Oil on canvas; 3′ x 3′ — Work in progress — Jeri Glatter
From the very first days of what would become my spiritual journey, which began as an unrelenting urge to seek understanding and awakening, I have felt compelled to artistically express, The Lesson of Release from my book Lessons from the Trumpet Vine.
When I first began this painting, the elders, who stood symbolically on the shore of The River of Release were concrete, physical—as was most of my thinking! As I was uncertain and uncomfortable with the direction this particular painting was headed, I sent this canvas off to the graveyard. The cemetery—was a non-ceremonial burial sight of unfinished canvases propped against a back wall—layered with other, more acceptable pieces, so as to remain hidden from view.
Recently, a gentle tugging of my heart has been challenging me to complete this original painting—ahhhhhh—lesson time. The difficult aspect was that in order to finish it—I needed to accept that I had traveled, that I had grown and experienced so much since I began. Perhaps more importantly, it became necessary for me to have the understanding that I need not erase or forget what had come before—the steps I had taken to arrive where I was—had become a necessary and integral aspect. Perhaps equally as important was to be reminded of the gift of humility—of where it was—I had come from. How else would I appreciate the distance I had traveled?
I have found the natural tendency of having experienced transformation or growth is to burn the evidence! Start fresh…and to express only where you (gloriously) now stand. And, I have also come to understand that, that version lacks the richness—the layering of the experience.
As an exercise in acceptance, I have begun to paint once again on the original canvas—on top of “where I was” and in doing so, I have received the incredible gift of gratitude for my deeper connectedness to spirit, the highest source or God. As I relish the blissful freedom to be in expression only—without thought—I experience the pure joy of trust.
Lessons from the Trumpet Vine
Written & Illustrated by Jeri L. Glatter
The Lesson of Humanity
When the last has arrived, all stand shoulder–to–shoulder, forming a circle. The four elders gently smile with approval and speak regally with pride. Look amongst you, they say, and see what you have accomplished! Together we form a circle, as we represent the bowl of humanity and life. Each of you has come, and each of you has brought a portion of the bowl we now create. How magnificent our bowl! Each and every one of you—from the smallest swaddled baby against her mother’s chest to the strongest and wisest among you—and every grain of sand between are necessary. Each of you has come together with the rest to form the richest of clays, and from that our bowl has been created. Our bowl of humanity is strong, and from within we can hold the weak. We can bring forth the harvest, hold our life water, heal the sick, bury the tired, and live in harmony.
A voice is heard. What of the lost, and those who do not join us?
The elders quietly weep as they speak again. There are some who come to the village not to live, but to continue their dying. There are some who choose to ignore the call to the village. All have a purpose. There is no waste. At times, those who remain lost lay stones in their wake, demonstrating where not to travel, so that others may find some grace. Whenever you meet them, embrace them and greet them with compassion and love. At times, the weakest among us are those who bring forth the most powerful of gifts. We can easily be fooled into believing that only the strongest bring us our lessons. Yet our treatment of the weak is what brings about the best in us. Their weakness becomes our strength. Thank them.
From their chests, the four elders beam in awe and pride and continue speaking. We are so very proud of you, they say. Feel our pride. Take that gratification into your heart and celebrate! For this is our most important task—the bowl we create when we share the same village. All are welcome.
Lessons from the Trumpet Vine
The Lesson of Balance
With my heartfelt love,
The Lesson of Balance
Courageously, the trumpet vine grows, the roots instinctively grasping the earth as the vines journey upward toward the light. Despite not knowing where the growth will end, the reach continues in both directions. This is the way all should live their lives. Each day, let us act as the trumpet vine. Let us look down upon our roots, hold firmly, thank the earth, and look above, saying with peace and confidence, “I do not know what my vine will look like or where or when my journey will end. I do not know what I will come upon or what shall cross my path. But despite not knowing, despite being unsure and unable to know the final outcome, I courageously continue to grow. For this day, with faith, I will do my best to reach toward the heavens. For this day, I will do my best to grow toward spirit, the highest source, or God, and toward love and light. Today, with gratitude, I will do everything I can to be the most glorious expression of the energy that exists between heaven and earth.”
Lessons from the Trumpet Vine
Written & Illustrated by; Jeri L. Glatter
While completing the second week of a self designed social-media-book-marketing-plan I found myself in a reflective place. I knew I had been busy; the entry into the vastness of the world of social media, at least for me, involved a tremendous learning curve. I was well aware that each of my sixty—minute—processes were 20-minute-actions taken effortlessly by others. Blogging, for those who had “jumped on sooner” or who were genetically predisposed to the art of computing and the world of the internet, well, for them…this new world was just another click. I struggled. I wrestled with the physicality of it all, the links, the like me’s, the tweets and the follows. What I needed was a bit.ly.com for it all—successfully copied and pasted into my brain.
Being a “looking inward” vs a “looking outward” sort of person (my cross, so to speak) brought me to a place of reflection after a mere ten entries of blogging…here it came…the inevitable contemplative thoughts; “What am I doing? Does this have value? Am I merely attempting to capitalize on a trend of communication that happens to be conveniently located in my house? If you can wear your P.J.’s and work—is that cheating? Am I just another blogger who likes to read what they write? What is my goal and why am I sharing all of my ideas and thoughts with strangers? What happened to me? Is this what everyone else is doing?
