Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stone-Garden


On our big photo outing last week, Gordon and I found many lovely places, peaceful places. This was one of them, an old cemetery. It was so beautiful it felt more like a garden of stones, and memories of lives lived long ago. What else is a garden but a place of beauty where life is constantly transforming from one state of matter to another? Plants die and become part of the earth, their seeds and bulbs to be renewed again in the spring. With people and animals of course the process is a bit different. We do the dust-to-dust part, that is certainly the same. Some people believe that a soul lives on and like a seed waits for it's "spring" and is born again into a new form...blossoming into freshness and life once again. Memories too are seeds. They become embedded into the hearts of earth-bound humans who loved the people and animals that have gone from their physical bodies. There, as we re-member a beloved, story by story, they blossom again in the garden of our own lived experience, all the days of our lives.


So for Halloween, I offer you not a "scary" post, but one of contemplation. Take time this weekend, amidst the fun and the costumes and candy consumption to sit in silence and remember someone you loved who no longer walks the earth on their own, but is growing within you, cultivated as you gently rake through your thoughts of them, warmed by the light of your smile and watered by your tears.

In honor of these long gone humans, I was careful to photograph the backs of the stones, which I found to be rich in texture and quite beautiful as monochrome images. Except for the first one, because I wanted to let you know how old the cemetery is. Being trained as a textile designer, texture still really catches my eyes! There is one special stone at the end for my friend Clytie, somehow a "heart" grew on the back of the stone!   







Happy Halloween!
please visit my friend at the weekend in black and white and Shadow Shot Sunday.
http://mapleview.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/weekend-logo.jpg

48 comments:

  1. A beautiful post. You write with such a heart. Thinking of you this weekend :)

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  2. That is my connection to Halloween as well, never really having adjusted to the custom with dressing up and eating candy. Daniel and I love old cemeteries and when we lived in New Mexico, we loved the customs of Dia de los Muertos. And this weekend, we especially think of all our loved ones who no longer walk with us in this physical world. Thank you for this reminder and inspiration!! Love, Silke

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  3. Wonderful post and I like the way you shot the stones. Happy Halloween weekend.

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  4. great post. since I prefer Dia De Los Muertos, to Halloween, I have already been thinking and honoring those I love, but I do understand the desire to dress up and laugh at death!

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  5. Halloween doesn't mean much to us here in Scandinavia, but the monochrome abstractions were impressive.

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  6. My mom lives next to a small old cemetery. It's a friendly place, with lots of live oak trees and the old gravestones.

    Your photos of this place are lovely.

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  7. Happy Hallowe'en, Laura! The photos are beautiful. I've always found graveyards a great place for contemplation...quiet, peaceful, and full of beauty.

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  8. A wonderful idea for a Halloween post :o) I always love walking through cemeteries as well to enjoy their peacefulness.

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  9. Hi Laura,
    Love the photo of the cemetry. The play on light and shadow is amazing.
    Cheers,
    Karen

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  10. I love the patterns on the next to last. A very interesting post.

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  11. The best of us will continue with future generations. A renewal of life is truly shown by the beautiful colors and shadows that fall onto the headstones. This i beautiful in scene and sentiment!

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  12. Beautiful cemetery, and great textures on those old stones.

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  13. Perfect photos and I like what you write. Have a nice week end.

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  14. What a wonderful Halloween post, Laura! Love your photos as always! I do hope you're weekend is off to a great start! Happy Halloween! Enjoy!

    Sylvia

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  15. I used to love wandering in cemeteries. I found them so peaceful. The earth is just the earth, gently holding whatever we humans give back to it. Thanks for these beautiful pictures of the stones.

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  16. I like the two ending stone photos. They are very nice.

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  17. Interesting and beautful b/w shots!
    Happy Halloween!

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  18. Cemeteries have so many interesting things and textures. I like the colors in the first shot with the tombstones all black. I also enjoy reading the inscriptions and the beautiful fonts of the lettering.

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  19. Hi Laura,

    I'm reading your post after reading Rabbi Shefa Gold's midrash on today's Torah portion, Chayei Sarah. You two are tracking! Speaking about those who have died, she says: "Even as our hearts break in mourning, we receive (through that very-same broken heart) the legacy of our loved one, and we seek a way to secure that legacy, to plant it within us like a seed." I love your invitation to remember a loved one, a way of turning over the earth and allowing our memories to take root, grow tall and blossom.

