Monday, November 2, 2009

Ancestral Memories / Ancestral Love

The topic of Abbey of the Arts Poetry Party was my inspiration for this post. The pastel drawing was created by me a number of years ago and I wrote the poem and posted it with another piece of art last year, but both are reflective of each other. As I looked at the drawing, which I have always loved, I noticed how the grandmother's hand gently sits upon the arch of the handle of the basket that is a cradle for the child. The handle resembles a bridge between the two of them with the grandmother's hand supporting it with loving protection. We never lose connection with our ancestors. We are interwoven with them with strands of love. They stand behind us in united waves of strength, waiting for us to call upon them for guidance and support. Concurrently, when we heal our lives, we heal a part of our lineage, for our ancestors, as well as our descendants. They were born to help us, as we were born to help them. Listen for them. They call to us in unexpected ways: the whisper of the wind; a burst of sunlight; the song of a bird; the buoyant presence of joy or in a moment of profound remembrance of them. They are with us.

The sun smiles

and the moon beams
throughout infinite
cycles of life
shining through the stars
of our bones …
revealing ancestral bridges
paved in love
that applauds us.
holy blessings.
gifts of light.
we are the substance
of our ancestors
and they…
ever after…are us.

Kate Jobe 9/8/2008

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Listen With the Ear of Your Heart

"A River of Stones"
photograph by Kate Jobe
This post relates to the theme of this weeks Poetry Party at Christine Valters Painter's blog, Abbey of the Arts. The theme "Listen With the ear of Your Heart" is reflected in this poem that Christine wrote and featured in this blog post:

"ears listen, eyes look,

hearing, seeing below ground

to the sacred source "

Stones and crystals...minerals...are below ground..and permeate it with sacred source. They are solid and ethereal at the same time. Many times they appear rough, monochromatic and plain on the outside, but when cracked open, reveal themselves to be lustrous and resplendent with many faceted hues of color.

Stones, like humans, are far more complex when you place your full attention upon their unique beauty and seek to understand the wisdom they have come into this world to share. Stones, like some people may appear to be uncommunicative but, when listened to with the ear of your heart, their truth will flow into you. It is the only way to truly hear the notes of the music of life.

What notes of the music of life have you been missing because you forgot to listen with the ear of your heart? What truth have you heard when you did allow your heart to guide your ability to hear? What new song can you hear whispering in your ear? What melody have you closed yourself off from and cannot hear?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

To Martha

"Martha's Grotto Collage"

Today is my sister Martha 's birthday. From the moment that she was born, Martha was loved by each of us in our family. She has been, since she was very young, a ray of light and a source of joy and laughter. She is, at times, much related to the fairy kingdom. Plants flourish when she grows them. Hummingbirds, Orioles and birds of beautiful song flock to her property. A flower garden appeared out of nowhere the first year after she and her husband moved to her present home. She called it her Fairy Garden and said the birds must have brought the seeds.

Martha has been a rock to everyone and everything that she loves and has loved. She stands by them, loyally, and does whatever she can do to bring beauty, safety and happiness into their lives:Her pets; Her plants; Her friends; Her family. Martha is my sister, but she is also my friend. We have shared incredible and unforgettable moments together. We have laughed together until we could barely breath and tears were running down our faces. We have contemplated; argued; consoled; applauded; danced; played cards; worked; created; cooked; gardened; exercised,; lost weight; gained weight (without wanting to); appreciated; supported and cried together. We share a love of campfires, blues music, science fiction and fantasy movies and have spent rainy days watching all of the Lord of the Rings movies, back to back.

I was with her when her husband passed away last April and I have learned much about grief and grieving from her. The last year has been a time of sadness, surrealism and reconfiguring for her. Through it, Martha has exhibited grace under fire & deep compassion. She is re-birthing into discovering who she is without her husband. She is being birthed when she least expected it. For Martha, this year, I send light filled love and wish for her, safe passage to this new manifestation of herself. I wish for her deeper strength, greater joy, more expansive peace..and I wish for her fulfilling new beginnings that validate the gifts she has shared with others. Live long and prosper.

Who has touched your life and given you great joy? How can you honor the people you love? How have your sisters changed your life? Who do you know that is like a sister to you? What birthing is occurring for you, a friend or a family member at this time?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Archway at The Grotto of Redemption, West Bend, IA

I am amazed to discover that I have not written an entry for almost two months. During this time many things have occurred that have deterred me from this. My scanner has a glitch that I have to figure out and get it back in working order. This prevents me from scanning art that I include with my posts. Without a scanner, I am adapting my methods and will be posting photographs I have taken until I get it working.

