Back in the 90's I began reading books on a variety of unusual and exotic subjects that are categorized in bookstores as Western Mysticism or Metaphysics. I had always had an interest in these sorts of subjects, even as a child. Weird perhaps, but true. And my interest was reviving itself around this time. One of the many authors I came across was named Sondra Ray and I remember in one of her books she had touched on what seemed a wonderful concept to me, that of clearing your physical space as a spiritual practice. In one chapter she encouraged the practice of picking up your belongings one at a time and asking yourself "Do I love this?" If the answer wasn't "yes," that was the cause to remove it from your world.
I really loved this idea. I discovered quickly, however, that it took more than one question to determine whether or not I wanted to keep something, so I can't say that I cleared a lot initially. A few years later, I came across another expression of this teaching in Karen Kingston's book "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui." I had heard of Feng Shui, but didn't know anything about it and this book made the practice very accessible to a beginner. Turns out that clearing one's physical clutter in order to clear one's mind and energy is an ancient idea!
After reading Kingston's book, I did indeed start clearing the clutter physically from my life. I went at my own pace; there were some things I was able to clear right away. Some other things took more time for me to be willing (or able) to throw out or give away. And I have managed to continue periodic reviews, years after reading the book.
My newest exposure to, and latest incarnation of, this idea comes through Everett Bogue, a blogger who writes on the idea of living a minimalist existence. His writing is clear and compelling in his quest to entice all of us to scale down what we have, what we own and what we really need. He makes a strong case for keeping it light as a way to be able to do the things we really want to do. I highly recommend checking out his blog. I have been moved by his reasoning and presentation to approach this subject with new fervor again. And I think I will be writing some more posts going into more detail about it as I go along.
I really love looking at these three writers and how they have influenced me at the stages in my life when they appeared. I really like looking at how they each helped, and continue to help, me to become better at, dare I say "stronger" at, letting go of a lot of the physical clutter in my life. I also really like the way these three authors demonstrate how a wonderful concept for living has evolved out there in the world, for us Westerners especially, to ingest and integrate into our lives.
So this week, this is what I have been doing. I am decluttering. I am minimalizing. I am indeed learning to discern much more clearly what it is that I love or that serves a meaningful purpose and what it is that can go. Partly because it is the end of the year. Partly because I am moving soon. Partly because it's just time to do this. I have very much reached a new stage in my life and development and feel at ease letting my belongings reflect this.
But this can be a hard thing to do. It can be very stressful, emotionally, to go through your belongings and evaluate each one. There are things in the "to go" pile that I have clung to for a very long time. Sometimes that is because of strong emotional associations to an item. Sometimes the reasons are no weightier than that it is something that I have had for so long that it seems odd to live without it. It challenges so deeply that some objects have me wondering who will I be without that thing.
You see how it is then. These memories and associations make their presence known with a great deep bass tone that I feel in my lower back as I handle each object. There are many things about which I will have conversations with myself and through which I will feel the deep bass of memory as I declutter this week. And I look forward to the freshness and clarity that comes from this act.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Ok, I know it's not earth shaking video, but it is my first video. First, you need to know that I love birds. Love them!! And there are a lot of kinds flying around Brooklyn. One wouldn't necessarily know it, but there are parrots (yes, parrots) falcons (have an amazing vid of one that I will post soon) and others....ubiquitous sparrows, starlings, pigeons and then there are the seagulls. Here is a short little vid about the snow and the seagulls in Brooklyn on this snowy day. And the real snow matches the snow widget on my blog background....I like it when that kind of symmetry in life happens! Hmm, had trouble uploading video here, so I'll just put the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfhVuyO8t6Y
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It's early. 6"30-ish. Found this cool snow effect and decided to make my blog a little more festive for the season. I am still experimenting with the colors, so they may change. Don't forget to have a look at my etsy shop drawingonthemoon. I have some new things up there including this!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Hey...good morning! It is about 2:30 in the morning of Monday December uh, 14th I think. I'm gonna actually go do some yoga before I go to bed, but I just wanted to check in here. I don't know about the Drawing A Day thing. Mostly because my scanner is just, well not scanning the way I'd hoped. I've only had it for a few weeks. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, I think it's just not the best scanner. Not for artwork. Guess I shoulda done my homework or something before I bought it. But I have electronic anxiety (there oughta be a listing in that big book of Psychological Disorders) and I just bought it cos it was on sale and it's a Canon and I'd heard of Canon. But I've heard of them because they make cameras, not printer/scanners. I mean maybe there is a connection, but I don't really think so now. Anyone want to buy a slightly used scanner....cheap? Lemme know. What I will do in the meantime is post this adorable pic. I scanned it in a long time ago with my old scanner which I don't have anymore. (someday I'll tell you that story)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I'm about 4 drawings behind, but I managed to do a little catch up yesterday and today. Here are 4 drawings. That will make me only one behind for today. Today, I got a few things up on my Etsy shop. Earlier in the day, I ran around the city from about 6:30 am to 11 am, going to all the stores that I know are open before 9. I'm not much of an early bird generally, but today was one of those days when I just felt motivated to get up and go. Yee hah! Ok! Here are the drawings! The first 2 are in blue and the third is in purple because that was all I had in my bag. The fourth one is black because one of my errands was to NY Central to get some things including a black micron pen. 1) girl on the train looking at her green phone intensely 2) newstand in the 50th street station on the 1 train, downtown side 3) lamp post out the window of a coffee shop I sat in while waiting for a store to open this morning 4) the top, including water tank, of a building on 37th Street, Brooklyn. Thanks for looking!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
These two persons are from the cover of the Soul Coughing CD "Irresistible Bliss." I love that CD. And I always knew the cover was supposed to be kinda creepy but I never felt affected too much by it. It wasn't until after drawing these characters on their own that I got really creeped out by the imagery. It became an unexpected demonstration that art (making it especially!) enhances life! The drawing is graphite on paper, about 5 by 5 inches.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Hello! Well, I didn't do my Day 4 drawing so I will make up for that today......Here is one and I will have another one posted later. This is drawn from a photograph I have of five little Victorian Era babies in their little christening gowns. Even the boys would be dressed up like this. It is graphite and white acrylic paint on paper prepared with an acrylic wash. I might go back into this and bring up the colors in the baby's face, but for now I like it. It was fun to paint the gown. The drawing is about 10 by 10 inches.The original is a bit grainy and textural, but I think my scanner is not scanning in a crip manner. Hopefully, I'll figure out what to do about that. Thanks for looking!!