Circles (May 27- June 2, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

I have enjoyed many mornings painting from this vantage point, appreciating the sounds, fragrance, and space of summer as it begins to unfold.  Sending much love and light to all of you as you sink into whatever season surrounds you...

("Flowers and light were the original filling of this circle, but I overworked it and got more and more irritated with the composition as I did so. In a moment of frustration at my self-imposed rule to not throw away any circle, I took a fully loaded brush and swiped over the whole thing (not taking deep breaths while I did so, ahem...). This new circle was no easier to reckon with, as now the paper was saturated and getting fuzzy from overworking. I layered color after color into the new space, and added in detail here and there, all the while reflecting how much this mirrors life, and how often we confront things way more challenging than a circle on paper, wishing we could paint over it or just get a fresh one out from the drawer and start over. But we all pick up our brushes again and again, painting into spaces that are challenging. I hope you honor your determination and resolve to face the things in your life that take all that you have, and that you find beauty in the process and in the layers that come to light...")


("On this day of honoring those who have served and those who have gone before us, I am also mindful of those who still walk, with wounds and scars that we may not see, and the circles of loved ones who deeply know and feel the impact and after effects of this sacrifice. Let us remember all who have fought in a myriad of ways, and offer gratitude for the dedication and courage required, as well as call forth love, space, and light for healing.")


("As I continue to age alongside those I love, I am aware of the gentleness that it takes to continue growing and maturing, and the privilege of experiencing this progression... Holding awareness of the many aspects of life that bring darkness, I remain grateful for this innate ability to grow towards the light. May we all be supporting branch and shelter for each other in this journey.")


("Waking up to a heartfelt message sent by a friend who could not sleep, I pondered her gentle thoughtful words, steeped in gratitude and kindness, as I walked the dog up and down the hill in the darkness. My heart felt full, aware of the profound power of affirmation. When I left social work and my years with hospice, I vowed to cultivate this gift by practicing it in the present, having witnessed it proclaimed many times over at the end of life. I have been fortunate to experience the plunge through vulnerability that brings the joy of expressed sentiments. How fortunate we are to reflect to each other what we do not always see in ourselves, and to be enriched every single day by this collective of interdependent energy and love...")


("Holding space again for those in the tenuous place of proceeding to next steps, wishing abundant energy and the courage needed to persevere... Please send love, light, and prayers to my sister-in-law, brother, and their daughters, as they finally meet with the oncologist today... it is deeply appreciated.")


("This morning I slowly awakened from deep sleep, unaware for precious moments, that I had a body... I love to float in this vastness, untethered to time and space... it sings of the value of surrendering to the respite that all of our bodies, minds, and spirits need to flourish. This truth was reflected in the plan my sister-in-law received from her oncologist yesterday— every third week of her regime is to be rest. In this place of peace and pure intention, we invite healing...")


("Yet again, I am mulling over how the human spirit is able to regain composure and set new paths when abruptly swept off course... I often watch the birds fly over and between the hills where we live, finding the current of air that supports their flight with as little wing action as necessary... and witnessing how much harder those wings must work when storms are approaching and the wind interrupts their ease of movement. Like them, we too hold innate abilities to reorient in the face of adversity, and to find inner strength in ourselves that we may not have realized we had.")