During my scanner-less-ness I have gone through a shift in my work focus which has created the need for some adaptations and new orientations in my life. My mechanical scanner may be out of sync, but my internal life scanner has been working overtime. Last year, I made the decision to place my dominant career focus up my art and soul healing work. Although I had transitioned from full-time work into working as a substitute employee, in April, I was presented with the possibility to apply for another full-time position at the same agency. The focus of this new job is more in alignment with my specific skills and work background than the previous work I have done there. Before applying for it, I had to scan my life: consider my goals; contemplate my personal mission statement; assess what I was willing to adapt and modify.

Engrossing myself in creating art and working at a job that is not typically art oriented has always been a struggle for me. Being fully present for one always seemed to overwhelm my ability to be fully present for the other. It has been an either/or dilemma for me that created frustration in my life. I felt like I was falling short of fully utilizing my true gifts if I inhibited my calling to create art. I felt like I was not constructing a legacy of substance and significance.

Charting our course in life begins the process of fulfilling who we are...once we set sail, guided by the map we have created to get us there, spirit will lead us away from or toward the channels that will ultimately allow us to travel to the most significant way we are to express our intentions. Artful healing is the process of creating a healing environment with an artful approach, regardless of the venue in which it is expressed. In applying for this job I made a major shift in my mental processing and gained the awareness of knowing that whatever art I did while fulfilling this job was enough. I realized that I could do both at the same time and that defining myself as an artist or, defining myself as anything, for that matter, was not important. I was called to embody what I knew but had not embraced.

In allowing myself to be resilient in thought, rather than rigidly holding on to thought patterns that I felt defined me, I have discovered something I had not expected: For the first time in a very long time I wake up looking forward to going to work.

When you scan your life, what is calling to you? What ways of being and thinking can you let go of to create an opening for new possibilities? How can you expand the way you are defining yourself? If you didn't define yourself in any way, would you fall apart or create a path for limitless possibilities?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Turtle Island

"Turtle Island"
Kate Jobe 4/2009

I began this mandala perhaps eight months ago with the intention of creating in a more earthy, and somewhat simple style. Being me, loving ornamentation, that didn’t happen. I found it this week and was inspired to recycle it. The more I worked on it, the turtles became more flamboyant. They are, after all, painted turtles and the focus of this piece was to celebrate and honor Mother Earth. So, my humble turtles have been transformed into highly embellished ones but venerable, nonetheless.

Turtle Grandmother is a symbol of Mother Earth. Turtle reminds us to slow down, look around at the world around us and to remember that all that we need is provided for us in the realms of Mother Earth: Her trees; Her lakes and rivers; Her grasses and flowers; Her animals and birds; Her sunsets and sunrises; The geography of her land…all have gifts of insurmountable beauty and resources to share with us. We will continue to be sustained by our beautiful planet if we reciprocate her generosity and take care of her.

Wherever Turtle travels she has her home upon her back. At all times, everything that she needs surrounds her. We carry everything we need within us…the spark of original joy…the comfort of our original peace that was infused in us at birth. We have to seek shelter within the home of our spirit, the compass that steers us toward truth, to experience more beauty and appreciation of the world around us.

To me, the alignment of the turtles shells in the North & South segments of this mandala resemble ornate tropical butterflies. On the medicine wheel the red road of the path of heart runs between the north and south. When we go within to the truth of our soul, we can determine what speaks to us with heart and meaning. Energized by passion for life, we rise beyond ourselves to reach greater heights of awareness and can then reach outward with a generosity of spirit.

