|‘Interspiritual World Tree’ ©Amy Livingstone|
On Winter’s Margin
On winter’s margin, see the small birds now
With half-forged memories come flocking home
To gardens famous for their charity.
The green globe’s broken; vines like tangled veins
Hang at the entrance to the silent wood.
With half a loaf, I am the prince of crumbs;
By snow’s down, the birds amassed will sing
Like children for their sire to walk abroad!
But what I love, is the gray stubborn hawk
Who floats alone beyond the frozen vines;
And what I dream of are the patient deer
Who stand on legs like reeds and drink that wind;
They are what saves the world: who choose to grow
Thin to a starting point beyond this squalor.
-by Mary Oliver
Deepening into the rhythm of the winter season and carving out time to embrace silence and stillness when ever possible, I am feeling inspired and grateful to back in the studio completing and visioning new works now that my father and stepmother are on the mend. Resting on my easel, the “Interspiritual World Tree (36×36″).” From Wayne Teasdale’s prophetic book, The Mystic Heart: “Interspirituality points to the realization that although there are many spiritual paths, a universal commonality underlies them all.” The world tree with branches and leaves spreading out into the cosmos; roots cradling the earth and reaching out in all directions connects us to the web of life. We are One. The imaginal cells in the womb of the earth portend a transformation symbolic of the caterpillar morphing into the butterfly within the chrysalis. Teasdale writes: “We are at the dawn of a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to our life as the human family in a fragile world. . . .The awakening to our ecological interconnectedness, with its concomitant sense of the preciousness of all other species, raises the earth to where it becomes the center of our moral, aesthetic, economic, political, social, cultural, and spiritual activities.”
Teasdale was writing in the late 90s and it seems to many that we have arrived at this precipice where the dawn of a new consciousness is finally coming into our collective awareness. The ancient prophecies of the Mayans, the Inka, and the Tibetans for example all speak to this time of transformation. We may not know what is ahead but as we journey through the dark towards the return of the light in the coming weeks, perhaps remembering that each of us in our own way are like the imaginal cells doing the work of transformation can guide us towards this new paradigm of ecological interconnectedness. As we discover and connect with each other around this common vision, beauty emerges out of the darkness.
If you’re still looking for a special gift for someone in your life, I am now offering gift certificates. Visit Sacred Art Studio Facebook page to view them. Original art and prints are also available at www.sacredartstudio.net.
While the holiday shopping season gears up here in the states, a poem as a gift for presence, for beauty. For “the world as it was given for love’s sake.” From “A Timbered Choir” by Wendell Berry
What if, in the high, restful sanctuary
That keeps the memory of Paradise,
We’re followed by the drone of history
And greed’s poisonous fumes still burn our eyes?
Disharmony recalls us to our work.
From Heavenly work of light and wind and leaf
We must turn back into the peopled dark
Of our unraveling century, the grief
Of waste, the agony of haste and noise.
It is a hard return from Sabbath rest
To lifework of the fields, yet we rejoice,
Returning, less condemned in being blessed
By vision of what human work can make:
A harmony between forest and field,
The world as it was given for love’s sake,
The world by love and loving work revealed
As given to our children and our Maker.
In that healed harmony the world is used
But not destroyed, the Giver and the taker
Joined, the taker blessed, in the unabused
Gift that nurtures and protects. Then workday
And Sabbath live together in one place.
Though mortal, incomplete, that harmony
Is our one possibility of peace.
When field and woods agree, they make a rhyme
That stirs in distant memory the whole
First Sabbath’s song that no largess of time
Or hope or sorrow wholly can recall.
But harmony of earth is Heaven-made,
Heaven-making, is promise and is prayer,
A little song to keep us unafraid,
An earthly music magnified in air.