Monday, January 4, 2010

sacred sacrement of hope...baptism rituals

The last three days have been incredibly full with the gift of a new baby on his/her way to our hearts here on earth, the Ohio State University winning the Rose Bowl, a new year has arrived in peace and we witnessed the Baptism of four small angels. The Epiphany Mass was a little longer than usual for little ones and the ritual of Baptism times four was quite an experience. These young parents and godparents were heroic in their persistence and determination to unite to serve the spirits of these young children. The deacon had married the parents five years before and he was in his glory when the baptismal service was complete...the Catholics are winning... at least in this church.

I decided to review my year of 2009 as I gazed over the desk top calendar appears to hold little fragments and insights of my journey as an artists. In January I met a remarkable woman on Martin Luther King's celebratory day ...Immaculee Ilibageiza... her name means shining and beautiful in body and soul. She lost her entire family in Darfur during the genocide. She never felt she would be able to find peace and forgiveness in her heart but with prayer and support she turned her life around to write her story to reclaim her right to carry Peace in her heart. I am working on a piece dedicated to her passion and determination to create a global community of Peace...her strength was so powerful I am affirming her new life with each stitch.
February I participated in a collaborative disintegration project with a few other artists whom I have not ever met. The process made our human fragility metaphor visible with living a life here on our global earth. I buried a small folded book into the soil in my little garden outside my backdoor under my favorite purple clematis plant. In five months I would contemplate the "what ifs" of how our time affects our lives. I participated in a large art exhibit at the Riffe Center to celebrate the presidential win of a gentle man Barack Obama and the diversity of all cultures in out country. The state of the country is in turmoil both spiritually and economically... the economics part is cyclical but the connectedness of our human spiritually is painful to contemplate.
In March I lost a good friend who was in hospice care for kidney failure. We did not really know each other for a long period of time but I amazed myself at how close we had become. We painted with each visit while listening to a baby grand piano in front of a beautiful fire. We laughed and giggled as we honestly shared secrets about our lives and the past five decades. "Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy...they are the gardeners who make our souls blossom." Marcel Proust "Significance I dare...I ought to ponder. Something good out of it our health and can I tell you to pass it on...Art will take you places you only dream.
April like the spring showers is giving the gift of yourself to those you love. "If that day comes...I will surrender at risk at Peace return to sender...Alright...alive in flight
on fire yet one step removed. No one step higher as clouds pass through the space between ...I walk along sight unseen. In time, in step true simplicity the art of synchronicity...step lively...watching the closing door...bottled notes upon the shore...cutting close right to the core. When that day comes...I will ask for more. Whispers and echoes resound in my heart and my head.
May was a celebration of the sistahs...the evolution of a girl child with many dear women artists sharing their private voices in their artworks. "Time is a dressmaker that specializes in alterations." Faith Baldwin I was fortunate enough to volunteer in the HOBY Leadership conference at Denison..the view is so good when I look into these optimistic eyes on the future. "What Art offers is space.... a certain breathing room for the spirit." John Updike...I bid you farewell gentle spirit of words. My disintegration becomes a sense of continuing renewal. I am living in the moment... making each minute authentic.
June is a feeling and spiritual guide to my "walking in empty and leaving full." A quiet boat ride on Buckeye Lake with kind persons working to grow our community. "Let the beauty we love be what we do." Rumi I found myself contemplating the moon cycles on a very forgiving learning curve from my deck with my porch swing meditations.
The month of July was hot and humid as I followed Seth's thousand to the sun...see the light...time to look and really see. I relearned that my silence is often the best answer. Our present carves out our future so fill you heart with beyond words and surrender to ever more deeply to freedom and joy. This spiraling is a personal journey beyond illness and treatment. Balance... and yet leave some mystery for yourself to discover
in your own heart.
August was a whirlwind of travel and ceremony as we traveled to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina for Amber and Mike's wedding. How could time have sped by so quickly? Now two young hearts stood in front of Ken as he married them on a rooftop garden right on the ocean. The decades flashed in front of me as I witnessed this union of two families with aspirations and hopes for a brighter future. This southern city was full of gated gardens and history to drink into my soul. "Once in a while it really hits people that they don't experience the world in the way they have been told." Alan Keightly I am attempting to live in my present moment with myself writing the song.
In September I remember my birthday with the continued dreams of creating simple abundance with my family. Blessed are they who see the beautiful in humble places of the heart. and contrast...inquisitive motivations spiral through my brain. "humankind has not woven the web of life...we are but one thread within it...whatever we do to the web...we do to ourselves." Chief Seattle
The chill of Autumn greets the month of October. I stood and raised my arms today and I am embracing personal voice and vision shared to those who bother to see the healing in light. I remember the flash of colors painted on the hillside with the trees swaying to their music of the season. A friend returns to our cabin as we prepare for a retreat. Time well spent living over a quiet chat and hot cup of tea at the dining room table.
November is a moment in time to remember gratitude for the simple abundance in my life. No I am not a Polly Anna but having my mother in law reach 89 joyful years and sharing the hotel room with two grandchildren filled me with happiness. Nap time will never be the same without a two year old sharing his deepest secret stories.
December is clean and white with my thoughts of remembering "Women hold up half of the sky". Painting the an artist's responsibility. Ray Bradbury wrote "Living at risk is jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down." Each process begins with one sacred mark on a bland page. Embrace total abandonment into the process of making sacred marks. I have often heard others say "Modern Art= I could do that and Yeah... but you didn't!" Take the time to listen with you yourself and to others...embrace our differences into the New Year 2010.
Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

1 comment:

  1. You had a FULL year, my friend. May you have another one just as full. :)Bea