We owe it to ourselves to nurture that inner spark…to cultivate it to its full bloom. We owe it to Mother Earth to be fully present for ourselves to allow us to take care of her in the best way possible. How can you further cultivate your spark of original joy and peace to it’s full bloom? How can you nurture and appreciate Mother Earth?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Listening for the Rainbow

"Listening for the Rainbow"
Kate Jobe 4/2009
The mandala featured above, "Listening for the Rainbow", with it's lines weaving together, some times in neat orderly rows and, in other segments, in a pattern that is in the process of being loosely formed, reminds me very much of fabric that has been created from mixed media processes...hand-drawn fabric resembling a crazy quilt or a tapestry embellished with texture, color and the sheen of gold metallic glitter. As I contemplate it further, the mandala speaks to me of the fabric that defines us, woven together from the threads and colors of a multitude of processes, interactions and knowledge gleaned from everyone who has touched our lives. Many of the individuals who have added to the richness that makes us who we have become are people we have never met and perhaps, never will:authors of books whose words resonated passion within us and supported our values;politicians, scientists, visual artists,actors and musicians whose work assisted in forming the direction of the roads we traveled in life; and ancestors...born generations before us...who have gifted us with genetic assets that resonate within our cells and whisper directives to us as we create our lives. We are the vehicles chosen to act upon the inspiration whispered to us by all of these people, as well as the ones that form, or have formed, an active part of our lives. They are all a part of our web. We are their gift and they are ours.
What significant threads woven into the tapestry of your life were created by people you have never met? What dominant threads were created by people you know or knew? How did each of them change the course of your life? What new threads or embellishments are being formed?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ganesha's Labyrinth

"Ganesha's Magic Labyrinth"
Kate Jobe 3/30/09

Illusion builds
the bones that bridge
magic labyrinth.

The dance of
laughter shines through…
revealing golden keys
from shrouds
veiling open

Breathe Trust.
Pray Forgiveness.
Embrace Love.
Inhale Truth.
the flowing stream.
Be Abundance.
The mandala art featured above began as a rambling doodle that evolved into the image of an elephant and as I continued to embellish it, I transformed it into a mandala. The poem came after I meditated while focusing upon the image. I then researched the symbolic meaning of Ganesha, a Hindu deity, here and here (among many other sites), and discovered that Ganesha, while generally depicted as red, is also shown in blue or pink. Ganesha can have a snake draped across him and has a silver or gold crown with a red ruby on his forehead. He is sometimes shown with long flowing locks of hair. Upon reading this information, I was, once more, affirmed of how, when we allow ourselves to be guided by our intuition, we are more in touch with the interconnectedness of all things than we can imagine. Ganesha brings the gifts of wisdom and abundance and is said to both place obstacles before us to keep us on our right path and to also assist us to remove the obstacles from out paths. Many times in my life, I have been frustrated by challenges that I perceived as deterrents from what I wanted to be doing. Sometimes they were in the form of timing; Sometimes jobs or relationships, or lack of one of these, that created the challenge for me. As time passed, I would eventually unveil a greater gift that was woven into the guise of my challenge. These keys to awareness allowed me to see that I had skills I had not realized I possessed, or taught me how to stand stronger for myself, which ultimately led me to pursuits I would previously not have attempted.
When you look back over the challenges in your life that you resisted, what gifts did you eventually find within them? What challenges are facing you now that are waiting to be transformed into greater wisdom, truth or abundance for you?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Celebrating the Year of the Woman

2009 is the Year of the Woman and Sunday was the International Day of the Woman. The art featured above, "Sharing the Dance," is a vibrant, but dream-like representation of the joyous power that occurs when women are united, sharing their gifts to accomplish great things, but at the same time, are able to maintain their individuality. In addition, it a symbolic depiction of the maturation phases of a woman's life.

This year, the Omaha YWCA has allowed me to re-introduce the "Sharing the Dance" print, which I originally created for their 100th anniversary, 15 years ago, to sell in a smaller poster size version. I am offering this to you in image size of approximately 8-1/2" x 14", printed on 80# 11" x 17" paper with a satin finish for only $40.00.  Signed posters with a 12" x 18" image, printed on high quality 13" x 19"photo paper with high quality photo inks can be purchased for $75.00. Because the original piece was 3' x 4' in size, this larger sized print does represent the art in a more dynamic format.  To purchase "Sharing the Dance", contact me @ my email address

8" x 10" copies of the segments of the picture ("Beginning the Dance"; "Nurturing the Dance"; "Honoring the Dance" ; "Rejoicing in the Dance") are also available for sale for $30.00 each.

To view all of these pieces and to read the narrative on these works, you can access my blog at this link . Be sure to begin @ the post at the top and read down to see all five entries.

