Saturday, July 29, 2006

GAIA LUNA: Four Directions

A short first tour of Gaia Luna.

WATER (West)

Just inside the entrance to Gaia Luna is this hand made faux stone bowl. Rainwater collects in the bowl (West/Water). This direction is also associated with water/release/flow/culmination.

The bowl was sculpted from a mixture of portland cement, perlite and peat moss, very durable and lightweight. Here's some info about the process, though I learned about it at a workshop. It is the only object in the garden that isn't made of natural stone. The plants behind it are lambs ears, planted in a circle around the central bed.

EARTH (North)

Walking toward the left around the garden, is the North/Earth/Winter/renewal/wisdom stone. The Earth stone is the larger brown stone in the background. The color associated with North is white. Plants closest the Earth Stone are winter savory, horehound, garlic and horseradish.

Sitting in front of the Earth Stone is the Moon Stone. This stone was added in June. It circles the garden according to the phases of the moon. This picture was taken last Tuesday when the moon was new (dark). The correspondenses of direction and moon phase according to traditional moon lore are: North - New Moon, East - Waxing, South - Full, West - Waning.

AIR (East)

East is the direction of Spring/Air(Wind)/Inspiration/Beginnings (color - yellow). After I arranged the stones for East, I discovered that the ancient symbol for air looks very much like the shape made by the top two stones, a triangle with a horizontal line crossing it parallel to the base.

The small square stone in the front is a resting place for other objects, including the Moon stone during its waxing phase.

The plants are lady's mantle in the front, lemon thyme on either side, and dill behind, just barely visible.

FIRE (South)

The only recent picture I have for Fire/South is shown in the photo from a previous post with the barn in the background. South also is the direction of Summer and the Sun, as well as passion/enthusiasm/proliferation. I chose to plant with colors associated with direction by some native american traditions - blue and purple.

For obvious reasons, some traditions assign red and orange to Fire/South. I chose to follow the traditions that link red and orange with West and Fall because culmination and release relate more closely this phase in the cycles of a woman's body.

WATER (West)

We are back at the entrance where we started. The photo above shows one of a pair of stone figures that form a gateway. Created by balanced stones, they have a similar meaning to the inuksuit (singular inuksuk) or stone people built by the Inuit, though mine are built on a much smaller scale. The red flower beside it is bergamot.

Just down the hill in this direction are the calm tidal waters of the Mystic River.

Friday, July 28, 2006

GAIA LUNA: Entering

Welcome to my earth moon garden, Gaia Luna. Gaia Luna speaks the language of stones, earth, leaves and seasons. It embodies the cyclic nature of the creative process.

You stand at the entrance. You face East where the yellow sun rises beyond the woods and the field. This is the direction where change begins, the direction of Wind and Inspiration, the direction of Spring.

Stepping back, you see the whole garden. The door to the barn is behind you, the gardening tools, pottery wheel and old scale there in the cool darkness.

Tomorrow, we will enter the garden.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I'm about to head out the work in the barn glazing about 60 Sacred Shards pendants, plus a dozen labyrinth pocket stones and another dozen or so word stones.

So I thought it was time to share some photos.

Standing inside Gaia Luna, looking past the "South/Fire/Summer" stone, the barn is visible in the background. The plants, from left to right, are eggplant and marjoram, basil in the background, with a few weeds sprinkled in between.

My view from inside the Sacred Shards Art Barn. This is the same door visible in the photo above. My kickwheel in the foreground and an improvised work bench on the right. That's where I'll be sitting to work in just a few minutes.

On Saturday I passed a yard sale at a very old farm near here. I needed a scale to weigh my clay (for making vessels of about the same size on the wheel). This one was so rusted that the green paint was completely hidden and the tile on the top is cracked, but it still works! After a bunch of scrubbing a little WD40 it was ready to take it's place in the Art Barn atop a set of shelves from the same sale. Total cost: $5.

My gardening tools on the side of the barn opposite my work bench. I like to arrange them like this. It has a peacefulness about it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

GAIA LUNA: Weeding

I like pulling weeds.

I like the feeling of the roots letting go from the soil with one smooth tug. I like the smell of the earth as it turns over. I'm proud of the dirt stains on the knees of my old blue jeans.

I like the tools I have for digging and tilling. They've been passed along from parents and grandparents, worn smooth by many hands.

I like the quiet and repetition of weeding. I find myself pulling up worries along with the weeds.

At the end of the day, I dump the bucket filled with weeds and worries at the edge of the yard where the the brambles grow wild.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

SACRED SHARDS: Messy Momentum

Finally, a photo.

That wasn't so difficult! Digital camera connected by cable to PC, copy image from camera to PC, upload to blog. Hurray!

Our dining room table has become a production space this week. The reddish brown and white items at the left of the photo are bisque fired pottery pieces waiting to be glazed and high fired. The chocolatey looking pieces on the right are unfired pendants in various stages of drying. The darkest pieces were just made this morning.

In the past 2 days I've sculpted 38 more Sacred Shards pendants, in between teaching lessons and barely tending to household needs.

When I'm in the active (versus contemplative) phase of the creative process the house ends up looking like there was a combined explosion in a laudry mat, convenience store and art supply store.

