In Touch: Art as Healing

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PS – this is updated – I added a paragraph this morning.


This year 2012 is a time of change, a change of time, a river crossing the road. Some of us swim with the tide at tipping point.  For many others, the pressures from the collective subconscious, nationally and individually, are unbearable.   Like labour, there is pain, push and pull, and the rush of birth.

We each know someone – including ourselves – who gets overwhelmed by violent mood swings, stress, depression and obsessive disorder.    Any small unkindness may hit a deeply embedded nerve “i-am-rubbish” and amplify it to a hurricane, taking life.

Prisoners of depression cannot reach out, and they feel stigmatized.   The fragile one needs not words, but the presence of a friend somewhere, to support her coming through the crisis.   Whom can we give – today – that sense of connection, the living thread, a phone call even?   The smallest bit makes the difference.

Life doesn’t stop;  so I have to blog-along-a-bit.

This sketchbook fell open, early this morning, when I was busy with Odds and Logs.  They have your story in them somewhere, and contain a healing sequence.   Some of them are drawn with the left hand.  They are among many hundreds of similar drawings during 1987 -1988, when I was rowing across my interior Atlantic.  Creative art is a quantum-packet of healing, transcending the artist, and making waves.

The pictures tell their own story;  words are minimal map references.


Quantock ponies 2009



He art



Sunflower and Paddle Steamer



looking at me



Line dance 1



Line dance 2



Learning to



Learning (2) – a painting done in 2007



Get Well Soon.  The little house to the right, is the soul.  I sent this, and the one after it, to my father when he fell dangerously ill after swimming in a French river.  It is an angel, but he calls it “Boy with Rabbit”.  During his convalescence, he said each breath became a precious gift.  It is like being born again.


Gan Eden … Adam, Eve, the tree and the ship of the soul.



Ode.  This is moon talk, soul talk.



Navigation:  the Fool (creative play) and the Lamb (emotional baggage).  Hey-hey!



Flower, a despair of Painters.

In The Dawn of Magic (also published as The Morning of the Magicians), Jacques Pauwels and Louis Berger celebrated suggestively, a certain alchemical wildflower.  They said she was saxifrage, and every painter failed – like the princes who tried to climb up a glass mountain to the bride.  What could it be that makes the painters despair?   Why should I be like them?  I heard a sort of music around her, and drew what I saw in my mind’s eye.



flower the Despair of painters 1988

A painting done perhaps the following year.  I wiped my dirty palette from the previous painting across the canvas, and that was my landscape.  I outlined the found geologies and polished them a little.  The Flower floats up to me from a pegged-down Violet Crystal, and near the Crystal, a little green man seems to fly her as a kite.  Or he might be a painter, trying too hard.   I didn’t draw him – he was just a splash of paint.  But you might see something entirely different.   What do you see?

Smeared paint with knife or brush turned into fishes, the fish of my dreams, swimming through.


The Elephant’s Child

When my mind raced, I would go outdoors for a walk around the block, slow, conscious and curious, like an elephant or a four year old, and notice things.   To peg the mental dynamo to body tempo, earths and slows it right down.   I used to have a chatter in my head all day long.   I discovered that when I look out of the window and hear each word, at the actual tempo of speech, it gets too bored to endure itself, and collapses.

Walk the talk to calm it down, and not get carried away!   To yourself … or to someone who hears … say each word.   Soon you may not want to say any more.

Tie the tempi of the mental centre to the moving centre (the body), and learn to dance.  Mindstuff moves like lightning, much faster than real life.   That is where all the trouble starts.



Quantock heather path after rain

The point, with these drawings for self healing, towards world healing, is that anyone can do it.   Drawing goes wrong when we try to do it too fast, like the grownups – then we are out of touch with it.    I slowed right down, and learned to draw  the feeling slowly, using my whole arm’s movement in that space, letting my body move like a child, a path, not knowing what the line might do, or where it might go, but believing in it.  Sometimes I drew with my eyes closed, then looked.   It was liberating.  It is liberating to find and feel what is true to myself, and stick to that.   It is liberating to dance, to take a stroll with charcoal and the line.

