Stepping into the unknown – Honoring what is

I moved. To the pacific Northwest.

After 6 months of limbo, of being in between, I moved into a new house, and for the first time, a studio of my own. A lot of stepping and a lot of unknown!!  As I reflect on my first steps into this new space and life, I am reminded of the teachings I have been gleaning thus far: Be open to possibility. Be present.

In the light of my recent experience, I can best describe living and creating by these principles as the experience of the beach house in the following text by Martha Manning, A Season of Mercy, found in Molly Fumia’ book Safe Passage, Words to Help the Grieving

The Beach house…
was designed so that in a bad storm
the ocean could have a way
to rush through it
without doing any major damage…
its beauty is in its durability
and its durability comes
not from offering resistance to the
power of the ocean
but in finding a way for the water to pass
thereby saving it
and letting it stand strong

To be open and let life come through is to let whatever is, come through, whenever it is coming through…. sun when it is sunny and rain when it is cloudy and stormy. That pretty much means living with the unknown and inviting the unknown.

So there I am stepping into my new space, stepping into my unknown.  All I really have with me the first day into my new space is “be open to possibility and be present,” and a lot of feelings. I have my own, related to moving, plus those related to the tsunami having struck Japan a few days before. They are all there. That’s my starting point.
That first day in my new studio, I grab what I can, a table top, 2 cabinets, ink, paper, pen, whatever is within easy reach, aka not buried deep in boxes, and get to work. Those first marks are quick sketches. Bodies lying. Lying in rest. Looking rather familiar (see early 2010 post)…Departing souls all over again….!!!
How pertinent….and unnerving too. Experiencing, loss and grief,  in the personal and universal realms, simultaneously, it is a lot of sensing.
Over a period of days, these images get transformed. Layers of ink washes come and go, embodying layers of these emotions.

Stepping into a new place with feeling overwhelmed, feeling grief and loss. Storm and waves passing through. Not exactly a comfortable place to be.  Letting it through the best way I can. Open to possibility and  being present.  Honoring what is. – that’s the only way I know how to step into the unknown.

Those I am my first steps:


Departing Souls - Honoring what is

Departing Souls - Honoring what is

Departing Souls - Honoring what is



Along with image making, there were texts and music encounters as well.  Molly Fumia’s Safe Passage, Words to Help the Grieving certainly had plenty to say to me and for me. So did this text by Cyril Scott a British composer, writer, poet, found on a music sheet titled “Pictorial Sketch”…

THE PLAIN by Cyril Scott

Through the misty shadows of the ideal plain,
Where souls of beings wandered in the times past,
Along the winding ways in strict and graceful train,
We see them gliding to the place of dreams,
Where all dreams last

In the fainting distance where the lofty trees
Exhale their cooing fragrance on the young grass,
A shepherd vaguely pipes, reposing at his ease, while
Sad and slowly on the whitened road
The pale nuns pass.

On the shining river that so calmly winds
Its silver course towards the near sea,
A little ship is plodding where at length she finds
A well-earned rest here in the plains of peace
And harmony

“Gliding to the place of dreams” is what the piece of music Calming Your Mind evokes for me. It is also while listening to this piece of music that the words  “departing souls” appeared.

Stepping into the unknown – honoring what is, exploring what is.  It’s what I do to find a way to journey forth into the unknown.

2 responses to “Stepping into the unknown – Honoring what is

  1. So great to hear from you, Karen, and the wonderful house you’ve moved into. We miss you and I love following you on facebook and through our DAFAMembers yahoo site. Keep in touch and continue to share your experiences with photos of your studio as you set it up, your outdoor views as well as your wonderful art creations.

  2. Bonjour Karen, it was a pleasure making your acquaintance over tea tasting the other day. I especially like this blog entry of yours because of
    what you wrote: Be present. Honor what is.


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