Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dancing and Breathing

Have returned from a week of breathing and yoga at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Mass. Heaven on earth. Doing yoga and breathing always centers me and helps me to remember my heart song again when I have forgotten the music and song that live inside. As long as I listen to the calling inside with complete faith I am alright but when I try to ignore it my life derails and becomes unrecognizable. Aside from the yoga, I was able to drum, dance, hike, breathe and rest...all parts of me that I had sadly neglected recently...I feel fully alive again and ready to sing my heart song with all my being.

Went to a very stimulating contemporary dance performance tonight by a group from Israel called "Batsheva" (founded by Martha Graham)I felt every cell in my body come alive as I watched this remarkable group of dancers move their bodies in such an expressive collective cohesion of movement. It felt as though the entire audience became a part of their dance just by watching. I can still feel their movements
flowing through me, hope to be able to express some of this in my next paintings.

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others"'

from The Life and Work of Martha Graham [1]

Friday, November 16, 2007

Swamp Healing



I have been receiving daily radiation treatments to my left breast for the past 5 weeks. I have worked on this painting of the
swamp the entire time. It has seen me through many uncomfortable, sad, exhausted moments. I feel this
painting holds the balance of my healing in its quiet stillness. As I walked the streets and parks of Montreal
I saw many yellow maple leaves on the ground covered in large black blotches, the trees are sick. After having
spent every week day for a month in the oncology dept of the Montreal General Hospital and seeing the pervasiveness
of cancer, it's hard not to compare the sickness of the maple leaves with the sickness
of our own bodies. Our great mother is in distress and I can feel it in my own body, a microcosm of the macrocosm?
Perhaps we are more connected to her than we like to believe.