Palettal Prose: Nourishing the Creative Life

Creativity is a shapechanger. One moment it takes this form, the next that. It is like a dazzling spirit who appears to us all, yet is hard to describe for no one agrees on what they saw in that brilliant flash. Are the wielding of pigments and canvas, or paint chips and wallpaper, evidence of its existence? How about pen and paper, flower borders on the green path, building a university? Yes, yes. Ironing a collar well, cooking up a revolution? Yes. Touching with love the leaves of a plant, pulling down ‘the big deal’, tying off the loom, findings one’s voice, loving someone well? Yes. Catching the hot body of the newborn, raising a child to adulthood, helping raise a nation from its knees? yes. Tending to a marriage like the orchard it is, digging for psychic gold, finding the shapely word, sewing a blue curtain? All are of the creative life. All these things are from the Wild Woman, the Rio Abajo Rio, the river beneath the river, which flows and flows into our lives.

Some say the creative life is in ideas, some say it is in doing. It seems in most instances to be in a simple being. It is virtuosity, although that is very fine in itself. It is the love of something, having so much love for something—whether a person, a word, an image, an idea, the land, or humanity—that all that can be done with the overflow is to create. It is not a matter of wanting to, not a singular act of will; one solely must.

The creative force flows over the terrain of our psyches looking for the natural hallows, the arroyos, the channels that exist in us. We become its tributaries, its basins; we are its pools, ponds, streams, and sanctuaries. The wild creative force flows into whatever beds we have, those we are born with as well as those we dig with our own hands. We don’t have to fill them, we only have to build them.

~Clarissa Pinkolo Estes, Ph.D., Women Who Run With the Wolves

Palettal Prose: In Time to Blossom?

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the uncertainty of spring so vast

it swarths the sun.

For millions o years on Earth

plants existed

endless varieties

of leaf and stem120201094923_1_900x600

and then one morning

114 million years ago,

it happened—

an incredible burst

of fragrance and color

the first flower.

Swollen and aching

like twig ends

all of us know the longingd5a83e6ecead395b5a41df567e755891

to let go

to open, to blossom.

It stirs within each of us

call us to grow

beyond our limitations

tells us there is more

tells us we are more

we are able to give

Water lotus flower blossom

Water lotus flower blossom

what is needed

we can undo

the grip of fear

out-love

the harshness of anger.

Will we take our next step?

The large cloud swirls

spring’s uncertainty so vastRobin calling song

it swaths the sun.

Against this marbled sky

a peach tree reaches

her tender twig ends swollen.

A robin sings.

~Cathy Casper, We’Moon

Palettal Prose: Beautiful Broken Things

Palettal Prose: Beautiful Broken Things

     There is a rest in brokenness. You lie on that ground, unable to function as you did before. So you lie there. There are no more ‘shoulds’ because the luxury of self-recrimination was taken from you when you fell and broke to pieces on the earth below. ‘Cannot’ doesn’t matter now, either. All that exists in this moment is ‘What Is Now.’ This. And there is beauty in the brokenness. It i a beauty of constellations in the scars, of tides in the tears, the heat of fire in the bleeding of you. In the abrupt quiet that follows an unexpected injury, a sacred silence fills you. And because there is nothing let in you that can create, push, force, be, or drive into, there is a blessed empty space, to be filled by something other than all the crazed and busy thinking, the manic achieving, the over-scheduled hours. This blessed, beautiful brokenness is the prayer that summons the spirit, calls forth the angels, lays us down gently. In these seasons of humble brokenness, we are opened, utterly. There is no protecting yourself here. This is the stripping away of ego-driven, striving conception. Let there be grace. Let there be mercy. Allow the broken places to show you their beautiful rest.

The broken stick on the forest floor is the branch who earned her rest. I bless the stick. I bless the branch. I bless the rest.

~Sarah LaRosa, We’Moon

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Palettal Prose: Special Thanks To…

Palettal Prose: Special Thanks To…

Here’s another: All of us humans have myriad other species to thank. Without them, we couldn’t exist. It’s that simple, and we can’t afford to ignore them, any more than I can afford to neglect my precious wife—nor the sweet mother Earth that births and hold us all.

Without us, Earth will abide and endure; without her, however, we could not even be.

~Alan Weisman, The World Without Us

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