During the short time that I had the Artist Vessel I placed it in a prominent place in my home where I would be sure to see it and have an interaction with it every day. I did follow the instructions and held the vessel in both hands with my eyes closed and found it was a surprisingly powerful experience to just focus on the sculptural form of the 3 dimensional piece and feel the shape of it in my hands – feeling what the artist felt when she created the vessel in the first place.
There is a portion of the this vessel that looks like a deep space nebulae and that triggered a thought about distant travel and how everything is connected. I recently acquired a round glass fishing float from Korea that was recovered on the Washington Coast. This green float showed the wear and tear of crossing the Pacific Ocean with patterned scars from the fish netting etched into the exterior of the float. I carefully placed the float into the Artist Vessel and it was a perfect fit – like a key going into a lock. It is hard to put into words but I got the feeling that it was meant to come to rest, high and dry, in such a perfect spot and that it deserved to be reverently lit and displayed in a place of honor like that after floating across the ocean.
I am honored to have received the the Artist Vessel this past Wednesday. I placed it on our fireplace mantel next to several meaningful photos of Colorado. After thinking about how I want to interact with it, I thought that it would be nice to use it as an opportunity to grow my thankfulness for the people that God has put into my life. Each day, or as many as I can, I would like to put something into the Patra bowl, the name of a person that I am thankful for. Then, I want to write a thank you note to the person whose name I put into the bowl. In this way, I hope to both enjoy the thoughts of all that I have received through the gifts of these relationships and to be able to bless and encourage those same people by sharing with them some of my appreciation for who they are and the blessing that they have been to me.
My first entry was a note to God. The one who has forgiven and accepted me as I am. The one who sent His Son to take on the consequences that I justly deserve so that I might live and enjoy a right relationship with God, not yet perfect, but forgiven and in fellowship. Of all my relationships, the one with God is the most important to me. It is like the base of the Patra Bowl, the foundation for all that sits upon it. Yet, it is much warmer and interactive than that. I thank the Lord for His grace and love. I remain amazed that the God who created the universe even notices me, let alone desires a relationship with me. One day I look forward to knowing in full what I can only partially glimpse today. Until that time, I will remain thankful for the relationship that we have and continue to strive to know Him more.
Receiving the vessel at Lynda’s studio
Receiving the gift of the Artist’s Vessel from Lynda was deeply meaningful and mysterious. The timing was utterly perfect – a moment in which the fullness of the desire to create was coupled with the emptiness of what felt like surrender – to whatever wanted to move through life. I was touched to be with Lynda in her studio to receive this vessel, this gift of so many layers, and was thrilled to unwrap it when I got home. I laughed when I noticed how my first impression was of such fullness and joy that I thought “I have to KEEP this vessel, I can’t give this away!”….a beautiful reminder of how much I have to learn about emptiness, surrender, and the gift of giving what I receive, to keep the energy of life flowing:-)
Lessons from the vessel……For some time after placing the vessel across from my bed, where I’d see it at the beginning and ending of my day, it and I settled in together. It was a pleasure to see it there in its elegance and beauty, but it took some time before I started to work with it more directly. Then I started working with it actively in my meditation: holding it in my lap and feeling its smooth, cool sides I’d just allow whatever wanted to come to my awareness.
Sometimes it’s about emptiness – about how to be an empty vessel in the world; sometimes about openness – how to be available to the energies and possibilities around me; and sometimes about containment – how to hold all there is that is swirling around, within and without the vessel of my life. And usually it is about all of these and more, and I find myself sinking back into the spaciousness that is available in the interior of the vessel, in my being and in all of life. And than I place it back on its altar and move into the day.
Today was the day I released the vessel back into the flow…..by gifting it to a dear friend. As attached as I felt to the Artist Vessel, as much as I wanted to keep it to myself, I realized it was essential to complete the cycle of giving and receiving, by giving it to another. Not only did I give “on principle”, but as the time to give it to her got closer I felt increasingly excited, knowing the gift would being joy to someone I love. When I saw the happiness on her face and saw how touched she was by receiving the vessel, it filled my heart to overflowing.
I’m sharing the final iteration of the altar….I have been deeply touched by the Patra Passage, and so grateful to have participated. Blessings to all who have shared in this journey…..
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