Elisabeth

dandelionseed, by nextbigfuture.com

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Water and sand: Elisabeth Tomalin, 4 November 1912 – 8 March 2012:  her pioneering therapies.

http://www.thecnj.com/review/2009/102909/feature102909_01.html

What are you up to now, Elisabeth?  Do you enjoy my sand castles?  Oh yes, we heard you in the kitchen, that day in July, as tough and dainty as a tiny turning leaf, and clapping with one hand –  the Olympics, and Tom Heatherwick’s torch of Time.

I meant to sketch you, ever since you died.  Now we are in Scorpio, with Saturn and Mercury across the threshold;  a very good time to find and be with you.  I feel your creative presence, your voice now hale, whole and free from the dragging pain of age and failing skin and nerve-ends:  you give me elemental colours – clear peat-brown water, wet rocks and emerald bogmoss –  for the Yin winter, the seed descending deep under the frost.

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I sat straight down, got out the photo, and drew Elisabeth first from upside down …

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then with my left hand …

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… then with the right …

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… and then as a portrait.   This took a while.

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I felt her strongly.  At moments, it was my Self portrait looking out, and back at me.  She would have loved me to draw her when she was alive.  When she was dying in the care home, I was not kind, I didn’t visit her regularly.  I resented the long bus route and felt dead tired.  Her physical and emotional agony, bedridden and “useless” at nearly 100 years old, was heavy going.  Her busy mind craved words, oracles and philosophy;  she was deaf.  She longed interminably to die, and it kept her waiting.   Companionship could be silence, which she did not want.

I am tired of my “good-likeness” portraits.  How to draw an honest line?  Doing it upside down, or with my left, I have no choice but to really look, and not assume that I know better.

Then, like playing something on the piano, remember to loosen and let my arm as a whole move the charcoal, from the spine;  not just the habitual hand.  My hand with the whole arm movement, is sensitive, more humble.   Be conscious how the human is:  stop,  wait, follow.  Be delicate; watchful;  bold.  Keep looking.   Hear her.

There comes a magical power of connection – the living human contour of my friend.  I see and feel her lifetimes, the young Princess Soaja, the sharp and ageless pilgrim, her bandy legs, Scorpio birth,  a Jewish woman of history, the art therapist giving me, right now, an intense sand-and-water session on my dreams.

I see her in her white wicker basket with her sharp nose in the air and all the lines in her face erased:  the utter stillness and relief.  She got there at last.

Then summer came.  Look at her managing the Olympic Games with glee through her “phenomenally gifted” grandson.  Remove all frames of time – ignite the essence!

When Thomas visited his grandmother he sometimes brought his latest architectural plans to show her.   She made suggestions.  She lay in her sore bed the weary hours, visualising and pondering the buildings and designs.   Granny Soaja needed to control things, and she was very difficult.   Yet she submitted to some of her frustrations with a gentle dignity.

Who knows what dandelion seeds caught hold?  Tom’s Olympic cauldron is a child of his Shanghai Seed Cathedral.  In the nation-wide convergence and goodwill of the beacon  bearers, real people came forward with the flame, the seed of light;  the cult of celebrity began to die.

Elisabeth is active beyond her body.  Her irrepressible child dances through the astral plane “across our time”.  She had a passion for the creative lineage through her family, and its survival.  The tugging worry of all that, is now away under the bridge.  She loves her people, her strong daughter Stefany, and her family, and to tell them what to do.

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Honesty to the life line is a soft and crumbling charcoal tip … slowly along acceptance.   To watch the breath as the Buddhists say, is like drawing someone.   Watch it in that way;  like plain water beginning to taste nice.

To so-called watch the breath as a meditation felt meaningless.  I didn’t know how.  The attention jumped off, like a needle from a dusty record.  But the drawing lesson with Elisabeth showed the way for me.  It comes alive, and is not by the book.

