(Scroll down to see some paintings from this exhibit.)
“Water in its natural state shows us how it wants to flow, and we must obey its wishes.”
Water is the medium. Water is my brush. Using watercolors on wet paper, I allow the water’s capillary action to “suggest” an image from the natural world and then work with it, using a variety of methods. I have sought to capture scenes from nature with dazzling, bleeding color. The paintings are an exercise in “letting go” and allowing the creative energies to flow, after preparing the mind through meditation.
As abstractions, the paintings are personal visions—the impressions of light and color and thus do not always appear as they exist in the natural world. However, since landscapes are my passion, the results most often appear within the realm of that genre.
Finally these paintings, as renditions of nature, are reflections of the magnificence of the shimmering wilderness and thus, in some small measure, are my own awestruck reflections on the majesty of creation.
I look up and
my head swims
making me giddy
like all others
on this earth
gazing heaven toward
under a canopy
with infinitesimal degrees
of infinite distance.
Each a quiet distant world
in one of endless galaxies
in one of endless universes
in one of untold possibilities.
an optical delusion
in the dream
3000 years ago
the Rishis said that
the world of forms
was all mind stuff
In the 20 the century
Sir James Jeans
said the universe
consists of pure thought
each thing a moving,
ever changing manifestation
of the life force
there are no boundaries
when applied to sand
like those of snowflakes
does the sound of the mantra
to the silence
of the trees
science knows not
the fog and the snow and the mist
the silent cathedral
He wasn’t the only one who spoke of these things. I spent much time in grammar school at the house of my Polish friend whose mother was an artist. She told us about trees talking and, she used to say, talking to them made her feel happy. At the time I did not think much of it. But now, many years later, on walks, occasionally a tree will say something. Utter a benevolent greeting. And now, I find myself so in love with trees, I shoot portraits of them constantly, singly or in groups, with their “friends and relations.”
Any doubts I had about trees communicating were put to rest when I read in this paper, in J.Gordon Douglas’s column in the now defunct Dutchess CountyRegister Herald, about how trees in an area communicate with one another in planning their reproduction strategies for the season or warning each other chemically about caterpillar infestations. Scientists are not sure how. Maybe through the roots.
Not only do plants have feelings, they can also generate energy. See the website by artist, Caleb Charland. He used apple trees to generate light. Perhaps one day we will use plants for alternative energy– just another amazing aspect to nature’s ways:
Of course, hearing them “talk” is a little different. However, Valerie Wormwood, one of the world’s leading aromatherapists, in her book entitled The Fragrant Heavens, tells us not only does the earth hum but it emits a low frequency radio signal known as the ‘Shumann resonance” and this signal can be detected coming off trees. She relays that researchers in America wanted to know if this signal could be altered by human thoughts or feelings. They had a group of people circle a tree and say Native American prayers, sending the tree love. They attached electrodes like those measuring human brain waves to the tree. A response not only registered but the sensors went off the scale. Clearly some form of communication went on, confirming my Polish friend’s mother’s belief and many others as well. When trees are cut down we are not only destroying the tree we are cutting down and giving it a terminal sentence as firewood or worse, but we are also upsetting all the trees around the “victim.” The surrounding trees must witness their friend and neighbor being chopped down. Do they feel outrage, fear, sadness?
We do know now that they feel something. Wormwood tell us that in 1966 Cleve Backster, a lie detector expert in New York, had a group of students go into a room with 2 plants next to each other on a table. One of the 6 students was chosen to “murder” one of the plants, hacking it to bits and then they all left the room. After the attack Backster attached the lie detector to the “survivor” and had the students enter the room again one by one. The sensors were quiet as the “innocent” students entered but when the “attacker” entered they started jumping “wildly.” I think of this as I weed the gardens in the summer. Sometimes we are forced to cut down a tree and we must pick vegetables to eat. And we have to weed the gardens. But perhaps it is in how we do it. If we can express gratitude and appreciation and maybe an apology. Or if we could ask permission perhaps, as the Native Americans do. When they take from the earth they give an offering as well.