Please pass the link to this blog post along to anyone that you think would want to purchase one of these. They make great gifts: birthday; celebration; new mother; friendship; life passage event; etc.... for all the special women you know...young or old....they would make wonderful gifts.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Love: A Rose Unfolding

My seven year old granddaughter, Maddie, spent Friday and Saturday night with me. Her paternal grandfather unexpectedly passed away this week and, to allow her parents more time to spend with family and friends after the funeral luncheon was over, I asked her to spend some time with me. On the way to my house, we bought ice cream cones and ate them outside on a remarkably warm Friday afternoon. Later, we selected sympathy cards for her father and grandmother and then went out for Chinese food. On the way, we purchased stick-on faux fur moustaches that both of us wore while talking to each other in manly voices. Our conversations were minimal because Maddie kept having hysterical fits of laughter.

Without coming out and saying it directly, Maddie let me know that she needed my attention and needed to be close to me. At night when the lights were out and she was cuddled next to me in bed, she would sometimes talk about what had happened that week. She wanted to know if I had cried at all at the funeral and when I affirmed that I had, Maddie told me that she had cried some at school that week when she thought about her grandfather. After we talked we played what she calls, "The Bird Game," which involves listening to peaceful music with our eyes closed, while we take turns telling each other what bird we are seeing. The game never fails to rapidly relax her and put her to sleep.This evening we saw a white crane, a small songbird, an eagle, a golden oriole, a golden fox, a brown bear and a Pegasus.

Together, we planned and prepared a menu of hamburgers, chips and fresh fruit in yogurt to serve on Saturday night. Maddie sat the table with celedon green plates and cobalt blue water glasses and entertained herself, as well as me and our dinner guest, my sister, by telling lively stories and making up jokes that were truly, very funny. After dinner Maddie began creating mandalas. She drew the one above, a free-form spiral, with chalk pastels on paper, selecting the colors by herself and carefully blending them until they merged together. She made a mandala for her paternal grandmother and a stunning crosshatched turtle mandala that she collaged onto black paper with a silver metallic paper heart. She drew mandalas with angels on them and she cut out a little paper heart for her aunt. It's message, very simply, but poignantly filled with love, said, "Why are you so sad? I love you."

Maddie is not consciously aware that making mandalas can assist with others healing, but she very clearly knows that sharing her heart is important when the people she loves are sad or in pain. She instinctively knows that creating art and finding ways to make her laugh will help her to feel good when she needs grounding. Like most children, Maddie may not always be able to succinctly express her feelings with words, but sometimes, words are not necessary. When love is present, it is enough.

Is there someone on your life that needs the simplicity of your love and compassion?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pomegranate Dreams

"Pomegranate Dreams"
Kate Jobe 2/27/2009

Starlight thunders
within the forest
of the Snowy Egret.
Heralding a symphony…
that begins the beguine
…dreams dance
to the pulse…rubies
upon a pomegranate
shrine…holy womb
of hearts desires.
Passion’s music frees
the captive moon
and warms
a waning sun.
Magenta. Carmine. Fuchsia.
Red. Amid the sunset’s blazing
fire Beguine departs
and Venus
frees her heart to love.

A Phoenix rising.

Pomegranates are fruits that have fascinated me since the first time I saw them. I love their shape, their many hued and slightly rough outer skin and the unique presentation of their fruit….multitudes of tiny ruby red seeds, or Aril, pocketed within their fibrous interior walls like jewels encrusted upon the walls of a cavern. There is so much symbolic reference to the pomegranate in almost all major religions and cultures that I could write several posts on this fruit, alone. The qualities of fertility, birth and eternal life, abundance and the foretelling of your hearts desires are among some of its symbolic reference.

The entire time that I was creating this mandala, the phrase, “Pomegranate Dreams,” kept repeating in my mind. The mandala began while I was at work facilitating a relaxation group for the girls in the cottage of the treatment facility where I work. On this evening they were creating mandalas. I sat with them and intuitively drew this design, while focusing upon the collective energy of the girls . Several days later, I added it's colors and after scanning it, as part of my continuing experiment of looking at my art from different perspectives, I flipped and rotated it until I felt a strong charge . I then meditated upon the art, asking for its message. Various images revealed to me how blocks can be created in our lives by the action of building “shrines” within our hearts for people or situations that will never manifest for us. This action may be so deep seated that we may not even be aware that it is still alive within our hearts. Truly, the symbols that were personally relevant for me, were somewhat surprising. Our vigilant tending of these shrines eliminates the possibility for other, more rewarding situations to manifest for us. This mandala was created as a symbol for teen-aged girls in a treatment facility, but its message can relate to anyone or any group or community of people.

