I have been carrying with me a translation of Rudolf Steiner’s ‘The Year Participated’, which is a collection of weekly meditations to be read throughout the year. This particular translation is a gift from a very dear friend, Anne-Marie, who also happens to be my gorgeous Art Teacher!
While I am riding along, the verse is in a clear plastic wallet on my bar bag, so that I memorise and even recite it to myself.
I realise that they have become enmeshed with the journey in a quite wonderful way, and that painting them has been a very natural next step.
They have been and continue to be a true Spiritual resource and inspiration as well as profoundly nourishing in those times when not only the flesh has weakened!
During my exquisite time in retreat up in the hills above Noto over Christmas and the New Year, I have had the time to re-read my diaries and reflect on the relevance of each week’s verse to the week in question. I am delighted to find that I only have to look at a day’s entry to be able to clearly picture the place, the mood and sensations….. ( encouraging, perhaps, for family who were convinced I should consult someone soon over my appalling memory!!) I have tried to combine the sense of the verse with the events and flavour of that week and I have been truly delighted with the results, simple as they are.
I thought I would put up a few of my favourites.
You wont be surprised that I haven’t quite managed all 28 yet, but I have been regularly blown away by the uncanny precision and aptness ( is that a word?) of each verse. Take this one, for instance. This was the week I left home, leaving behind the beauty of the Devon hills and taking the huge leap of faith from Totnes platform onto the train. The wonderful farewell roar from the crowd on that platform brings tears to my eyes now!
The rose on the trellis, incidentally, represents years of friendships. One dear friend in particular, John Platt, who is a most wonderful artist and artistic director of stunning Shakespeare plays, without fail gives me the most heavenly scented red rose whenever I perform at our local Devon Steiner School. As he doesn’t have a computer, would somebody kindly let him know that he has been mentioned!!!?
” The flush of beauty round the world
forces my soul to search her depths
for godlike powers, to set them free
and send them winging out into the world,
to leave myself behind me
in trust that I shall find me
there in the Light, there in the Warmth again”
I could not have known then, how the exercise in trust would carry me through the cooler weather and difficulties of finding places to stay ( having jettisoned my tent) in Slovakia and the bitterly cold and shortening days of Hungary, with it’s sad sense of increasingly oppressive government. The extraordinary generosity and initiative from the 3 families in Budapest who so warmly had me to stay with them and then finally out into the wonderful light and warmth of Sicily.
Gratitude bubbles up time and again… I only have to look back to see that it is a constant theme.
You could call it intuition or will or inner strength, but my experience is of being consistently beyond myself and of being led and fed in ways that I could not possibly have organized so beautifully. These verses are playing a very important part.
In the next couple of posts, I shall just put up the verse and it’s picture.