Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HOWL: Where the Wild Things Are


Today, I howl to BE, I howl to SEE, I howl ME.

You there in cyber space, you are Hallelujah’s community, and I invite you to be my TRIBE of HOWLERS. We all have the PRIMAL GUT ENERGY, so let’s raise our gut voices of veritas. Speak YOUR truth.  BELLY howl it out!

 My Chiboogamoo and I just saw the movie, “Where the Wild Things Are,” which is ONE LONG EXTENDED HOWL.  Hallelujah laughed in pure joy at young Max’s connection to his BELLY KNOWLEDGE. Max growled, screamed, and pounced out his feelings from the beginning to the end of this cathartic movie.

 Hallelujah approves of CATHARSIS and practices howling and laughing regularly. Consciously practiced howling for Hallelujah began on Christmas morning of 2007 in Osa, Costa Rica. At 5:00 am, howler monkeys bellowing deep in the rain forest woke Chiboogamoo and me up. The air vibrated their powerful sense of BEING. Their belly howls filled my body, reverberating, healing, and informing. Howlllll…Hallelujah! Howllll… Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 Young Max goes to the place where the wild things are (the land of pure emotion), and then he returns home a more integrated boy who can both understand himself and his mother better. This response is the KNOWLEDGE of the HOWL. The howl is there for us any time we need to release, run, and recognize, realize, and regroup!

Today, I howl to BE, I howl to SEE, I howl ME.

I call the painting you see here, “Embracing the Wild Things.” On my journey, I have already discovered I am not alone. In addition to my feline companion, I travel with Wandjina,  Here in this image, we are reaching out to the “wild things.” Perhaps this painting is more of a reflection and an invitation to the wild things to be present in my life.

 In the future, Hallelujah envisions painting something akin to Max’s cinematic mud clod fight. What would that be like for Hallelujah? How would you paint your primal energies hurling dirt clods at one another!

Let’s you and  I paint to get the howl out. What HOWL will you take today to speak your veritas, to move your soul, to see your heart’s desire, to hear your baby howl, your monkey howl, your ancient dinosaur howl?

 That’s Coffee with Hallelujah! Tell me about how you get your HOWL out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TO BLESS IS TO SEE: Friending Yourself and Others




Although this communication is taking place across the cyber universe, perhaps it is possible for our “mind waves” to flow into one another gently...so we can SEE each other’s minds and hearts.


We may all wonder how we can be truly good friends to ourselves and to one another. TRULY SEEING—taking in, perceiving, holding in view—OURSELVES--is a good beginning.


In this painting, Tears of Clarity, Hallelujah is SEEING herself in the presence of Wandjina. As I explained earlier, this northwestern Australian aboriginal creation God is representing for me, my animus (the male part of my psyche).


On my (Hallelujah’s) PILGRIMAGE, I have uprooted myself from my past and am PEERING into the UNKNOWN. THERE I AM!


Hallelujah SEES herself as Wandjina! This PERCEPTION causes HEALING tears that magically transform into NEW GROWTH! Wandjina’s black eyes hold the mystery for Hallelujah. The butterfly’s presence unites my two selves, and I proclaim


HALLELUJAH welcomes PILGRIM ARTIST Carleton, who wrote to her after viewing her blog on “Seeing and Being Seen.” Carleton is a fellow spiritual artist who just finished a vision quest in Utah. In addition to bravely traveling his own journey, he helps others on their journeys as rector of the Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown,Virginia. Pilgrim Carleton kindly wrote the following:


“Part of the essence of ‘BLESSING,’ i.e. our capacity to bless one another, is to truly "see" them, to gaze upon and take them in so that they actually FEEL seen.  That's why when the bishop visits our parish and takes the time to really discern, register, and reflect back the goodness of our ministries and life together -- it's a BLESSING (much more than his waving his hand around at the end of the service).”

Bless you Carleton for this insight, for this explanation of "gazing" upon someone and "taking" that soul "in." We all long for this kind of recognition.


Bless all you pilgrims!


That’s Coffee with Hallelujah! Write and tell Hallelujah about how you bless yourself and others by being present, truly present. SEE ME! SEE YOU! BLESS YOU and ME! We ARE SEEN!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hallelujah is posting a cherished photo of her Chiboogamoo.
He is yellow to my pink and water to
my fire!

Hallelujah especially likes this photo
because her little Chiboogamoo is brave enough to show his SENSITIVE side.