When I flipped the mandala back to it’s original alignment, I felt its radiance and positive energy glowing back at me and immediately began writing the poem. Unexpected words kept popping into my head and each time I felt compelled to research their definitions I was even further assured of the necessity to pay attention to the words and thoughts that come to us randomly. Each time this happens, write them down, research them and see how they apply to your current circumstances. For instance. The word "beguine." I knew that it was a dance, much like a rumba, but while researching it, discovered that a Beguine was also a woman living a loose, semi-monastic life that involved poverty and chastity, but without taking irrevocable, formal vows. I loved the way the duplicity of definitions added a new depth to this poem.

What shrines are you holding vigil for within your heart that you need to disconnect from to allow more exciting possibilities to manifest in your life? What pomegranate dreams are glimmering for you to see?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And the Award Goes To...

Today I was gifted with a blog award from my very talented friend Sue of Sacred Circle Mandalas. Sue is also a visionary artist who creates amazing luminous digital mandalas, as well as beautiful art that she calls doodling, but over the year that I have known Sue, her doodles have evolved into elaborate and whimsical motifs that stand on their own as unique artistic designs.

As the recipient of this award I am supposed to share seven things about myself and then pass the award on to other deserving people whose blogs I love...and so, moving on to the business of the award:

1-I have always wanted to be a detective & also a midwife. They seem like very different professions but, in some ways, my soul healing work combines the skills needed for these two professions.

2-I am fascinated with the beauty of the night sky and love "star-watching."
3-I once lived next to a river and was gifted one day when I opened the front door of my house and saw the stunning sight of the end of a huge rainbow arching down into the middle of the river, not far from my porch.
4-I like doing research. While attending college I was employed as a Crop Physiology Lab Assistant and a Research Room Library Assistant and I enjoyed both jobs.
5-I am a HORRID typist if I do not have the benefit of Spellcheck and have created many new and hilarious words from my typos and then created definitions for them.
6-Much to the aggravation of many people, I am not a joke person and laugh at jokes only when they unpredictably conjure up visuals that are entertaining to me..I am far more entertained by people telling me stories of their lives.
7- I rarely sing Karaoke, with the exception of singing Old Motown with groups of people, but once sang a Karaoke song with my brother-in-law when we ad libbed the words and then began laughing so hard over them that we could barely breath or stand up and had to hold each other up on the stage.

I pay the award forward to:

Ilah is focusing some of her abundant talent upon creating beauty from the unexpected sources of trash cans. Check out her incredible digital mandalas and contemplate that beauty is all around you.

I only met Jim recently through the internet mandala group that I belong to but his blog is unique and beautifully written. His journey stones are reflective of his connection with the earth.

Patti is talented in many areas, but her blog From The Inside Out features mandalas whose colors and motifs of complex simplicity are as powerful as the inspirational affirmations that she includes with each of her art entries.

Another mandala artist, Stacy, does extremely detailed work that radiates with a multi-cultural beauty. She is also a gifted inspirational poet and writer. One of Stacy's most current projects has been her involvement in transforming a hubcap into a mandala that has to be seen to be believed for an art for environmental awareness project

Found wood is Tim's medium for creating. He collects driftwood and transforms it into unique one-of-a-kind mirrors and picture frames. Tim is an exacting technician as well as an artist & photographer. His latest creation is a custom made Adirondack chair that he made from old skis. Make sure and check out his link that features his faux finishing photos.

As a footnote, I want to thank everyone who has left comments on any of my blog posts. I love reading them and always feel gifted and honored when I read one of them. Your comments enforce to me that all inspiration comes through us, not just for us, but because we are a conduit to receive inspiration to share with others. Many cultures believe that dreams are given to people to share with their community for awareness and for healing. Receiving creative inspiration is a form of dreaming. When we create our inspirations into some tangible form, we are gifted with healing energy for ourselves and our community.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Creating a Foundation of Strength

