Why waste this incredibly warm December weather. Walk the beach! That’s what I did for my Artist Date this week.
The Artist Date is one of Julia Cameron’s basic tools or remedies for getting the creative juices flowing.
The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. It is opening yourself to insight, inspiration and guidance. It is a block of time, maybe two hours, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. The Artist Date is a way of funding the creative reserves which we will draw on in fulfilling our artistry.
“In order to have a real relationship with our creativity, we must take the time and care to cultivate it.” p.20 The Artist’s Way
“An Artist Date is wooing your own consciousness.”- Julia Cameron
Are you reluctant to play?
As you may have figured from reading my posts, I am a shorewalker. I love the sound of the waves. (That’s why I named my Etsy shop WaveSong). But most of all I love beachcombing.
Most of the beaches I have been on while on my trip to Australia have been pure sand. And not much else. Not that pure sand isn’t lovely and all. But the treasure-hunter self in me is always more fulfilled by flotsam and jetsam.
Low and behold I look down and find these. What I might call the Australian version of my beloved Lucky Stones. These are a shell-like disc with a natural hole. Perfect as supplies for the textile-artist in me.I was told that most Aussies don’t sit on the beach in Queensland. That might be because of the crocodiles and the hazardous marine stingers! Good call.Thus the bottle of vinegar supplied by the local authorities.
So they built a beautiful swimming lagoon right next to the beach instead! I have been so impressed with the beauty of the public spaces in Australia. Obviously it’s because they live outside all year, and don’t spend their public budgets on snow removal.
Public spaces are smartly designed and fitted out with lots of sculpture and art. And Airlie Beach did not disappoint in this regard. Like these sidewalk mosaics by Robyn Muller, called Lowtide Clams.
The whole area has a lovely boardwalk too. Including stovetops for “putting on the Barbie”, fresh water showers, toilets, change rooms, benches, picnic tables, alcohol free zones, playground equipment with a wheelchair-accessible swing and sand approaches to the swimming area. And lifeguards.
Airlie Beach really caters to guests and has some typical tourist trappings, but not kitschy. It is a haven for the wealthy and the poor backpacker alike.
Have you ever been to a beach like this?
A dear friend, Claire Verney, has been blogging about her journey caring for her husband diagnosed in 1994 with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. In Day to Day with Parkinson’s Disease her writing is a soulful sometimes heart wrenching reflection of her daily commitment to her marriage.
Read her blog here.
Their earthly walk is nearly over.
I have been struggling as to how I can possibly help her in these last days, being 2 thousand KM away. There is nothing I can physically do for them. But I have felt led to lament for them. In her post on August 11th she ends “His life hangs by a sigh.” I wept. Her words are so beautiful, so haunting.
I went down to my beach with my instrument. It happened to be a beautiful sunny day. The songs I sing are totally intuitive, improvisational on the spot.
By chance as I filmed this lament a man walked past the camera. I said to myself, “Darn, I’ll have to re-film this.” But he became a vision of a healthy Michael walking home. I took it as a divine sign that was meant to be.
The man walking inspired the name of the song, The Last Walk.
Addendum: Michael died this morning, August 13, 2013 at 10:50. It was a very peaceful departure at home with family beside him. He will be sorely missed.
I have this addiction, some might say obsession, with collecting stones. These specimens are stones with naturally occurring holes found on the beaches of Lake Winnipeg around Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.
Some call them crinoids but they are more likely to be gastropods. These ‘lucky stones’, which we locals lovingly call them, are imprints and “negatives” of gastropods or snails.
I wanted to know more about these fascinating stones so I sent some samples to “Ask-a-Geologist”. I got an identification from Jean Dougherty, Geological Survey of Canada.
“The most prominent feature of the gastropod is the spiral-shaped shell. These can vary considerably in shape from a low whorl to a high whorl. Now imagine that these gastropods (snails) have died. Over time, the soft body of the snail would have rotted away leaving only the shell. Then imagine the shells having been buried in sediments at the bottom of some sea. Over millions of years, more sediment builds up overtop of them, and presses them into sedimentary rocks (this process is called ‘diagenesis’). The shell also undergoes a chemical transformation in which it is mineralized, becoming a rock. Depending on the rock type containing the fossil, either the fossil could be weathered away, leaving a hollow space where the fossil once was, or the rock could get worn away leaving the fossil, or some combination of these two. In the case of your samples, the third process happened. The fossil eventually dissolved and disappeared, leaving rock, but some of the rock was weathered away also. Depending on the degree to which the rock was worn away, you are still left with some amount of the fossil’s structure still visible. The spiral shell of the gastropod turns around a central hollow tube which gets narrower as you get to the point of the spiral. That is why, in some of your samples, the hole is wider on one side of the rock than on the other side of the rock – they are what remains of that narrowing tube.”
Stones that have natural holes have always been considered mystical and sacred, with special healing properties, windows into the soul and doorways to other dimensions. These stones are reported to have extremely powerful magical properties, the most important of which is protection.
In 2011 I received a wonderful email from a woman in the United States:
“I am a camp counselor/ trip guide at a wilderness canoe camp based in Ely, Minnesota, and will be leading a month long trip in Woodland Caribou Park and down the Bloodvein River into Lake Winnipeg beginning in late July. I have been searching far and wide for something special to give to my three 16-17 year old campers to commemorate our adventure together this summer, and your necklaces seem perfect: they are relevant to the place we will be traveling, they are simple and naturally elegant, and I love the idea that they offer protection, as this will be my camper’s first experience with whitewater paddling.”
I designed 5 matching necklaces for them.
Apparently they are especially lucky when given to someone.
One has to be lucky to find these stones. The trick is to look for the hole, not the rock.See this post for more lucky stone confligrations.