Eventually, things cycle around to the domestic/practical side. The bills get paid, the laundry washed and put away, the pile of dishes in the sink washed and the refrigerator restocked. The house will eventually return to a state of order, though only temporarily.

If I derail the creative process with "shoulds", like cleaning, precious momentum is lost and nothing moves forward.

A mess is a small price to pay.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Divine Tree Fall - Close Call

I had a very close call this past week. I escaped harm by mere seconds and didn't know it until afterward.

It got me thinking about divine intervention, wondering about such things as whether I was being watched over and protected, or whether it was just by lucky chance that I wasn't squashed like a bug.

This past Thursday I drove to a small local nursery to pick up a flat of ajuga (bugle weed) I'd ordered to edge the southern border of Gaia Luna. I was walking the short distance from my car to the greenhouse when a woman who works there shouted that the electricity had just gone off. I completed the transaction with cash and prepared to head home.

Just 4/10 of a mile from the nursery the flashing lights of a volunteer firefighter's truck blocked my way. Behind it, electric cables sparked across the pavement.

A large oak tree had fallen across the road, taking powerlines down with it.

Sunny day. No wind. Very strange.

I turned my car around, realizing that I had passed this way before, within seconds of the tree‘s collapse.

I felt as if I had been spared, wondered if someone had been watching over me, protecting me.

It was a reminder that anything can happen at anytime to anyone. Being spared from harm is not a reward for faith and good behavior. Misfortune is not a punishment for disbelief or sin. There is no Divine Vending Machine where we drop in coins of belief, push the button of prayer, and collect the material blessings of our choice.

Good things can happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people. When and why are mysteries impossible to solve in this lifetime.

The value is knowing that "I" am much more than what happens to me, or even what I do. True for each of us. We are more than physical beings. It's what we chose to do with this knowledge that matters.

Pain and suffering are part of rules of the game in this life. I choose to live my life to create joy and compassion where I can, hoping to lessen and avert the suffering of others when possible.

Believing in Something Greater than myself helps me to value the small blessings that come my way. It's also a resource of strength for times of hardship.

Trees fall. Sometimes they squash people. Sometimes they don't. We don't get to choose which. We do get to choose how we treat each other and ourselves, before, during and after. That's what matters.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Herding Turtles

Recently, I was commiserating with an artist friend who also prefers to work on multiple projects at one time.

She said she spends time each day on many different things, but feels like it's taking forever to bring anything to completion.

I said, "Right! It's like herding turtles. The turtles and I are all headed somewhere. We're just not getting there very fast."

The up side is that at this pace the turtles (my projects) don't go astray very quickly either.

Friday, July 07, 2006

GAIA LUNA: New Residents

A trip to the nursery this morning. Guess who followed me home! Below, I've also listed where each plant will be placed.
  • bronze fennel (south - purple)
  • fern leaf dill (east - yellow)
  • French tarragon (north - white)
  • cilantro (west - red)
  • horehound (north - white)
  • lemon verbena (east - yellow)
  • zucchini and yellow crookneck squash (east - yellow)
  • a blackberry bush! (south - purple)
  • and horse radish (north - white)
  • red creeping sedum (west - red)

Tomorrow, I'll be up early, while the air is still cool, to plant everyone in their new home.

Monday, July 03, 2006

NEW SONG: The Moon and Sun MORE!

And what did I do today? I played through all my songs for the Dolphin's Daughters CD and ended up writing two more verses for "Moon and Sun".

Words traditional, with additional lyrics and music by Kay Pere

The New Moon rises with the Sun.
Her waxing half the midday shows.
The Full Moon climbs at sunset hour.
And waning half the midnight knows.

Moon and Sun, the great romance,
Spinning high then bowing low.
Love's ancient luminescent dance,
Shine upon us here below.

A woman rises with the sun.
Her work half done when midday shows.
She climbs the stairs at sunset hour,
And candlelight the midnight knows.

Moon and Sun, the great romance,
Spinning high then bowing low.
Love's ancient luminescent dance,
Shine upon us here below.

A child is born like rising sun.
He seems half grown as midday shows.
His colors climb at sunset hour,
And quiet rest the midnight knows.

Moon and Sun, the great romance,
Spinning high then bowing low.
Love's ancient luminescent dance,
Shine upon us here below.

COPYRIGHT 2006 - Effusive Muse Publishing

NEW SONG: The Moon and Sun

Yesterday, someone asked me what I had done all day and I replied, "not much," until I remember that I had written a song. Hows that for art becoming a routine part of everyday life?!

The words for the first part are a very old traditional rhyme describing where the moon is seen in the sky as it moves through it's phases. I've written the melody and harmonized it so it can be song either as a solo, an echo song, or a round, building as you go with audience participation.

The second part is a contrasting chorus, my own words and music. (I really need to figure out how to create simple rough recordings of new songs to post online) This will be on the Dolphin's Daughters CD.

Words traditional, with additional lyrics and music by Kay Pere

The New Moon rises with the Sun.
Her waxing half the midday shows.
The Full Moon climbs at sunset hour.
And waning half the midnight knows.

Moon and Sun, the great romance,
Spinning high then bowing low.
Love's ancient luminescent dance,
Shine upon us here below.

COPYRIGHT 2006 - Effusive Muse Publishing