Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cultivating Courage

Song - Save Me by K.D. Lang via @youtube

Actually I am no longer in Santa Fe but I am many miles up in the air heading home!!! Yipes!

For me, just getting onto an airplane is "cultivating courage"! We just crossed over the Grand Canyon but of course all of the people on the right side of the plane got to see it....guess which side I'm on?

Not the right!

After an incredible week of painting in Santa Fe, I still had not spent much time in the little town. So this morning after packing my car and trying to balance the weight between my two suitcases, I took a drive into the town plaza. I parked next to the mission which is the oldest church structure in the US (1600's) and I walked by the oldest house in the West....below..

.....then onto the Loretto church, which was very impressive. Especially because the bells were going off at a nearby church and it was so exciting.

The staircase there is considered to be a miracle and if you look up the story, a carpenter arrived after hearing the nuns prayers.

He arrived with only a saw & his donkey. After 6 months he disappeared without being paid and he left behind a beautiful spiral staircase without any support that carpenters today do not totally understand how he did it.....some believe it was Joseph.

I however happened to feel a pull to Mary, I lit a candle, said a heartfelt prayer and sat in wonderful spiritual least until the bus tour showed up!

Then I headed to the plaza and the galleries.

It was the balloon festival week beginning today in Albuquerque so I was advised to leave for the airport very early as cars tend to park on the freeways to watch thousands of hot air balloons ascend.


It didn't happen because the winds were too high.

So I had a few hours at The Petroglyphs Park before returning my rental car.

"Santa Fe is the artiest, sculpturest, weaviest and potteryest town on earth?"
-- Journeys
Jan Morris

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Song - The Afterlife by Paul Simon.

(Sorry gang but I just don't know the technology to insert a song with my iPad like I usually do from my PC....which is now toast. You'll have to tap on the link above to hear Paul's song!)

Today in Carol Marine's workshop we worked (and worked) on painting glass & flowers. (OK Joanne & Marcy - quit chuckling)

Above is Carol's beginning stage which looks fairly dark. Below is the finished painting...pretty amazing huh? I just love her style.

I am enjoying my stay at The Immaculate Heart of Mary. It has given me a different view of simple day to day living and how to have reverence for so much in my own life.

I think because here I have time to reflect on life. At home it's time to do laundry, dishes, pay bills, take the dogs to the vets, take out the garbage, yadda, yadda, know the drill!

While here I want/need simple order in my life. There is a place for the two pair of shoes I brought with me, I make my little (hard) bed every morning, I get up early to watch the sunrise, there is a communal breakfast & lunch served to us that is dairy-vegan-glutin-wheat free and is some of the best food I have ever eaten, the shower is lukewarm but it's OK, I have time to settle into my bones and enjoy the sound of silence.

I drove through the little town of Santa Fe after our workshop today and as I returned I noticed a fire on the mountains behind the mission. Hope all is well...

"Without an awareness of your emotions you are not able to experience reverence. Reverence is not an emotion. It is a way of being, but the path to reverence is through your heart, and only an awareness of your feelings can open your heart."

--The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

Monday, October 1, 2012

50 Shades of White

Carol Marine's workshop ( focused on white today. We painted a white bowl, cup or vase on a white cloth. White reflects so many amazing colors but they are subtle shifts.

Here is Carol's demo. Isn't it simply beautiful?

It was a long day of learning and standing and being exhausted since I hadn't slept well the night before.

The coyotes were howling and the church bells rang at midnight, 3 am & 6 am for the Carmelite sisters to go to prayer. They have all taken a vow of silence and some have been here for over 60 years! An amazing commitment......definitely something to ponder in today's world.

When I was unable to sleep last night - I was overly tired, I was cold, the bed was too hard, I missed Mr. B, I was anxious about painting with this group of experienced artists........


I thought about

the Sisters

and their sequestered life

and I opened a book

that I had brought from home.

"We are so achievement-oriented that we often surge right by the true value of relating to what's before us, because we think that accomplishing things will complete us, when it is experiencing life that will.
Yet, if we can outlast the urge to judge everything we encounter, a miracle starts to surround us in which painting, music, poetry, running water, flowers, wind through trees, open vistas--all touch and draw out their counterpart that lives quietly within us."

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Angels are Singing

This morning I woke to snow on the distant mountains in Colorado. After a quick breakfast I drove around Trinidad and took a few photos for my family tree.

The streets there are paved with bricks made in Trinidad. I tried to bring one home but all of the business that sell them were closed as it was Sunday. I drove around to some deserted lots but the only loose bricks I could find were attached to a lot of concrete. Heavy concrete. My luggage barely made it on to the plane as it was with all of my painting supplies!

Then I spent about 3 hours at the local cemetery trying to find long lost relatives and reading interesting headstones. Many of the headstones have photographs on them and I remembered that was a custom in Italy as well.

The mountains are beginning to change colors and it was a beautiful but long drive back to Santa Fe. Once again lightening strikes all around me but just a little rain.

My friend Nancy Hartley ( has a second home in Santa Fe and invited all of the artists participating in Carol Marines workshop over for wine & appetizers. It was a beautiful evening!

Tonight however.....I am staying at a convent that used to be a TB Sanitarium and i am listening to the Carmelite Sisters sing downstairs while I write this blog. It is so tranquil and they sound like angels! Dang, I wish I could sing....harrumph.

I have a sparse little room with a dresser, writing table and (gulp) a hard twin bed and it's all mine for this whole week!

Wish me luck!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...