Oh no! Questioning myself. Panic time.
Followed by deep breathing techniques (was that from a blog?) Sweater off, sweater on. Hair up, freak out, breathe, breatheeeeeee, exhale, e x h a l e, EXHALE! gotta think, gotta think…more coffee!?
1. Was there true content in what I had written and sent out?
2. Was there value for others in what I had sent upon the…whatever the internet was—airwaves, no that’s radio…internet-waves, space thingy?
3. Was blogging a disguised version of “all about me?” Worst fear ever.
Upon reviewing, I found there was content in what I had written, my writing had included some useful information to those who might be interested. What I had hoped for—was to inspire. I had truly attempted to remove the “me” as the starring role through the practice of humility and I had hoped that had been conveyed.
We are all creating echos. Each of us—whether we blog or not. Echos are created in the conversations we have, the exchanges we participate in, both verbal and non. Although we may not feel the resonating vibration immediately—or ever, we are all creating echos. I have come to understand that, for me, it is in the unknowing of the outcome of what our actions will bring that our purest self emerges. For now, I choose to blog, and while doing so, I must remind myself to detach from the outcome–and more importantly, the need for feedback, affirmation or applause. That is my goal, not always my reality.
By concentrating on the quality of the echos we send out—the world will be touched in a positive way. The person whom we most deeply touch through the echo of our actions or words, for all we know—has yet to be born. Echos are lasting—and can survive from generation to generation. I choose to be thoughtful of this realization as I proceed upon this journey.
It is with love and kindness—from the integrity of our highest self that we consciously choose to—echo wisely.
While taking photographs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge for yesterday’s blog entry, The Sign Says… I found myself taking photographs of an open cupboard filled with ceramics which were made by my children. Made—as in past tense, at least fifteen years ago—they are “vintage pieces.” (Open numbered cupboard – Pottery Barn) http://www.potterybarn.com/products/cubby-organizer/
As I reflected, I realized that I certainly could not become a part of the successful team of “mommy-bloggers.” If I was to be considered anything in the realm of Mommy-dom, I guess I would be referred to as a “Post-Mom.” Yet, I still resonated with all of those Mommies of young children—we were, for all time, kindred spirits.
I had the opportunity once to stay with an Amish family. Our worlds were complete polar opposites, as you can well imagine. Yet, within the first five minutes of meeting the “Mother” of the home, she asked, “Is ye a Mother?” with my affirmation of “Yes, of two.”—she began to share the story of the loss of one of her children. We were forever bonded at that moment—as two Mom’s, who, loved their children to an extent that I believe only other Mom’s fully understand. We lived in different worlds, yet in the world of the love of a Mother, we were identical.
I love speaking with new Mom’s, current Mom’s and Mom’s to be. I have weathered the storm of the empty nest syndrome, although at Rooster Ridge it is considered an empty roost! Having spent years defining myself in part, and—at times, in whole as “someone’s Mom” I have managed to emerge fulfilled and with a feeling of purpose. I do not want to sound too proud, as it was rough at times and I did not arrive here necessarily as gracefully as I would have anticipated.
I can remember having little children like it was yesterday. I can close my eyes and feel the joy, the love, the worry and concern. I remember at times feeling very much alone in the process of being a Mom. I will also admit, having young children was the best time of my life—even when it wasn’t.
So I refuse to completely let go of Mommy-dom! I believe those of us who have traveled the path of motherhood have valuable insight and lessons to pass on—or understanding, compassion or just a view from further away in the timeline of life. It seems fitting within the heading of Symbolism Abounds, at times, it is appropriate to reflect upon the cherished path of motherhood. Thus the creation of Post-Mommy-Blog: Vol#1: Issue#1. More to come!
Friends, family and guests who visit the Cottage at Rooster Ridge always pause and examine the ceramic collection. Those who are familiar with the artists often ask which pieces belong to which artist. Often, some are blissfully carried back to a yesterday as they recall the ceramic jewels they were once gifted. At times stories are shared and always, the ceramic pieces are appreciated and bring joy, as did the children that created them.
Display your young artists’ work in your cottage, even when they are no longer young!
As the completion of the renovation of The House at Rooster Ridge has arrived, how fitting to add the crown jewel atop the roof line—at the highest point available and the most prominent position—a rooster weather vane! Symbolism abounds at Rooster Ridge and I share with you an excerpt from Lessons from the Trumpet Vine, Afterword.
I surveyed my environment as a new observer. Things made more sense now. My eyes fell upon the images of the roosters—everywhere roosters. Proud painted images, ceramic statues with chests puffed up, preparing to crow, a poster of Picasso’s rooster, iron that had been melded into crowing beaks and majestic tail feathers. Dishes, cups and bowls, napkins, pillows, and towels. Roosters. Carved wooden roosters flanking each doorway. Now I understood my attraction to them, the way they called to me. The message to begin another day. To draw forth every ounce of life force I could muster and crow. I hoped I had crowed well.