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Listening inside this day.

Morning Williams River

 

 

I listen inside this day.

-Rumi

 

 

Today is cold. Too cold for wash on the line so I’d rather not do it, at all. We all have plenty of underwear, wool socks and jeans to last us a week of no laundry being hung on a cold cotton rope. Besides, the potential for rain today is great. The golden, and copper, and red leaves hang on the trees, quaking in the wind, leaping out in to the afternoon with every gust of wind.

I can hear my daughter giving writing suggestions to her best friend. They are both hard at work on their college essays. Writing is not enjoyable for one of them; this writing requires mighty and diligent effort. It comes with lots of introspection to the other and since that one has taken up homework residency in the kitchen, we are banned from chewing while she is seated at the table reading. Kitchens are multi-purpose rooms in today’s world, just as much as in ye olde cabin in the woods where your whole family lived around the hand-hewn table in front of the wood stove, or sat on a settle, which flanked each side of the cooking hearth. We are not so revolutionary here; just don’t open a bag of chips and expect you can lean against the radiator, warming your bones while watching leaves fall at the same time she is studying Rousseau. No chewing.

this is a settle and it is very old photo credit: Martin Murray Country Antiques
this is a settle and it is very old photo credit: Martin Murray Country Antiques

 

Listening inside this day, I hear my heart recuperating from the drastic day of difficultly we had on Sunday. Our 21-year-old son was injured in a lacrosse game and though all is well, there were about 11 hours where we worried and waited and prayed outside radiology labs and in hallways of busy emergency rooms. That long span of attention, of care, of holding his hand, riding in an ambulance with him, waiting and watching so closely, has left me a bit rattled, like those quaking leaves in the wind. My son is at school, not at home under our care. By the end of his visit to the trauma center in Albany, the doctor pronounced my son was fit to return to school, to rest in the house he shares with four other guys. And so we had to let him go. His friends had come to see him at the hospital, so they took him home. It was an act of great faith in the kindness of young men to trust that our child/young man/son would have all he needs in a location other than at our kitchen table.

 

here is the boy and he is much bigger now
here is the boy and he is much bigger now

 

And so, the heart span widens, and my attention is slightly stretched geographically, and we are all recuperating. Every time something like this happens, I ride the rail of all the worse outcomes we could have experienced and am in a deeper thrall of gratitude. Today, I feel tender and aware of my body and wonder how his is feeling. I am not so tired today. I feel my energy back under me. I lived just a slice of the stress that so many people live full time. I know this.

And so, as my gratitude grows, so grows my compassion.

This leads me back to laundry. I read earlier today that if you are in California, you can now string up a wash line in your back yard, even in the fancy neighborhoods that ban such pedestrian articles of lawn decor. California is an “air-dry postive” state. So is Laundry Line Divine!

Orange asters

 

I hope this post finds you well and just the right sort of warm today.

Here is much love to you each, from my laundry line, to yours,
S

 

 

 

Ten Creative Practices for a Chilly Winter Day

Need a snow chair? Sit down in #GreatBarrington. XoS

I am having a day when my list is daunting.

And dinner was easy.

And it is 7:30 and I’d like to do something fun in my studio.

I wrote this list for myself.

Maybe it will help you.

 

Ten Creative Warm-Ups for a Chilly Winter Day

 

Take a walk. Oh this is the hardest one. Couldn’t I drift around Face book? No. Walk. Move your ass off this chair and get outside. You will always and ever be inspired, comforted and intrigued by nature and today the copper beech and snowflake sparkles did not disappoint. And I shoveled. So I was helpful to boot. Fran Sorin has a few things to say about being outside here.

Turn on this music or music like it, dreamy music with no lyrics and write for the length of the song. This one is 20 minutes long and you might just forget you turned it on. Don’t think you are a writer? Fine. Write a letter then. Or three thank you notes. Or a gratitude list.


Take down old canvases and doodle in to them. They are gathering dust anyway.
Doodle with circles of different shapes and colors. Just do this. Here is what I just did for the fun of it.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2014_01_20_19:32:40

Play with color, open your watercolors and mix colors for a while. For bigger fun, paint on a printed page of an old book you find at a garage sale, like a dictionary.

Doodle. Go to Zentangle.com if you need or frottage, but doodle. This is what my friend Donna Allen did to a shell at the beach.

A gift from Donna Allen at Kate's Circle last night at Kamala Boutique. I talked about #ananthologyofbabes and we all did brags, grats and desires. #sisterhood xoS

Circle. “What ever circles comes from the center.” says Rumi.