"All One Nation / All One Tribe"
Kate Jobe 2/2009

Before I was married and mature enough to raise a child responsibly, I became pregnant with my first child. To provide him with the quality of of life that I felt that he should have, I chose to release him from my life and to give him up for adoption. About 15 years ago, a powerful predictory dream announced that he would return into my life with the driving force of a Mac truck. A month later, I spoke to my son, Nathan, on the phone for the first time.
At the time that we re-connected, I was designing and creating art-to-wear clothing and, in a stunning similarity, he was an amazingly gifted fashion photographer. As we journeyed through the process of creating and strengthening our relationship, we discovered many similarities between us. As an example, before he was age 5, he was drawing pictures, which were identical to ones that I drew at the very same chronological age. Nathan and I both knew, at the same time, when the family created by him, myself and my other two children was woven into alignment. From that moment on there has been contentment that precludes the need for us to connect on a constant basis. We intuitively know when it is time to contact the other, or if one of us is troubled and needing support. Beyond genetics, we are connected by the same spiritual blood.
He was fortunate to have his adoptive parents assist him to locate his birth father and to also form a relationship with him. Recently, Nathan told me that that his birth father has been focusing upon embracing creativity, merged with spirituality and incorporating it into the workplace to empower people and to support community healing. Ironically, I and his father, different now than we were when Nathan was conceived, are responding to a calling composed from a very similar melody. In this realization, I gained a new level of awareness of how each of us impacts upon others with whom we come into contact; of how we are drawn to people for a reason and of how many times we are more similar to the people that circulate around us than we know. Together, we are all one nation..all one tribe... and when we support the unique individuality of each other, we create a foundation of strength that evolves into unlimited and expansive possibilities.

How can you add to the strength of the tribe of your family? Of your community? What similarities are you discovering that flow between you and the people you know, as well as those you have not seen for a long time?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Women With Wings

Orchid Woman
comes walking.
by the light
of the setting sun...
to the Honey Bee.

We, and everything around us, are so much more than what appears on the surface, or in physical reality. What appears to be small may actually have an immense impact upon us, or the rest of the world. Conversely, what appears to be large and important may leave an effect that is barely negligible. The Honey Bee is small. but mighty. It''s presence, en mass, or lack thereof, has been proven to be extremely relevant to the balance of the environment. Almost all cultures view the bee as a mythical symbol. The bee, with a body that is too large for its delicate wings, is symbolic of accomplishing large quests against all odds...and the Queen Bee, powerful, but dedicated to the future of her hive, symbolizes the power that is activated when a woman embraces her feminine energy.

Several days ago I created a mandala that I titled, 'Woman Emerging". To view it on another level, I adapted its colors and cropped and enlarged a segment of it, creating the art depicted above. The poem posted below the art was written by me at least five years ago. Its words flowed into my mind while I was meditating. Today, as I examined the visual art, I realized that the mandala and the poem are representations of each other. Each of them is mystical and feminine; powerful but delicate; ancient but filled with radiant innocence. They both speak to me of the promise of things to come and of spiritual awakenings. The orchid-like motif very much appears to be a stylized bee, with her gossamer wings beginning to unfold. The web that has been holding her securely within her cell-like cocoon is loosening its hold and she is preparing to emerge. She is the Honey Bee, but she is also Orchid Woman.

I believe that Orchid Woman is a symbol for the energy of Original Peace. I also believe that Orchid Woman is a symbol for all women, collectively preparing to spread their wings and fly to a higher level of awareness, uniting their energy to create a better world. I am reminded of the words of a chant, whose author is not known, that is hauntingly beautiful when sung in rounds, acapella, by a roomful of women: "There's a river of birds in migration...A nation...of women with wings!" The time is now. 2009 is The Year of the Woman. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

The Stillness of Original Peace

"Woman Emerging"
Kate Jobe 2/16/09

My astrological sign is Aries, which is ruled by the head, and thinking is my birthright. I never stop thinking: about art, about programs to develop, about home decorating, about garden designs, about something to write. I think…and I dream…complex, symbolism laden dreams that speak to me and give me even more ideas to think about.

One of my most profound gifts is that of being a prolific creative thinker. Ironically, the act of not thinking is one of the most powerful gifts I can bestow upon myself. Prayer is when we talk to God and meditation is when we step aside and let God talk to us. The moments when I create art are among the times when I can step aside from my thoughts and allow the universal flow of energy to lead me to the peaceful stillness of just being…and trusting. These are the moments when I give myself over to expressing the embodiment of myself as pure creative energy.

