she knows who I am

It's February.

The sun is in Aquarius.

It's my birth month, the month we begin Lent, the month of Valentine's Day (this year Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday are the same day - so try to figure that one out), the month of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11.)

  St. Mary of the Lake Retreat Center, recreation of the Lourdes shrine

St. Mary of the Lake Retreat Center, recreation of the Lourdes shrine

In 1858, near Lourdes, in the south-west of France, a simple, delicate shepherdess named Marie Bernadette Soubirous was collecting firewood by the River Gave when a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared to her. Nobody believed her, of course, but she went on to experience eighteen such visions, in one of which Mary revealed a spring and told the girl to drink from it. In a later vision she was instructed to build a chapel there.
— A Book of Saints: An Evocative Celebration in Prose and Paintings

I am thinking about Divine Choice.

And how God sends assistance.

And how I can allow myself to be nurtured by the sacred feminine.

As I approach 49, I'm aware that I live now the consequences of my earlier choices, and in so many cases, I wish I'd chosen differently.

I regret things I didn't do. Things I should have said, but didn't. Chances I should have taken. Opportunities I squandered. Time and money wasted. Work I wish I'd done.

I regret the times I swallowed back on my truth, when I did not stand up for myself, when I went along with things I knew weren't right for me, when I listened to the collective, or another person's opinion, instead of my heart.

With ever fiber of my being, I regret not wearing sunscreen; all of the times I self-medicated with sugar; the pretzel shapes I bent myself into in order to please other people; the precious things I've lost out of carelessness.

But my life is not over.

It is one of my pet peeves when women my age call themselves old or say things like, Getting old sucks, because we're not old.

It's just that we live in a youth culture that values smooth skin over lessons learned and flat bellies over organic wisdom.

I happen to think people in my age demographic are just reaching our peak of beauty and sexiness and vibrance. 

Because we know who we are, and there's nothing more attractive than that.

And I don't believe that patterns must repeat.

I don't believe that changes not yet completed will never be completed - that the way things have always been is the way they will always be.

There's still time for me to make the art I want to make, write what needs to be written, say what is mine to say: transform.

The Cosmic Mother reminds me of this. Gently, firmly, she guides me down the road that is left for me to walk and reminds me of what it is to be brave.

When I think of St. Bernadette, it is her bravery I think of.

I think of how she had to trust what she was seeing and hearing, how she did what the vision asked of her even though it was a risky thing to do, even though she was told to stop, even though she knew it could cause her harm.

She went forward and the result was healing. Her own healing, and the healing of others.

She was placed in considerable jeopardy when she reported the vision, and crowds gathered when she had further visits from the Virgin, from February 18 of that year through March 4. The civil authorities tried to frighten Bernadette into recanting her accounts, but she remained faithful to the vision. On February 25, a spring emerged from the cave, and the waters were discovered to be of a miraculous nature, capable of healing the sick and lame.
— Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints

I have always been captivated by St. Bernadette and the Lourdes vision. There is something so beautiful, so gentle, so fierce about it - the way the young girl doesn't know what she is seeing, but knows that she is compelled to return; the way Mary shows up again and again, revealing a little at a time about who she is, who Bernadette is.

And of course there are the herbs, there is the water. 

Our Lady Lourdes teaches natural medicine. She teaches through the elements.

The Lourdes story is a story of the Mother Earth and how we've been given everything here that we need.

It is, above all, of course, a story of Love.

I suppose one reason I love stories of visions and manifestations is because they eliminate doubt.

I can pray and meditate all day. I can see signs and trust my intuition and feel God moving in my heart, but what if Mother Mary appeared before me a shimmering apparition, seen by my own eyes?

What if she spoke?

What then?

What if there could be no denial?

Nothing lost in the translation.

Nothing but pure communion.

Once, about twenty years ago, I was lying in my bed. I was neither asleep nor awake, but in that in between state. From the right hand corner of the ceiling, heard a woman's voice say my name.

It was crystal clear - not a dream or an hallucination.

It was simply a voice calmly saying my name.

I screamed. 

And never heard a voice like that one again.

So maybe I'm not the best candidate for seeing full bodied apparitions of the Divine (although I'd like to think I've grown in feelings of safety over the past twenty years), but that moment is one of a handful of experiences I've had wherein the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world was lifted and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that we are not alone here in this world.

I have always had a sort of spiritual hunger.

I have always wanted and probably always will want more. 

I'm a little bit God-obsessed.

And while I realize it's a big turn-off for a lot of people, there's not much I can do to change it, nor would I if I could. It's how and why I do what I do.

So it's God I turn to and it isn't even a conscious turning. It's simply what is, what I do.

It's God I ask when I need help, clarity - assistance.

And even in my foggiest passages, I trust.

She knows my name.

She knows who I am.

  She Knows    Acrylic on Canvas    20 x 24   If this painting speaks to you, purchase it  here .

She Knows

Acrylic on Canvas

20 x 24

If this painting speaks to you, purchase it here.

 

Bernadette I a poem I wrote several years ago.

The entire film Song of Bernadette.


Vision Paintings 2018

A Prayer Painting for the new year

I call my painting process prayer painting, because that's what it is. I write a prayer on the canvas then intuitively paint what shows up.

This year, I'm offering a specific take on the prayer painting - Vision Paintings - to serve as holy containers for your prayers, wishes, and intentions for 2018.

I'm accepting orders for Vision Paintings through February 28 (or until they're booked up.)

You can learn more about my process and these paintings here.


View my gallery here.

Shop here.