Also shown here are images taken at the Dinosaur Dreaming site at Inverloch
along the southern tip of Victoria, Australia.

You can see volunteer dinosaur bone hunters passing by Chiboogamoo as he sits upon fossil crayfish burrows from 115 million years ago. If you want more of an explanation about the importance of his findings concerning fossil crayfish burrows,
Hallelujah invites you to visit Chiboogamoo at his blog, paleopoet.blogspot.com,
where you can post him your questions. While you are visiting him, you can delight in his praise for the geologic record that he expresses in humorous and witty poetry.

Hallelujah appears at the far left in the photo of the three women equipped with a broom and yellow bucket, low-tech but important tools for clearing off sand covering significant fossil traces giving clues to the environment from millions of years ago.

Hallelujah for Hallelujah's husband! Hallelujah for being loved and being supported in uncountable ways on MY LIFE'S SOJOURN.

Hallelujah for journeys through time, knowledge, and companionship!


Hallelujah thanks you for GAZING upon her! Hallelujah desires both to SEE and BE SEEN.

 Right now, she asks you to consider how YOUR EDUCATION and everyone else’s education impacts our ABILITY to SEE.

Before beginning this contemplation on education and seeing, Hallelujah wishes to acknowledge her friend “SEE-SEE,” who had her read a chapter from Elif Safak’s 2000 novel, “THE GAZE,” and who led a discussion one recent night about SEEING and BEING SEEN in a group of female artists. Many thanks SEE-SEE!

Although Hallelujah had many responses to what her fellow artists said on this topic, for now, she wants to talk about: How our EDUCATION affects how we SEE and ARE SEEN.


EXAMPLE #1: Everyone’s CULTURE determines the standard for beauty and what is “normal.”  In “THE GAZE,” the main character is a fat woman in love with a dwarf. These characters are accustomed to being OBSERVED negatively because they are different. Being seen negatively becomes a part of a causal chain of who these characters have become and will be in the future.

Conclusion? How other people SEE us, affects us significantly. If they GAZE upon us favorably, don’t we have a better chance of SEEING ourselves likewise? Thus, we have a greater chance of proceeding confidently and positively in our lives. AND THE REVERSE! BEING SEEN can be ADVANTAGEOUS or DANGEROUS! (Chiboogamoo, who is reading over my shoulder, adds, “This is true of predators and prey as well.” Hallelujah adores her companion and acknowledges his thoughtful contribution.)

EXAMPLE #2:  Our EDUCATION teaches us to LOOK for CERTAIN things. Hallelujah would like to introduce a paleontological example.

 My Chiboogamoo and I spent some time along the coast of Victoria in Australia at a site called “Dinosaur Dreaming” in Inverloch looking for fossil traces—tracks and burrows.  As a paleontologist, Chiboogamoo knows specific patterns to look for in the rocks, and he has patiently taught me these search images, so I find them too. However, our guides, loving caretakers of this site and working for the Museum of Victoria, had a different way of looking at the rocks. They were looking for bone. Their search image was for a change in rock color and density. If the rock looked spongy and more porous in spots, it might contain dinosaur or mammal bone.

 Chiboogamoo “discovered” fossil crayfish burrows directly in front of the staircase going onto the beach at this site. Everyone had passed these distinctly patterned rocks every day for as many as 15 years without SEEING them. He also found some dinosaur tracks even though many paleontologists had been to the site before. Not one of them had Chiboogamoo’s education—the study of life traces: ichnology. Soon, after his “discovery,” he taught site workers how to LOOK at the rocks differently, and they began finding more of the same traces.

 Meanwhile, during my time along the rocky shores of Dinosaur Dreaming, I struggled with how to change my perceptions, so I could find fossil bone instead of traces. I have not been able to SEE any as of yet. Not yet!

Conclusion? We FIND what we KNOW to LOOK for. If we change the SEARCH PATTERN, we can FIND something DIFFERENT—maybe!

On my PILGRIMAGE, I would like to have a "SEARCH IMAGE," so I can find that "SOMETHING" that I am looking for. How will my EDUCATION help me in my journey—if I want to discover what I do not already know?

That’s Coffee with Hallelujah! Please tell me what you know about the unknown and do you have any tips about how to see it? ALL RESPONSES from PILGRIMS are WELCOME!

