September 30, 2015. I’m always startled by questions such as “What do you mean by mindful poetry?” and “How do you start a poem?” Perhaps this poem can serve as answer. This one wrote itself while I was reading snippets from Joseph Campbell and Clarissa Pinkola Estes included in an essay on mythology, art, and poetry by Richard Rohr. My pencil just took off! There’s no defining what triggers the poetic response, but I offer this description of the “practice” that follows.
This mockingbird seems to be doing his own reflecting. I followed the sound of his voice while on the campus of St. Edwards University, here in Austin, in October 2014. When I found him, he abruptly stopped singing and seemed to pose for quite a while. Posing was my perception at the time. It’s just as possible he was reflecting on the large intrusion into his time and space that my camera and I represented. Did he savor the interruption? After, did he sing little camera-click songs? I wonder …
September 17, 2015. I have been entranced recently with visual symbols of energy flow – specifically looking at an old favorite, Yin/Yang, and pondering how that and the Trinity Knot might relate. I turned to collaging to give my left brain a break. As often happens working with imagery, a surprise “flew in” and rearranged everything.
The image below is created with modified found art. I am grateful to whoever created the raven image so perfectly reflecting what my inner eye observed. Symbols span a sky I photographed at The White Shaman Preserve – sacred space frequently visited, on the lower Pecos River near Comsock,Texas.
Why get tangled up in symbols? I’m taking a class that called for a reflection paper on Trinity. I don’t really have much affinity with Trinity. I was stumped. In the process of wrestling with unknowns, I stumbled on a delightful video of Maia Scott talking about how we “see”. I know Maia from several years of The Labyrinth Society annual gatherings, where she is a striking presence with her guide dog – not only walking labyrinths with limited vision, but creating them for others to walk! Listening to Maia, I concluded in this case, I’d be ahead “seeing” Trinity visually (through imagery) in lieu of wordy (doctrinal) concepts.
(The paper, including image and poem, is at last complete and submitted. WHEW!)
Maia’s personal site (and the video): www.maiamaia.us She’s the keynote speaker at this year’s TLS gathering – Waycross, Indiana (October 16-18): http://labyrinthsociety.org/annual-gathering
September 3, 2015. Recent references to “ten years since Katrina” have stirred the need to complete a promise to myself. Katrina stirs up memories of Hurricane Rita in September 2005 (one month after Katrina). My area of Texas was inundated with clogged roads as people evacuated the Houston area. This post is a tribute to a grey tabby almost surely let loose from one of many cars stalled along Highway 71 in Bastrop – to whoever let her go – and to Fern (Deborah) Hill of Pine Crone Labyrinth Retreat (just off Highway 71). Fern found the grey tabby sitting on her labyrinth, and after considering her probable arrival logistics, named the kitty Rita.
I met Fern through The Labyrinth Society. In February of 2007, I visited her labyrinth in Bastrop. Labyrinths often offer up surprises, but this was the only one (to date) to include grey tabby energy. Rita hung out on the labyrinth and liked to participate in walks. A labyrinth with a real, live spirit animal guide!
Fast forward to September 2011. Large areas of Bastrop and its surrounding pine forest succumbed to wildfires. After the fire, I learned that Fern had died three months earlier; and that her retreat center had burned. But the labyrinth, being rock, was still there. I felt a pull to go and walk it, to honor Fern (and Rita). Also, the energy of fire is both destructive and renewing. I wanted to experience that. And yet – I could not do it.
Now, four more years, it’s September again. And yesterday I drove to Bastrop to see what might remain where Pine Crone Labyrinth Retreat had been.