This is a key part of my writing. Use a bubble graph on any topic and go. Look at what happens in the intersections and overlaps. What is a bubble graph? In the Powder Keg Sessions, we use a page full of overlapping circles as a way to gather words that you can harvest for ideas, interesting combinations, titles for poems or phrases that intrigue you. Pick a moment in time, visualize it, then fill each bubble with one word that reminds you of that moment. Think with your senses. See how many you can fill in. I will write more about this another day.

image

Take a bath and take along bring a book that intrigues you.
Keep a slip of post-it marker tabs on the edge of the tub. Just open the book and read a few pages. I have a few books going and this warm, quiet reading time allows me to dip in to each one for a few pages. Besides, the bath water will cool before long, so this is not an hour-long reading session. (the whole point of these creative practices is to warm up your expression, let your mind and your muse dance together…nourish your fancy in a bubble bath)

Illustrate your Core Desired Feelings. Or a dream you had about a basket. Or your desires. Or make a ripped mag collage of words and use those as sentence starters.

Found Poetry SBB '13

Write on your prayer flags.

Read a really good article about art. You don’t have to consider yourself an artist to appreciate the importance of art. This article by Jeanette Winterson digs into the importance of art, today, in this world, right now. I have been reading it over and over again all week. Tell me your thoughts on it.

“it’s a celebration of the human spirit. Art reminds us of all the possibilities we are persuaded to forget. Peace or war, we need those alternatives.”

Make a texture collage. Make a color collage.

Stencil anything. Take a stencil tutorial on YouTube. Cut a stencil of a shape you love, like circles.
Here is what I did with the remains of a page of stickers I used on postcards. Printing with found stuff makes me so happy.

Stencil printing for #mailart. #mixedmedia on a winter's night. Writing about it on www.laundrylinedivine.com

Happy Monday evening all.
I am off to Circle.
Here is another post about creative practices.
Here is Miranda Hersey’s e-book of creative practices for mothers.

I suggest you make a list of your own.
Then, follow it like I am doing tonight.

What would be on your list?

Please add on to mine in the comments.

 

Seeing sanctuary,

S

 

Happy New Year. I have my nose in a few books…


Composing My 2014

 

At this time of year, I am deep in reflection and recalibration.

I pour over my journals and blog posts to read my tracks and notice,

what made me so happy this year?
who had an impact on my daily life?
what moves really made a difference in my life?

I spend time reading the books that make up my daily routine.
Rumi, Mary Oliver, Mirabai Starr, Jen Louden, Christian McEwen…

How about you?
What have you noticed about this past year?
What really lit you up?
Who inspired you?
While you are here on Laundry Line Divine, what posts do you recall that stayed with you?

As I tune my inner life for playing full out in 2014, I hear two words:

Burn

Instigate

 

 

Morning UP

 

 

Lissa Rankin urges us to pick a word of the year, but, I cannot just pick one.

Burn, to me, is as Rumi suggests,

A Just-Finishing Candle

A candle is made to become entirely flame.
In that annihilating moment
it has no shadow.

It is nothing but a tongue of light
describing a refuge.

Look at this
just-finishing candle stub
as someone who is finally safe
from virtue and vice,

the pride and the shame
we claim from those.

~Rumi

I am looking to become entirely flame.
I desire to release, burn off all that no longer serves me.
I desire to be full of the light of the Divine.
I want to flame from within and light the way.

Instigate?

This is harder to discern.
I am a team player. I love and live in Sisterhood and
dearly love my men, my Tribe, many of whom I have played with this past week
on various and wonderful adventures.

 

Eclairs

 

 

Instigate?

Could this be about Rampant Sisterhood?
I am teaching a workshop in finding and engaging your authentic voice online on January 13-14.
If you are in the Berkshires or near, here is a link to the event.

Til I complete the big honking post of my 2013 Appreciations,
I leave you with this question:

What ignites you?
How can you kindle your own inner flames?
Have any posts on Laundry Line Divine helped you particularly?

Standing in your light, ablaze with your beauty,

Suzi

Your Essence Is Your Wealth Rumi

Skidmore Woods.

Sheba’s Hesitation

Imagine that you are Sheba trying to decide
whether or not to go to Solomon.

You are haggling about how much to pay
for shoeing a donkey, when you could be seated
with one who is always in union with God
who carries a beautiful garden inside himself.

You could be moving in a great circuit
without wings, nourished without eating,
sovereign without a throne.

No longer subject to fortune,
you could be luck itself,
if you would rise from sleep,
leave the market-arguing, and learn
that your own essence is your wealth.

~Rumi

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