a bird takes flight

by Leonie Dawson on April 25, 2006


aunty ella’s statue

“What must I give more death to today, in order to generate more life?
What do I know should die, but am hesitant to allow to do so?
What must die in me in order for me to love? What not-beauty do I fear?
Of what use is the power of the not-beautiful to me today?

What should die today?
What should live?

What life am I afraid to give birth to?

If not now, when?”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes
(Women who run with the wolves)

These days, these beautiful days, these words swim around in my head. I awake in the morning, and the first thing on my mind is my sketchbook. I tiptoe in the autumn cool out to it, and forage it back into bed with me. The morning is spent there, in the sunlight dripping full sheets onto me, ideas spilling from me. New ideas birthing from me. Big ones. Touch the World with Radiance ones. I would love to share with you, but for now I sit back with a tender smile, hands resting over the belly, careful to let the tender green shoots of my idea grow stronger in my own heart right now.

These days, these beautiful days, I find myself finally uniting the Holy Trinity inside me – body, mind, soul. We have been taking body on adventures to a gym for the first time in my life. Stretch, push, cycle. My mind evaporates there in the rhythm of breath and body alive. Last night I found a destiny of sorts ~ a body balance fitness session ~ combining tai chi, yoga, pilates and meditation. How I have longed for you, my body balance. I could not stop myself from grinning widely the whole class. Hello home. Afterwards, I tell the instructor that her joy was infectious, and I felt myself mirroring her heart happiness. Hello beautiful body.

These days, these beautiful days I find myself being brave in the studio. I paint over what doesn’t work for me. I delight in attempting to make my first ruined canvas. I feel it is an essential part of my artist’s journey to have that one wreck of a canvas, but as yet have not managed it. A canvas is always redeemable. It can always be reworked. Happy accidents happen there. Sometimes a canvas’ journey is long, with many phases and faces. I have no fear of making those mistakes anymore. I learn compassion for my canvas’ journey, as I learn compassion for my own.

These days, these beautiful days I find myself moved to tears easily, moved to tears at the possibility of trying to document the depth and breadth of life. How do I share of the fur of my dog that inevitably adorns all our clothes; of the blue kindness in my lover’s eyes; of the sweet ritual of chai tea in the morning; of the friends that enter my life, and those who will leave but remain in this tender, magnificent heart of mine?