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.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

what is real?

how can the essence of anything
be separated from
from our experience of
the thing,
the thought,
the emotion?
if everything is funneled through 
individual perception,
what is left but abstraction?
does this mean nothing is real?
or the opposite;
everything is real in a particular moment
to someone,
at least it could be.

While I do not claim to be a philosopher, many years ago as a young woman, I did study art and design. A student now of living in the slow, intentional lane of mindfulness augmented by the unexpected gifts of MS, I've certainly spent a great deal of time observing life unfolding with my senses (albeit sometimes altered in interesting ways from disease) with my heart aligned and engaged. So from my armchair it seems clear that these digitally softened images of birch bark are just as real now, reconstructed from my memory and bits of electronic wizardry, as the moment I was first awed by their magnificence standing before me; squinting at their patterns, their texture and color, through my camera lens on a bright snowy afternoon walk in the woods behind our home. Are they abstractions? Of course! Are they real? I believe they are, for the essence of each tree portrayed is present, as we experience them together on this page.

This coming Saturday will be Rosh Chodesh Shvat, the New Moon, welcoming the lunar Hebrew month of Shvat. In Jewish tradition, particularly on the 15th of the month, Tu b'shvat, we celebrate trees and our connection to all that grows on earth, and renew our sacred intention to tend our precious planet. This month I will feature trees, especially bark images that have drawn my attention here on my blog.


  1. Love your pictures, to me they are paintings and so many things to see. Sets me off to meditate. It strikes my "pantheistic" mind.
    Maybe you will see something in my paintings, they just turn out as a long happening. Can take month's since it constantly pop up something in them.

  2. What lovely suggestive photos.

  3. There is something comforting in trees. They seem to be old souls. Always, I love the trees.

    Love the pictures.

    Wishing you a happy day.


  4. ~good morning my dear friend...your photos shared are gorgeous glimpses into the mind of is only as real as we want it to be...altered or the moment...the experience...just beautifully well and much love be with you~

  5. Laura, as artists, I believe that we need to believe in the reality of what we create. The act of our seeing, containing, rearranging and offering our vision to the world is in some senses, the coming forth of a brand new piece of what(appears) real...!

    And, could there be anything more heartening in this cold season than the quickening of the trees? I'm so glad you've chosen this as a focus for your own quickening as a textile artist...hooray!

  6. I love hearing that this month we celebrate trees! I so adore them, nice to know the Jewish tradition has a special time to honor them. On the 15th, I am having an MRI. Now when they roll me into the machine, I will Be a Tree and think about them for the duration. Thanks, kiddo. Your images are, as always, spectacularly beautiful. So much wonder, right outside your door.

  7. Your photos are real Laura, and really beautiful. Too hard to ponder on reality. I must just appreciate my perception. And I perceive your heart. Thank you for your kindness towards trees, the planet and all of us.

  8. if everything is funneled through
    individual perception,
    what is left but abstraction...there is a truth in that...our reality is only as good as our perceptions and lens we look through...

  9. Beautiful
    No snow in my area as of yet.
    In fact in the 50's
    this very day.
    I am going to move some plants :)

  10. everything is real in a particular moment
    to someone.... really interesting thoughts in this...need to ponder them a bit..

  11. Bonza photos. Life is as real as you want it be. Thank you for signing up to follow Bizarre Scribble, in return i've become your newest follower.

  12. Wonderful images - and thanks for stopping by.

  13. Wonderful post and beautiful photography ~ namaste

    (A Creative Harbor) aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^

  14. Such beautiful pictures and your thoughts intriguing. I am amazed when I just stop and clear my head to really see and listen. I don't do it enough.

  15. Your photos are just beautiful. I don't know what's real - I think whats in my head is likely NOT! k.

  16. Lovely words & pictures and looking forward to the ones about trees ~

  17. they look lovely
    the shapes feel natural
    trees are wonderfully real

  18. Your second shot is superb!

    Hopping from RT.
    My Ruby Tuesday Post

  19. I think everything is real or nothing is real...depending on the one doing the looking and his choice of perception! Thought provoking.

  20. I love these images, and the fabulous questions that go with them!

  21. I've thought this exact thought before. It wasn't as exquisitely expressed as yours, but it definitely crossed my mind.

  22. I love how your images pair so splendidly with your insights shared, Laura. It is always a joy to be here. Dealing with a chronic condition myself, I so understand how going slow actually benefits my life in so many unexpected ways. :o) ((HUGS))

  23. Beautiful images, Laura! The artist in you shows so much in the flair of colors and wash. Fantastic talents!


  24. Great photos and sentiment Laura.

  25. What beautiful captures of colors and contrasts, and textures. Quite abstract and lovely looking.

  26. philosophy vs instinct, thought vs action, birch bark vs the birch tree's soul...

  27. Love this. Nothing is harder than figuring out what is real. Celebrating our connection to trees and all that grows on earth sounds like a great way to start the year.

  28. Laura...
    You certainly don't have to study philosophy to be one. You know more about the essence of being than most philosophers could only wish to understand.
    And you always find hope and love in everything.
    It's always an honor to have you contribute My Friend, thank you muchly. Have a Kick Ass Week-End

  29. Why do we ask? What is real?
    When it has moved us and our attention opens upon it, and Life breathes mouth to mouth between us.

    Blessings to you and your "trees" rooted in the earth, we all drink the music.

  30. Your images are lovely, and your words thoughtful. Thank you for both.

  31. Ahh. mindfullness..I like that and love your images and poem. I have been writing prose. I don't know that I can call it poetry, but I need to get it out there and so I am putting it up as it comes to me on my blog. I think I am working out my new illness as I go.. hugs.. Michelle


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