jeudi 9 juin 2016

Opening Up

Have you noticed how each year – numbed by the long winter and distracted by our need for soft, warm air on our skins – we forget the true nature of Spring, this vibrant, exuberant, irrepressible energy?

Spring is about bringing forward your patiently elaborated buds, stretching your limbs, 

and when the weather is just right (this might take a little while), 

you open up every part of you,

widely, wildly!

You become a round-shaped flower, 

a shiny pointed leaf, 

a golden bee...

And you let every spark of light into your grateful soul.

Spring is about bringing out your full being into the world for all to see…

Particles of pure joy bounce around freely, permeating the air itself.

Friends quietly share their hope and wonder;

wise and ancient beings spread out their treasure of young, tender leaves (and seeds),

Silver Maple, Acer Saccharinum
English Oak, Quercus Robur

while slender creatures reveal their graceful presence

The lovely Amelanchier, or Sarvisberry

in a delicate jumble of petals that sing softly

to your human heart.

And if you still feel sad, perplexed or lost (as Spring can bring forward unsettling energies that turn your life upside down),

you can rest your body and soul in a patch of wild flowers, and let their joyful, candid selves 

embrace your own. 

Take your time; look at them closely. How intricate and fascinating they are! 

How easy it is to absorb yourself in them.

Soon, you will be called by these subtle voices even while you walk… You kneel down, and after a few moments you can almost feel their pulsating inner life, their trusting, uplifting energy.

On your way home, the world around you becomes soft and mysterious,

and the rising moon sings her silent, mesmerizing song:

Do not be afraid, she says, for I am keeping watch while you sleep,

and every morning opens up

to a new day…

Summer has yet to come.


I was fortunate enough to spend many hours outside when all this magic was taking place, but my current work schedule does not allow me to make new art. More freedom in sight soon, however  :o)

dimanche 8 mai 2016

Les mains fertiles

Parfois, en ouvrant l'un de mes nombreux carnets, je trouve un petit texte écrit des années auparavant, comme celui-ci, que j’ai eu envie d’illustrer ici. (Il y en aura sûrement d’autres, au fil des mois  :o)

Tout d’un coup je me vois, écrivant plus ou moins soigneusement les majuscules d’un nom sur un papier de réservation, au milieu d’une librairie éclairée par des néons.

Je regarde mes mains, faites pour peindre et dessiner, pour pétrir et caresser, pour sentir battre le cœur des arbres. Dans cette lumière artificielle, elles ont l’air à la fois démunies et impertinentes.

C’est une vision fugace mais pleine de sens, comme si j'examinais la flaque gelée sur laquelle je marche, et que j’apercevais un petit fond de vase douce, des feuilles de chêne qui en émergent à demi endormies, et quelques miettes de forêt en suspension dans les bulles d’air.

Dans la librairie, les choses qui m’entourent sont devenues ternes et creuses, mais curieusement attendrissantes, peut-être parce que le regard qui les dévoile est curieux et vivant.

À l'époque, cet univers terne et creux, qui était celui de mon environnement de travail, m'oppressait d'autant plus qu'il m'apparaissait comme inévitable : la question "Comment font les gens pour rester enfermés toute la journée ? Et comment vais-je y arriver ?" me hantait tous les jours.

Pourtant, ce moment de lucidité est étrangement imprégné d'espoir, comme si je sentais mystérieusement l'appel de ma vie d'aujourd'hui, dans un centre de yoga ouvert et lumineux, chaleureux et vivant, où je m'épanouis chaque jour un peu plus.


dimanche 1 mai 2016

The Robin And The Raccoon

Even tiny signs of Spring can fill your heart with hope and gratitude, though in Montréal the fresh-green-everywhere, exhilarating days that we call ‘Spring’ usually take place one full month after Winter is over.

This majestic Maple tree overlooks the yoga centre where I work  :o)

On Spring Equinox, I visited the hill for the first time since January, and I realized once again how much I had missed this holy place. 

The breezy, friendly, soft-needled White Pine. This one is quite tall and venerable.
When I was 12 to 14 years old, living on a hill in Southern France, my best friend was a White Pine.
I would climb easily his extended arms, and stand up there completely unnoticed from below,
happy as a bird in the warm, southern wind.

I have come back there several times since, while snow was slowly melting away from the scenery, criss-crossing tracks disappearing into the moist air.

Raccoon! (Wait for it :o)

Ice crystals were shifting again into drops of water, which were in turn gratefully absorbed both by the silent soil and the dry, cold atmosphere.

This little guy was just swimming in the slush without making any progress in fifteen minutes,
so I put him on the branch above. He dried himself carefully and proceeded to start his life.

You could feel your face immersed into currents of various density and humidity (almost like a swimmer in a river), and the sap rushing freely again in the trees – their hopeful buds becoming more present and visible at the tip of the branches, after five months of patient holding on.

Yes, the sky in Montréal can be that blue. Quite often.

Not opening yet, but gathering momentum.

Thank you Alex for your fantastic birthday gift   :o)

Amethyst, Fire Agate and Prehnite. For a full connection between mind, body and heart.

Scilla Nana is the name of these small blue stars.

On this promising Spring Equinox, after spending some time in the presence of a spirited, dancing Lady Birch I first met in January…

… I was walking down the hill when a little voice said: This way, turn this way!

So I did, and I slowed down even more, until I found myself surrounded by American Robins (my first ones this year) singing their happy hearts out from five Crabapple trees on each side of the road, pecking at the fruits – or swallowing them whole.

This is actually drawn from a picture by Lucie Santerre, passionate bird photographer.
A scan of the same painting  :o)

I listened to their evening music for a little while with a wistful smile, then I resumed my walk downhill. 

Again, three minutes later, the little voice whispered : Raccoon! On your right! 

I looked up at the big Oak nearby, but nobody was there. So I turned round, and I saw them, a few yards away: two one-year old Raccoons in a Crabapple tree.

I approached them slowly, concealed by another Crabapple tree that was growing three feet away from their own.

When they eventually looked down at me, the pair decided that I was just another animal (or maybe they recognized me from last summer) and went on tasting every fruit around them.

So I simply leaned against that twin tree to observe them more comfortably. I was, indeed, feeling like just another animal, dreamily (but blissfully) aware of the warmer air, of the golden light in my young cousins' fur, and of their contented, pilfering company.

Time slipped by unnoticed, melting away somewhere between our bodies and the sky.

Blessed be the Crabapple trees, who provide us with divine flowers in May, an abundance of fresh fruits in Autumn (when most of us are stocking up on energy before migrating or wintering), and frosted desserts at the end of March.

The Cedar Waxwings and Bohemian Waxwings, who visited our own Crabapple tree the following week for an entire morning, were also singing their soft blessings all along.

Cedar Waxwings

Bohemian Waxwing (later that morning :o)

Spring is in the air….

And in the ground.

Happy Spring, my friends. 

À bientôt !