Posts Tagged ‘finding peace’

A Bright Spot in the Forest

March 4, 2011

A Bright Spot in the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

Do you ever have weeks where you think everything is going along great. You feel good, projects are going well, you have an awesome sense of joy and excitement about what is coming to fruition and then suddenly one morning you wake up in a cold sweat and wonder- “What will become of me? Where am I going? And How am I going to get there?”

That is what happened to me this morning. I was awake at 3:30 having a worry fit about what will happen in the future! So after some deep breathing, some writing in my journal and a prayer to bring me back to sanity, I fell back to sleep and when I awoke a couple of hours later, there were ideas and directions on what to do next right there in my mind where just a few hours ago had been chaos and fear. Wow! Sometimes I feel like that little yellow flower in the image at the top of the page- surrounded in the deep dark forest fighting for just a bit of light and fresh air.

Living the nontraditional life that I live, can be an interesting challenge. Learning not to listen to the fears of others is probably one of the biggest challenges. What I am working to accomplish is beyond reason sometimes, and yet deep down in my heart I know that I am on the right path and that this creative path that I am on is bringing much to this world that is needed.

Finding the path of our destiny is difficult for many to figure out. For me it has been easy to know but harder to follow and stay focused. Each day I find more and more to be grateful for and more that I can share. Each day I have all that I need and more. When you think of your version of security, can you really say that it will be there forever, no matter what? I know that the flow of life that I experience daily is as secure as it can get. No matter what, and that is what I know today.

Cheryl McDonald is and artist and philosopher who now lives in the desert in Southern California. To see her latest work please go to www.cherylmcdonaldcreative.com or www.passionsatplay.com

So this is the next big Adventure!

August 12, 2010

Well it is not Monday and I really don’t have any new pictures to share, just some observations. Hope you can indulge me.

The passing of my sister Linda has created an incredible void in my life. I knew we were close, but did not realize just how much I depended on her joyful observations and enlightenments every week.

I have decided to move into the family home. Not sure for how long, that will depend on several things. But hey- one day at a time…

So I have started moving my things down from San Francisco a van load at a time. I think doing it in bits and pieces will be better for me than one fell swoop- as they say. It gives me time to drive, to ponder, to clean and organize and also to exorcise the ghosts and memories of 45+ years of being connected with this house. I remember when my parents built it, I was 11 years old I think.They hired a contractor, worked with him on the design, the layout and the materials. My Father was an electrician and a very handy man having grown up on a farm, so he/we did a lot of the work ourselves. I remember painting all of the walls- choosing colors with Mom. Finishing the kitchen cabinets and choosing the fixtures for the sinks, lighting and all. It seemed like such a big house, and still is compared to where I was living in San Francisco. 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms a big yard and a beautiful kitchen. The garage has been converted into a room and will become my art studio. I have visions of fruit trees, vegetable garden and a place to entertain.

I remember being a teenager in this house, an above ground pool in the backyard and a pool table in the family room. I remember the night of my wedding and the after party my parents had here for their friends. I remember my children running through the living room and my Mother asking them to slow down! so they would not fall into the sliding glass door.  There have been so many good memories of happenings in this house and there has also been much sadness in this house. The illnesses and passing of both parents and my sister. The heartache that all of that has entailed. It became a dark, sad place that none of us really wanted to be in. Amazing how that can happen over the years.

I really had no expectations of taking on this project at this point in my life. I just knew Linda was going to get better and I, having given up my apartment in SF in June, was going to be traveling and house-sitting and exploring, helping Linda as I could. Well that all changed in July.

So rewind, reverse, change directions and here I am with a beautiful home that needs to be loved. It needs to be filled once more with laughter and creativity and joy and beauty. And even though I really had no intentions of being the one to do it, I am now stating the intention that this is now what I want to do. This is the place I want to be and this is the task I have set for myself.

There will be a lot of work, a lot of change and a lot of sorting and clearing of memories, things and a lot of healing. I am looking forward to building a life, an art studio and a home here in the desert.

At some point soon, I hope I will be ready for visitors, right now I have my work cut out for me! And I must say it is all good.

blessings

Cheryl

Cheryl McDonald is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design. She is an artist, illustrator and designer, working in photography, watercolor and more! To see some of her work.

passionsatplay.com

cherylmcdonald-art.com

A Walk in the Cemetery??

June 28, 2010
Watching the squirrel by Cheryl McDonald

Watching that Squirrel

One of the things I get to do daily while I am here in Oakland is to take Miss Marlena for a walk twice a day. One of her favorite places to go is actually this beautiful cemetery at the end of Piedmont Street. I could not find the name of it but it is attached to the Chapel of the Chimes which was designed by Julia Morgan and is a very beautiful and a very large mortuary and mausoleum. I have been here before for meetings. They invite people to hold all kinds of meetings there, just to prove it is not a scary place. Which I will have to say it certainly is not.

Standing Stones by Cheryl McDonald

A view from up on the hill above the park

Anyway, this cemetery is really a wonderful place to walk, it has winding paths that go through all the way to the top of the hill where one can get an amazing view of the bay, Oakland and San Francisco. This is a very old cemetery and there is some really amazing history that can be found here. I can just imagine the stories of all the lives that have been laid to rest here in this place.

Waiting Angel in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Thoughtful Angel in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Sympathy by Cheryl McDonald

The Lightbearer in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

While walking through this cemetery almost everyday, I started taking pictures of the sculptures and the view and the grounds. It also started me contemplating death- of course…

I am completely amazed at the beauty and grandeur of many of the shrines that people have created to honor and memorialize their loved ones. This cemetery is certainly not a place for the dead but is a place for the living to remember those that were somehow important in their lives, some for better and most probably some for worse.

Reflections within and without in sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Lofty in sepia by Cheryl McDonald

I have also been reading a lot this week and one of the books I read was called “the Untethered Soul” by Michael Sanger. I was drawn to it because of the title, as of course I have decided to untether my life in many ways. He is an eloquent and down to earth writer and he talks a great deal about how to let go of those energies that we store in our bodies relating to past experiences and how this can help us to be more present here in the moment where we actually live. One of the concepts he talks about is death and how death is actually our friend because without it there would be no urgency to experience and enjoy the life that we have.

dog walk by Cheryl McDonald

Deer in the woods by Cheryl McDonald

So as I am walking through this wonderful cemetery I am noticing all the life that is actually going on here. All of the people walking dogs and baby carriages and the squirrels and deer and gophers and birds that are free to experience this beautiful setting and are part of the experience of being in this place.

Leaning in by Cheryl McDonald

Can't take it with you by Cheryl McDonald

Death is a difficult thing for us, particularly in this culture as we either dramatize it, demonize it, fear it, or ignore it. However death is part of life and it is something we all do at some point. It really is only a moment away and we never know when that moment might be. I have very much enjoyed my time in this cemetery and the experience of walking among the dead and all the life that this place holds as well. It has given me much appreciation for the value of this moment in this my untethered life. Thank you Michael Sanger

Cheryl is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design, doing photography, watercolor, fine art and illustration please check out her work at www.passionsatplay.com