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THE ART BEAT: Kudos to Dutch Nature Artist Paula Kuitenbrouwer on her newest book

8103372-9c1f4a2a29abdb8bf0d1c7398b7d8cabPAULA KUITENBOUWER is a Dutch nature artist. Her particular special gift is to help us appreciate the beauty of the natural world. I’m pleased that she’s compiled a portfolio of her art into a book that includes twenty-four of her drawings along with thirteen short explanations. This master of the tools of her trade shares with us the kind of beauty that can only be found through sustained observation and a meditative approach to art. Paula’s work has inspired a number of my poems but the poem featured below was really fun to write.

Several years ago Paula wrote an explaination to go with a colored sketch that featured a beetle.  Since Paula is a good writer as well as a fine artist, the first line was both an homage to her unutterable respect for life and absolute poetry filled with the promise of story.

“I found a Carabidae beetle in a bucket with water and regretted its death by drowning… “

The line put me in mind of Isak Dinesen‘s unforgettable opening for Out of Africa,

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills . . . “

Something about those evocative sentences lets you know there’s a good story to come. And there was.

“It lay there for at least an hour and I hoped so much it would give a sign of life. Then I did the most crazy thing imaginable; I turned it on its back, squeezed it gently, and gave it heart massage (don’t ask). Three drops of water came out. I have no clue why I did such a weird thing. Would somebody tell me he or she had given cardiac massage to a beetle, I would have laughed out loud.” [Paula Kuitenbrouwer]

Check out Paula’s fine art at Mindful Drawing.

I REGRETTED ITS DEATH BY  DROWNING

after Paula Kuitenbrouwer

the garden floating in violet and ruby hues,
by the side of the house, a beetle floats too,
so jewel-like, amethyst and brilliant against
the dull gray water, it does not move

it lies there still as the dead of noon across
a bone-colored desert, and her hand so white,
wing-like flutters against its rigor, laying it
on the table, by a pad to sketch with pencils

that minuscule life, no will to release it
into whatever beetle heaven there might be,
laying tender finger to knead a tube-like heart
holding her breath, willing air into spiracles

wishful thinking? a flicker from the antennae?
slight movement of a leg? perhaps, perhaps
some healing pressure, one gentle push,
three drops of water, success in late hours

to savel a beetle, to sketch in varied colors
with time to hug the child and sip hot tea …
a creature rescued from death by drowning
and cherish the mindful drawing for a memory

– Jamie Dedes

© 2012, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit ~ David Wagner, Public Domain Pictures.net

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THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

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see me with our old soul, your wise owl eyes

lotus-moon-1000-72014_20140718_0001i belong to the wind, to grandmother moon
to the vision of the hawk, the depth of the sea
i am the heart of a lion drinking the sun
i am the true journey, the undiscovered path
i am the life in the fox, centered and silent,
apparent in the stillness between breaths
i am the flame of meaning that lights the night
see me with your old soul, your wise owl eyes

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserve; illustration: spirit animal with permission by Gretchen Del Rio.  If you have not visited Gretchen’s site, you must.  Fabulous!

Rest in Natural Great Peace This Exhausted Mind

As we honor the closure of 2014 with celebrations both spiritual and secular, may our spirits rest in “Natural Great Peace” and may that peace perfume the greater world around us.

We usher in this season with one of The Bardo Group’s most popular posts as both a gift and an inspiration.

Meanwhile, on behalf of newly birthed The Bardo Group/Beguine Again collaborative, best wishes for a rich life of mind and spirit in 2015.

Volume 1, Issue 3 of our arts and spirit eZine, The B Zine, will publish on January 6.

Many blessings,
Jamie Dedes

“Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags are a common sight in Sikkim. The concept is truly beautiful. Prayers are written on flags and put up. The wind plays its part in letting the flags flutter and the symbolic reciting of the prayers.

I made this painting of prayer flags across a frozen Tsomgo (Changu) Lake on 22 June 2005.” Painting and text belong to: Naresh Kumar Agarwal, a gentleman talented in both arts and technology and committed to using his skills and wisdom in the service of humanity. 

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MEDITATION

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

You’ll have to link through to YouTube to view this beautiful and healing meditation.

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Photograph of Nyochul Khen Rinpoche courtesy of Rigpa Wiki.
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Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche or Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje (Wyl. smyo shul mkhan po ‘jam dbyangs rdo rje) (1932-1999) was such a consummate master of Dzogpachenpo, and such an authority on the teachings of Longchenpa, that his disciples regarded him as Longchenpa in the flesh. He was the teacher of many of the younger generation of lamas, as well as a number of western Buddhist teachers. He became one of Sogyal Rinpoche‘s most beloved masters. MORE