Here is another in this series of meditative mandalas. Again it evolved from the centre into something a bit stranger as it went along! Somehow the elderly ladies seemed right and once they were there, well they were clearly knitting the world! In Greek mythology we usually hear about the Fates weaving but Tom took this and ran with it! His poem is below followed by a short commentary.
Each within her cozy private nook
where a clicking sound is all that breaks
the silence while across the centre looks
are exchanged to judge the give and take
required to hold the world in careful balance
between the lunar turns. Each day the talents
weigh against each other, vying with
the promise of a tangle or a kiss
from the One whose rays fall bright between
as the world’s created stitch by stitch:
plaited, purled, and stockinette are switched
to form the fabric, all that’s never seen.
Behind the famous trio of the Fates
the Elder Aunties patiently await.
Apollo (whose rays fall bright between) got the Fates drunk and tricked them into allowing his friend Admetus to outlive his days. I don’t think the Elder Aunties, each assigned to a lunar month, apparently, would be best pleased.
I continue to be in a mandala mood. The title is a bit of a pun referring both to the lotus flower and sitting in lotus position. Once I had added the figures, it just seemed to make sense that they would be under water meditating …maybe they’re nymphs! I am sure that there are many possible interpretations. Here is Tom’s wonderful poetic one!
within the blue and lambent depths
beneath the floating leaves and flowers
somewhere deep the secret sits
immersed in emptiness and powers
that do not differentiate
between the poor and potentate
for neither lowest nor the high
are more nor less than souls that fly
through the waters of dark ponds
where illusion’s light is clear
bringing all that’s distant near
while fishes swim through waving fronds
and in the centre still there dwells
more yet more than words can tell
Like most mandalas this one evolved from the centre …I am really not sure where the rabbits came from but I like them! They seemed to be confident of their own reason for being there though …and I love Tom’s poetic take on this one!
Solemn rabbits guard the grassy gates
protecting something secret at the centre
where cold Truth in Beauty’s cloak awaits
for the his lover now to gently enter:
stepping silently across the fields
toward the precious prize that will not yield
to blandishments nor lies nor flattery
but only to the gentlest of breeze
that wafts across the fields beneath the sky
upon a summer’s night: a golden moon
that swings through spaces where the stars are strewn,
cuts, a crescent scimitar on high.
The gates of grass swing open, rabbits dance
as Truth and Beauty share a secret glance.
I sat down and started doodling in watercolour a few days ago. Usually, I start with the ink drawing, but this time the inking was done last. Perhaps it’s not surprising that this mandala is mostly plant motifs after spending lots of time recently hiking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Even the green plums were inspired by fruit I saw ripening beside the sidewalk this week. It’s a very rich time of year! …the watchful eyes …well Tom responded to those in his delightful poem – which is where I took the title.
In this garden of delight
where peaches hang and chances might
be taken under watchful eyes
I’m feeling bold and not so wise
as to let the moment pass
and so I bend to kiss a lass
when from behind a tree there sounds
a soft “meow”, the voice rebounds
from tree to branch to leaf to stem
and where was one there now is “them”:
a panoply of watchers wild
who leave us both for now beguiled
by gazes focused, clear, intense
instilling just a bashful sense
of standing naked in the light
of creatures who have walked the night
and yet we two still turn and kiss
for moments pass, and might be missed.
I decided to try something somewhere in between the mandala method I have been doing recently which are intuitive and unplanned and the ones I was doing earlier which were fairly structured. The idea (we’ll see if it continues) is to meditate on a word and then see how it impacts what I do. In this case, the imagine sprang into my mind pretty much as drawn so I sketched it out to make sure the celtic knots would work and then inked it. The butterfly was a late addition to the party but I think he belongs.
Tom’s poetic meditation on gratitude:
Complex weaving of our lives
into beauty unexpected
lifting us to build and thrive
keeping true and undeflected
by the buffeting of days
that would push us from our ways
running side-by-side through time
steady on along the line
that arcs from start to end, a bow
of light refracted in the dew
between we happy, lucky two
to fly together, high and low.
Whatever else tomorrow brings
Two voices each to each we sing.
This one was really asking for vibrancy …and it ended up quite a riot of colour hence the name! Although this mandala is definitely summer themed, since the coming weekend is Easter, if you want, you could imagine those are Easter eggs hidden in there. 😄
Tom seems to have noticed this one was particularly colourful as well!
When too much colour fills the world
it spills into the summer flowers
brightly etched and roughly knurled
raising up their fecund powers
to create new generations
with pollenistic exhalations
spreading life beneath the sun
as the summer’s long days run
from dawn to dusk and back again
the fields of fragrant flowers wave
while dragonflies find what they crave
beneath the summer sun’s long reign.
The world is painted bright and wild
Each colour on the others piled.
It has been some time since I posted a mandala! This one was actually started back in January and after a long pause, I finished it this week. It’s a bit early to be craving summer but flowers and such are always a pleasure to draw and I tend to go with whatever evolves out of my meditative mandala creation process. Hopefully looking at it will bring summer to your heart, if not your surroundings!
Here is Tom’s wonderful, playful poem just written for this mandala!
Behold soft pennants brightly waving
above the boldly blooming flowers
awakening Creations’s cravings
beneath a passing summer shower
that waters daisies in the fields
whose petals form a soft white shield
between dry Earth and open sky
where an errant dragon flies
to meet a knight more brave than wise.
All the field’s abuzz with life
awaiting Knight v. Dragon strife
whereby cold truth will conquer lies.
Dry paper blossoms catch the breeze
The dragon glides above the trees.
It was in my mind to try painting mandalas in oils and so this was back to a very meditative process. I had no idea what I was going to paint until I started at the centre – the only given was a radial symmetry. This one started fairly geometrically but then transformed into flowers? butterflies? peacock feathers? It could be many things and I like the ambiguity!
Here is Tom’s wonderfully circular poem!
…bold and bright the peacock’s eyes
turn as inward colours rise
flaring forth in red and gold
leaping out with joy as bold…
Painted in spring colours! I saw some of these bushtits – amazingly tiny birds – late last fall and I think they’re back! Spring comes early here in Vancouver and proceeds at a very decorous pace. Not at all what I have been used to in Montreal where it sometimes seems that spring lasts just one day sometime in May and it’s straight on to summer!
Here’s Tom’s freshly written poem!
Sheltered by the leafy swirl
of berries, buds, and blossoms
bushtits bounce and preen and swirl
among the branches. Awesome
ingenuity is there
in their perfect form,
flitting thither, without care
before the world is born