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  20. These are fabulous! I'm not a textile artist, but I am addicted to texture and patterns.
    And, I love cemeteries too-I love visiting them to see what is there and to say 'hello' to those that I did not know and wonder if they are still remembered.

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  21. Sometimes my soul just longs for texture--I love the ones you featured in this blog--and that beautiful sun sparkle. WOW!

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  22. Thanks for the meditation on age and agelessness, life and death. I believe the soul lives forever: this life I now live is a vapor, and sooner or later it will vanish, but I will continue with God.

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  23. "To every season, turn, turn, turn..."

    Lovely post.

    Ciao!
    Gina

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  24. Thank you for another powerful post. I was moved to pause and take a few moments to call up beautiful and powerful memories of my grandparents which were so clear and strong. I felt so close to them. Thank you, Laura. Love and light - Jill

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  25. Love the first photo with the sun shining just above the trees. It is a beautiful place and it seems very serene.
    Thanks for visiting my place and taking the time to leave a comment;o)


    ***
    Hope you are having a happy weekend****

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  26. Such lovely textures on those stones. Your beautiful post certainly does inspire contemplation, thank you. :)

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  27. Always love the old names in the early NewEngland cemetaries.

    Happy Thanksgiving to come. Bounty and blessings

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  28. Gorgeous shots!

    Shadow Shot at my page, hope you can visit. Happy Halloween!

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  29. These are wonderful. I love the textures! And that heart one was a lovely find! Happy weekend :)

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  30. What a wonderful and interesting post.
    Happy Hallowen!

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  31. Cemeteries are marvellous places, full of history, posing many questions, answering few. Lovely post!

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  32. Hi LauraX,
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving meaningful comment on it. I could understand your philosophy better after going through your blog!
    Yes, the power of destruction and the power of creation are ambivalent but both are equally indispensable!
    Old cemetery in Japan is bit different from that in the US.
    When I took picture in an old cemetery in Japan, the "ghost" appeared. What kind of ghost I saw? Please visit my blog and see my old entry, if you are curious about it:)))

    Happy Halloween.

    Yoshi

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  33. A thought-provoking post. I no longer mark halloween, but maybe today I will walk through some of the old graveyards in Edinburgh and look at the autumn colours and listen to the silence.

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  34. Hi its really very nice blog,very useful information..Mobiles

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  35. beautiful, laura! the B&W really lends itself to those rich textures! an dthat first shot, and your words... who'da thought a cemetary could be so beautiful?! lovely! thanks for linking!

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  36. What a beautiful post, Laura...your words and photos. I love cemeteries, too, and also think of them as peaceful places. This morning the show, "Sunday Morning," had some interesting segments on cemeteries, afterlife, etc., which you may've seen.

    Nice b&w photos, too...I like that heart, which also reminds me of a butterfly.

    Happy Halloween! :o)

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  37. love the way you shot the stones. love the abstractness.

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  38. Beautiful colors and shadows in the first photo. Your B/W photos are very interesting.

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  39. This is a really lovely and reflective post.....

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  40. Your post today brought tears to my eyes. Not tears of sadness, nor tears of joy. Just tears of remembrance, of times passed, of lives that continue to live in my memory, even though they were cut short. I thank you so much for this today.

    And the beautiful heart. What can I say? Now I have tears of joy as well!

    You are amazing, my friend. Your heart and soul do indeed Shine the Divine.

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  41. That first photo is really lovely! Hope you had a very happy Halloween!

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  42. Wonderful photos! Once upon a time, the point of lighting lanterns was to scare away the spirits that might come into our world when the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest.

    Here in Sweden, the Swedes still celebrate All Hallow's Eve, where they light lanterns and place them on the graves of loved ones.

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  43. It's an excellent post, Laura...
    and so are your photos :)

    Thanks for dropping by

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  44. sweet post and fitting to the time.

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  45. reflective post for sure.
    popped over from patty's spot.

    i had the honor of remembering my grandmother this weekend... seeing my eldest daughter so gracefully wear her earrrings that she once wore!
    we sure miss her... and hold her dear to us still!

    all our loved ones that have gone before us...
    sure have had important roles in shaping our beautiful branches!

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  46. a garden of stones...

    i love this, and that you always find such meaning in what i sometimes pass off as ordinary. and the textures you uncovered! and the meaning... you plant seeds of hope in each one of us, laura, friend. thanks so much for linking. love e.

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  47. i love that "garden of stones" line. and your appreciation for texture. it's all living/non-living and beautiful.

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