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creatura1Yesterday, over coffee, my friend Elizabeth asked me if I meditate.  I didn’t know how to answer her because I wasn’t sure if she would agree that what I do is mediation.  I know there are lots of ways to meditate and sometimes I do these more traditional ways, but what I do most is not listed in meditation books. 

I dream on things. 

I might sit and consider possibilities or call a concern to my mind in the times between waking or sleeping.  I let go of my mind and watch it follow a thought from one place to another.  In this way I can pull together complicated ideas or expand on more simple concepts. 

I am able to get results from this which help me to be my personal best. For example, I will lay down and dream ona subject before Ibegin to write my term paper.  This practice feels very indulgent, but I find when I skip this process that I get stuck and frustrated.

I looked up the etimology of the word meditate on www.etymonline.com.  It is a dictionary which tells you the original use and meaning of words.  Some of the meanings I found relevant to the kind of meditation I have been describing come from med which is to think over or consider something. But my favorite derivitive of that root, mederi means to heal.

A more personal etymology for the term dreaming on comes from the movie The Missingwith Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones.  Jones plays the father of Blanchett.  He has spent a good portion of his adult life living with and as a Native American.  I believe the movie is set at the turn of the century.  The father sits with his granddaughter and appears to be sleeping or at least napping.  He is playing over in his mind the possibilities of the day to come. He explains to her that he is “dreaming on” what will happen.  Later, the little girl uses that  process to vision the life she and her family will have together. 

missing_ver3

I had discovered that tool for myself years ago but found Jones’ term gave a worthy name to it. 

Most recently, I have been dreaming on what feels like an intricate matrix of knots which are presenting themselves for untangling.  Every person has something that keeps them from living their fullest potential.  For me, I have a complicated series of inter-related events, beliefs, and responses having to do with my relationship to my body which keep me from being my best. 

In Gestalt therapy, there is a concept that talks about how an individual becomes mindful of disturbances which come to the forefront of their awareness.  The healthy individual has a dynamic interplay between the formation of these disturbances that come forward and the destruction of the disturbances.  My knots have come forward to be destroyed. I am hopeful that I have what it takes to heal that for myself.

As I contemplate what has come forward, I find images and metephors that are helping me make sense of how one thing is related to the other. I have been doing some art about this and talking about it a bit, but because of how complicated it all seems here in the beginning of the process, dreaming on the matrix is the least overwhelming thing to do.  It is a way of looking at the beast without touching it…so that I can discover its heart.

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It has been years since I have done shrink art, but recently I fell in love with it all over again.  While perusing Etsy, I came across   www.LittleAngelsJewelry.etsy.com.  I was delighted to find such exciting images.  So I bought a few.  The little ring featuring a ribcage with a heart has become my token reminder to tend to the emotional, spiritual and physical health of my heart.

Ribcage Ring

Last night, I even had a dream in which a Wise Woman told me to relax and open my heart to the world.  It is amazing what effect a tiny work of art, done with love, by a stranger across the country from you can have on your life.  We just never know how we touch one another.

Shrinky Healing Art

 

So in celebration of  my renewed, growing love of shrink art, I decided I would offer a few tips for working with it.  I even have a few of my old pieces that I think will be fun to revisit.

Shrinky Fairy2

The tips for ONE of MANY ways to do Shrink Art:

  • I start out by using an artist grade of shrink art paper called PolyShrink.  It is available from www.LuckySquirrel.com.  The paper is treated by sanding it with a light sandpaper in a crosshatched pattern (horizontally and vertically). 
  • Color can be applied a number of ways.  I prefer Prisma Color Pencils and Sharpies. 
  • Once the piece is colored, it can be cut out.  I prefer to do it this way if I have shapes to cut out so that my pencil doesn’t accidentally catch the edge and goober up the piece.  (Is “goober up” a technical term?) This would also be the step in which you could use a hole punch for jump rings or dangly things.
  • Pieces are baked in an oven (300-350 degrees F or 148-175 C according to Lucky Squirrel) on a piece of cardboard, resting inside a cookie sheet.  For more cooking directions, check out Lucky Squirrels General Instructions. 
  • To glue on any backings, I used E6000.  I have since heard others use a 2 part epoxy, but I haven’t tried that.  I would love to hear from anyone who has.  The trick with E6000 is to apply a small amount to both parts, let it dry and then glue those parts together.  You also want a tiny bit to well up over the edge of the stud disk or pin back to help hold it on. 
  • As for sealing, I used acrylic spray.  The trick there is to keep your layer thin, especially with the matte or it will get cloudy. Without some kind of sealant, the pieces tended to scratch up a bit.

Shrinky Fish

Well, I would love to hear from those who are doing Shrink Art.  I am looking forward to playing with it again.  What a fun Summer-time project!

My Etsy Shop

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Robert Alan

The creative spirit is one of the most powerful driving forces in human history. Creativity in the arts can inspire new insights and understanding for generations. Inventive creativity has helped transform our society time and time again, helping to make life better for countless lives. Creativity helps bring meaning to one's life through unique self-expression. When focused on uplifting humanity, creativity can help to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. How will you use your creativity to help create a better world?

Henry David Thoreau

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

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