Tuesday, December 18, 2007

art as a spiritual practice by pat b. allen

so last night, finally, i took a break from my big pile of to dos and treated myself to a long, hot bath. i soaked. i ran the hottest water my body could stand, immersed myself, and turned page after page of pat b. allen's art as a spiritual practice. now this book, a precious gift from a wealthier self, has stood waiting for me to find it in the back row of my double lined bookshelves. a dear friend from class is deep in it, and i have just signed up for pat's class at jfku next semester, and just like they say at landmark (the landmark forum: http://www.landmarkeducation.com, whenever you sign up, that's when your forum starts.

mine has started with pat. pat, who's first book, art is a way of knowing, chronicled her emerging art practice at the beginning of her collaborative, public, studio transitions through the stories of her art and art making--going from public, collaborative, to private. i am, simultaneously, at the beginning of both books, but feel a kinship with this teacher of mine. instantly. from the awakenings of that first contact--at the jfku first ever holistic approaches to arts education conference last february, where she made space for me to enter my gradual graduate pursuit.

it was there the motif of body first emerged. it was there, where i felt all the women in my line, accompanying me to art school for the first? time? i feel them, still, with me, learning. and i feel her, (pat), too. (www.patballen.com and http://www.studiopardes.blogspot.com).

in the bathtub, submerged, i read and read and read voraciously, wishing i had a highlighter to bleed and drip over all the inspirational pages. this woman, this teacher, and all the learnings of her heart--well, she leads the way for me. i want, as i shared with her back then, to do the starbucks for the soul thing. she had a comment about it all--chronicled in a february post on blogspot. i continue, through the reading and the teaching, to show up for myself and learn.

there are so many extraordinary individuals on this art as spiritual practice path. i am honored to find them, to see them visible and in the world, to hear them, to read their words, to take their pieces and add mine to the puzzle of knowing and working to find, make, create a place for this testimonial space of truth. no more a seeker, i become a finder. i continue. i continue. i continue to piece together my heritage and legacy--and i am honored by this place in the web.