Saturday, August 31, 2013

Magic & Transformation in the Forest

There's always a healthy dose of mystery and magic in the forest, but August at 
RavenWood was an enchanted month. First, the amazingly talented Lauren Raine, 
artist, mask maker and ritual performer came to the studio to share her wonderful 
creations. A few folks gathered to see a collection of Lauren's masks and to listen 
to her speak about her work with the archetype of the Goddess and her traveling 
mask project. What an evening! The studio was alive with the charged energy of 
her amazing creations. See her web site here, her beautiful blurb book on her Masks of the Goddess project here and her blog post on her visit, here

Lauren now lives in Arizona, but for many years, lived not far north of here in Vermont. We met originally through our blogs, but soon discovered that we have many people in common. It was wonderful to have her here to share her masks and to walk with her in the forest that she had come to know a little in photographs. Lauren's masks are very powerful and travel around the country to be used by performance groups. She is 
quite generous to share her extraordinary creations with groups working with the 
Goddess archetypes, and what transpires because of this generosity is amazing. Do 
follow the link to her web site and go to the "Gallery" and follow links to some 
beautiful images of her masks in performances. 

I enjoyed seeing my paintings behind Lauren and her masks, and wished I might 
be able to make an enormously large forest backdrop for a mask performance... 
I love that idea. 

I took most of August off from the studio enjoying a nice long visit from my 
father and a quick one from my sister and niece. The weather was glorious - 
warm, sunny with low humidity. Though I wasn't in the studio, I completed a 
big project that I have been dreaming all summer - a stone patio in the 
Woodland Garden. With stone from the neighbor's stone pit and several trips to 
the river, a patio took shape.   

Pasha took on the role of the overseer, when not sleeping, that is. 

Eventually, smaller river stones will fill more of the cracks along with mosses and 
some alpine plants. Just a bit of edging stone to do still, and another trip to the river 
for small stones. The transformation of this area from mostly post-construction sandy 
soil to stone patio is quite amazing. I'm looking forward to the softening the mosses 
and plants bring.

Being so busy with guests and outdoor projects kept me out of the forest for a bit, 
but last week, Pasha and I wandered amongst the mosses, giant ferns and a huge 
variety of mushrooms. Days and nights are filled with the droning hum of crickets, 
and though it is loud and inescapable, it seems soothing and grounding to walk in 
the thick of it. 

Truly a magical August at RavenWood - I settled into a peaceful flow, forced myself 
to take weeks off to restore and renew before my teaching year resumed. I did  
a newsfast, was only on the computer for short stints, and spent most of the month 
outside working, or sitting in the filtered sunlight under the big beech, sipping kombucha and allowing the humming cricket sounds to do whatever magic it does.