A few years ago I came across this quote from Elbert Hubbard and I put it to memory and still refer to it now and again as a guide for my life:
“The supreme prayer of my heart is not to be learned, rich, famous, powerful, or good, but simply to be radiant. I desire to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage, and good will. I wish to live without hate, whim, jealousy, envy, fear. I wish to be simple, honest, frank, natural, clean in mind and clean in body, unaffected - as ready to say I do not know, if it be so, and to meet all men on a
n absolute equality - to face any obstacle and meet every difficulty unabashed and unafraid. I wish others to live their lives, too - up to their highest, fullest, and best. To that end I pray that I may never meddle, interfere, dictate, give advice that is not wanted, or assist when my services are not needed. If I can help people, I’ll do it by giving them a chance to help themselves; and if I can uplift or inspire, let it be by example, inference, and suggestion, rather than by injunction and dictation. That is to say, I desire to be radiant - to radiate life.”
I often associate this prayer with gardening and art making and teaching and so many life affirming activities which help us to radiate Life.
This spring is the Garden Makeover and we have been adding new compost to the gardens. In this process, I have had great help by my neighbor the Mighty Josh! A tall strong teenager who has been shoveling and toting without complaint. We have good talks about different stuff and I have been telling him about plants, biodiversity and how to build soils and a garden. Many garden tips I had learned from my Dad, I now pass on to Josh. I believe it is vital that we know how to grow our own food and will be even more so in the future. Perhaps one day, Josh will make his own garden and these teachings will continue.
In addition to my regular artistic pursuits and teaching, I have been learning a new thing this spring from Book Artist, Timothy Ely. http://www.timothyely.com/ It has taken over a year to get together so that he could teach me to make proper books, and the perseverance has paid off. I am so grateful, not only to be learning from a master (or as he prefers, someone who is practiced) in this art, but just to hang out with him in his magical studio is so inspiring that words fail. Here's a shot or two of my first ever book made with my hands and lots of help from Tim!
Zentangle continues to play a large part in my life and teaching. In addition to regular classes at various venues in our area, yesterday, I had a unique privilege and experience. For the past few years, Jill Smith and friends have hosted a group of women veterans at their horse ranch, The Cowgirl Co-op, http://www.cowgirlco-op.com/
in nearby Green Bluff. It's a retreat for Women Warriors who have been on the front lines or who have offered support to those that did. I volunteered to teach a couple of abbreviated Zentangle classes, but it had to have a horse theme.
Though the day was cold and blustery and there was much activity about, I could feel these gals find a bit of calm and peace of mind while they worked on their little horses.
Then on a more personal note, I over heard a woman talk about riding a horse for the first time that day, hence over coming her fear of horses to one of the organizers. It brought up old emotions in me from when I stopped riding (I was a keen horse person) after having a very bad fall several years ago. Yes, I went to therapy of all sorts from physical to mental, and thought I had dealt with it all, but hearing her story, made me realize that no, I hadn't quite healed from that accident. I still had work to do. So after the class I went to the fence and had a nice chat with a friendly white horse with light blue eyes. Horses are good for that. We decided that yes, I did need to get back on a horse again, but slowly and gently this time, in order to put these wounds behind me. In short, I need Horse Therapy! I don't quite know how it will come about, but it's out there now, so who knows what will happen next?