Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Flow (art): throwback

As the rainy season in my new Oregon home is just getting underway, I've been thinking about water and the healing properties of it. This seemed like a good time to re-visit a project I did last spring, called "Flow." The writing below is for a spring event, but it is equally applicable to fall's reflections and preparation for change. 

Primordeal and powerful, water is ever-present in our lives. We are surrounded with water and filled with water and nourished by water. Water flows through us and our planet in an endless cycle of movement and cleansing. In the springtime, we watch the snow on the mountains melt and trickle down through our forests…and with it comes life. Lichens uncurl, moss returns to a vibrant green. The ground under our feet awakens and, if we’re lucky, we get to watch. 

We joined together in a meditation on the healing nature of water and the importance of slowing down and noticing the small details and subtle rhythms around us. I made a series of big ceramic bowls inspired by the swirling of water and the greens of moss and lichen, which were filled with forest infusions and hidden in the woods on a mossy path by a stream. 

Each bowl held a different infusion with a different purpose, from the enlightening elderflower to the grounding mugwort. Each participant got a small cup with which to sample the various infusions, a sketchbook to record their thoughts in, and a map of the infusions’ flavors that served as a guide to the experience. 

The flavors and scents of the infusions in the bowls guided each participant to unlocking their creativity through written prompts included in their map. They engaged all of their senses in becoming grounded, relaxed, and inspired in Idaho’s forests. We all embraced the flow.

Hopefully this winter when I inevitably grow tired of the constant raining I will remember the intention behind embracing water as a means to meditation and health. I will remember that it is life-giving and cleansing and soothing. I will wake up happy to hear the rain on my rooftop, and I will go out into the soggy woods and smell the scent of life. Oregon winter, I'm ready for you. 

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