Coda

This my poem
a seeding dandelion clock 
is a globe upon a stalk 

and every where 
I blow, the once 
upon a time it tells.

photo by daviddarling.info

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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.

Para-Olympic … Beyond Olympus

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This photo, on yesterday’s London Metro, says it all.  And so – surprisingly – does a TV commercial for strongbow pear cider! – an archer pulling back the string, lets go.

“Para” is a latin root, meaning placing beside, which also suggests beyond or outside the norm.  Many of our words – parable, parabola, paralysis, paradox, paradise – carry this meaning.

A Poem:  Coda

This my poem 
a seeding dandelion clock 
is a globe upon a stalk 

and every where 
I blow, the once 
upon a time it tells. 
                                       Poems of Eclipse, 2000

Mandala sphere of every whereness – the point of being.  Consciousness, inward as outward, dives into the heart infinitely, all ways.

A wikipedia image

Here is Margaret Maughan who lit Tom Heatherwick’s Torch of Time on Wednesday:  as the mandala rises from flower to stem;  from petals to stamens. 

The golden thread of the dandelion clock runs through all our waters and strings all our beads.

A few impressions of the festival –  a woman sings Handel in pure voice.   The new Olympian whose legs were blown off in the July 05 bombings tells:  the fate was her destiny.  She would not, could not be without it.  Clare Balding replies: fate is what you are born with, destiny is what you do with it.  An unlegged abseiler brings the torch down into the stadium on spider’s thread;  and Stoke Mandeville veteran Margaret Maughan lights the Para-Olympic Flame.   A Grail Cup emerges through inverted umbrella curves of light.  From above, I see the stadium – a concentric flower – it is a trembling drop in the pool.  In the beginning, with homage to the big bang and bosen higgs’ particle of Life, Stephen Hawking invites us to be curious;  towards the end, Alison Lapper’s huge pregnant figure bears the fruit.   Shakespeare’s Tempest is an enquiring child.    The disabled are flying in the interior cosmos, to roam and freely rove.   The simple images are very powerful.  There are as many human cells in the brain, as stars in our galaxy.  Each individual sitting on the tube is a galaxy.  Neuron threads inside my head encircle our world four times.

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Yesterday – I wasn’t feeling well, and needed to open my eyes – I walked from Amersham to Great Missenden, and met this gentleman:

… he might be looking down into the Olympic stadium:  how soft his long neck is.   And there is an eye, a vesica pisces, a forming, becoming a sphere …

Further along the lane … Inside the saxon/norman church of St John the Baptist in Little Missenden village, this early medieval fresco has been uncovered:

… and isn’t that an olympic torch he bears in his right hand?

This morning I read:  “The Self is the good shepherd of the parables, and none of the sheep, the human personal expressions, is lost forever.”

Isn’t St Christopher, though carrying none other than the Child, the good shepherd?  That is “the me” on his shoulder, and my full potential is the Christ.   (a good way to handle/heal my sore stiff neck – on my left shoulder, just like St Christopher’s, and softly without hurry, like the swan:  walk glide tall.)  Christopher bore his burden across a flowing torrent, rocks and water, human strife, disability, to the sands.

In Greek mythology, the hero Jason did too.  His burden was an angry old woman, she clung around his neck and scolded him;  and he set down at the far shore, none other than Hera, the Goddess of the Hearth.  Patience.

Para means “beyond” or “to one side of” – as in parabola (para beside, bola to throw) … parable, compare … paralysis (para beside or derange, lys loosen) … paradox (contrary to received opinion) … paradise (the disus or greek paradeisus is a park or pleasure ground. Reflect also on other words – paraglide, paraclete, parallel …

I and you and every one of us has some disability or pain of life.  A Para-Olympian through her or his damaged and disabled frame, pain and courage, achieves something which is beyond Olympus.  Thus their extraordinary inspiration to us all.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Hemisphere perfection:  A photo from Friends of Charles Darwin

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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.