I don’t usually buy art. I’m too thrifty to justify that expense. This week I did something unusual. In fact this past month has been a bit different.
I’ll tell you a bit to lead up to the painting purchase story.
This past month I turned 40.
To celebrate – and invite this to be a “new life” chapter rather than a “lord, I’m past it” chapter – I took myself on a long drive to the Omega Institute in NY to attend a workshop. It was unlike any I’ve attended before.
Bradford Keeney is a shaman, former family therapist, anthropologist, jazz pianist, and no doubt other things too.
What was vibrantly clear to me was that he is alive in a way I’ve rarely seen.
He and his wife Hillary led a workshop called Sacred Ecstatics. Essentially we spent the weekend getting soft and opening up to spirit (or call it what you will). We wiggled, we clapped, we danced, we sang, we prayed, we laughed.
This is not my regular thing, honestly. I’m way too English and sensible for this stuff.
I particularly liked a few ideas:
- it’s hard to fix “cold mind” with “cold mind”. i.e. Bradford suggests “heating things up” and getting “spiritually cooked” with creativity, absurdity and sacred music (for instance) to make a real shift of mind.
- most of us live in metaphorical glass bottles, separated from the vast sea of life
- we need to get soft and small and ask to connect into the vast sea.
I personally much prefer the feeling of softening into a vast sea than that familiar restrictive, isolating glass bottle. Know what I mean?
So, back to the art. I saw the painting pictured above on the West Hamilton Art Tour on Mother’s Day, before my Keeney adventure. I enquired about it, was about to jump, then got sensible again.
But the image stayed with me. To me the image is about softening, surrendering, and opening, and that’s what Brad was singing and jumping and jamming about all weekend and it got into my bones.
So this week I went back to artist Sandee Ewasuik and now M’lady floats upwards in my living room. She reminds me to soften, get small and invite in spirit. Actually she’s more than a cerebral reminder: I feel a palpable relationship growing. I’m reminded that in many traditions physical objects are understood to hold their own spirit and energy. By inviting her in I feel more connected to what’s around me, less in that glass bottle. Bring on the vast sea!