The Art is On It's Way

It’s 5am. I can’t sleep. For once it’s not because I stayed up this late. No, I actually gave in to my tired and went to bed before Midnight. 

My last thought before I fell asleep was “the eclipse is starting now”. My first thought when I woke up for some water was “the eclipse has finished”. I suppose that makes sense, given that I am knee deep in yet another leveling up. 

Last year I got serious about my own experience on this planet in entirely new ways, and I came to live on a mountain. Not just any mountain, mind you, but one on sacred land. I don’t just mean because it is on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, or the Qualla Boundary, as they call it. I mean sacred because it is so bursting with reverence to nature that you can feel a completely different energy here than any place I have ever been before.

My little home is parked smack dab in the middle of a triangle, surrounded by mountains with creeks on two sides of me, and an abundance of trees so green that they look fake sometimes. I could feel a difference after the first night I slept here. When I go out in the world, “down the mountain”, I get unsettled by the change in the energy. 

It’s no wonder that last summer I began a massive shift. I started letting go of all of the things that no longer aligned. I began meditating for hours on end. I felt called to paint. I stopped smoking cigarettes for good after 35 years, although I still vape some. My writing came back. The magic of living here full time was seeping into every part of who I am until I met myself in ways I didn’t know were necessary. 

And then it happened. I started getting “downloads” of images, accompanied by thoughts and ideas that were bigger, and broader, about this human experience and how we walk this earth. It was if nature herself was trying to teach me about humanity from its perspective. Who we are, and why we do what we do.

I thought I was crazy at first. I mean really, who hears voices in their body except crazy people, right? But the longer I sat with these ideas, the more I realized it was nothing more than my heart finally finding words for some of the things I had always felt; always KNOWN since I was a child. 

I started sitting outside in the dark, and taking walks in the middle of the night. Every few days I would randomly receive another song to add to my 1am playlist. I listened to the music and let it flow through me as I allowed my mind get lost in the melodies as pictures and concepts flowed through me. It was if I was seeing the reasons why we do the things we do, and make the choices we make, from a higher perspective. I still don’t completely understand it.

And so, as I realized months later, it was around the time of the 2019 summer eclipses that my current Art journey began. (I also realized later that it was at the exact same time that my youngest grandchild became a reality in her mother’s life. I still believe that is significant, but we will save that part of the story for another time.) 

It was around the time of the eclipses that I started getting random images for Art. Strong statements about humans and what we do to each other. Pictures of how we treat each other, and how we constantly give away our own power. Ideas around the “why” and what we need to see about ourselves before we can possibly begin to make real changes in how we live in this world. 

It only makes sense, then, that here and now in the next summer eclipse season, I would be exactly half way through my first big Art project. I have just finished stitching two of four pictures designed to go together and tell a story. I thought this story would begin with some very different images. I was sure it was going in a completely different direction. 

When Covid-19 came along and shut everything down, I had no idea that it would be the catalyst for Art of any kind. I certainly didn’t think it would make me see pictures of humans again. As the world I live in changed daily, my emotions shifted by the hour and the result was my mind being flooded with Art. As any Artist can tell you, these ideas will haunt you, begging to be let out. I imagine it is similar to a musician being haunted by a melody until they finally just sit down and play the song already. 

I tried drawing them out, but my body is not connected to my inspiration in that way. Many moons ago I was a counted cross stitch designer. Even now, fifteen years later, the fastest way for me to release an idea for Art is to pour it out into tiny boxes of color in rows, waiting to be painted on a piece of fabric with my needle. When I am sitting at my design program I get lost in flow. Hours go by, and I forget to eat or drink as I lose awareness of the world around me. Once the picture is finished, I am excited to begin stitching the way a child is excited for ice cream. It is truly magical. And so it is that my most important work to date is coming to life as counted cross stitch. I speak my Truth through my needle. 

Soon I will start to release these ideas to the world. I have already been shown that a lot of people will not like them. They will feel that I am pointing fingers, or telling people what to see, or think. Quite the opposite would be true. My only reason for putting these ideas out into the world is to let them out of my mind, and my heart. To share another perspective and perhaps cause someone to think for themselves and stop giving away their power to anyone, or anything, outside of themselves. 

If only one person stops and asks themselves “Where do I give away my power?” then it will be worth all of the reactions that will surely come my way from this release. 

Art is one soul’s mirror of what they are seeing and experiencing in this life. How we receive another human's ideas is exactly the point of this project.

I will keep that in mind as I summon the courage to share my own ideas with the world. Until then, I’ll be stitching.

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Dear JoDi,

I am really proud of you. You are ever-growing, ever-learning, and ever-expanding. You do not look backwards- only forward- full steam ahead. This is a very big deal. You come from a long line of “han