Going east on Hwy 198 in Three Rivers, turn right on Skyline Drive (at the Veterans Memorial Building). Follow Skyline Drive for 9/10 of a mile, all the way to the end. Look for the harlequin signs to direct you.
Rearranging furniture in my living room today, something I used to do a lot of when I was younger. I don’t have a lot of options because I have a very large, heavy slab of giant sequoia sitting on three rocks as a “coffee table”. Finding ways to work within the confines of this massive presence, that I cannot move without big help, and the fact that it’s just me to do the moving — again.
Stopped to check email and found a link from Robert Wilkinson at Aquarius Papers talking about the dance between the planet mercury and the sun happening right now…with mercury in direct motion, racing ahead of the sun (making a “superior conjunction”)…he says, “At this conjunction, mind is no longer following life, trying to catch up to it. Now mind races forward as herald, catching glimpses of knowledge, perception, and understanding that shows us where life is headed in the near future….we’ll use the ‘fusion of life and mind’ to reconstruct, repair, and/or restore harmony, balance, and connections between the individual and the collective, and the links between the conscious and unconscious sides of life. This could mean links within us related to the past and some social wreckage we went through, or restoring some sort of inner harmony related to past ‘storms.’ Any repair or reconstruction work we do can show us the constructive results of prior destructive events that stimulated us to new accomplishments.”
Many people think the country is in big trouble (few political details needed) with waves of hopelessness, disgust, intense judgment of others, bullets flying for real and masquerading as words, spoken and written, with the real intention of causing harm to all life forms. I want to race beyond these old stuck mind-sets, personally and collectlively, and begin to live again in ways never-before-seen.
[“Walk with Me Here” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort]
One of the big challenges with this present moment is how not to become the bully when you are bullied, not to become the hater when you are hated, not demean the other when you feel demeaned. Don’t unfriend, just unfollow for now. If comments appear (on your posts) to be stirring up the dust in unkind ways, delete the comments for now (like weeding a garden). Don’t reply. Don’t argue. You cannot change another person’s minds by arguing with them. Look in the mirror for the ways you are rigid, dismissive, judgmental and mean. Talk to that person and assist that person to change at deeper levels. Continue to share the truth in the most positive way you can, in your daily life and even on facebook.
Do the work your soul came here to do.
“Follow the Path of Heart” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort
You are cordially invited to two artist’s receptions on Friday, Jan 6 or Feb 3, from 5-8 pm.
I first heard the Sanskrit word “mandala” (meaning sacred circle or container of essence, a compound word deriving from manda, which means essence and the suffix la, meaning container or possessor.) over thirty years ago when I studied with a spiritual school called Niscience. Part of the practices, initiated and taught by Ann Ree Colton, included making mandalas for contemplation and inspiration.
A circle with no ending or beginning, the mandala at first limits you with its boundary circumference, yet sets you free when you surrender to its unfolding within that boundary.
I don’t plan out my mandalas. The only constraint is that a circle shows up somewhere. I allow the mandala to uncover itself. I make mandalas for no particular reason. The “I don’t know” part informs each and every layer.
I originally started making mandalas with colored pencils, progressing to watercolor pencils, gel pens and even acrylic paint on canvas. The digital mandalas started showing up about two years ago. I may have over 200 photoshop layers that come and go before the final version says to me, “I’m done”.
Lately, I have been experimenting with ways of printing them. I use archival paper to print them as giclee prints. I also have printed them on fabric and directly to glass. All these mediums will be shown in this exhibition. I will also show some of my earlier mandalas I made when I was exploring them as a spiritual practice.
Mandalas can be ways to embrace the whole within a circle. We live on a powerful, yet finite, mandala—the earth itself. My deepest hope for people looking at my mandalas is that they will want to draw a circle for themselves and see what shows up…not as an artist but as the divine spirit that breathes via their human form.
The Brandon-Mitchell Gallery is located at the Center for Spiritual Living at 117 S. Locust Street, Visalia CA 93291. The Gallery is open Mon-Thurs from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm by ringing the bell at the front door or by appointment at 559.625.2441
For the first time, a calendar made of mandalas shows up….
Made from twelve digital mandalas, the calendar measures 8.5 inches square. I love that I found greenerprinter.com to print the calendars, using soy-based inks and 100% post consumer waste recycled paper (called Reincarnation).
Here is the back page that shows you the twelve mandalas:
Call me at 559-561-4671 if you want to make a phone order.
$15 each, plus 8% sales tax. $3 for shipping.
Order calendars online here and I will mail them to you.
Mandala born today…it’s name told to me
“Conception: remembering the time when we were…each…just two cells old”.
In our memory bank, buried deep in that wordless space,
we change the world when we acknowledge every single human has been there.
“Conception” digital mandala © Elsah Cort
A few hours later, watering the garden…going to seed.
Love-in-the Mist and Rose Campion going to seed underneath the blue oak canopy.
The story of the days of my life lately. I return to a seed.
[photos © Elsah Cort]