I’m feeling a bit confused…

I’ve been reading the June/July issue of Art in America (my only contact with the art world when I am at home on Orcas), and it has provoked me, shaken me up a bit, and confused me about the art I choose to make.  The theme of the issue is “Resistance” and it not about my style of resisting, meaning something that I don’t want to do or to look at in my own life.  No, it centers on artists who are making strong socio-political statements with their art.  Many of the artists live in countries with repressive governments and are making these sometimes very public statements at great personal risk.  They are truly heroes, making difficult yet relevant art.

There have always been artists doing this kind of strong, issue-oriented work, and it never bothered me.  My art has always been so personal to me, arising from my own inner need to create and exorcise my own demons.  I study contemporary art and am passionate about knowing what is current, but have known and felt comfortable with the idea that my own work was not so cutting edge.  Challenging in its own way.  But not political.  More spiritual than anything else in a kind of abstract, contemporary way.  Not necessarily classically beautiful, but not unpleasant to look at either.

And I have kept at it for well over forty years which is an achievement in itself.  But these are strange and significant times we are living through, and reading about some of this work is stirring something deep within me.  Making me feel obsolete and a little guilty, causing me to feel that there is something else I could be doing other than signing endless petitions over the internet and donating a little money to several different environmental and human rights causes over the year.

But what would it be?  It’s not that I want to be famous!   I need to remember that my form of activism is done on a different scale.  As a healer and a Reiki teacher, I can influence one person at a time, helping them to realize their own potential to become calmer and maybe a bit happier.  My paintings can introduce people to other worlds, to my inner life, and perhaps to give them a glimpse into their own.  My mandala art, with its one-word titles, is designed for meditation and contemplation because that’s what I need as I am making them.  The one pictured below is titled Hope.

So I’ll keep reading and learning.  My challenge is to care about humanity and the future of the world in my own way.  To keep caring and to keep making the art I love to make because it’s how I keep myself sane and healthy.  I do know that somehow it makes a difference, even if it’s only to create me as a better person.

Healing for Japan … and for you and me

For the past few days, I have been glued to the news, watching as the situation in Japan continues to unfold and to be even more troubling than we at first thought.  An earthquake/tsunami of this magnitude is a rare thing, but when compounded by the threat of radiation exposure from the nuclear plants, it becomes even more overwhelming.  It’s almost too big to begin to comprehend.

Sales of this picture go to Doctors Without Borders in their aid to Japan
Sales of this picture go to Doctors Without Borders in their aid to Japan - click for details

I’ve been getting calls and emails from various Reiki friends, healers, teachers, and writers about sending light and energy to the people and to the land of Japan.  Many wise and powerful messages are out there. But I still want to add my voice to theirs.

Please send Reiki light and energy to Japan in the coming days and weeks.  Please do not stop when the news media goes on to cover something else.  They will need our love for a very long time.

But also please remember that when something this huge happens on our tiny planet, we are all affected.  When the Earth goes through so much upheaval at once, it touches each and every one of us.  We are feeling it emotionally as our hearts open up to all the people in Japan who are suffering such great losses.  Some of us may be feeling it physically as well.  This may manifest as low energy, exhaustion, nausea, dizziness, etc.  It’s possible to be affected mentally as well.  Some of us may be feeling mental strain or having trouble concentrating.

Yesterday, I sat down to send Reiki and felt a combination of all of the above sweep over me.  I could feel the energy coming in waves across the ocean directly to the West coast.  I had to stop, regroup, and give myself Reiki first before going on.

So this is the message.  If you are feeling especially tired or sad, that is perfectly natural.  Watch your own physical and emotional state in the next few days.  Listen to your body, your mind and your heart.  Keep your own vessel pure and open, and give yourself lots of Reiki.  From that place of strength, know that you can make a difference.  Surround yourself with light.  Feel safe and protected.  And then…send tons of Reiki energy to Japan.

Big things (natural and man-made) are beginning to happen more frequently and with greater intensity.  It is a challenge to watch it and feel it all thoroughly, and not to succumb to pessimism or fear.

There is much healing to be done.  But now…just for today…Japan….

With much love and light, Susan