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Over the years I’ve spent quite a lot of time out in nature, off-trail (only where permitted). In those many many jaunts I found myself noticing little pockets of shelter, somewhere a plant or a creature might be safe from the elements which can certainly be harsh.

Today there is a Pow Wow near my home~a friend of mine is of Native American descent so he always participates. If the rain stops long enough I plan to go. Oh, the drums and the costumes are wonderful. But what I find astonishing and irresistible is the acceptance you find there. Native Americans have as much right as anyone to harbor a festering hate in their hearts…and yet they don’t. They hold these pow wows in part to offer healing. All are welcomed and even invited to dance in the circle, regardless of race or sex. It is a powerful experience. They aren’t trying to convert anyone, merely spend some time dancing together. It creates a sanctuary of peace, one I hope we can all experience.

19 thoughts on “Sanctuary

  1. It’s a gorgeous sanctuary too! I love the flowering vine/bush growing on the log, and how the log arcs over the stream. Your color palette…I’ll just repeat myself. I love the colors you choose, blues, purples, pinks, and that sunny, cheerful yellow, and green!

    I’ve been to a couple of Pow-Wows and they are magical, spiritual, mesmerizing, and jaw dropping for me. I love the drums, the songs, the jingling bells, the wild, and sometimes flowing and graceful fringe on their clothes when they dance. It’s hard for me to put into words how wonderful they are.

    1. Thank you so much, Deborah! I like the colors in this one too. I’ve been wanting to break out of my blue streak, much as I love it. I’m so glad that you have also been able to experience Pow Wows. They are indeed wonderful.

  2. Thank you so much, Deborah! This painting just sort of painted itself, and I am delighted that it resonates so well with you.
    And Pow Wows! I know what you mean~they simply leave me speechless with delight.

  3. It is a wonderful thing!

    1. Thank you Eliza! Yes, finding sanctuary is indeed a wonderful thing.

  4. The arc of the log is so pleasing. I’ve always liked hollowed-out logs, even when there’s little more than the bark left. I think you’ve done this one perfectly, and the almost accidental flowers huddled inside are charming. Do you feel that you’re more and more able to express your inner intention for a painting, and that the result is more often pleasing to you? I get that sense, just from the quality of your work.

    1. You are so perceptive, Linda. Thank you for your kind thoughts on it. I always feel “seen” when you look at my work. You are right, I do seem more able to express my inner intention, and it is really thrilling.

  5. The log is beautiful. The soft colours very soothing. I keep several decaying logs at the end of the garden and they are full of life. Just part of the cycle.

  6. Thank you Andrew!
    We are of like mind~I also have a rotting log gracing the far end of my garden, embracing a small wetland. The woodpeckers love it!

  7. I recently spent an evening taking with several Native Americans from New Mexico and shared the same experience as you. After apologizing for my ignorance, I learned so much from they. They were kind, patient with my questions, very humble and unassuming, and had a killer sense of humor.

    1. That sounds like a wonderful encounter, Angela. I wish I were more like them.

  8. Another confident step in the direction of abstraction.

  9. Thank you Steve. I expect it will go in fits and starts.

  10. A lovely piece, and lovely idea as well. Nature is a sanctuary – and this represents it.

    1. Thank you, Tom! I’m never sure I’m really conveying what I hope to so I really appreciate your kind feedback.

  11. The hollow log in the hollow gives a lovely impression of a safe space. I almost expected to see a tiny creature peering out from, or curled up in, the flower in the log. I would love to attend a Pow Wow.

    1. When I set out to paint this, I was just interested in how the log looked, and the contrast between it and the delicate plant growing in front of it. But when I stepped back and saw how it all came together with the swirling colors, it looked like a safe place to me too. I’m so glad it did to you. I did consider tucking in a wee creature 🙂
      Yes, if you ever come visit a Pow Wow is a must. You’ll love it! 🙂

      1. And if you come to New Zealand one day maybe you will see a Powhiri I have only seen one on TV, actually, even though I have lived here for so long.

      2. Oh neat. It makes me glad when tribes keep their traditions alive.

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