[NOTE: Today’s featured post and mandala art is from a blog post that I published back in 2009. It is fun to revisit themes and it seemed so timely with Easter upon us.]
My creativity was at an all time high last weekend and by Sunday evening I was tired. I had that feeling of exhaustion and let down one gets after preparing for a party and celebrating. I reminded myself that I was tired and that turning in early was the best thing to do. Before bed I picked up the book, “Seasons of Your Heart” by Macrina Wiederkehr. It was my first time opening the book since a colleague had loaned it to me. Too tired to read it from the beginning, I thought I would randomly open it up to see the message that appeared. I turned to page, 118 where I found a poem titled, “On Letting Easter In.”
When dawn stands still with wonder
when birds jubilate in the trees
when buds hurry into blossoms
and grass starts wearing green
I always know that Easter wants to come again.
But deeper yet and richer still
When Jesus, imprisoned in me,
asks me to roll away the stone
that locks me in
then Easter wants to come again.
So, let it come
It’s one dawn past rising time
and Resurrection is the wildest news
that’s ever touched
this crazy, mixed-up world.
It says, yes!
when everything else say, no!
It says, up!
when everything else says, down!
It says, live!
when everything else says, die!
Easter’s standing at your door again,
so don’t you see that stone has got to go?
that stone of fear
of selfishness and pride
of greed and blindness
and all the other stones we use
to keep Jesus in the tomb.
So here’s to rolling stones away
to give our Lord the chance He needs
to rise and touch
a troubled, lonely world.
Some call it Resurrection.
It’s wild with wonder,
It’s beautiful and real
Intent on throwing life around
it touches and it heals!
Yes, Easter, you can come
An angel of life I’ll be.
I’ll roll the stone away
and set you free.
This poem and Marcina’s reflections grabbed my attention – I took this as a BIG sign to stop and listen.
What are my stones that are in the way and holding me back? Macrina’s reflections speak of the tomb that Jesus was in and how it was in essence a womb. When the stone rolled away Jesus was able to come out – be reborn. If we look at this as a metaphor for our own lives it seems reassuring to reframe our periods of death (or low creative cycles) as time in the womb. Look at the stones and take heart — remember that you are brave! You can move them away. I reflected on these ideas throughout the week.
The images of stones reminded me of a beautiful mandala in the book, “Natural Mandalas” by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma. The title of the mediation “Flowing with the Stream” is paired with a mandala that shows rocks and water. Lisa writes,
“The Tao Te Ching places great emphasis on the inevitable flow of nature – the Tao itself, in which we must immerse ourselves. This involves surrendering all pointless resistance to change and allowing nature to take its course.”
Pictured above is a mandala I designed that was inspired by both Marcina and Lisa. I began with pulling out some papers that I had painted. These are from a recent project of taking photocopies of maps and altering them with acrylic paints. The journal page was prepared first by brushing on gesso followed by a wash of green acrylic paint. A piece of my blue map paper was cut into a circle. Stones were made from cutting circles out of some purple map paper. The stones were glued to the larger circle. Lines were drawn in with a black felt marker.
As I traced around the various stones I thought about the stone of fear, of selfishness and pride, of greed and blindness. I thought about how there are times when we need to let go and move around these stones as the water moves in the stream.
I followed the curves of the rocks and filled in the page adding some blue and green ripples and waves ~ these are the turbulent waters of change. I kept some areas blank to show the still quiet waters that represent the place where quiet reflection can take place.
My “Easter” wish is to recognize the stones that are blocking my way to being the very best me. My wish is to be pure of heart, a heart with direction, expectation, and purpose; a heart that sees the world with wonder like a child. My wish is to live whole-heartedly.
This is an exciting time in my life and I feel so much gratitude for the gifts that I have and the friends who join me on this amazing adventure we call life.
I hope my Easter reflection fills you up with joy for it is a time to celebrate LIFE!
Share your mandala stories with us over in the 100 Mandalas Sharing Circle, a private website for mandala enthusiasts.