We are Stepping Stones

We are community

We are Stepping Stones
We are Community

If you are feeling sad, scared, angry,
dispirited, devastated, disgusted,
please know you are not alone.

‘We are Stepping Stones.
We are Community.’

Who knew the little picture I painted yesterday,
alongside two art therapist pals, would resonate today?

You take one step at a time.
The stones are in the water.
You take one step at a time.
The water separates, connects, flows, nourishes.
You take one step at a time.
Each stone has space around it, yet is close to others.
You take one step at at a time.
You do not fall in the water.
You do not drown.

Who knows what is beyond this picture?
You take one step at a time.
For the moment, you are not alone.

Thank you for reading this, Art and Soul Space friend.

It was an aftermath expression from the recent Australian election weekend.

I share it with you with the intention of inspiring connection, hope, creativity, community.

In the words of a speaker on a post-election

Australian Conservation Foundation video,

‘Take time to grieve, reflect and connect….

Connect with your community, rest and recharge.

We’re really going to need you.

We need to look after each other so that we can be dangerous together’.

Here’s a link to a post-election article from the wise Stephanie Dowrick

Feel free to voice your responses.

with love, art and soul
from Sally

Advertisements

Climate Hope?

We see

the devastating effects of climate change.

We are beginning to know

climate grief, anxiety, loss, despair.

Is climate hope possible?

It’s the Ides of March. I attend the School Strike 4 Climate in Sydney.

My body propels me there.

The soul

of my being

ignites me

to join the throng of passionate youth.

School Strike 4 Climate
March, 2019 in Sydney

It is a privilege. I am moved.

John Lennon’s Imagine plays over the sound system. Thousands sing along. Those who know the song best are the mainly older women supporting the mainly younger women who form the phalanx, the guts, the heart, the mass movement.

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

How can I not cry, given the presence of considered, compassionate youthful force, coupled with That Song? Lucky I’m not the mother or grandmother of a self-conscious teen, as my river of tears pours down, down, into our damaged earth.

My thirteen year old self would have said, ‘How embarrassing’, and shrunk behind a rock.

However, self-consciousness doesn’t appear to dominate the scene.

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

Amazing, inspiring young women such as Jean Hinchliffe, age fifteen, host the huge rally and speak with extraordinary clarity and strength.

They are the sensible ones.

They are the alert, proactive, reality-based ones.

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

The old, right, white, male politicians? The new old Roman emperors who loll and bumble on their hot beds of greed, corruption and inaction? Or even take retrograde, destructive, willful action on a large scale?

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

Do they care?

Do they care about the world, or not-world, they are leaving for their progeny?

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

I won’t bang on. This is Art and Soul Space, after all. A place of light, but deep sharing of creative connection.

Meaningful creative connection

permeates the rally.

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

See Jean’s TEDx talk here. Her talk begins after about 25 minutes of proceedings.

As she says, she and her colleagues

might be too young to vote,

but they are not too young to take action.

See an article by Mary Robinson (ex-president of Ireland) here. Climate Change Denial is Evil.

See Artists and Climate Change blog site here.

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

And the thousands of young women and men, the school children? They are considerate and polite, as well as fierce.

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

Listen…

What is that sound?

Could it?

No, surely not. Could it be

the tinkle, the rustle, the whisper

of Climate Hope?

School Strike 4 Climate
Sydney in March, 2019

with love, art and soul
from Sally

Sea of Compassion

aka Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Your Brush on the Page

*thank you to last fortnight’s 3 poets

Last week, politicians stirred up a nasty brew of disruption and destabilisation in the nation’s central cauldron.

I was blessed with downtime. I kept my ear to the radio, my feet on the ground and my brush on the page. Still besotted with my near-new ‘Brilliants’, I self-soothed in the pleasantly safe, contained space of a small Art Journal. I followed the brush, the play and flow of watercolour. I did not plan my pictures. I stayed open.

I had a cuppa and chanced upon a Hugh Mackay article about compassion as a form of love. Compassion. Possibly a missing ingredient from the approaches and actions of the country’s main destabilisers. He says,

‘It is normal for humans to show compassion towards each other, because, in the end, we are each other.’

compassion sea art creativity

Sea of Compassion
with Heartfish
Sally Swain © art

Hugh Mackay is not the first or the only person to express such a sentiment. Poets, philosophers, religious guides have said the same thing countlessly. However, his words spoke to my bruised brush, my ailing spirit. His words spoke to my dismay that those who dehumanise and brutalise innocent asylum seekers are those who ruthlessly engineer to rule a country.

‘Although we like to think of ourselves as independent, we are more like islands in the sea – separate on the surface but connected to each other deep down.’

We are each other
Sally Swain © art
inspired by Hugh Mackay’s words

My bruised yet bountiful brush, my ailing yet

Continue reading

The Art of Yes

Is this too political?

Yes Vote art marriage equality

Art and Soul says Yes
(as does Sally Swain)

Here at Art and Soul Space, I try to not be issues-based, barrow-pushing, brow-battering political.

I wish to create a breathing space of spark and light; an honouring of human creative life force. I aim to cultivate beauty and authentic expression amidst the hurly-burly of haranguing horridness that many are faced with daily.

But hey.
Sharing my Yes Art fits with these desires AND it’s political. So I will stick my neck out, publicly proclaim a passionate opinion and risk whatever flak might arise.

And hey.

I’ve been political before here at Art and Soul Space blog, and it seemed to sit well with a few of you fine folk out there.
(see Art Heart Resources for troubled times)

Here goes, then…

We are

Continue reading

Art Heart Resources

for troubled times

Sorry to do this to you, Dear Reader, but again I am compelled to talk about creativity in this political era. I say sorry because I don’t wish to overwhelm or weigh you down. That’s the last thing I want to do.

heart art watercolour Swain

Art Heart Resource
(who knew a Sally painting could be so simple?)

I harp on about making art in troubled times, because

Continue reading

Looking the Monster in the Eye

In Which

One Artist Attempts

to Transform Fear and Loathing

into Peace and Power

A (Literally) Ripping Picture-Story Comprising Alternative Art Heart Facts

{Warning: you might not be able to stomach the ensuing facial photos}
{on the other hand, the face has been difficult to avoid, unless you live in a remote cave in an exotic location}

trump art collage paint Swain

Preface (a poem):

There’s no need to ration

self-care or compassion

when tending a wound

of the heart.

To deepen the healing,

allow space for feeling

and channel your hurt

through your art.

Chapter One
in which

Continue reading

How to tend a hurt heart

Creative Wellbeing in a Time of Trump

I cannot pretend. I cannot send out a glib, pretty message disconnected from deeper realities. I want to speak with you directly, from my heart to yours, and hopefully back again, in a loop of realness.

I wish to inspire the feeding of creativity, the gathering of community, the radiating of authentic connection.

heart art collage Swain

Sous
Sally Swain © original art

But here comes the Old Steam Train of Doubt … choo choo … puff puff … TOOOT!

Don’t

Continue reading