Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Ask

I am asking us to love and respect one another. 
Is that too much to ask?

I HALLELUJAH YOUR TRUTH. I dance and pray that we all may experience universal respect and unconditional love. 
I dedicate this blog entry to Cam Muskelly, a young paleontologist who Tony Martin and I both know and respect deeply. He is exceptional in every way. His dignity. His paleontology outreach in his community and beyond. His support of those living within the autism spectrum (he knows from firsthand experience). Thank you Cam for leading the way for science education, love, and hope. 

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. Soul blog with me and share your answer to my question: Can we learn to love and respect one another?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Contemplating the Blessing in the Seed

CONTEMPLATING THE BLESSING IN THE SEED. (Art in progress by Hallelujah Truth, aka Ruth Schowalter)
Hallelujah for Coffee with Hallelujah! If you have 15 minutes for coffee, you have time for 15 minutes of creativity! That time that I "claim" and "name" for my SPIRIT to speak is a PRECIOUS SEED. What will grow from this contemplative creative practice?

In the second week of January 2018, I danced during Monday night dance chapel with Cynthia Winton-Henry and other participants, holding my imaginary seed in my hands (see this blog) to discover what blessing might be present. We contemplated this poem:


Not all things are blessed,
but the seeds of all things are blessed.
The blessing is in the seed.

(Muriel Rukeyser, 1913 – 1980)

Now, towards the end of January, I return to the dance and drawing, "The Blessing is in the Seed," generated from my Dance Chapel experience. As I paint and fill it with color, my intention is to SEE what is growing. 

Are you like me? Do you experience delight in viewing the incremental progress of seeds that you have planted emerging from the ground? Does the first glance take your breath away? 

I am a gardener. Almost nothing fills me with more wonder than being in discussion with the plants that inhabit my space. I observe them and ask, "Do you need water?" "Do you need to be cut back?" "Do you need more light?" "Is it time for more plant food?" 

Right now, I am contemplating being a GARDENER OF MY SPIRIT and what questions I might have for the SEED(s) of my SOUL. The same questions apply I think. How about you?

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. What PRECIOUS SEED are you going to shine light on today and cultivate with questions?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Repetition as Practice

OCTOPUS WOMAN PORTRAIT (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
My art practice is a daily repetitive act.  

This morning, I'm contemplating the value of repetition in my daily creative practice. It is all too easy to dismiss repetition as an act of a dullard.  To repeat implies to "copy," and copying implies a lack of novelty--the ability to "create" something new.

I imagine that my "repetitive acts of art" serve the greater need I have to release judgment each morning as I sit down to draw and paint.


In another way, my exercise of beginning my morning drawing with the familiar, with what I know, is a "spiritual" practice. My first steps follow a well worn path. I walk. I dance. I linger. 

The visual images I create and repeat are internal experiences. I "see" them emerge in and out from a haze, something like the way messages appear in the children's toy Crazy 8-Ball.

OCTOPUS WOMAN 1. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
These images are collections of real world experiences synthesized with my imagination over time. For example, I offer you the image of  my beloved Australian Aboriginal Creation God, Wandjina, which is part of my "Cosmos of Hallelujah." As I have drawn him repeatedly over the past 10 years or more, Wandjina and I have developed a relationship. His presence in one of my drawings has symbolic meaning for me, which only repetitive drawing could have forged.

Now, I am inviting new symbols to emerge in my cosmos. I introduce OCTOPUS WOMAN. This "Octopus Woman" results from my real world viewing of octopi over time in various media, aquariums, and on the coast; the repeated drawing of Mother Mystery (a woman in a hijab) which is a part of my Cosmos like Wandjina; and Cynthia Winton-Henry's offering of the octopus as a symbol offering wisdom.
OCTOPUS WOMAN 2 (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

Without the repetitive act of drawing over time, I would be without my cosmos, without a way to "track" the spirit of my creative life. 

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. I'm curious. Do make "repetitive acts of art"? What are they? What do you learn from them?

