b2ap3_thumbnail_Debora.jpgSomewhere along the line - maybe in another blog post -  I have explained my painting is intuitive.  I often start with a plan, an image or idea even after all these years only to find it is irrelevant; the paint, the paper and the brush in my hand have no interest in my thoughts or feelings regarding what might or should appear on the paper in front of me.  Despite the fact I personally never know what is going to show up I'd be the first to admit that along the way a certain style has dominated.  My paintings tend to be large, colorful and abstract.  Imagine my surprise one day when I noticed that I actually recognized what I was painting or thought I did.  A certain abstractness was still at play, if that word even exists, but I was startled to feel that I had a sense of where I was in the painting and where the painting was in the world literally and what it was.  "It feels like Lake Wakatipu," I reckoned.  Lake Wakatipu is in Queenstown, New Zealand - the center of the south island.  My daughter worked at the time in a hotel in downtown Queenstown on the shore of the lake...and it had been raining, raining and raining and raining until the downtown area had flooded.  The water was lapping at the steps of the doorway and path that led down to the lake.  Furniture, computers and people had been moved from the ground floor of the hotel in fear of further flooding.

     I only found out about the situation in Queenstown after I finished working but in the meantime I kept painting what looked like white swirling columns of light positioned around the "lake" and extending down into the water.  After being pretty excited about recognizing something at this point I was clueless.  I had no idea what the white swirley stuff was, no idea if it had any meaning which is another way of saying I assume it didn't.  Along the way a scenario gradually took shape.  First I checked in with my daughter and found about the rains and the flooding only to realize even with the 19 hour time difference you could say I was painting in the rain.  As luck would have it the rain in the mountains around Queenstown finally slowed down enough so that the rate of water running down into the lake and into the town slowed and did not to run into the hotel as well.  Whew!  Still no idea what the painting is about other than a happy coincidence.

     Then I ran into a friend of mine, the illustrator of a children's book we co-created.  She in turn told me about a new aquaintance, Jill Raiguel, who is a psychologist and shaman.  I eventually met Jill through my friend.  As luck would have it Jill was working on something called Light Columns; columns of light and energy created by shamans working in pairs or in a group to help with environmental issues.  I told Jill about the columns in the painting of the lake and the flooding in the area.  She invited me to participate in a conference call bringing together shamans around the country doing this work and offered to train me to install light columns.  We also did some basic training work together in the traditional way of shamanic journeying.  There must be some irony in the thought of practioners of an ancient art collaborating on a conference call and if I stopped to think about it it seemed very strange that I was included and felt at home in these journeys.  

     Since then I journey.  I have been taught that it's not acceptable to journey on behalf of another person without their express permission so I do not journey on behalf of others but I find it's a great way to check in and get a read on the challenges coming my way.

      Love, Deborah