Ganesha in Progress

Ganesha ©Amy Livingstone, Sacred Art Studio 2013

New devotional painting in progress (you can follow along at the Sacred Art Studio Facebook page). Ganesha, from the Hindu pantheon–worshiped throughout India and around the world as the remover of obstacles. He is certainly bringing a playful energy to my studio as I bring him to life on the canvas. So, it’s no surprise that this poem from the Sufi mystic, Hafiz, emerged this morning during my morning contemplative practices. Learn more about Ganesha here.

Where does the real poetry
Come from?
From the amorous sighs
In this moist dark when making love
With form or
Where does poetry live?
In the eye that says, “Wow wee,”
In the overpowering felt splendor
Every sane mind knows
When it realizes—our life dance
Is only for a few magic
From the heart saying,
“I’m so damn
(From “The Gift.” Translation by Daniel Ladinsky)

New Year’s by the fire savoring Mary Oliver’s new volume of poetry, “A Thousand Mornings.” Like many of you, I ritually take time contemplating the year’s end and visioning the new one ahead. Journaling the highs and lows both professionally and personally. Recording the memories of a life. Exploring deeper questions around the meaning of existence. A process that often feels contradictory as I ponder the notion of time as invented by humankind. After all, the trees, the birds, nor the moon experience the same yearly passageway (with all its expectations) on December 31st. Nature reminds us daily of the transformative cycles of life and, through her beauty, offers us the gift of presence. Like art and poetry, both likewise bring us into the present, which is all we ever truly have. For me, balancing intentions with present moment awareness can provide some inner peace no matter where this journey takes us in 2013. May you be blessed this day, and every day.

The Gardener

Have I lived long enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I
come to any conclusions?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.

from Mary Oliver’s new collection of poems “A Thousand Mornings.”