OCTOPUS WOMAN 3. These numbers are arbitrary. The variations of Octopus Woman here are a result of the App Paintbrush. This morning I used a micron pen to outline the pencil drawing that I watercolored yesterday. and posted in this blog: Intuitive Feast. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Thank you Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones for this statement for the release of judgment: NOT GOOD. NOT BAD. JUST IS. As frequently as I use this proclamation, I must acknowledge it did not originate with me.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Intuitive Feast

OCTOPUS WOMAN. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Tracking the spirit requires tools! One of the most powerful tools for me is intuition. I lean in body, heart, mind, and listen really hard...

And I listen...

I am listening now....

As I move into 2018, I am focusing on the word FEAST. To find and experience the feast in my life, I am calling in all of the intuition practices I have. Of course, drawing and painting is one of those practices.

Here is a new image, the "Octopus Woman," that began emerging in 2017. She entered my life as friend, mentor and co-founder of InterPlay, Cynthia Winton-Henry became interested in the symbolism of the octopus and established the Octopus Guild on Facebook. There, members post images and videos of octopi that cross their paths in the course of daily life.

If you google "symbolism of the octopus," you will find that this beguiling 8-legged animal in the sea offers us a variety of human qualities to contemplate--creativity, flexibility, expansion, and intelligence, to name a few.
INTRODUCING OCTOPUS WOMAN. The title of this image is "Intuitive." In 2017, I discovered Octopus Woman while contemplating the symbolic meaning of the octopus. Since the immaterial world of the spirit is a difficult one to "track," I use tools to engage with my spirit. A daily creative practice of drawing and painting combined with intuition are powerful mechanisms for eliciting this elusive part of our lives. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
I have decided to expand the visual symbolic "Cosmos of Hallelujah Truth" in 2018, and Octopus Woman is the first symbol to manifest. As I expand my cosmos, I envision a "feasting table" with all my characters gathering around it bringing their gifts.

COSMOS OF HALLELUJAH TRUTH. I know that the FEAST I am conducting in 2018 will expand this form Cosmos of Hallelujah Truth. I'm excited!  

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. As I expand my creative universe and develop my 2018 word FEAST, what symbols might you engage with? How will they move you forward? Although I don't know what "Octopus Woman" is going to bring to my table, I am leaning in to listen. 

Will you join me? Soul blog with me and let me know what you are thinking.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tracking Spirit

QUIRKY ANGEL.  (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Busy? Where are you physically and spiritually? Have you had your Coffee with Hallelujah today?

I track my spirit in my daily drawing and painting. Nonverbal lines and color collaborate to express my BE-ingness! Quirky angels appear and linger. 

TRACKING SPIRIT. BE-ing present to my spirit. I draw and paint. I experience LOVE in my morning meditation. Smiles emerge on my face. Images appear before me.(Art by Hallelujah Truth)
After some years of tracking my spirit this way, I have generated long trackways of imagination. My repetitive acts have created containers for the mystery of my soul.

RESTORATION. This image that I completed today during my Coffee with Hallelujah began 3 or 4 years ago and tracks my focus which was directed at the plight of the American Oystercatcher. This morning during my 15 minutes of creativity, I titled it "Restoration." My intention is to connect my personal practice of "restoring" myself to that of "restoring" the environment. How can we care for our natural surroundings if we do not nurture and learn how to rejuvenate ourselves?   (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee with Hallelujah! Are you tracking your spirit? If so, how? What do you see? Soul Blog with me! Post your results on The Daily Creative Practice on my Facebook group. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Holding Hands of My Soul Family

Holding Hands of My Soul Family
The Impeccability of a Daily Creative Practice
HOLDING THE HANDS OF MY SOUL FAMILY. (art by Hallelujah Truth)

Hallelujah for the Daily Creative Practice! I am so thankful for Coffee with Hallelujah!

Coffee equals TIME.
Hallelujah equals SPIRIT.
Coffee plus Hallelujah equals TIME WITH MY SPIRIT.

The above is the mathematical equation of my life. Every morning, I choose to be present to the MYSTERY, the DIVINE, the UNKNOWABLE--to take precious moments and dwell between the boundaries of the known and unknown.