Our thinking can get in the way of our ability to just BE. Many of the children with whom I interact at the treatment center where I work are unnerved with feeling the peacefulness of a meditative state. It is unfamiliar to them. Unfamiliar is equated as feeling weird and so they repel it, gravitating to the comfort of the familiarity of obsessive thinking and its subsequent impact upon them of emotional imbalance. They, like many adults, are not yet aware that the beauty perceived in the midst of the stillness of being centered is the true birthright of each of us. It is our inner guidance from the essence of Original Peace that began blooming within us the instant we were conceived.

Are you afraid of stillness? How does the essence of Original Peace speak to you? What actions allow you to step aside from your thinking and let God talk to you? What creative actions empower you? How are you emerging?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Silver Linings

I featured a cropped and rotated detail from the work I posted yesterday. These details change the essence of the work. Not only is it a square format, but only a portion of it is shown within the square and it is an entirely different angle.

When we examine a portion of our lives, and delve into it from different angles, we begin to see new perspectives of it that we had previously missed. Viewed from this perspective this art does not reveal the interconnectedness of the view shown in the previous post. Instead, it reflects more of a sense of balloons drifting through the cosmos, illustrating the concept of serendipity: floating about, connecting at times with like minded individuals, disconnecting with others. Some experiences leave us feeling deflated with pain and others lighten our hearts. In some instances we feel that we have missed some chances that we wish we had grabbed onto more tightly to see where that ride would have taken us. At times, our lives take us into new and untethered territory, beautiful but unnerving. In these moments, we have to re-assess our priorities and belief systems to learn, once more, how to navigate confidently to prevent ourselves from being burned, like Icarus, and come crashing to the ground.

If we focus too much upon one facet of our lives, we get can get lost in it, giving ourselves over to be personified within the memory, living it over and over and over. Day to day life passes us by while we are stuck in the past, examining it, repeatedly, trying to detect some small detail of what we could have done differently to have changed its outcome to create a better future for ourselves. While immersed in living in the past, we are unable to see and appreciate the beauty of the big picture. We are unable to own the power of the person that we have become because we are still nurturing the person that "should have been" or "could have been". We lose altitude, diminishing our momentum within the present and become diconnected form the fullness of our lives.

Like the hearts in this picture, each moment of our lives, regardless of its content, has a silver lining. Each experience has a gift, though sometimes not evident at first. The gift may be that of discernment to prevent us from seeking similar experiences again. It may be a smile, or a supportive word or phrase said to us that we will carry with us forever, to retrieve from our memory bank from time to time to elevate us when our resolve is dwindling. The gift may be, quite simply, but quite profoundly, love, in some form that we fail to recognize.

Look around your life. Where has love abounded? Where does it abound now? What silver linings have graced your life? Are you living in the present or waiting for your past to catch up with you? What lives are reaching out to touch you that you may have ignored? What cords can you cut and allow to float free from you?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Glue That Holds Us Together

"My Heart Begins Where It Ends"
Kate Jobe 2/13/2009

The past two weeks I have been meeting with my granddaughters and making Valentines. We gathered together pages of shiny heart stickers, magazines to cut pictures from; glue sticks and rubber cement to collage everything together and glitter glue pens to write magical sentiments on our finished products. White paper lace doilies were high on my list of necessary supplies, but I was unable to find them in the store where I shopped...a minor impediment solved by folding paper and cutting it into “snowflake” hearts. When all the heart stickers were used to embellish two Valentine cards, I used the sticky paper surrounding them to cut out more and amazed them with my ability to produce hearts where there had been none.

In addition to sharing this joyful experience with my granddaughters, this Valentines Day has brought me another special gift of shared memories. Within the same time frame that I have been making Valentines I also connected with an old friend on Facebook who gave me the phone number for her sister, who is a dear friend of mine that I haven’t seen for at least 20 years. Our shared memories began before my divorce; before the birth of my children and even before I was married. My daughter, Annie, shares the same name of this woman, given to her to honor the bond of my friendship with her namesake.

Years ago, my friend Annie and I spent countless hours doing what a lot of young women who are friends do. We talked about life, our futures, men and music we liked. But more than this, we spent countless hours laughing. Memories of laughter shared with good friends fortify me and burrow deep within my heart. Tonight I spoke with Annie on the phone. Many happy memories came rushing to the surface of my soul as we talked. Most of them were things I had not even thought about for years. Talking about who I was then manifested a panorama of people, places and sounds from that time frame that surrounded me and has stayed with me throughout the evening. I hadn’t realized how merging with my past would bring such clarity to the person to whom I have grown to become. To many people I am many different things and am even known to them by somewhat different names. At work I am Miss Kate, to my mother I am Kathleen, I am Mom to my children and Nana to their children. My current friends call me Kate. To Annie, I will always be Katie. I like that.

