Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, and neither is weary. — Isaiah 40:28
Dear Family and Friends,
For the first time in years, I am sending my greetings before Christmas. In the French tradition, one has the entire month of January to send New Year’s wishes. Years ago, I adopted the French way, as I am usually catching up from a whirlwind fall tour. Not this year. All my shows and workshops were cancelled.
Home with Serge and the boys has been a gift from Heaven. We continue to work on our art all the day long, like monks in a monastery. Our creations are our prayers. Focusing on being creative keeps the positive energy flowing. The boys have their work and sports routine. Ping Pong and soccer are their recreation. Serge and I take an hour long walk on most mornings.
My daily meditations have led me into new horizons. The hours of silence and the precious dimension of existence have been the catalyst for me to stretch forward in my imagination and vision as an artist and seek a new unknown poetry with honesty and humble courage.
My Meditation for You
I could not see in the beginning, but now that 2020 comes to a close, the eyes of my soul have 20/20 vision. When everything in our lives is cancelled for an entire year, confusion sets in and one searches for a way, a new way. Fog had encompassed me, everywhere I looked – fog and more fog.
So the questions came. What do I have, since so much has been taken away? I have time. I have home. I have my family. I have nature in abundance. I have my raison d’être – art. I have so often yearned for time. If “time is money”, then I had been a pauper. Suddenly, I became rich without having done anything, except pray. My prayer was, “Please, Lord, give me time to be silent, to listen to You, to listen to my soul rather than to the world. Give me time to paint so intensely that I will find my way to that unknown beauty that is there waiting to be revealed. I know I cannot perceive the mystery if I do not allow time to contemplate it.”
The gift of TIME was so overwhelming that I was bewildered. To go from poverty to wealth in such a short time is daunting. At first one does not quite know what to do with such abundance. What is Real Time? What is Endless Time? What is eternity? Can we have it now? Does it make us happy? Or is it hollow and as futile as being stranded on a deserted island with a pot of gold. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years is but a day.” (2 Peter 3:8) What does this mean?
Back to the fog that enveloped me – the kind in which one cannot see the way ahead. I groped in blindness for my way. Suddenly, not being able to see, my inner hearing became acute. In my early morning time sitting in silence on my rock, my refuge, my perch, I heard the voice coming from within. “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, and neither is weary.” (Isaiah 40:28) I will cause you “to lie down in green pastures.” I will “lead you beside the still waters.” I will “restore your soul.” (Psalms 23:2-3) I respond, “Visit this soul of mine and stay. Inspire all my brush strokes and let me not waste this wealth of time that has suddenly come my way.
I never tire of coming to my rock. The utter joy of being here. Being. Waiting here. Waiting. Expectant. Receiving. Breathing. I am never disappointed. At first all was still and silent. I could not see; I could not hear. Now I see that all is alive and moving gently around me. Sitting on my rock, overgrown with a soft cushion of ivy, giving me comfort to stay longer. The smallest most insignificant scent, like the faint fragrance of the ivy when I sit on it, to the stronger, heady scent of the wild rosemary opens my senses. I squeeze it and rub it on my skin to keep the flies and other flying insects away while I am actively resting in my silence. The essence of the rosemary ignites my inner poetry, waking up the soul. The sensation stirs a restorative balm of well-being, gratitude and hope.
The leaves are quivering, and the low hanging branches, swaying. A multitude of song birds fill the air with their own music, going about their day with not a thought or a worry. One goes from this tree to that tree. Another flies east and another spirals up and then down. The voice of one is high and shrill, another is scratchy and low. A call comes from way down the hill in the distance and is answered by one up here in the tree. I am reminded, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before his presence with singing…”
The sun pierces through the cloud and lands its light on my head and down my body. The warmth is immediate on this November morning. The birds are presently reminding me of their freedom, giving me hope. The live oak, growing out of the side of my rock, gives me energy. I run my hand down the rough textured bark like caressing an alligator. It does not bite. It stands noble. I appreciate its protection. Its thin trunk surges upward and fans out with its branches full of prickly green leaves arching over me and cascading down around me, making me feel like I am in my own secret place. And I am. I sit and wait. “Let me keep the eyes of my soul on You today and shed the anxieties of the world. Let your Truth inform my mind.” I leave my rock now, but I take all that I have been given. Have a thousand years just passed? I don’t know. Or was it just a brief moment in time? Peace reigns within. I am rich with time.
The result of my meditation is born on the canvas. I look forward to sharing with you my new dance. With your own sensations, with your own poetic reaction, you contemplate my work and you complete the dance. Hope abounds and we face our daily struggles with new strength.
In this December month of 2020 when the soil is dark, red, cold, austere and somber, there is nothing around that gives one hope that anything will grow. The trees are bare; the mist is thick; one cannot see ahead, yet the time is right, “Behold, the sower went forth to sow . . .” Today, this letter is my seed that I sow for you. May the seeds in your heart grow and bear fruit in the months to come.