The Native Americans had the real idea for giving thanks, for thanksgiving. It was not about stuffing oneself with sweet potatoes and gorging on gravy and turkey. They gave Thanksgiving to Spirit in the earth, in the trees, in the animals, for whatever they took. Flowers “giggle” and trees “talk”. If only we would be attuned enough to listen. Sentient beings surround us and we must follow the lead of the Native Americans at Thanksgiving and give thanks for what we take from the earth, and, of course, from the animal kingdom, and give back something in return. Even if it is only words, but words with heart behind them, words that understand the sacrifice made by sentient beings for us, words that capture the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
Psychiatrist, Stanislov Grof, writes that there is such thing as cellular memory. Not only that but he says that all the universe is encoded in some way in the sperm and ovum. We walk around each day in our little lives unaware of the universe within.
All limited edition original photographs available in different sizes and formats.
How many bacteria are on the back of your hand?
How insects are in the universe beneath our feet
or above our heads?
How many grains of sand lie on the beaches of the earth?
How many waves float upon the earth’s seas?
How many bubbles rise up in all the water on our planet?
How many planets, stars and galaxies lie within the universe?
How many universes are suggested by the Multiverse theory?
What seems infinite is finite.
We have a perception of the Infinite though we ourselves are finite.
We have a conception of the Infinite through our perception of the finite.
The spark of the Infinite lies within our finite bodies.
It is called the Soul.
Carl Sagan, Astrophysicist:
“We are all star stuff.”
Professor Brian Cox, Particle Physicist:
“Every atom of carbon, every living thing on the planet is produced in the heart of a dying star.”
Sergio Toporek, Artist:
The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star.”
Dr. J.S. Bell, Quantum Physicist:
“No theory of reality compatible with quantum theory can require spatially separate events to be independent.”
Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist:
“Organisms can never be totally unrelated to one another, since it is all but certain that life as we know it originated only once on earth… Go backwards, no matter where you start, you end up celebrating the unity of life…”
The Beatles, Musicians:
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
Russell Targ, Physicist and ESP researcher and Dr. Jane Katra:
“… connection has been demonstrated repeatedly on the microscopic quantum level in experiments where pairs of photons (quanta of light) are sent off in opposite directions at the speed of light, but retain a connection, even after traveling many kilometers, whereby a change in the polarity of one photon observed by a researcher in Basel causes a corresponding change in the other photon observed by a researcher in Zurich.”
Joanne Elizabeth Lauck, Author of The Voice of the Infinite in the Small:
“… small changes in dynamic systems produce changes of great magnitude… small events emerging out of this wholeness give rise to nonlocal events, because all is connected.”
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Scientists and artists agree. We are all one. They just use different vocabulary.
In my tiny life, I have only found the experience of connectivity demonstrated twice. Once, when my father died in hospital across town from where I was working and I “felt” his death at the minute of his dying. I “knew” it. And the other, when my brother collapsed suddenly in Michigan from what was later determined to be lung cancer, and I lost my balance and fell simultaneously in New York City.
Of course, there are the little syncronicities: thinking of someone and then seeing them a few moments later or dear ones calling each other at the exact same minute, or saying the same thing at the same moment, thinking the same thoughts simultaneously, etc.
It is not just family and those close to usthat are connected to one another in this life (and perhaps in previous lives), but all of life is tied to one another, born of a dying star, born of star-dust material. And yet so often we see the “other” as foreign. As Einstein so eloquently said, this is the “optical delusion” of our consciousness.
We are all connected. Not by cell phones and computers and the social networks, but by the very building blocks that compose us. And, if we can rise above the everyday pettiness, a Herculean feat to be sure, and feel the one consciousness that flows through us all, we could tap into a limitless ocean of empathy, and a unity of being.
Grace flows through the limbs of a tree reaching skyward, its intricate patterns of branches pleasing the eye– just as grace flows through the orderly, spikey branches of frost on a window.
Patterns repeated ad infinitum in all creation.
A microcosm of the macrocosm and a macrocosm of the microcosm.
God’s breath breathes through all.