A place where visions and dreams meet, as inspired by the creative spirit within. A place where the quest for beautiful possibilities in life may be explored, pondered and shared. Welcome to the All Things Beautiful round table at Bistro 333. Draw up a chair, relax awhile. Enjoy the friendship and a cup of hospitality.
A far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Jung
Visual artist Elaine Clayton kindles our hearts, as she engages our imagination, sparks our intuition and illumines our dreams in her bookIlluminara Intuitive Journal with Cards.
“Imagination is the playscape of our intuitive self,” says Clayton; it’s through our imagination that we find meaning in our experiences, as well as creative solutions to life’s problems.
Illuminarafeatures a journaling section and a set of 40 cards of her art pieces – paintings and sketches that work in tandem. The art serves as a tool to bring forth the heart of our intuition and dreams via this visual medium. It’s an interactive technique, as we can then journal our experience with the cards, jogging our personal memories – the insights from which assist us in discovering answers to life’s situations and challenges.
“The idea is to pick one,” Clayton explains, “and allow the flow to wash through you and write down all the feelings and memories that float to you from inside. Then when you pick a card like ‘lemons’–you know what you felt and what your associations are.”
While I’ve enjoyed the book and cards since its publication last year, I decided to draw a card specifically for writing this reflection. In interacting with the Cloud Card, I realized that the image brought up a number of things — both about me, and about Clayton’s work.
She scampered jauntily into my life one beautiful, warm day in September.
I couldn’t know at that moment, but I was headed for one wild roller coaster ride. An adventure of the heart that I’d be looking back on nearly four months later, as one of those life-transforming, “what happened to me?” experiences.
I’m writing this on Jan. 6, the day of the Feast of Epiphany. It’s the day my dad was buried – the 12th day of Christmas. The day I contemplate the cycle of life…birth, death, beginnings and endings. And I try to understand where I fit in it all.
Especially this past autumn, when my heart got run over by a little yellow fur ball. She spotted me from across the road, as I walked to my mailbox. I heard the definite meow of a kitten. Uh, oh, I thought, “We don’t need another cat.” I figured it must belong to someone, but when she saw me, I could tell that she was on a mission.
The feeling was that I was the subject of this mission; and she was determined to be here. Something like Clarence, the angel in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” – on a mission to help George Bailey. I named her ZuZu after George Bailey’s little girl.
Here's my wish for you in the new year, to carry the love of Christmas in your heart...as revealed in my Dec. 31 blog for LivingstonTalk.com...
La Flor de Noche Buena: Christmas Eve Poinsettia weaves its beautiful winter magic
Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ~ Washington Irving Nothing kindles my heart at Christmastime and the New Year like the poinsettia. La flor de Nochebuena -- this beautiful plant native to Mexico -- is truly the Christmas Eve flower in our family. Shades of red, pink, green, cream, crimson, orange and white…it’s always been the starflower of Christmas night. From the time of Franciscan friars 17th Century celebrations to 21st Century churches everywhere, the brilliant star-shaped flowers symbolize the Christmas Star, the Star of Bethlehem…and to me the magi and their Star search. The flower is named after the first United States Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was also an amateur botanist and introduced this beautiful plant into the United States in 1825.
"Starflower" mandala from Henry Reed collection February 3, 2011 www.dailymandala.blogspot.com
My favorite is pink. I’m not sure why, except that each color seems to express an aspect of the feeling of Christmas. Red, of course, symbolizes the blood sacrifice – for ancient Aztecs, to the sun, and later to Christians, of crucifixion of the Christ. Pale green poinsettias bring a light freshness of all things new and healing at the New Year. Cream touches on the gentle spirit of the season; and white, its purity. I’ve not seen many orange-toned poinsettias, but they’d express, to me, the wonder of creativity and of new insights and resolutions at this time of year. I love the brilliant, rich red poinsettia my husband brought home for Christmas. Having the plant on the table for family dinners offers the touch of tradition, beauty and meaning to the annual celebrations. For many years, along with others in our church congregation, we’d order a couple of huge poinsettias . They’d grace the altar in banks of wondrous pinks and reds until Christmas Eve, and then at that late night service, we’d take them home. There is something special about that tradition, as well, bringing the poinsettias home on Christmas Eve. Yes, my husband is partial to the deep red flowers. I’ve often wondered why I take to the pink tones. But in recent years, I think I’ve discovered the reason. Pink, rose, fuchsia, ruby represent to me the colors of the heart. The heart of Christmas, which for me, means making the feeling of Christmas last all year long. “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale Yes, the soft pink tells the story of the magical attribute of Christmas, the beauty of the hospitality of the human heart, which expresses itself most outwardly at Christmastime. Putting all these colors of the poinsettia together, you have all the harmony of Christmas that you can carry into the New Year. I can nurture my Christmas poinsettia along throughout the coming weeks of winter to remind me. The starflower’s beautiful blossoms nourish my heart with joy in the midst of wintertime, weaving its magic with promise of blooms in spring…symbolizing emergence of a new heart within, healing and peace all around us.
Blessings for All Things Beautiful in 2012... SusanGail