The Creative Spirit leads me into many worlds. I’ve trekked alone in the Himalayas and lived naked in virgin jungles of Hawaii. I’ve been scientist, monastic in a mystic order artist and teacher. I seem to learn the same lessons wherever I am: to have faith in the unknown; to ride the wave of the moment; to let go of the illusion of control; to plumb the depths of mind and emotion without fear or judgment. And best of all –to play!
Soon after I started taking cello lessons at the age of 7, I began to tune my strings to a new chord each morning–Bird calls, traffic, electronic hums, wind, rain on the roof… any sound of the moment entered into my chord. My cello teacher gave up on me, saying, “I cannot teach this child. She does everything her own way!” The unknown chord was my way–my true teacher. I never knew what to expect when I moved from one string to another on the fretless cello finger board. Anything could happen! I could not plan or prepare or practice my response. The unknown chord taught me to ride the wave of the moment and to hear unfamiliar sounds with new ears, just as they are, without judgment. There is no mistake!
At the age of 8, I discovered that bathrooms have wonderful acoustics. I would lie on my belly in the tub, submerge my whole face in the water and generate sounds through my mouth or nose. The different chambers in my mouth, throat, nose, sinuses, and head were like newly discovered rooms in an infinite mansion. I could mold strange and wonderful sounds by changing the size and shape of these inner chambers. Overtones transported me into a reality beyond time or space where I rode the wave of uncreated sound.
After many years in the academic world, I left my doctoral dissertation in psychobiology to pursue my adventure with the Creative Spirit. In an ashram on Maui I gathered with others at dawn for Chaotic Meditation. In the dark we moved and emitted random sounds for 10 minutes without stopping. “Issha, zszpbt, horrimandidn, pfftlllllttt, grandgnet, loooof, llllit, ansugggggg! click, cluck, snaggzzz…….” Whispers, calls, yells, chants. No rules. But you couldn’t stop moving or making random sounds no matter what. Chaotic meditation blasted through my barriers of fear, habit and conformity. Everyone sounded pretty much like me in the dark…so I wasn’t crazy! And I discovered sounds, movements and feelings that transported me beyond the boundaries of my culture and my mind. I AM MORE THAN I KNOW!
Chaotic meditation inspired me to create gentler versions of the process–freeflow writing, toning, painting, energy drawings– all done in concentrated 5-minute sessions. I remembered how to paint like a child–dripping, splattering, spraying, rotating pieces of silk in large frames. What will happen when a river of red flows into a pool of blue? Sprinkling salt crystals on layers of wet dye, I watched them come alive, move and grow. Sometimes they created schools of tiny fish, amoebas, ghost faces, frost, blossom or leaf patterns as they absorbed the dye and dried. Painting outside, I set things up and choose the colors, but wind, sun, water, salt and gravity did the painting. As I gave up the illusion of control, I became free to play.
The computer became a mystic friend who leads me into the heart of nature. When I rotate simple patterns, like hand-written letters around a center, using a simple painting program, all kinds of patterns and fractals, as seen in flowers, plants, shells, water, wind, emerge. Cyberalchemy is also a path into the mystery of my inner life. I close my eyes, take the computer mouse in my non-preferred hand, and let my energy create movement. When I release the mouse, a record of my experience leaps into being in the colors of the moment. The titles of these quick daily paintings reveal their meaning for me: “Stimulus”, “Alone”, “Emergence”, “Fool”, “Jagged Energy”,”Help me!”, “Birth”….
My scanner is a time machine connecting me with memories, feelings and wisdom from the past! A mandala made from multiple images of my my father who died when I was seven and my 4-year-old self potently concentrated his presence and intensified my memories and feelings about him. As I created this new, empowering pattern, I transformed some of the loss and insecurity evoked by his death. I brought his power and support into my present. Later I created a spiral superimposing childhood, adolescent and mature images of myself to help me remember who I am beyond all the changes:
The Creative Spirit beckons me:
Go further. Go beyond the curtain,
Go backstage where the technicians and artists
of the inner theater create the show.
Go deeper. Go to the core. Go to the center.
Where the sap of creation flows thick and steady.
Go on! Go on! Nothing to cling to.
Nothing to grab.
Flow down the stream singing of the moment
that comes once and dies..
Of the moment that comes and dies,
comes and dies..
Waves in the ocean, blinks in the eye,
yods of the light of eternity…
I am that! I am that!