Deb O'Connor on Cosmic Shifts and Susan Bell's Bison

Yesterday, at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, I watched artist Susan Bell paint two bison bulls.  The sun was shining and the bulls seemed content to settle into the sawdust bedding and pose for her.  She'd been painting animals for 3 days, sitting on a small stool, dipping her brush into the rich colors of her oil palate. 

The scene was in stark contrast to gallery owners in Haiti who had survived the earthquake and were trying desperately to salvage their country's art, pulling prized pieces from the debris, compiling lists of the artists and writers who had not survived.

When tragedy strikes, like the Haitian earthquake, it's easy to think that the novel we’ve been writing for two years, or the sculpture we've been chipping away at for months, are frivolous endeavors.  Shouldn’t we be doing something worthwhile? we ask ourselves.  What is the point, after all, of art in light of such horrendous suffering?

Yet in today's LA Times, journalist Tracy Wilkinson, reporting from Port-au-Prince's main art museum, quoted Joseph Gaspard, a member of the board of directors of the College Saint Pierre museum, who said, struggling not to cry:

“Haitian art is what makes the international eye see us. Every Haitian is an artist. Art, it is us, it's what we are. Even our children are artists."

What will the children of Haiti paint now?  What kinds of stories and poems will they write?  Will they believe that the quake was the act of a vindictive God, or will they believe that shifting tectonic plates and fault lines were to blame?  How do we reconcile the acts of heaven and earth?  Is the Haitian earthquake just one more example of a huge cosmic shift?  Do tsunamis and quakes on earth mirror a turbulent heaven? 

"We are part of a magnificent weaving of Divine energy and all of this energy is undergoing a radical shift in awareness," wrote my friend artist and astrologer Deb O'Connor in her December newsletter.  Deb used to edit Northern Lights, one of the finest nature-based publications in the country. I respect her work tremendously. (view crow painting).

"If I were to try to summarize the wild cosmic ride we're all taking together, I'd say that every single being--every human, every yellow warbler, every ponderosa pine, every drop of water in the Clark Fork/Columbia/Pacific, every stone and aquifer--is being completely re-configured at the level of consciousness."

"Imagine you are participating in great theatre," she wrote, "and that the planets are Players mirroring back to you cosmic secrets which will lead you through these Interesting Times.... "

"These players," she said, "are sending us extraordinary opportunities to facilitate the kinds of changes we've longed for all our lives. The key, of course, is to pay attention, to keep our minds and hearts wide open, and to be very very brave."

The children of Haiti will need brave stories. Stories of survival--perhaps even paintings of American bison, risen from the ashes of near extinction less than a century ago.  They will need to be reminded, once again, that the world is a magical place where heaven and earth can come together.  I like to think that where these two places meet is where we dwell when we create our art and our stories--in the land of the muses. I like to think that we are an integral part of the ongoing creation of the universe in which we live.  (view Sue's bison and other wildlife paintings)

Read: In Haiti, some see the spirit world behind the quake.

View Deb O'Connor's Inner Sky Maps (commissioned birthchart paintings).

Attend Susan Bell's "Art for the Heart" opening reception February 11 in Denver.

Go to World Vision and Help a Child.

Check out Artists for Peace and Justice

Get on Deb O'Connor's mailing list


Gail Storey said…
Page, thank you for this post, a wonderful synthesis of art, our heartbreak for the people of Haiti, and the transformation we're living through on our planet. I especially appreciate your introducing me to Deb O'Connor's insight about how we're being reconfigured in Awareness.
Melanie Mulhall said…

Beautifully said. My own frame of reference is a shamanic one and I concur with Ms. O'Connor. My recent blog posts about Jorge Luis Delgado, huch, sami, and 2012 provide more on this.

Melanie Mulhall
Anonymous said…
Oh Page...thank you again for your grounded remembrance of the interconnectedness of all life...even in the face of seemingly insurmountable devastation. As we witness and respond to the realities of our world in our own unique ways, there is hope for seeing this life as the creative dance that it is. A chance to once again live in beauty while facing the all of it.
Julie, you are so welcome. Yes, life is a creative dance although is can be so difficult for us to see the divine order within the chaos.
Melanie, I look forward to reading your recent blog posts. It's good to know there are many people shedding light on what otherwise might seem a hopeless, dark time.
Hi Gail. If you would like to read Deb's complete December newsletter, I'm sure she'll be happy to send it. Just click on the "Get on Deb's mailing list" link for her address. Her insight and uplifting explanations about this time of transition are wonderful.

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