Wonder Round (July 15-21, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

After almost a week away that was saturated with connection and fullness, I was happy to return home to our own flow, which has been at least as busy!  Hoping your past week or so has been positive, and full of goodness... Thank you for following along here, week by week!

("After spending the day soaking up the company of beloved female energy in my family, I had the gift of meeting up with my lifelong buddy that knows me as deeply as my sisters. I went to sleep feeling filled with the power of positive feminine energy, and awoke grateful for all connections that feed this innate calling for connection, compassion, nurturance, and strength. I am so grateful for all that radiate this love and energy— friends and family, near and far. We build each other up and bring rejuvenation to one another in many unique and special ways, and that is to be celebrated!")

 

("Last night after my friend and I ate and walked through old stomping grounds, we began to drive back to her home, when the familiarity of the road signs prompted me to impulsively call out to pull onto the next street— the street where my high school art teacher lived well over 30 years ago. I lost touch with him when my 14 yo son was 4 years old, and my youngest was just a babe. Although I still remembered his home number (as I was their babysitter for years), that number had long been disconnected. Although not at all a person who likes to drop in on people, my obliging friend was more than willing to stop and let me knock on the door... eventually, after the dog quit barking, the couple in the shadowed hallway motioned for us to meet them at the side door, where I was thrilled to see that it was indeed, my art beloved teacher and his dear wife.

It was quite a relief and joyous reunion, and they invited us in, although late, and we chatted away about families, careers, and especially about our kids and their now grandkids (yes, the ones born to the babes I babysat!). The last time we had seen each other, I was in the throes of raising our wee ones, and my creativity channeled into making them toys, playing with them, and walking all over the place with them on my back. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to be able to share with him that I have been working hard on making art and getting it out into the world, a bit at a time, influenced deeply by the four years I was fortunate to be taught by him. It was especially fun because in high school, my art-making revolved around an avoidance and terror of anything 3D (which, of course, is the thing I now love most), which I told him was just proof that we are all capable of change. I know we will follow up again and stay in touch, the encounter being well worth the risk of bothering unknown residents of this old house.")

 

("After spending time with my family the other day, I had the opportunity to photograph my oldest brother’s beloved collections of butterflies and moths, which he started as a boy, and stopped over 30 years ago. I hold vivid memories of these beautiful creatures hanging in rows in wooden cases on his wall, each one identified by a tiny precise tag, scientific name and location documented. I was mesmerized by them. I am sure that these memories combine with my own experience of running through the fields as a child, following the flight paths of all delicately winged colorful beings, which now emerge through my many butterfly/moth-influenced sculptures. I know that I envied their freedom of flight, and the way they could seem to choose their direction on a whim, rest when they wanted, and soak up the sunshine-filled flowers. 


Sadly, my brother had not gotten them out of his storage area (with his vast collections of found arrowheads and stones and nature bits that line those shelves— he has an incredible connection to nature), and found almost all of them to have been destroyed by carpet beetles, leaving only a few broken wings and their dust in the bottoms of the cases, the pins now standing alone. The lesson of impermanence was painful and shocking, as it often is. However, he obliged to let me photograph even the remnants, which I found beautiful in their own right, seeming reflective of how we emerge through life’s experiences... a bit frayed, torn, battered, even, yet what is left is still full of life, and the inherent beauty of our essence. To have the chance to take my macro lens up to the very fibers of their wings and bodies in all states of fullness or decay, made me happy beyond words. It was incredibly exciting to study the patterns, colors, textures, shapes, and sizes that made up the wings and their varying undersides. I had the chance to see many that remained intact from travels to Mexico, an amazing treat with their surreal explosion of color and form. I always photograph things in real life to use in my sculptural work, as this connection is vital for my finished work. I left reminded of the value of each day we get...")

 

("I have been thinking much of neurons in the past few days, reflecting on their undeniable yet invisible presence, enabling messages to travel at lightening speed from one end of our bodies to the other so that we may function. It is so amazing, the complexity and power of the human body... I have also been thoughtful about the emotional messages we carry inside our minds and the ones we transmit to others as we go through each day— these we can influence, practicing mindfulness to shape their energy in a direction that is positive. That is empowering!")

 

   ("As much as I appreciate the high energy, culture, diversity, and accessibility in big cities, I have to say that I am so happy to be home in the country. It was joyful to awaken in my own bed, having fallen asleep not to the newly discovered sound app that played frog song by my hotel bedside, but to the real calls heard just by opening my window before sleep last night.  I am thankful for all those things which I can access in large cities, yet deeply grateful to have a small community and space on our hillside in which to return. There is a quiet here that is necessary to my well-being, and all of me is soaking it up before getting back into the flow of what is needed today. Hooray for small moments of connection to things which make us grounded and content...")     

("As much as I appreciate the high energy, culture, diversity, and accessibility in big cities, I have to say that I am so happy to be home in the country. It was joyful to awaken in my own bed, having fallen asleep not to the newly discovered sound app that played frog song by my hotel bedside, but to the real calls heard just by opening my window before sleep last night. 
I am thankful for all those things which I can access in large cities, yet deeply grateful to have a small community and space on our hillside in which to return. There is a quiet here that is necessary to my well-being, and all of me is soaking it up before getting back into the flow of what is needed today. Hooray for small moments of connection to things which make us grounded and content...")

 

("The composition that made itself known in this circle is simple today— what began as still lines took on a life of their own as they morphed into motion... Yesterday, we got a new kitten from the shelter, and bringing her home to begin the adjustment to life with our 3 older cats and frisky dog brought much movement of energy in our household. We are all trying to ease in and relax, despite the diligence, watchful eyes, and comforting that will continue as we all fall into place. The word, “sway” seems like a fitting gentle word containing the energy I will try to embody as we make our way with this sweet new life.")

 

("Like a streak of lightning, he flew by— a burst of shimmering turquoise quickly followed by a second, and then a lilting flash of vibrant lemon yellow. As I rounded the other side of the hill, orangey-reds fluttered by before resting in trees. How I love these richly saturated birds that are in our midst every day, especially the indigo buntings, finches, and striking cardinals. It was a wonderfully jolting start to the day. Wishing you color and vibrancy in your weekend...")

 



Click here to subscribe to Beneath the Bark.