Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the life that shapes me.........


I have had some great conversations lately with my neighbor and some other kindly folks one might meet at school or roundabout. Lots of food for thought. I have read lots more blogs as I spread my wings a little wider into that world, and am inspired by it all. I am coming a little closer now to understanding what I write about and why I am here, still exploring though. A curious soul I am. And it gets "curiouser".

 I try not to wonder so much that I miss the point of feeling alive in a mystery but its in the very essence of my nature to question the days pass, and the way of things. 

After I dropped off Little M to school today, I hung out the washing along the line. The sun was just above it, twinkling over the edges of my tea towels. I felt a feeling for meditation. 
Looking round to the half moon, I was inspired enough to do it too!

After a summer of no routine and a flu to beat the band, as we would say in Ireland. I felt like my meditation practice had disappeared, gone off somewhere down the garden path. Luckily it was there I found it again, one still Thursday morning, under the fig tree, somewhere near the compost bin. I do seem to have some good ideas there...must be all that transformation; )
It was in my sitting still that I noticed how quiet it all was but for the birds, sunny too. Finally a reprieve from the wet winds.

It put me in good order, as it was sure to do. Even the very effort of it seems to bring about a little peace. And if Peace is what I am after, which I am most definitely partial to, then this is where I begin. 

To the woods then and a walk to the studio, with contemplation in mind. The sun had me melting into the trees. Deliquescing in the long shafts of golden light and scattering leaves, my worries and woes of these last few weeks drifted by.

 It being a year since I switched on this Elisheva Project, its also the week that I finally took the plunge and ventured to the big city with my paintings under arm( though a little uncomfortable, as some are quite large, I managed) to have prints made with the intention of selling and circulating my work. Its a huge step for me. Voices of doubt crawled and creeped and scared me all week, or weeks till I finally turned to speak with them!

The loudest have been my sense of value I put on my own work, and trying to make some kind of balance within me between the useful critic, that knows when something feels good or needs a bit more or less and the very irrational critic, that really doesn't like anything I do at all; ) but does gets very excited when I finish anything. Oh my fearful ego.
Its a trust issue, and one I have to work with.

It feels like such a different relationship with art, quite distant from the last, perhaps if this were a metaphorical globe I would be on the other side of art world. Its like day and night, from where I used to be. This time I feel I can make a mends. I may have come far enough along.

As I stood in the little white gallery out front from the printers in dublin, clean and white surrounded by framed work, new work, different work from mine, Oh so different. I took at look at myself on the inside and out. I wish I had a picture of meself there to illustrate.

My hands, big hands with very long fingers were shaking as I opened the package of my work, It was a little birth to bring them out, so new. A new way of working for me. Now I paint in a bright attic. I could say I have gone back to my roots, but I really would be speaking of the woody kind. So far back and deep down are those ones I don't remember where that began. But it feels so right, and that has been the truly guiding factor of this last year and my efforts to make art again. It kind of feels holy to me, and that little critic is enjoying some of it deep down, I know.

This art reflects who I am now.

Who is that then? 

Well, Tallish mother of one sparkling child, in green raincoat, brown hair, tweed skirt, unusual gray shirt with buttons sewn along the neck, a little make up, hair askew from the wind, and green shoes with mud all around the edges: )
And Inside .......A little tired because M has a cough that I have been listening to it for three nights, slight ringing in my ears from my flu thats not quite left me. And a heart healing with a kind of joy that seems to grow, finally. 
Also, Having completely fallen in love with a woodland in Clare, so much so its all I can do to paint about it and write, and talk about it!

I have lived here three years, and this environment has had such a deep impact on me, I am where I am, its become me, by osmosis, these rich woods and all they hold, this home and garden, my neighbors, this community full of happenings and workshops and festivals and people who choose to celebrate it all even if we are in the midst of very messy economy. 

This wonderful waldorf school and all the magic that offers and sense of occasion in life. The connectedness with the rhythms of the seasons that brings into my home, is a vital part of my way of living now and raising my daughter. 
The compassionate understanding of the different needs of each child, and the respect that emerges from that has taught me more about relating with people in the world then just about anything else I have come across. A day in the kindergarten, is a day spent with a whole spectrum of personality and emotion held peacefully and confidently by teachers who have a real pedagogy and vocation in their work. 

