Everything I have ever been passionate about is beginning to come together as a tapestry of my life. What do creating baskets, gardening, cooking and preserving bounty, mandala painting and chanting have to do with one another?
First and foremost, I have a deep appreciation and reverence for practices of indigenous culture. The images I use to create mandalas are ancient symbols used by cultures throughout the world for beauty and spiritual practice. Baskets were woven and used by indigenous cultures for daily functions before the advent of pottery and metal. Growing food and preserving bounty was also a mainstay of cultures all over the world. Finally chanting has been used for devotion, awakening, and purifying by many religions and cultures throughout time.
Indigenous cultures were wise in so many respects. They used what they had. They made functional creations and made them beautiful. They took the time to prepare food to nourish themselves using every raw material they could. They integrated their spiritual practices into their lifestyle, with reverence and gratitude for what was provided to them.
Creating beauty is a central theme in my life. I may not have the most fashionable furniture or live in the most upscale neighborhood, but I can use what I have to create and surround myself with beauty. This creates a gratitude in me moment by moment and adds joy to my life. Using what I have around and using what is growing in my garden for a function like a berry basket or a jelly to cook with is part of my creative process. I just love making it up as I go along and by the end of the day with my creativity stimulated, I can smile and know my day is complete.