renewal – nourishment

spoonful of borscht

Funny – I posted a photo of my red soup for last month’s theme, too. This is a new batch. I make it every month around the time of my period. There’s a weird kind of nutritional thinking that says to eat foods that look like the organ you’re trying to nourish. Sometimes there’s even some scientific truth to back it up. For example, walnuts look kind of like brains, and they actually happen to be high in the essential fatty acids that nourish brains.

I have no illusions that beet soup is actually the best thing to eat to nourish my body after blood loss. I just think it’s pretty. But I don’t like to eat it all the time, so if I save it just for my period, then I look forward to it. It’s more special.

(I also believe in the power of placebos. So I figure, if I pretend that beet soup is good for blood loss, then what can it hurt?)

I appreciate red soup, and my body’s regenerative powers.

~

Photo theme for April: Renewal

comfort – warmth (bonus photo)

red tulips

Even though March has come to an end, I couldn’t resist adding an extra photo to this month’s comfort theme. This is a photograph of some red tulips that my flower-loving colleague brought in to work this month. (She also brought these and these.)

This was one of my favorite photos of the month, because of the gorgeous warm colours. (I shot the tulips from above, against the background of discarded cork board.) March was a warm month for me, overall.

I appreciate warm colours.

~

Listen to my Cowbird.com story that uses this photo as an illustration.

Photo theme for March: Comfort

god’s eyes

god's eyes

When my niece and nephew were visiting in the summer, my niece made a craft with some dyed popsicle sticks. She left the craft behind when they went home. Several weeks ago I found it, and recycled most of the components (shh!). I wanted to do something with the popsicle sticks, though. I thought maybe they would make great God’s eyes or “yarn paintings,” with some of my many colours of yarn.

Tonight when I was gathering together some things to take to my parents’, I pulled out the sticks and some yarn, thinking the God’s eyes would be something nice to make while I visited with Mom and Dad. I wasn’t sure how to make them, though, so when I got there I searched for a tutorial on my iPhone, and found this video. I love how into it the kid is. My finished results turned out really well (see the photo at the beginning of this post). I hung them in two of my windows when I got home.

I just looked up God’s eyes on Wikipedia, because I wanted to learn more about them. I love the many shades of meaning…

Update: Tuesday night, November 29. The God’s eyes lasted less than 24 hours in my back room windows. The cats found them, and managed to pull one down and run off with it the morning after they were made. I moved them to my kitchen doorway, and there they hang, now.

God's eyes in my kitchen doorway

woodland cathedral

Autumn leaves at Westminster Ponds Conservation Area

This morning I decided to go for a walk in the woods. I’ve been doing this a lot lately, because walking in the woods is good for me. Plus it’s a great place to take photographs. And I feel most alive when I’m taking photographs.

So I went for a walk in the woods. And it was awesome. And by awesome, I mean… [no words].

When I was much younger, I wondered why church services were the way they were. I mean, why they started with music, then prayer, then some more music, then some readings, then a sermon/homily/ersatz lecture… I really wanted to know. Was there a reason? Or was it arbitrary?

Then I read a lot of the work of an amazing psychoanalyst named Marion Woodman. And something in one of her books (sorry, can’t remember which one) caught my brain. It was about ritual. About how ritual is for taking humans on a journey to a meeting with the divine… and then returning to regular life. Hopefully transformed.

At a time when church has lost its meaning for many people, ritual runs the risk of becoming unconscious and unmediated. As I walked through the woods on a Sunday morning, I suddenly realized I was participating in a ritual. I dressed for my walk in special clothes before I left home. I travelled to a special place. I left my car in a parking lot. I entered a sanctuary. I began looking with my “photography” eyes. Laser focus. Shifted consciousness. I shot. I waited. I looked. I shot. I waited…

I didn’t walk far. There was no place I needed to be. I nearly fell over several times, though – standing too quickly after kneeling and praying shooting into the sun…

I turned around and started to walk back out. I didn’t want to leave, but I had soaked up as much of the path as I could, with my dazzled mind and my iPhone.

Then I looked up a hill. There was a sign asking not to climb it. I stopped seeing the sign. I climbed.

At the top, I knew exactly why I had come. I lay down on the forest floor on a bed of dry leaves, and stared at the sky. After a while, I posted this. Then I just lay there, looking. Seeing. Breathing. Feeling.

I heard the crows before I saw them. They flew above the trees, heading south. Flying and flying and flying over, too many crows to count. Hundreds of crows – a dozen or so at a time. At one point my mind kind of bent, and I wondered if it was the same dozen crows, just looping over and over again. Because I couldn’t believe there could be that many crows. I love crows.

When I was full – of sunshine and redyellow leaves and black wings on blue sky – I walked out a second time. Church was over for another week.

©2011, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow. All rights reserved.