I had never thought how children as human beings that move and create, cannot be expected to spend half their childhoods sitting in a chair to learn. As the alphabet can come later, as most scandinavian and other european countries have chosen the age of six and seven to teach letters, waldorf schools hold on to that too, till a child appears ready to be in a formal class environment. As one Mom said to me, your child can be in education for a life time if they choose, but childhood doesn't last so long. When they are ready, they learn faster too! Can you tell I am enthusiastic about this.

I feel so touched by being Here, but I also know now that Here could be anywhere really, and was everywhere I have ever been. The difference being now I am open to it. I can be conscious or not of that, but it is something that has changed in me, my art could be about the seashore one day, that would be nice too, or the sun, don't get me started on sunshine. For now the forest is my love, I better tell Pj though I think he may have suspected all along; )
What shall I give back to the woods I wonder? And to this community?

Since coming to this village and growing into my motherhood, I have let go of parts of me that I don't need here and now, and I have gained others. Maybe its more like parts are resting whilst others are waking up. Just life really, and an intrigue about that, that I can't help but be eager about unfolding. Being present with it is everything. Its easier said then done, but a little goes a long way, and I can't tell you how hard it has been at times not to be aware of that, maybe sometime I can share that too. 

A couple of days ago, I met an american woman who is traveling here. We discovered quickly we were both EFT enthusiasts and spoke a little more about writing blogs, I told her about this post and then she recites quite brilliantly this poem. s She meant every word of it, and I had that lovely shiver down my spine!

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
David Wagoner

I have come across such wonder..... HERE too, online that is. Such awe inspiring writers and life lovers traversing each others days across these maps of words and pictures. These windows into lives we get here, with such authenticity and heart at times that it takes my breath away. The creativity in motion abounds, the sharing of art's work and the trials and tribulations impels me on in my own quest and supports my dream. Could I ask much more of this space? It seems I can. Its never ending....

Thank you dear reader
And a special thanks to my new neighbor, who has brought such heart to my doorstep, kindness and evening conversations, maybe even a little of that 'urban' me that I had left behind, that likes reading newspapers and going to cafe's: )

xx E


  1. This post is so pretty and wonderful in many many ways. This is the second or third time I've visited it, but only now am able to comment without children and TV around me. I really enjoyed the imagery you 'painted' of you standing outside the gallery. I held my breath waiting for you to walk in. I have artist friends who toil in their workshops by night and are parents and housepainters by day, while reading this post I thought about their sculptures and gorgeous clothes sitting in stores waiting to be admired and bought, and the love that goes into work and then the hope that someone else may adore it enough to want it. I am still in wonderment at the online world that exists too - those wee portholes into different spaces everywhere. As always thank you for writing and sharing so beautifully. I always enjoy your comments over at my space. xx

  2. your words are speaking to me in the exact right way, as did the words in that fantastic poem.

    i'd love to see more of your art, i love the way the world is filtered through you !

  3. my fearful ego used to dictate my actions as well. but taking that first step, that first foray, makes all the difference in the world. thank you for sharing your story.

  4. you have such a way with words Liz, they paint pictures for me, of you, your life and the courageous steps you are taking on your journey. I also relate to those feelings of doubting my work and creativity, and the 'value' of, thanks for sharing...I am not alone :)
    I too feel it is time to step up to the plate, so to speak, no matter how daunting the prospect, and find the courage to take my work to the next level. You are an inspiration. xx

  5. Ah, your musings are so beautiful. Really. And I feel so happy to hear of your steps on your path, your gratitude and presence. The poem really speaks to me and I love your photos,too! Thank you, thank you.

  6. Thanks beautiful Teeny: )... Fatmoss, I do hope we will share more art, its great to have you visit here and write such things.... Nichole welcome over, Life is such an amazing dance away from fear, Thanks for taking the time to read here and comment too.......Lori, I am only delighted to imagine my words here can be of help or inspiration, it would mean this has already gone above and beyond................. One golden sun, Its a joy to share with a gracious one as yourself xxxxxx E

  7. beautiful!

    you are the first blogger i've come across that even knows what eft is! actually, i don't even know anyone who does it! i've tried to tell people about it and how wonderful it is, but they just look at me like i'm crazy. have you written any posts about it?