Monday, September 28, 2020

Walk Truth with Ruth Bader Ginsberg


October Moon 1  Acrylic & lace on canvas 24x24  unfinished

I pour the crimson fluid-acrylic onto my palette. It pools, glossy, atop the lump of white gesso like newly spilt blood before running down in rivulets onto the wet paper beneath. It looks like fresh blood diluted and turning pink as it is washed away. Somehow, this month of the pink moon looks more like washed away blood than the usual joyful cotton candy pink of celebrating the harvest.

Just as I was standing at my easel contemplating how to paint the emerging moon cycle Walk Truth, Ruth Bader Ginsberg shed her justice collar.  It landed on my fresh paint. Hanging there, it changed the trajectory of my inquiry.

How am I/are we to Walk Truth in this time when every attempt is being made to wash truth away? A passage from the book of Jeremiah comes into my head: "Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths. Ask 'Where is the good way?' Then walk in it and you will find rest for your souls."

RBG’s death points out ‘where the good way is’ for me/us to follow.  There is Truth in that path.  It is made of integrity. There are footsteps we can trust.  She offers us a mantle we can pick up and wear as our own. We are not alone.

My pink moon will be filled with the names of all the truth seekers I can come to know as I paint her through the month.  I am curious who will show up as I seek a path of integrity and courage.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Love Truth's Full Moon Fire Works

Independence Day and the Full Moon shared the fourth of July this year.

The teaching of this moon cycle for July is LOVE TRUTH. She seems to be calling out to us to love the TRUTH of our country, the United States of America. 

We need a comprehensive and unconditional Love to face the truth of our country's history.  Facing the truth in our country's history is the only way to manifest the vision for our country written by our imperfect founding fathers. 

Like most communities, our town did not have official fireworks this year, yet neighbors cobbled together their own informal shows.  I went outside to look at the full moon. A friend had texted me the moon was unusually large and exceptionally beautiful. A disorganized yet seeming unending barrage of flashes disrupted my intention of contemplating this deep yellow globe hanging just above the horizon. My feelings from earlier in the day flashed in my mind--I woke up feeling an ambiguous but deep grief.  I moved through my day, unsettled by feeling, but trying to focus on preparations for a social distanced barbeque.  When Alexa selected a patriotic play list, the identity of my grief made itself known: the meaning I held of this holiday had been torn away from me-not by the president, although he is the principle catalyst, but by the explosion of truth telling that is bursting forth upending every aspect of our lives. There was my grief; the meaning of 'independence day' has been shattered.  

I stood in the dark, watching. Fireworks flared and faded, sulfur smoked wafted thick and then drifted away. This July full moon, whose meaning for me is a reminder to LOVE TRUTH stayed steady and unaffected.  It is possible to love truth even when it is ugly and has caused deep and long harm.  Anyone who has recovered from an addiction with the help of the principles and tools of a twelve-step program has this experience.

Our country needs-we need, this kind of love of Truth that explodes the old myths and lies and nurtures the seeds of possibility and potential that the visionary authors of our 'declaration of indepence' compiled nearly 245 years ago.  We are a country in need of recovery, and we may not have another chance if we fail to embrace our truths yet again. 


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Loves Truth Emerges from a Deep Dark Place

July's New Moon, Loves Truth, emerges from a deep dark Place. 

As seekers of Truth we now have an invitation to acknowldege and be willing to embrace our country's history which powerfully, traumatically, unrelentingly, burst forth. During the moon cycle of Speak Truth which just ended, the deep and concealed stories of our country's truths spilled out on the streets for all the world to witness.  

This new moon cycle has the ability to bring us solice, strength and the courage to continue to face these hard truths and embrace the courage to remedy the untruths the cycle of Speak Truth revealed. All that is required is our willingness to learn how to love truth in all her faces: 

To Love Truth is to fully embrace 
joy and sorrow
pain and pleasure
triumph and failure
history and vision
with a full and open heart!

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Full Moon Invitation from Speak Truth

Inside the Soul of Speaking Truth
Red Moon in the Making
CJFaivre, 2018, 30X30 Acrylic on Canvas

Every Full Moon brings two invitations. One is to let go of whatever it is in our life that no longer serves us, or that is harmful to us or to others.  The second invitation is to offer the gifts we carry within us to those whom our life touches.

Most of us spend many moons learning to let go of what holds us back before we enter the space where we get a glimpse of what we can offer others.  Over time,  we spend more time in this space learning about the gifts of our own being.

To Speak Truth requires we know this space.  I know this space as the 'heart of my soul'.  The story of my life is here.  I sit in the dark womb of this space with intention. In the dark my fingers are my eyes, and I read the stories of the life I have lived. They are marked on a red timeline in the heiroglyphics of my heart's own language.  Here I learn to read the Truth of my stories. 

Stories of my relatives are here, my ancestors, marked as thumprints of gold, they paint the walls of this sacred space. Touching these marks, I can read the Truth their stories have for me. A luminous cross of blessing is suspended in this space, and the wind of the Spirit blows through this space, refreshing both my life and my spirit. 

Tonight, as I sit in my soul space, on the eve of June's Full Moon, the Red Moon shines down on our country as citizens are marching, standing up, kneeling, lying down and crying out for life, for justice and for peace. I am grateful for my timeline of remembering, and for the history of my ancestors, and for the blessing and life-giving breath of Great Spirit.  May I learn from my history and the history of others. May we each visit the hearts of our souls and learn the gifts we have to offer and be willing Speak Truth.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

June Moon Cycle Begins Speaking Truth

Red Moon Madonna and the Storytellers Speaking Truth.
Painting in Process; CJ Faivre; 2018-2020
30x30 Acrylic on Canvas 

June's moon cycle brings opportunities to practice Speaking Truth. I think this is the perfect medicine to follow the cycle just ended (see: Closing Moon for May:what truths we have heard ). The legacy of the storyteller comes into play as we step into June's moon cycle. 

