The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.
I think I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ve been sorting through photos. I started because I wanted to better organize this year’s photographs, but I also wanted to see what was there. I’ve traveled quite a bit this year. Nothing exotic or farther away than The Bogs of Ohio, but enough that I was shooting a lot and not taking the time to sort through all that I had captured.
I don’t know how I ended up scrolling back to 2012. I must have been looking for something specific, and now I’ve forgotten what I was searching for. I got distracted by shiny objects in the form of old memories, but I was also surprised to find that interests I have today are built upon interests I had then. Why is that surprising? I don’t know. I suppose because I don’t spend a lot of time looking backwards and when I do, it tends to surprise me.
What struck me as I looked through my photos from a few years ago is how I was already playing with mandalas in a digital format. I wish I could remember how I created those images with the birds and the moon inside of their own globes. It’s a pretty cool effect. I am particularly interested in the birds because I’ve been thinking a lot about the murmurations of birds I’ve seen here on the Eastern Shore, and wondering about creating a mandala based on the way they swoop and swirl. I have ideas, of course, but I haven’t yet put pencil to paper except to draw the outlines of a few circles to get me to move the ideas from my head to my hands.
Last year around this time I took Julie Gibbons’ Five Days of Mandala Magic workshop. It started on December 1. (That’s the beauty of blogging about almost every blessed thing in life. I was able to search the blog for this post.) What that means is that for almost a full year, I have been drawing a mandala nearly every day. It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t challenge myself to draw one every day. It just happened that way. I enjoy the process so much that I look forward to sitting at the kitchen table by the bay window in the early morning hours, drawing as the sun comes up.
Every now and then, I write something — a haiku, a poem of some kind, a bit of prose — to go with my mandala. For the most part, though, it’s about putting my thoughts and/or feelings down in a more symbolic or abstract way.
Earlier this year I purchased The Mandala Workbook by Susanne F. Fincher. After reading the beginning I put it aside because I want to start it around the Winter Solstice. Chapters 1 through 12 of the book are based on Joan Kellogg’s Great Round (you can read a brief description of it here), and the first stage is The Void which, Fincher wrote, “is aligned with the month of January, but has its true beginning at the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.” And, as you might recall if you’ve been here for a while, I feel as if the winter solstice is the beginning of the new year so I treat it as such.
In other news… It is warm here today. Nearly 70°F. Windy, too, with occasional rain showers. The rain is welcome. We’ve been in a dry spell again. That appears to be the way of the weather patterns here on the Eastern Shore. Dry, followed by a good dose of rain. I don’t think we will see a sunset tonight. It would be at 4:44 PM again whether we see it or not. Join me out on the dock if it isn’t raining and we’ll see what we can see.
Thank you for stopping by. Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 61) Honeybush tea. 62) The swaying and dancing of the loblolly pines and the sweet gums. It’s almost as if they are partnering each other. 63) Morning sadhana. (I’ve been exploring and learning about kundalini yoga, and trying out a morning practice that consists of movement, chanting, breathing, mudras, and meditation. I believe that’s called a “kriya.”) 64) Fuzzy slippers. 65) A visit and a nice chat with two women from the Maryland Department of the Environment who are doing a survey and testing the waters around here. It was an interesting chat and I learned a little more about the water systems (the marshes, creeks, rivers, and bay) around here.