In this image, "Looking Between Worlds," Hallelujah has just freed herself from being "rooted" in her old ways. The painting is number 8 in the series of Hallelujah's Pilgrimage, that started on July 25, 2009. Painted on August 11, it is a good example of my experimenting with water color pencils and crayons, markers and glitter. This image is particularly meaningful to me because I feel it shows me transformed: I have the yellow glow of warm energy emanating from me, as well as the new growth represented by the veil of leaves and flowers. The pink hot spot at my center echoes my wide open mouth in amazement at what I see before me in the NEW WORLD of self.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


HALLELUJAH is looking for signs of similar intelligence in this vast blogging universe. A few days ago, a Fellow Pilgrim greeted her and gave her the nickname “HAL,” asking permission first, of course.


I am pleased to find this kind of nicknaming intimacy in cyberspace. I should like to nickname my new friend, “SEE” because of her emphasis on LOOKING and DISCOVERY and TRANSFORMATION.


I like the way SEE begins by looking at the physical world encompassing the self and moves inward, filtering her perceptions through her EMOTIONS. Even though she observes her emotions changing each day, she still looks into the mirror and sees her physical self—somewhat the same day to day. The QUESTIONS arise between 1) What is SEEN, 2) What is OBSERVED, 3) And all that is UNKNOWN.






WHAT MORE CAN WE KNOW by going on a PILGRIMAGE? By doing our ART? By blogging our thoughts?




Blogging is answering my need for a language to NAME and DEFINE my EXPERIENCE.


Here in this image, “Riding Mother Snake,” (which again is only a portion of the entire image because of scanning limitations), Hallelujah is traveling through space and time on the back of the female snake manifested from Wandjina. From her belly sprang the waters of the earth. She is responsible for the land formations, the seasons, the tides, and changing winds. Hallelujah WANTS to EXPLORE with and LEARN from this great maternal force.


Notice how Hallelujah is also accompanied by Wandjina, who can float freely in the universe? I love his male energy and confidence! He represents the other half of my psyche—my wonderful ANIMUS! I am cultivating his companionship, and he is proving a strong guide!


That’s Coffee with Hallelujah! Blogging can be soul sharing. Hallelujah is putting her feelers out for like-minded souls, fellow pilgrims to talk to her about their own journeys. Please blog and tell me about your way of soul journeying.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


If it’s not ONE thing, it’s ANOTHER! Or BOTH!

I entertain dualities--dualities of light and dark,

known and unknown,

male and female,

action and intuition,

 reality and imagination...

graded papers and ungraded papers!

Painting these perceptions in image, color, dot and pen gives me the opportunity to see these opposing energies existing simultaneously. I have created shimmering worldly documents--paintings--which attest to the life of my vibrant inner world.

Viewing my images causes me to catch my breath. 

For a moment I am breathless. Can OPPOSING ENERGIES marry happily ever after, UNITING, DELIGHTING, TRANSFORMING, and DIRECTING?

As a PILGRIM,  I honor the PATHWAY to SELF KNOWLEDGE. Here in this painting I recognize the thesis, the antithesis, and AHHHHHHHHHH—the SYNTHESIS.

As a SOJOURNER, I ask as I INTEGRATE pieces of myself,  “WHAT NOW?”

For NOW, I will paint, discover, and blog.

That’s Coffee with Hallelujah. Tell me about your Pilgrimage and experience with opposing ideas. Do you entertain them like dueling houseguests? Do you find integration or resolution?

Sunday, October 4, 2009


To SURRENDER is to TRANSFORM. Here in this unfinished image with Wandjina, I am melting away from a known identity and entity to the GREAT UNKNOWN. 

I’m relinquishing an identity of being youthful, accepting aging.

 I’m leaving behind a 24/7 job of teaching ESL, making it part time.

I’m even loosening my emotional ties with my hierarchical and distant past of growing up in a military family, naming it HISTORY.

My SURRENDER can be encapsulated in my morning experience of taking public transportation to Georgia Tech, where I teach:

I surrender to the fact that when I’m standing on the street and see the train approaching, I CANNNOT CATCH THIS PARTICULAR TRAIN.

No matter how fast I run, I cannot move up the numerous stairs fast enough, cross the bridge extending across Dekalb Avenue, swipe my transit card, pass through the gate and trot down the towering stairs in time to depart with the fast approaching “people transporter” that I see right before me. No immediate gratification!

THIS ONE, the ONE I see right before me, NOW is NOT MINE…okay…I SURRENDER.

I have been practicing “SURRENDERING to the MOMENT “again and again for the past year since I started using public transportation.


That’s Coffee with Hallelujah!