canyon. You walk down into the canyon and are greeted by cool air and the sound of running water. The recent rains have certainly made the stream bigger, you could see signs of what rushing water had done everywhere. As we reached the end of this part of the hike we took a different trail back that overlooked the canyon and you could also see for miles and miles in every direction. At the high point of the trail was a gathering of cairns - the perfect place to stop, look around and be thankful for the heart stopping beauty in the world.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mindful Day 14, Love in the Desert

I got out for a good long hike up on the trails in the mountains nearby, reversing the hike I took last week. When you reverse things look very different. Something I did not see going one direction jumped right out at me this time. Thirty or forty feet off the trail I got to see love in the desert. As ever, I can picture different scenarios for this photo. Was it done by a couple? Was it done in honor of someone, was it a way to leave a message for someone coming by later, was it to express happiness just about being out in the warm air and beautiful space? You could write a lot of stories!