Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pssst... Pasha has an announcement

My studio assistant would like you to know that I was invited to post on 
Terri Windling's amazing blog, Myth & Moor. If you don't know her or her blog, 
and are interested in myth and magic and beautiful
mythic illustrations, you need to!

Go HERE to read my post, and make sure to root around there to discover 
all the wonderful treasures to be found on the misty, green moor. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Whispering Wood

One evening, just before dusk, the forest called me out.
I wandered, mindful of every footfall in the whipsering wood.  

A Thrush and a Veery sang their fluting songs - the mamma
birds putting their babies to sleep, my mother used to say. 

Though I often walk this way, journeying at the edge of the 
light was an entirely different experience. 

I found myself on a mossy stone, where I often sit and sing, 
transported by the call of one tiny frog.

I sensed watchers all around, wondering why I came 
in the hours reserved for them.  

I am grateful to be feeling a bit better, to be full-time in the studio 
this summer. I feel free to wander and dream. It has been a long time 
since I've had such space. Blue-gray winter shifts to misty, healing green, 
and I find myself lost in a quiet meditation while painting this new work. 

"Spring Mists", watercolor, 15" x22", VClaff 2013

"Forest Glade", watercolor, 15" x22", VClaff 2013

painting - almost done

"Spring Green", watercolor, 11"x30", VClaff 2013

 I've been watching a bloodroot leaf change, 
and have become obsessed with the sublte shifts in color. 

In the studio today, Grace's Grass Woman reached out her 
hand and asked for the leaf - a spectacular combination, 
I must say! ( and I love the spiraling shadow behind her head)

In the garden, the Mountain Laurel bursts exuberantly 
beside the Spirea, but out in the forest, the show 
belongs to the laurel. 

Rarely do I see the tree frogs, but this mid-summer visitor slept all day 
in a crevice on my deck, except when I came around to see if he was 
still there. I finally had a chance to thank this beautiful creature for 
his song. Go here for a sample of the sounds of summer 
at RavenWood. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Visiting Stones, A Woodland Medicine Garden, and Laying to Rest in the Mosses

Potholes - Salmon Falls, Shelburne Falls, Mass

My weekly posts have turned into monthly, it seems for the moment. A post full 
of images, but maybe not so much writing. Its a good day to post as the remnants 
of a tropical storm passes through, bringing steady rains and cool temperatures. 

The month of May began with steady garden work - and an injury when a board I 
stepped on flew up and put a screw into my lower leg. Not such a bad cut, but I 
hadn't had a tetanus shot in a long while. Being chemically sensitive, I dreaded 
getting the shot, but knew it was needed. I might be down for a week or so in 
response to the shot, but better than getting tetanus. Unfortunately, when I 
went to the clinic, I discovered that one cannot get just a tetanus shot right now, 
it is bundled with several other vaccines of viruses that are running around. For 
a chemically sensitive person, this increases the risk of having a reaction, so I 
was not pleased. And, so, the slippery slope of illness ensued. 

A slight infection in the wound might have cleared up easily, if I hadn't been 
so exhausted from my reaction to the shot. A week of rain flattened me as it 
triggered my mold allergy and a sinus infection, and, on top of my already 
shaky standing, it was just too much. Luckily, I have a wonderful alternative 
health practitioner, and am on the road to feeling better. The rain today has 
increased the mold in the air, and all energy has drained from me. I might have 
skipped all this information,  but I thought I'd share as often folks don't quite 
understand the challenges of not being able to handle the typical medical 
routes. Healing for me can take longer, and for years I just muddled through with 
self-perscribed herbs and homeopathy. The good news is that I am now working 
with such a gifted healer who is helping me pinpoint the root causes of my 
sensitivities and, though down at the moment, I am feeling a deep shift in my core. 

At the end of May, my father visited from Florida for a few days. 
We took a day trip to visit some places with stones. Above, Dad stands in 
front of a cairn at Three Sister's Sancturary in Goshen, Massachusetts, an amazing 
stone art garden. Below, Dad's hands at the potholes at Salmon Falls, 
in Shelburne Falls, Mass. 

 Both the naturally occurring stone formations at the falls and the 
human-made stone work at the Sanctuary are equally amazing. I was pleased 
to share them with my father, as he says that he doesn't miss the cold and snow
of New England since moving to Florida, but he does miss the stone. 

During the days of illness, I put whatever creative energy - or whatever 
energy I had at all - into the gardens. Cleaning up winter refuse, 
and working on the Woodland Garden in the rear of the house. 
It is truly a place of sanctuary and healing for me. I worked for a bit, 
 then collapsed in a chair for a while to rest, then back to work. 
I managed to get a lot done, in between rests and long afternoon naps!

On the last day of May, I gathered with two dear friends, 
to co-create a ritual to spread my mother's ashes in the Moss Garden. 
She loved the ferns and mosses here, and, shortly after I moved to RavenWood, 
shared that she wanted her ashes spread in the Moss Garden. Our ritual was simple - 
we sang with drum and crystal bowl, and I walked three circles around the 
garden sprinkling ash. I feel blessed to have the essence of my mother 
mingling with the beauty of the land, and look forward to feeling 
how this might change my relationship with the forest.