There might be a bit more to this, in the morning.


22 August

It is now tomorrow morning, and as I thought, there is a bit more.   Souls move off the grid and into the medicine forest.

But “In Touch” was written towards all persons who get depressively suicidal.  My cher ami told me another;  the black girl up the road called him again and again at the weekend, and at last he went, and he saw her through, sat with her, jollied her out of trying it again.  We discussed suicidal feelings for a while.  He is a very firm person.

I am a river and I find my valley.  Other souls see my pebbles and Quantock paths.  Depression, locked in syndrome, is when nobody sees what you are and what you see.  There is no worse pain.

So perhaps with one depressed – can say, say to me what you see;  and see it too, without chatter.

This doesn’t turn the clock back for one who took her life;  or for those who love her;  but a sudden death – (I saw a guy on the Underground, just after I heard the news, he wore a SUDDEN DEATH tee-shirt and shades!) – a sudden death traps that fleeing soul in the tears and shock and guilt she leaves.  I – we – go on seeing what she sees, until she loosens and is able to move on.  As far as I know, and have always felt since childhood, death is no end, it is a gateway –  like birth, but into a consciousness whose continuity is not “on-the-line of life”.  The consciousness encircles it.   A lifetime is one detail in that sphere, a whorl, a dust-devil dancer, a moving-centre lost, wrapt within itself.   So perhaps what she feels more acutely than she can say, is the LOSS.   The being lost.

But a point of Life within a circle of Consciousness, is circumpunct, the ancient Solar symbol.

Seeing what another sees, is not explicit, for we are built open, and yet are private.   It is more, a willingness in the essence, to be open.  (I am always on the learning curve, with this.  I chip away at my conditioning.)

So go well, violet flower child, along your moorland paths and through the rain.   His love, your friend, is with you.  Let him live, for he carries your wild colour in his heart.

He carries your amethyst to whom he may next love, and their children.  Nothing ends.  It all flows on.


Having written this, a transpersonal pattern clears.  There is a meeting whose roads cannot quite move on through each other – a Karmic cul de sac.   Rising up, up above the Violet Crystal to the flower which is the Despair of painters, I see that she in her subconscious roll and pitch, gives him liberty.   See the picture.

The existential despair of a suicide, is not the full picture.  They are pressed to do it, and they exaggerate the prompt, because their boat rocks wildly.  But the full picture is the way all the pieces move around, together.  The sudden death is yet a gate for her to move through, and for him to go through into his new chapter.  He is a Capricorn, and the amethyst is his true grit.

Many souls feel suicidal in life’s spiky graph at this time.  Being touched, this is written towards all who are feeling this way, to try to companion them … a strong pulse of the violet healing radiance in the dew.  Don’t try to end it, because you can’t, ever.  Keep going.   Go well.


World Compass:  Go High, Deep, Far and Wide


My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

6 thoughts on “In Touch: Art as Healing

  1. Hi there,
    Don’t ask me how my internet time brought me here, but Line Dance 2 is one of the coolest drawings!

      • You are so welcome!

        So, I guess this is a potentially strange question, but I have been planning to get a tattoo for a while of a line drawing of a dancer. And I just feel so connected to the main figure (and the incredible facial expression) in Line Dance 2 that I am curious about you thoughts of me using your art in a tattoo? It is just a thought (and maybe a crazy one at that!) but I wanted to throw it out there!

        Additionally I am curious if there was any feeling or thought in particular that contributed to this drawing?


  2. Hello Janie
    Sorry I’ve been a few days getting back to you – yes, with pleasure, use this. I looked up in my journal what was going on when I did this drawing – end of April ’87, the drawing was one of about 9 or 10 I did that day – and the feeling was that of turning a great grief or anger over into a dance of joy or resignation – negative into positive – a failed love into a triumph. It felt like the pipes of Pan, the rites of spring, the growth of flowers, and rotation – an energy release. I am so glad you like the drawing. May you dance with it!

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