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  • I kept looking at the painting that was a flop, so far, it just didn't have that zing, it was total ugly chaos and I didn't know what it needed. It sat in my studio for at least 6 months, going nowhere.

    In the meantime, women were marching all over the world and standing up for their rights. Many people thought it was about Trump, and in a way it was, but it was also about all the past times when women and children have been raped and abused and not treated with love and respect. I found the marches exhilarating and positive, and as I looked at that sad painting, I knew that I wanted to put that energy into the canvas.

    I decided to be bold and slapped and rubbed white paint over parts of it in a free intuitive way, I mean, it was already a mess, how could I make it any worse? I left it to dry and came back to it later, and there was a face peering out at me, in fact, there were several faces in there. The woman hidden in the chaos of paint and texture, was asking to be brought into clarity along with a cat like animal. I began birthing this Goddess with no name, rising from the foggy mist of the paint, drawing out her features along with the spotted cat. I emphasized the spirals, and glued down a small plastic snake for the energy of kundalini, that rises in our spine through the spinning energy spirals of the 7 main chakras, according to the teachings of ancient eastern yoga traditions and other cultures around the world.
  • As I went to bed that night, Synchronicity stepped into the picture and the painting. I picked up an old yoga journal from the large stack of unread magazines, and opened it to where the bookmark was when I had stopped reading it who knows when. 'Summon the spirit to make positive changes by calling on Durga, warrior goddess of strength and protection'.* Yes, how perfect, we women were calling on this Indian Goddess worldwide, whether we knew it or not, and I was calling on her personally for strength and powerful changes as well. She has arrived with her spotted cat, and the door is open.

    When I finished the painting, I was pleased with it. Sometimes there are battles that take place on a canvas with a paint brush, and we are richer for the experience that transforms and changes us and our little world inside of us, through the hidden symbols that we use and process while we are creating. When our inner world changes, our outer world also changes, and it ripples out like the flapping of the butterfly's wings and the rings from a pebble dropped in still waters, (and there is an almost invisible butterfly in the painting, along with a face with eyes closed in meditation).
  • My meditation on words for 2017, are Dream Clarity Chakra Dance. They each have special meanings that are manifesting in different ways such as a Facebook group that an artist friend and I started, on yoga and chakras. The clarity has several meanings for me such as clarity and lucidity in dreams and life in general, and dancing is just plain fun and good exercise.

    Clarity also has to do with another surgery on the eye that had cataract removal 4 months ago, as it still has a black spot in the middle of it and now there is fluid underneath the artificial lens that is causing my vision in that eye, to ripple like a carnival mirror. Fortunately it was not a detached retina, and the pressure in my eyes also wasn't present at the last exam. (I am checked every 3 months for pressure). I am having more tests run next week and they will then schedule the surgery. And I haven't told the story of the last surgery yet.
  • Durga's Story*

    Durga rides in on a lion (or sometimes a tiger) with her 8 arms holding the weapons of strength and protection, and she acts as an energy of transformation for women all over the world. In ancient times, Durga would be called on for help in battle and for raising kundalini for spiritual power and transformation.

    In 1993, the artist Arpita Singh, of New Delhi, did an oil painting of Durga with 4 arms, to call attention to women's issues in India. Now we are having worldwide action to bring women's issues to the front.

    In ancient times, a buffalo demon king and his brother, enslaved the people and banished the gods, who then became furious since they were powerless to get rid of the demons, because they had earned a boon from Brahma, where no male could destroy them. The gods hid in caves while trying to find a way to destroy the two demons. Then a wise man tells them that although the demons can't be conquered by any males, they might be conquered by a female warrior.

    In one story, they send out their anger and create Durga, a beautiful Goddess, with a part of each of them forming her. She is given Shiva's trident, Vishnu's discus, Vayu's bow and arrow, and a lion from Himalaya, the mountain god. She also carries a spear, a lotus for fertility, a conch for creative sound, and a rosary for prayer.

    In another story, the gods travel to the mountains to find Durga and ask for her help. She appears from the clouds, as a beautiful seductive Goddess and agrees to help them. She then travels to the demons who are entranced with her beauty and seduction and want her in their harem. They propose to her, but she tells them that she has vowed to only marry a man that can beat her in battle. They have never been defeated and think she is mad, but they send their battalions to battle with her. She defeats all of them and then defeats both of the demon kings, who die in ecstasy as they swoon and dissolve into her body. Durga returns to the mountains and vows to help those in need, who call on her for help.

    The two demon brothers that she fight and conquers, represent our inner obstructions on our journey to awakening and transformation, as we conquer and dissolve those obstructions.
  • *The story of Durga was taken from an article in Yoga Journal, June 2013, by Sally Kempton and was adapted from her book, 'Awakening Shakti: the Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga'. There are other versions of her story also.

    The first photo is of the finished painting and the last photo is of the canvas before I put the white paint on it and had peacock feathers and the butterfly that I painted on old book paper laying on top in the positions that I never glued down. I'm glad I didn't and kept working on it instead. The feathers and butterfly will appear in another painting somewhere down the line. Sometimes we have to let go to move on.
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