PONDER AND WONDER

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Cartoon used with permission Michael Leunig

Time draws in on us

Maybe we can draw up time   to ponder and wonder

Just maybe it is time    to make time   to have time

Take time to wonder and to ponder

Allow wonder to take you to a new place

Allow it to be   …   in you and with you

Allow a space  where wonder is

and becomes a realm of your reality.

Ponder and Wonder     ….  

graces to be received and felt within.

 

 

RESURRECTION

copyright Richard Campbell ResurrectionGawguun and Birrigun – RESURRECTION            by  Richard Campbell.

In talking* of his paintings aboriginal artist, RICHARD CAMPBELL,  said:

 “We all have a spiritual connection, we’re all brothers and sisters, with the animals, the trees, rivers and rocks, we all belong to one big God – call it Christ, we call it Birrigun, we are all one in God.”  He said: “… that although you are from different nations of the world, it is important to recognise Christ and the connection between Aboriginal spirituality and bible stories.’

The use of the colour blue denotes the sky where the birds are and the water. The dots and die hands in the painting represent the elders and (the Holy Spirit). The journey symbol in the tree trunk denotes how the elders are buried in the roots of the tree and their spirit rises up through the branches. It also signifies Richard’s journey with the Holy Spirit.

The tree is the Murribi tree, for the Gumbayngirr people, all things happened around dial tree. The dead were buried in the tree and the people believed that their spirits of the elders rise through the tree through the brunches and go out into the Dreaming.

When Birrigun died he went into spirit and then into the Dreaming and after his resurrection through the Murribi tree he appeared to his people as the Southern Cross, that is the journey of Birrigun. in Gumbayngirr his name means the southern cross, he was the champion for the Gumbaingirr people like Jesus is to Christians.

When Birrigun’s mother – Gawguun buried him in a Murribi tree it was scaled with a rock so (hat no aminals could get into the burial site. Every year at the same time she would visit the site to mourn him (this is at Arakoon at South West Rocks. NSW, Australia) but one year the elders noticed she did not come. Instead they saw a brolga dancing around the tomb and they believed it was her spirit. Her tears for her son fall into the coolamon which is the feminine symbol because it is the vessel of life, carrying water, food and babies. It is painted with markings just the way that Richard’s father taught him when he was a boy.

 It is important to let people around the world know that there was a religion of spirituality in Australia before we were colonised by white people.” These paintings “show the way Aboriginal people lived – by the law of the land. You’ve got to look after everything; humans, animals, the environment and the land….”(They) show the message of Christ himself: of good will.”

The description of this artwork and aboriginal story comes directly from Australian Catholic Ministries, Lismore 2008 archive.

Richard Campbell was born into the Dhungutti tribe, near Bowraville on the North Coast of NSW, in 1956.  For more information on the artist visit ACM Sydney website.

*Adapted from extract of editorial produced by Elise Dalley from PROJECTeye interviewing the artist.

These images(commissioned for Sydney World Youth Day, 2008), are the property of Aboriginal Catholic Ministries, Sydney. The copyright of these images is retained by the artist and this article is presented under Creative Commons provisions to respect and affirm the work of the artist and his intentions in a particular context.

 

Inner sense

Week 3 Lent Today’s Readings: Deut 4:1,5-9 Matt 5:17-19

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Innocence

in a sense

is like incense      ….   innocence…  

it rises up and offers something of its very being

to inner sense

innocence   –   seemingly elusive   yet

my inner sense

in a sense  –  it touches me  …  I behold it,

in a sense – I perceive its vapour,

I am in sense  arising  inner sense

an incense

to my being in innocence.

I wrote this verse as the word ‘innocence’ invited me this morning to ‘feel out’ its dimensions within me. In rising awareness of the work of Michael Leunig – artist, poet, philospher and officially declared Australian Living Treasure in 1999,   I sought out an image and had NO knowledge of what follows.  All within me blossomed as I discovered a gem -an extract follows from:

 “Ideas of Spirituality, Art and Innocence”  by Michael Leunig*:

“Why do I choose to put together this wonderful holy trinity of spirituality, art and innocence?  … The simple truth is that I believe these things are treasures that matter hugely to the health of the individual and society…

I have come to understand my spirituality as an ongoing internal lyrical state of consciousness, semi-consciousness and unconsciousness in which I find meaning, comfort, refuge, inspiration, mystery and strength. …

With spirit, one is able to have and hold many feelings, and live a felt life. The spirit supports and negotiates between our feelings, instincts and intuitions …

I cannot help but think that a rich and confident spiritual life is a form of genius.  …

The spirit lies at the heart of our character and personality; our individual, divine self, which is one of the greatest treasures we will ever have access to. …

Any thoughts of spirituality lead me quite naturally to the idea of art because in my view, and in my experience, art is an aspect or an expression of our individual spiritual reality.

I make the point that mystery is not confusion, rather it is an enchantment of the imagination and spirit. Indeed art is a spiritual project.  …

In essence, spirituality and art are interwoven in their raw searching, in their expression, in their courageous unknowing, in their joy and darkness and in their radiant innocent strength which finds its way into the human heart. …

A direct link to the wondrous, innocent experiences of childhood might, in mature age, be called mature innocence.  … I have found some of my most meaningful, useful and joyous work there. It is my studio within my studio. We might also understand mature innocence as mindfulness.”

I encourage you to visit the site for his full essay given as keynote presentation at 10th Dialogue Australasia Network Conference, 11 April 2015.  http://www.leunig.com.au/ideas/spirituality-art-innocence?showall=1&limitstart=   Words and image provided with gracious courtesy of Michael Leunig.