On Wednesday, I finished listening to The Great Influenza by John M. Barry.  Barry is a researcher and historian.  I don't know if he would refer to himself this way, but he is a storyteller who Speaks Truth. There is a lot of story in 560 pages of the book-and a lot of history. History that appears to be repeating itself in our present experience of the COVID19 Pandemic. I began listening to The Great Influenza while I was sewing masks for front-line workers and family, shortly after we had begun to shelter at home in mid-March. I thought Barry's book could offer me a context for what was happening, and did it ever!  But rather than being depressing, Barry's story helped me know that I/we are not alone; this has happened before; the suffering and loss is real and far reaching; there is a way forward; what I/we do makes a differrence. Barry's book also gave me a renewed awareness of how important it is to Speak Truth and to discern those who are the Truth Speakers. 

During this June Moon for Speaking Truth, I hope to do my part as Storyteller and Truth Speaker through my painting.  The painting above I started two years ago as Red Maddona. I couldn't find a way to finish her, and she has hung dormant on my wall for the past year.  As I sat in meditation on the night of May's Closing Moon, the vision of who she is became clear. Red is the color for the moon cycle of June. The Madonna is scattering sacred stories to the world.  Storyteller grandmothers are behind her; a child, with no face/or every face, reaches for her.  Totems of the drum, coyote, trees, whale and crow (or tucan in you live south of the equator) are beginning to show themselves. All these totems have their own part in teaching us humans what it is to speak truth.  I can't wait to see what unfolds, for I often feel the painting paints herself, and that I am just the tool for creating. I'll share in the blog as I paint and I learn.  Thanks for reading.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Closing Moon for May...What Truths have we heard?

Image: cj faivre; May Moon: Hear Truth 
2020 Acrylic on Canvas 10X30

This is a long post-It's been a long cycle!

The fifth moon cycle invites us to become willing and attentive to Hearing Truth. The gift this moon cycle offers is the practice of patient listening.  In our current time of upheavel and uncertainty in our communities and countries, many voices are coming at us from many directions and sources.

I know that for myself, it has not been easy to be patient when those voices are loud and persistant about their version of 'truth', or when the voices speak for and devision. By the time May's new moon began (April 22nd) there were already so many voices from so many sources, I often found myself in a state of uncertainty about where to set my trust for helpful guidance.  My days end in a weary kind of exhaustion.

In inspiration for the May moon cycle painting came on an evening walk at the end of one of those days. It was the first non-rainy day of the cycle and the moon was showing a sliver of crescent. May's new cresent moon rose just above a convergence of electric poles, wires and an ancient elm at the
corner of Illinois and Summit streets; the planet Venus hung in the background, as if in witness.  I stopped and looked up, struck by the symbolism. Poles reaching to the sky as if in competition to reach the moon first. Wires crisscrossing in all directions, grandmother tree appeared to arch away from the chaos.  May Moon- Hear Truth-hung present, rising above, resting above, it all.

I sensed this a powerful image, a lesson from Mother Moon. I determined to paint the visual gift she offered me.  As I painted over the course of the next ten days, her message for me became clearer:  In this age of quantum technology, there IS an onslaught of voices, from all directions.  Hearing what is Truth is complicated during this time. 

May moon invites us to move through the cycle we are experiencing as she moves through her cycles. First by recognizing the newness of the cycle; next, in the waxing phase, take time to take without attachment what is being presented.  Then, in the light of the full moon we can focus and begin to discern what we are hearing. During the time of the waning moon as this cycle moves toward closure, she teaches us to shed what does not resonate as truth.

Were are now at the the time of the 'closing moon', or 'dark' moon. we are invited to rest, to integrate what we now know, or perhaps to reflect on questions we may need to ask for more clarity. There will be time for this asking in the new moon to come when we experience the Moon of Speaking Truth. But for now,  Moon's message is to be patient, to observe what is unfolding, to let go of what does not resonate, to rest, and to listen for questions that will rise as we prepare to learn to Speak Truth.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hearing Truth in the Time of Covid 19; May Moon is Listening

       May is the month to hear truth.  This new moon came in true to the color of her cycle - black and in the dead of night. Her arrivial marked the beginning of my household's 6th week of sheltering at home.  We had been doing well as a family of three adults manueving ourselves around in our 'cozy' 7 room house.  But, upon entering another week with our lives still in limbo, as Illinois' numbers continued to climb--I felt left in the dark--the dark of  black moon, black night and black mood.
       May Moon invites us to listen, and listen, and then listen ever deeper.  I like to think that the color black, the imagery of a 'black' moon, inviting us to hear intently during these weeks of the waxing moon to what is deep within our own hearts and psyches.  This kind of hearing is the kind of listening that happens in times of  blackness (like this current experience of being in the dark about the path of the pandemic).  If we we are patient enough to learn to listen in this way,  we will be amazed and guided by what we hear.
        This is the truth John of the Cross listened for and finally heard during his Dark Night of the Soul.  Jacob wrestling with the angel in a night so black he could not see his foe, listened and heard his true name. This is the transformation toward truth that happens on Vision Quest, sitting in prayerful silence in dark nights of solitude.
        If we can practice hearing the truth within our own being during these days of the waxing moon, we will be better prepared to hear what is truth in the cacophony of words in media, politics, and promoters.