finding balance

Seeking all kinds of art helps me keep my life in balance, when it’s tipping to one side or the other. The quest of finding balance and finding inspiration.

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world... Mary Oliver

snapshot by LLGriffin
snapshot by LLGriffin

Invitation by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

My faithful companion

studio shot by LLGriffin

Everyday I walk my dog. I’m not sure if it’s for her or me.

She’s a rescue. We think she was about 3 years old when we brought her home.  One of my kids wanted a dog soo bad, but as the story goes, she has become my doggie and alas I’m the leader!

Over time I’ve seen many things on our walks from different people and their dogs, along with wildlife. And people have said a lot of things to me or my dog during that time.

“I thought you were walking a fox”

“She looks just like a fox”

“She looks just like a fox, what kind of dog is she?”

These comments happen often but I really think she looks like a wolf.

But the one person that stands out – I was walking my dog on the greenbelt near my house and ended up in another neighborhood.  As I’m walking west on the right side of a quiet street, a car is driving east on the left side. The driver stops the car in the middle of the street and looks at my dog and says – Adorable, just adorable.

Her gesture and her comments made it seem like she was someone that was offering encouragement on my path.

Taking a Long Breath

Ritual is about preparing. 

I seemed to have agreed to take the path that spirals downward in to the depth of pain and confusion following my mother’s death.  To walk this path

I try to prepare to be with my heartbreak; to prepare to grieve. 

taking a long breath 6 by LLGriffin
taking a long breath 6 by LLGriffin

Where do I start?

Flowers.  I’ll start with flowers. They seem to be around during many transitions in life. 

I prepare for a ceremony with a crown wreath. 

Then I begin to pray, and the journey begins with the long breath that will help me go under the surface and into the murkiness.

I take a long breath.  On the exhale, I end up entering the belly of the whale. 

In the middle of the belly, I take the next inhale, and willingly but reluctantly step into the messiness of my pain and truth.

Taking a Long Breath #7 from the art series Inside the Belly of the Whale
taking a long breath 7 by LL Griffin

Is red the color of love and pain?

Well – yes it would seem that way. Red represents power and pain. It also is the color of life, love, anger, and danger.

The color red, like fire, heats and destroys.

There are many shades of red, from an earth tone to a fire-engine red. Red cuts through a scene like a river flows and expands through an empty landscape.  When I use red in my brush work, it reminds me of the pain and power inherent in each stroke.

mixed media by LLGriffin
mixed media by LLGriffin

This journal is a journey

Let it help you on your path.

Buy the Journal