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?