Collaging.  I love this art form.  Quiet hypnosis rifling through images, listening for what calls, what evokes visceral, sometimes repulsive, response. The visual inspiring magic. I don’t fancy myself a visual artist, but I revel in reframing someone else’s creativity.  Sometimes I turn to this form because something specific needs expression.  More often than not, it’s a form of guidance, almost tarot-like, a reading of juxtapositions.  Post-reflection or interpretation is often surprising. Such was the one up top.

I consider Baba Ram Dass my initial spirit guide.  Los Angeles 1970, laying in the dark tuned in to FM radio, his voice awakened a slumbering part of me.  He would call this part the soul.  He talked about identification with ego before I knew what an ego was.  He asked us to be here now when I didn’t know I wasn’t.  He guided meditation before I knew how busy my mind was.  He was an awe-inspiring portal to awakening.  I was all ears to every audio-cassette I got my hands on and read anything he wrote.  I finally had an audience with him at Davis Whole Earth Festival more than a decade ago, so grateful for him to hear what grace he played in my life.

He lived a continual inquiry into what it means to be human and he exuded limitless patience for all the ways we get sleepy.  His curiosity was relentless.  He communicated vulnerably personal research in such a down home superb, humorous, always straight to the heart way.  His final book, Walking Each Other Home , is a collaboration with Mirabai Bush who helped him articulate with a clarity that was challenged after his stroke.  The aphasia  was just another fascinating investigation for him.  As expected, he took on his own impending demise as rich material to probe.  The book is filled with incredible wisdom.

When I collaged this week, wouldn’t you know the first page I picked up had these title words jumping right into my lap.  The image of the old woman came next.  The rest just appeared in random fashion.  And the juxtaposition of the live snail and the heart and the empty shell and the bird eggs and the owl…they just keep whispering to me.  Working their tarot magic.

We’re in our fourth year at Clara Auditorium.  It truly feels like home.  This upcoming weekend I’m there both mornings, light streaming through the high windows, illuminating the white space.  Saturday I guide us foam rolling on the floor for Essentials, an offering conceived to decrease our suffering in this lifetime.  Hence this Ram Dass quote is vital for me to keep remembering.  The part about honoring the body—that’s what Saturday is about.

“I’m in this body

and this is part of my incarnation and I honor it,

but that isn’t who I am.” 

On Sunday I’ll be up front for Sweat Your Prayers.

“The more we live in the soul,

the more we see love everywhere we look.

We’re all just walking each other home.”

Bring your soul to the mat and/or dance floor Saturday and Sunday morning. Be here now.  We’re all just dancing each other home.

Love, bella