What memories have you recalled recently that help you to understand more deeply who you are at this time? How does who you were in the past give strength and joy to your present lifetime? Are there old friends with whom you are feeling compelled to seek out?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sharing Warmth

On cold winter days I have enjoyed the comfort of wrapping myself in a soft blanket while drinking steaming mugs of chai tea or hot cocoa. Regardless of the crispness of the air outside my home or the chill imparted by brilliant white snowflakes drifting past the windows, I am warmed by blankets enveloping me that have been crocheted by my mother. She has created them for my siblings, our children and grandchildren, picking colors that enhanced the decor of our homes. We have photographs of all of us grouped together, wrapped in afghans that we all received from her on Christmas morning, six years ago. Her crocheting has brought warmth to her and many others.

In 2004, After my father passed on from an extended illness, Mom, then 78, decided that she wanted to do something to give back to others. Mom started by offering her time to schedule musical events for her elder living facility. Soon after, she joined a choir that sings in community events and at elder care facilities. In her pursuit to bring happiness and healing to others, Mom became a member of the prayer shawl ministry in her church. The group members knit or crochet shawls that they present to babies being baptized, new mothers, individuals who are ill or struggling with emotional challenges, and terminally ill prisoners. Before gifting the shawls they pray over them together, adding their prayers for peace and healing to the loving attention that went into every stitch while it was being created.

Mom purchases skeins of yarn whenever they are on sale. Incomplete ones that have been given to her are added as stripes, harmoniously blended with the dominant color of the shawl. Mom has been legally blind with macular degeneration for at least 30 years. Despite her eyesight becoming progressively compensated, and with the additional challenge of cataracts, Mom crochets prayer shawls, constantly, in her free time. Each time I visit her, Mom shows me her newest creations: soft Aryan shawls; shawls created from golden yellow yarns that are reminiscent of sunshine; shawls that float over her lap in Grecian blues. It amazes me that she can consistently, and beautifully, produce such perfectly executed needlework when she has only limited peripheral vision. Although Mom doesn’t talk about it, she can now barely see a few inches in front of her face. Regardless, In 2008, Mom, with her extremely limited vision and diligent persistence, added to the warmth and healing of others, by crocheting a total of one hundred prayer shawls during the year.

In what way can you challenge yourself to reach beyond what you or others may perceive as a limitation? What gifts or skills can you share or express more fully? How can you bring more warmth into the world?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crying For A Vision

"Fire Hawk" Kate Jobe 2/2/2009

The appearance of Hawk is symbolic of a messenger that assists us to look within the find the balance we need to gain clarity and walk upon our path of heart. Hawk's powerful, piercing cry is said to take the prayers of the people to spirit, crying out for us to receive the guidance we need to understand what has heart and meaning in our lives. Hawks presence reminds us to look for new ways of doing things and to be aware that new opportunities are being made available to us if we allow ourselves to see them and respond to them.

"Crying for A Vision" is a term associated with the act of a Vision Quest. Many Native American cultures use the Vision Quest as a rite of passage that requires one to go into the wilderness, under structured spiritual guidance, for the purpose of retrieving information regarding ones gifts, purpose in life and their path of heart.

Sometimes our lives propel us into a type of Vision Quest that evolves when we least expect it. We find ourselves crying out for visions in less defined settings, but feeling as though we are in the wilderness, nonetheless...crying out for truth, even when we do not realize we are sending out this cry. In these times, when the very core of our being feels as though it is screeching outward from us, we relinquish our desire to control the outcome of our lives and reach out to spirit to ask to be shown the awareness we need to feel grounded again.

In this act of raw awareness, we begin to see...and hear...and feel...and know...things we forgot...things we had never known before...things that we know, without a doubt, are true. Truth comes to us in words spoken to us purposefully, as well as, randomly by people we know or do not know; in sleeping dreams; in words we write but forget to read; in illnesses and pains within our bodies...truth speaks to us, but we have to hear.

What vision are you seeking? What prayers have you asked Hawk to cry out for you? What messages are trying to reach you that you are not accepting?