Monday, February 8, 2016

Sanctuary - noun  sanc·tu·ary \ˈsaŋ(k)-chə-ˌwer-ē\

: a place where someone or something is protected or given shelter

: the protection that is provided by a safe place

: the room inside a church, synagogue, etc., where religious services are held

This word sanctuary has come up a lot for me of late. What does it mean to me? Does it need to be a physical space or is it more of a feeling? How important is this sanctuary?  Do I need to defend it? Share it?

Last year I started to realize just how certain places had become my shelter.  A place to recharge and regroup and then emerge; somehow more settled, in order  to meet the demands of my world.


One such place is my home and in particular my studio and more precisely, my big chair where I am sitting right now writing to you.  From this chair I can look onto the front garden and watch the birds and the seasons change.  I can meditate or sit with a book or tangle, draw, paint, and dream. I am always reminded of how important this spot is to me when someone else sits here.  When that happens,  I feel uprooted and sometimes a bit uncomfortable.  Sitting there has become my pattern for regeneration and restoration.

The second place is our garden.  I love to walk barefoot in meditation through the garden on summer mornings,  waking up with the birds and flowers, pretending like I'm Snow-white. Tra-la-la.   I love visitors to our garden.   I like to show them all the plants,  trees, flowers;  successes and failures.  Invite them to smell and touch it all.   To hold dear the earth as I do.

The third place is one that moves and floats and is propelled by the wind!  I just love sailing on our little boat and equally love just bobbing on the lake relaxing with my husband and our friends.  Our boat is a cradle to me and the surrounding water a moat and once I step off of dry land I feel as if we are in a world of our own.  Recently we were both asked to act as students by our good friend, Bill Holcomb who was interviewed and filmed last summer for North West Profiles on PBS.  Here is a link to our cameo roles in  the show in case you missed it the first time:

This piece and others will be on Display at an Art Show in Coeur d'Alene February 12th, see below for details.

In Zentangle,  we learn to draw patterns and how that can equate to the patterns in our lives, our world. Physical and mental patterns.   By drawing the repetitive shapes we may begin to notice patterns more and more.  Eventually we may notice behavioral patterns, our own and others.   Recognizing behaviors as patterns allows us to see a bigger picture.  If they are our own behaviors,  we can decide to accept and continue them or to change them.

We can also  get stuck in one pattern that keeps us stuck in other endeavors and once we change that one thing it can unlock a door of changes that were just itching to see the light of day.  Recently for me it happened that after many years of attending the same yoga classes, my circumstances changed and I stepped away from what was my sanctuary. Though I missed my yoga class and my fellow yogis greatly, other good things have happened since I changed my pattern.  I have returned to swimming in winter.   I believed swimming was only a summer lake activity; but when I got over the adversion of putting a bathing suit on when there's no sand and no chance of sun burn,  I love it and feel stronger than with yoga alone.  I'm meeting another tribe of people too, friendly water people, and that's alright!

In the process of studying about sanctuary and how important it is to all of us, I have begun to see that physical sanctuary spaces change, come and go, and that the truist sanctuary is deep inside my soul.

What's Up Next?

If you haven't already, please click on the classes tab to find out all about my next class at the ClayFox Clay School where I will be a guest teacher on Saturday, March 12th. I am very excited about this opportunity as way back when dirt was made I studied pottery in college and loved playing in the mud!  So this is a bit of a pleasant visit to the past for me. It is also a bit of a full circle thing too as the owner of ClayFox, Jill Smith was my first landlady when we moved to Spokane and I was looking for studio space for my looms. Life's pattern is all about circles.  I hope you will join me there.  Just click on the classes tab on the right and find out more....