There are not many workshops happening these days. There are not many phone calls being made, brochures being handed out, or contacts being addressed. However, there is a harkening sense that yet a deeper life awaits. The muses have taken hold of me like the ripples of autumn water. And so I write and sing new songs. I paint new paintings. I sketch and etch new photos, and poetry. There is the efficacious warmth of cloud companions lingering across the horizon of the veranda, in company with the scent of the warm mug of coffee that sits on the edge of the piano. The aroma of caffeinated delight fading in the passing moments, as it cools with hours of practice. I present myself to the task of the inward imagery as I stand and face the Christ in the Mountain. She speaks with nurture, and care but yet firmly, demanding that I listen, pay attention. There is no escape from the Voice of the Mountain.
I feel as if I’ve lived many lives within this one known as Vivianne as I’ve spun out of a cocoon to try and etch out societal demands. The grave and grey danger being of course that a butterfly is at risk of having its wings clipped before taking flight, resulting in an untimely death of Spirit. I’ve spent the last six years in seminary with the humble idea of one day ministering about the beauty and healing properties of the convergence of art and spirituality. And maybe one day I will get there, as now the discernment process is on its way.
With all of these lingering thoughts there remains a beacon of consistency: Art. Art in its many forms, derivations, and variations on a theme. It has always been there. It has never left. I may have thought it to be lost or hidden, but untrue. For it was I who was lost and hidden. I separated myself from my dearest God, my dearest friend and companion for a tumultuous life at times. As the Buddha says, we are the cause of our own suffering. Though extremely burdensome, and frightening at times, we must permit ourselves to embrace our anxiety and fear, for we are beholden to the fate of the human condition. That’s why we need others. We need to be loved and love in return. Simple. Simple?
As I hanker down to digging a deeper trench preparing for the colds that will be upon us soon, I am reminded of the fact that I have been met with many false promises these days and the feigned interest of curious by-standers. For some time I nurtured the consistently renewed excitement of all of the lazy commitments. It became a poignant, humbling, sometime humiliating, face-to-face reflection of the false promises I have made to myself. The worn and torn ego is dismantling quickly under the vestiges of half-hidden truths and these lies. To be true to ourselves, I believe there is no deeper relationship that intimate transparency with our Divine Self. I find the journey can be a harrowing experience at times. In order to succeed to grasp ‘the holy grail,’ the impetus lies with embracing the height of vulnerable risk, and to face our terrors, whatever they may be. If not, we abandon ourselves and may find ourselves destitute; clamouring about with the glorification of stress and busy-ness – all delinquents helping us plod our mindless escapes from reality.
And what about my calling as a Spiritual Arts Practitioner? Yes, it still exists. However as a result of timely reflection and contemplation regarding the issues of commitment, and having recently begun my certification as a Spiritual Director, the focus has changed. For starters, I know longer will charge a set fee – but rather accept whatever one can afford. In that way, the service is available for everyone. No one should be denied the benefit of healing as a result of lack of funds. How does it work? We meet, maybe once a week or once a month, (and yes I do skype) come together and talk about the direction in which the Spirit speaks, doing our best to come to understand the translation of the heart – our images – whether it be through art, heartened conversation, dreams, the journey of the shamanic drum, meditation, prayer, journaling, etc. The idea is to be witness to the calling of our own souls and permit ourselves to serve The Divine Purpose. If you know of anyone interested in committing to this type of deepening, please feel free to pass this on. It’s a beautiful and memorable journey, one that has the capacity to move us to places and spaces beyond our wildest imagination. But it takes time, patience, nurture, honesty, and above all – perseverance. The work is not for the faint-of-heart. And it is demanding of a graceful courage.
In closing, I would like to thank you for your companionship along the path. You have faithfully been here, reading these rambles and have graced me with your good company. I extend you my appreciation for your commitment here and kindly ask that if you resonate with the Songroom’s vision, feel free to join me in creative conversation. If you wish to be part of the Songroom’s growth, drop us a line with your thoughts and ideas. Take note ~ there are new adventures on the horizon, with updates to follow soon. Viv & The Messengers, – the musical ensemble, updates to the gallery in the Mythical Barn, new drums, new music, art, books, etc. And the next stage of an ongoing inspiring journey is about to unfold in partnership with the Pure Art Foundation. If you are looking for a place to engage your vision as part of the unfolding development of a new world vision as seen through the soul of art, consider this as an opportunity to be part of a dynamic and worthy team of artists and social justice advocates!
I leave you with a famous quote that rings true as I ponder these winds of change that are bringing us nearer to the holy darkened night soon to be upon us. From Shakespeare:
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”