Feral Thoughts

OTV image
Week 2 Lent Today’s Scriptures: Isa 1:10,16-20 Matt:23;1-12

Someone recently described parts of one of my artworks as being scattered in a disordered manner….  It made me quizical …

I thought…’oh, I term that random…and isn’t that the nature of things?’ After all, we do put our own order on things and try to make them fit our sense of propriety.  And then I enjoyed the remark ..

I smirked inside knowing there is something about the serendipitous and unexepected that delights my sense of adventure.  It suggests the advent of something new; something no eye has seen or mind has known.

Random thoughts seem a little feral at times…running their own course… but then maybe they just have the “insider running” – so to speak. As things unfold, just sometimes we surprise ourselves to find the very thing that came from our mouth was indeed  a bit of “insider knowledge“.

We all have it…the subtext of the Spirit…talking through us…and the glee when we hear our own words  showing forth a gleam of brilliance or unexpected wit.

We may spend lifetimes trying to fathom the secrets of the universe and the laws…yet nothing eclipses  the awe and wonder of the unfolding mystery of  creation in all its forms.

Randomness may be termed  disorder, but I prefer to see it as a frivolity of nature and Spirit.   The Holy Spirit hovers over chaos and in time,  brings forth a sense of meaning and connectedness that we alone are unable to perceive.

Maybe it is feral what we don’t understand…the untamed thoughts and works…It is not unusual in art to find the artist is engaged in a process of self discovery and revelation. It  is easy to cling to a lifeline of a description or interpretation thrown our way to bring order  when we flounder  fathomless in our own depths.

Befriending our  feral, allows it all to be as it is – an agency for the insider knowledge ripening to bear fruit.

Patience is the gift of  which we stand much in need.  It is only in patience with ourselves that we can enter deep reaches of  compassionate understanding and tolerance.

The fruit of compassion – bearing with suffering – grows from the same Greek root of pathos – to suffer .  Our patient, long suffering and silent vigil prepares and tames  our hearts for the outer growth in works of genuine compassion.

Giant Stories

copyright creative-spiritual-directions.com strt art (21)
Week 5 ordinary time    Today’s scripture: 1Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30.   Mk 7:1-13

It is common now to see street art as another medium on our radar. In this “Lunar Year of the Monkey”,  we might  ponder on the street art of Herakut, international street artists, whose work in Fitzroy, as part of their Giant Story Book series (2013), centers around the monkey character.

It’s interesting to notice what  shapes our opinions, beliefs and values.  Books and storytelling clearly play a large part in our formative years.   These may be from diverse traditions, myths and cultures.

As adults how we interpret the word around us and how we  filter messages gives us insight into where we are nourishing our core beliefs and how open we are to growth from the vital new voices of our day.

It can be challenging to engage with street art, and let questions be asked.   As the front side of this work exclaims..”the most curious just tended to be the most  courageous.”

Sometimes that is exactly what it takes to stay open and to be prepared to question new ideas and influences.  Being courageous embraces taking risks that we might grow.    It means not hardening our hearts and remaining resistent to change or intransigent.

“If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts”.  Heb 3: 7-8

On the hidden side of this work, we find the question  “What would a monkey want to say”  ???   This prompts me to suggest we might listen to what our inner questions are and what we  may want to say.     Spiritual direction helps us listen to our voice and our messages.

Encouraging…is calling forth the courage. Let your heart be open to hear where the Spirit is leading you and discovering the messages  that are life giving and calling you forth into your personal wholeness?

copyright creative-spiritual-directions.com strt art (22).jpg

more on Herakut http://www.scmp.com/magazines/48hrs/article/1297220/graffiti-duo-herakut-make-art-message

No ordinary time

Deitrich Varez copright aku boat L62
WK 5 ordinary time      Today’s Scriptures: Is 6:1-8   1Cor 15:1-11  Lk 5:1-11

There is no such thing as “ordinary time” when you think of it.  It’s a really strange term.  A term which I think is so engaging that I keep it as part of the caption for each day.   It makes me look with fresh eyes and wonder at the extraordinary.

This morning when I woke I found I had mysteriously lost an hour. Time was not ordinary at all!   My day was underway in a timely manner for the first hour till I glanced the kitchen clock and it was an hour ahead.  I looked at my watch and it was exactly one hour behind.  I couldn’t fathom it.   It set me wondering… and also hastening.

Blogs and journals help us go back and capture something that was important to us in time.  They are valuable in our path of reflection because through them we can become a better observer or even a listener to our own emotions, values and feelings.   We can trace patterns and see ways in which we have walked.  Yesterday’s blog finished with the importance of retracing our steps to know ourselves.

My art journal gets filled with lots of seemingly random items which are attractive to me or in some way speaking to me.   When I need to find clarity around a new art direction or gain insight into what’s moving in me I sift through the images and sit with them till they inform me of what it is that drew them to me.

The spiritual journal is similar in that I write down questions, issues, inspirations and insights which come from a full range of sources, but particularly from meditative prayer, scripture and song.   When there is a flow of connectivity I feel the Spirit at work guiding me.

It is the same spirit at work in all of us calling us forth to be inspired – filled  with inspiration; from which new energy and direction flow as we follow.

Last week I rewatched “Groundhog Day” the 1993 movie.  The more I watch that the better it gets for me.   How everyday seems the same when we are stuck in a rut, with grinding certainty of what is going to happen and resolute nothing will change.   Yet slowly, and with a fair degree of humour,  things get better and better till there is a new freedom every day. No day is predictable or ordinary.  It’s a new day.

Dietrich Varez copyright no reproduction

Not ordinary in any sense of the word.

The images above are copyright property of Dietrich Varez,  from Hawaii and may not be printed or reproduced other than on www.

An blog of interest  is  islandlife-inamonastery.blogspot.com


 

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