Narcissus, “Reality TV, and the Power of a Compelling Narrative in the Year 2020 – NY JCF Roundtable Event
What would it feel like to feel complete within yourself? Is there something that has been holding you back? A fear? An old wound?
What if…you were able to dive into that fear, down into the belly of that whale, and then re-emerge again safe, whole, and healed?
In the silence between the thoughts, anything becomes possible. Take the chance…Try sitting in silence for 5 minutes today and see what happens.
If thoughts intrude, don’t be discouraged! That’s what brains do. They create thoughts. Good news! You’re human! Simply acknowledge that your brain has a thought and return your attention to the silence in between.
Even if you are only able to do this for seconds at a time, it is still a few seconds of peace. Peace from thoughts of…
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The very talented Bruce Waldman has just written a book called Drawing for Everyone. A brilliant and respected illustrator, and yes, my wonderful cousin! 🙂
I wrote and illustrated this 160-page, how-to-draw book for Peter Pauper Press (pictured above). Drawing for Everyone is not only a step by step learning guide, but it also has tons of my best artwork printed in full color.
It took almost a year to complete, and was the most difficult undertaking that I had ever had in my professional career. Peter Pauper Press did a fabulous job designing and printing the book, and I must admit that I am quite proud of it.
Click on the images below to see the cover and two double-spreads from inside the book. It is already available to order on the internet, and will be out in the book stores in mid-July. I know that this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing that one dreams about doing and think can never happen. I…
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Last month, I felt a pull to visit my grandparents’ graves. Not one to believe that the soul/spirit remains in one static place after death, nevertheless, I found myself driving, alone, to sit and pay my respects to them on what would be their wedding anniversary. It reminded me of this blog piece I’d written for another website last year. For those who haven’t seen it…it follows here…
My grandmother was always the one who seemed to know what to do. She was always the logical one. She loved me endlessly, unconditionally, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t tell me that I was wrong if she disagreed with me. I lived in her home from four years old to eleven years old and considered her my second mother, and spent my childhood listening to my grandparents and their friends having big raucous parties filled with serious discussion and heated political debate, challenging games of scrabble, Cab Calloway songs, and lots of love.
In February of 1994, one month after the Northridge Earthquake shook me to my core, my grandmother was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. She didn’t smoke, and no one could tell her why this had happened to her. She had battled asthma all her life and had recently overcome a bad fall and injury to her hip, and a bout of Lyme Disease. She was always pretty resilient.
But Cancer was different.
By October of that year, I had moved to New York to be closer to her. The months I spent with her before her death were moving and horrible, loving and transformational. We talked about beliefs and life after death. I believed in it, she did not. Though despite this, she was not afraid.
She passed away on Valentine’s Day 1995, one year after her diagnosis. A day devoted to love was forever indelibly linked to a beloved grandmother’s death. This was the first time that I had ever lost someone I was close to. I can remember her funeral. Sitting in the memorial service, the rain was pouring down, streaming down the windows as if the world was crying for her. I was still in disbelief that she was gone.
Later that day, back at the house, the family gathered for food and reminiscing. But mostly, there was chatter. Lots of chatter. The chatter of people who were connected by blood, but hadn’t seen each other in years. I felt confused. How could these people who loved her be chattering about their own lives right now? What was all this meaningless chatter. I couldn’t take it. I was overwhelmed with grief. I ran upstairs to a bedroom and crawled beneath the collected coats and scarves amassed on the bed. Curled up and silent, I wished for the release of sleep.
For the next three nights in a row, I dreamed of my grandmother. In each dream, it was the same. We were sitting in her kitchen, as I spent many, many years of my childhood and adult life doing. She told me to look after my grandfather. After the third night, she was gone. That is…until one night, a couple of years later, when I was going to bed and I said a small prayer. I told my grandmother that I missed her and that I loved her and I heard, as clear as day, a voice that sounded like it was heard over a transistor radio, “I love you too.” I started for a moment and asked the voice if she had spoken to anyone else. My mother, a cousin… but there was no answer.
I then asked, “Are you happy? Are you OK?” In the next moment, I felt glowing warmth over my entire body, as if I were lying on a beach in the warm summer sun. In that moment, I knew she was okay. I felt relieved. I felt love.
Just wanted to share this wonderful mythic example of nonduality with my blogsters!
The Greek story of Demeter and Persephone celebrates the springtime. Persephone, who had been spirited away beneath the earth by her uncle, (they did that in those days…) Hades, to become the Queen of the Dead, returns in the spring to reunite with her mother, Demeter, the Goddess of Fertility and Harvest. This return to the light and the world of the living, mirrors the return of longer and (hopefully) warmer days. That which had been dead is now reborn, along with tulips, daffodils, and Cadbury chocolate eggs!
What will you do now that you are entering this time of renewal and emergence into the sun? Is it time to write that book you’ve always had burning inside you? Is it time to learn more about who you really are? Or, is it just time to sit on your deck, porch, or lanai and let the sun gently caress your face, enjoying the sound of the birds chirping and lawnmowers beginning their springtime rituals…
The words below from the film Hugo speak to the importance and interconnectedness of everyone and everything…You exist exactly as you should and your life will unfold perfectly. (That doesn’t mean you will get everything you want, but the story of your life is always an intricate masterpiece of sheer perfection!)
“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”