My first and foremost methodology is drawing and painting. Then I look for a way to share the magic which results from the TIME I have spent with my SPIRIT. Hence, this blog, Coffee with Hallelujah!

HOLDING THE HANDS OF MY SOUL FAMILY. I have just spent my daily creative practice this morning revisiting and working (playing?) with this image which originated in October 2017. Often my works are unfinished as I move away from my coffee with Hallelujah and out into the day. The wonderment of unfinished works by the spirit is that they continue "living" beyond their birth. This image of me (Hallelujah Truth) with Mother Mystery (left) and Wandjina (right) reassures me of the expansion of self. That self that exists in dream time and the imagination. In the early hours of darkness, I spent time having my hands held by the unseeable mystery. I feel nurtured, comforted.  (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Thank you for being a witness to my daily creative practice. I invite you to Soul Blog with me here and tell me what occurred in your morning. Did you have Coffee with your Hallelujah? Would you consider playing with your spirit 15 minutes every day? What might happen?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Creating Grace from the Mundane to the Mysterious

“The truth about morning is that it is the small light of the beginning breaking through, again and again. It is a wisdom so large and clear, one which carries us through our lives so quietly and completely that we seldom see it.” 
–Mark Nepo

In these turbulent political times in the United States, I seek renewal, regeneration, restoration, rejuvenation…. I reach and stretch my bodyspirit to replenish my faith in myself and humanity.

It is before morning's first light that I experience this baptism. I dance. I light incense and burn candles. I open books. I drink coffee. I meditate as I draw. Then as dawn breaks, I am ready. These repetitive acts have prepared me.

In the world beyond my front door, I am ready to create grace from the mundane to the mysterious. I restore myself, knowing that my rejuvenated grace extends to you. I find solace in the knowledge that you and I are connected. And I reach to you with open arms to receive your grace back to me.

These two images, which are result of my daily creative practice from one year ago, surprised me when they popped up as my Facebook “memories.”  I marvel how the words and symbols soothe me one year later. This predawn experience not only brings me a sense joyful laughter but also AWE.
THE RIVER OF THE BABY. On the morning of the 2017 inauguration, I woke renewed from a dream that had replenished me. As is my practice, I took action to capture the precious gift from my subconscious in the creative act of drawing. This incomplete image that resulted expresses some of that magical renewal. In contrast to the angst I was experiencing surrounding the change of presidential power in the United States, "The River of the Baby," holds a sense of fragile fertility for me.

In that dream of renewal, I am chasing my cat Sapelo who has escaped on the Georgia barrier island of Sapelo (the origin of her name). She is leaping in out tall grasses, and when she disappears, I follow her to a stream. There in the stream is a newborn baby. Before my eyes the baby grows into a woman who has another baby.

I experience the flesh of this human genesis as being such an intricate part of nature, the stream bed, the ferns, the Earth. I'm overwhelmed by the delicacy of the environment and the living breathing creatures, the water, and the richness of the soil and rising green plants unfolding. This immense beauty renews me. 
 (January 20, 2017, art by Hallelujah Truth).

FIDDLEHEADED NEWBORN. In my playful efforts to find peace in these troubled days of uncertainty with U.S. presidential power that we cannot trust to serve the good of all, I have found a place of "rebirth." This image is based on a dream the night before the 2017 inauguration. I was chasing my cat Sapelo into the woods and found a fragile newborn in the river bed. Before my eyes the "Fiddleheaded Newborn," transformed into a woman who then gave birth to another child. Amidst all of this fragile flesh being generated was such intense beauty. We are all so beautiful and the Earth that embraces us and supports our existence is so immensely fecund. Yet, at the time, I experience the fragility of our existence and the imperative that we must care for one another and our Earth.  (January 22, 2017, a work from the series Creating Grace from the Mundane to the Mysterious, Hallelujah Truth)
My CREATIVITY sustains me. And your creativity sustains me too! Thank you for accompanying me in my journey into the mystery of our hearts.

That’s Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Can you tell me about what your predrawn restorative acts? Or the creative actions you will take today to bring peace, joy and meaning to your life and hence mine?