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.


Monday, March 21, 2011

String of Pearls (and knots)

Moments of startling awareness, they are the string of pearls that form our lives (with firm knots tied between).

Perfection is not something I seek, but sometimes it finds me, in passing. My eyes are seeing temporary bright spots now, across the room, briefly dotting everything in view, because I dared attempt to capture one (pearl). They are the after effect of the sun burning bright through our spindly hardwood forest, my eyes caught in the light for a second too long. I feel a longing...a longing to walk through the morning vapors rising off the sun-kissed slushy snow and the sodden earth beneath… to walk between the branches before the insects wake up to bite and sting and new briars sprout to catch my jeans… I want so much to be able to do this, to have this choice, to be out there, (out anywhere)… but then I consider the physical effort, just to go from the back door to the edge of the woods… the painful cramping and shaking and sudden loss of control as my legs give out to a deadweight drop… and before that I’d have to go from the upstairs bedroom to the family room sliders that would take me there… and I know I could make it part way… to the doors, and maybe a few feet beyond into to yard, but then I’d need to sit on the sopping wet cold ground to rest; not terribly appealing. Maybe we need strategic benches outdoors?  Maybe it doesn’t matter. I caught my pearl through the window, through the camera lens, through my eyes first thing this morning without even leaving my bed.

And now another pearl, the sound of single bird calling for her mate…another moment of startling awareness, I smile with my heart. In a few weeks it will be warm enough for the girls and Gordon to take me out in the neighborhood in my wheelchair. I’ll start by holding the handles myself and use it as a walker for as long as I can on the flat part of our road, then sit and rest and raise my camera, enjoying fresh air and the company of my beloveds chatting pleasantly...or perhaps serious conversations that require skillful listening as we walk and roll along, deepening our connections to each other and nature all at once. More pearls to collect. 

Ahh, a different bird is singing now. Pearl after pearl after pearl, I appreciate the days of my life. The knots in between are sometimes lonely, gray, tight, hard, less attractive, but vital for maintaining the structure of the whole. Without the knots, without the string running through, the precious beads would roll away, lost, meaningless. So I turn my attention to the mundane knots, the low spots, the discomfort, the unpleasant, and open my heart to embrace them too with just as much gratitude, for their value is equally great in what they teach me about compassion, acceptance, patience and lovingkindness. The knots hold my life in a sacred continuum; the pearls are temporary bright spots that dot my life-scape, all for blessing.


  1. "I smile with my heart."

    This post is just beautiful, in content as well as technique. I was just over at MSWorld where they welcome creative submissions. You might consider submitting this. Here's the link:

    Thank you for adding beauty to my life.


  2. Yes, to get to the pearl we must first cross the knot - we might as well do it with a sigh & a smile!

    I'll be making a piece for my exhibition on September to raffle off but it will be for the New Zealand disaster - my son was there, but not near the earthquake, how could I not?

  3. beautiful and thoughtful post. love that metaphor of the pearls and the knots.

    may the weather clear soon so you can be outside. here, we expect snow again, after so much melting i had hoped it was over. oh well.

  4. Beautiful post Laura....I am off to a day of Doctors that I fear is a waste of my time. (I have become a bit selfish with it...) But waiting rooms allow for thought and prayer and contemplation.
    We all have our knots before the pearls.
    Just remember~~~those pearls are BIGGER and shine more than the little knots.
    Take care!


  5. So beautiful and touching... You turn the knots into beauty.

  6. I wonder if we would appreciate the light half as much if we didn't have the dark.

    This is the most beautiful, reflective post, Laura. Thank you.

  7. Such beautiful centered reflections, Laura. I love the idea of the string, the knots and the pearls all being necessary components. So true. Spring is creeping across my part of the world too. So welcome, the increased daylight, the buds getting ready to unfurl........beautiful to watch this dance of life continue, even as parts of the world are in such turmoil. I loved your post this morning. Thank you.

  8. "The knots in between are sometimes lonely, gray, tight, hard, less attractive, but vital for maintaining the structure of the whole. Without the knots, without the string running through, the precious beads would roll away, lost, meaningless".

    I hope you know what a gift you are to so many. Oh, it doesn't matter if you know or don't know. You simply are. timing is everything, and when I woke to a robin singing in my backyard this morning, and then came to read this prose of your heart, well...that's everything. and the day has just begun. I hope you have a beautiful one Laura, with lots and lots of pearls.

  9. Such an inspiring post to wake up to. I love your metaphor of the pearls and the knots. I needed to read this today.

    On a practical note: I definitely like the idea of "strategic benches"!

    Love to you,

  10. I know that feeling of wanting to walk outside in the beauty, but the effort?? I enjoy the sounds and sights like you point out. Thanks

  11. "Without the knots, without the string running through, the precious beads would roll away, lost, meaningless."

    without the grief, would we know joy as fully? (although i have to admit there are times when i would like to give it a try)

    ; )

  12. What a beautiful metaphor for life. May the pearls in yours increase each day. Lovely post Laura. You're such a good writer.

  13. What an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing the shining pearls in your life.

  14. A bittersweet and beautiful analogy. I love your writing, and your heart. Wish I could offer you my legs for a walk into the air and spring, or my arms to carry you into the forest.

  15. It's beautiful!
    Happy spring Laura:)

  16. Very uplifting, Laura!

    Take care and God bless! :-)

  17. A lovely post...and I love the idea of your going out for a walk with your family, it is something I love would love to do, but we all have separate lives so we cannot. You are so blessed to be able to share your lives together :o)

  18. I wish for you, many more pearls from which to build your beautiful strand. You are a pearl in mine.

    Love and big hugs,

  19. Gorgeous post and full of are a poetic soul..thanks for sharing your magic!

  20. I am in awe of your strength and your grace. I truly am.

  21. I love this metaphor and will never look at a strand of pearls the same way again. I rarely wear pearls but the minute I started thinking about what to wear to my son's wedding I knew I wanted to wear a strand of pearls. I have a long strand that my husband gave me years ago and sometimes they feel out of place on me, but that day they felt perfect ~ lovely bright spots that outshone all the low spots in between.

  22. this is so incredibly beautiful Laura - and dare I say, perfect. Perfect in how well it takes us into your heart and experience of what once was, and what is in this day. The losses, acceptances and celebrations you share ring true within me, and I smile knowing my sister friend is listening to those birds of spring, too. much love, xoxo K


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