INTERNATIONAL ART PROJECT
AN INTERNATIONAL ART PROJECT
Compared with the infinite size of the known universe and the distance between galaxies, the distance between person to person on planet Earth begins to seem microscopic! We are all closer than we realize! Even so, with six billion people and even billions more species, coupled with the exponential growth of technologies that increase our separation, it is easy to feel disconnected and alone...
This project, stemming from individual community art projects and growing into an International art project, is about sharing the moments when you felt connected to something greater than yourself... maybe to another person, an animal, the environment or to any possible interpretation of God. Someone on the other side of the planet wants to feel what you felt when you could have sworn the universe was closing in on you and maybe all you could do was squeeze the hand of the person next to you because there were no words to describe, or the moment when you wanted to scream, "Did anybody else just see that?!" Someone out there wants to know about the time when you caught a stranger's eye and you both just smiled.
This worldwide collection of moments of human connectivity are encouraged from ALL walks of life with no discrimination whatsoever. This project is an extension of myself and without knowing it is an extension of you too. The principle point is that I can't do it alone.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I was sitting in Santa Monica College in an expansive, hundred-person lecture hall. Amid the dribble of Cartesian science a commotion began. From the noise and confusion one would think that a venomous snake had just entered the space. Upon closer examination I saw glimmers of earthen-colored, fairy-like wings. This creature, gargantuan for a moth, but relatively small to a human, managed to arrest the attention of every person in the lecture hall. As the fairy guest landed on the wall, someone’s first impulse was to snuff it out of existence with a binder. After years of struggling to express my voice, I stood up and roared, “DON’T KILL HER!”
At first I felt possessed, until I realized the paradox, that this was authentic, and personal, but inherently transpersonal and unifying: I/Moth/Everything/Goddess. I had allowed myself to be heard, uninhibited by social conditioning.
Not a moment had passed since my command, when the moth flew gracefully, banking path, all the way across the room, toward my face. It hovered in front of my eyes and proceeded to gently kiss my nose and mouth, then made a beeline for the open door. A nearby classmate’s gaping mouth and the silent sea of awe struck eyes of everyone in the room were testaments to the intensity and profundity of this moment. I had been immediately struck with overwhelming and pressing compassion for a creature that proceeded to complete our mental and spiritual connection by pressing our physical forms together. The personal gnosis inspired by this gentle touch extended beyond formed thoughts and rationale. The Earth is alive. This universe is alive. In order to engage with the physical aspects of existence I knew I had to choose a discipline and tools that sought living interaction and holistic connection.
I had began the day with pursuing a discipline that would try to reduce a complex, unique, spirit being into letters, numbers and chemical reactions. I had been rejecting intuition, while trying to reconcile with obvious fallacies; I did this in order to conform to methods that deaden and distance components from our living emotion and geospiritual magic, which thrives throughout our wild biosphere. This messenger came and jarred me from a stupor…
It was finally clear to me that separating myself and trying to control any living environment is futile and unproductive. The part and whole are inseparable. Harmony comes not through domination but through collaboration within a greater web of life-love. I am immensely grateful for the once veiled knowledge revealed to me by the Cosmia spirit.
Juliana Thomollari, Albania
Artist: Linda Keagle, Korumburra, Australia, Linda's flickr
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Friday, September 2, 2011
There was an old fashioned tin plate lamp hanging directly over my mother's body on the delivery table with a bright light. She verified this to me. We both remembered how bright it was in our eyes. There were long windows from floor to ceiling. The wind outside, directly from the river's bluff, was blowing the windows so hard that the glass panes sounded like they would break. She verified this as well.
I was adopted in 1948, but had really clear memories of my short life with my birth mother. While being born, I remember that I seemed to zoom in and out of my baby body from my birth mother's womb in Natchez, MS. Years later, I recalled this event to her after I found her when I was 30: the home, the bluff in Natchez on the Mississippi River, and the exact room. I remembered the doctor who told her, "The next time you decide to be a bad girl, maybe you'll remember this!" She was in a lot of pain and this was her fourth birth out of wedlock.
I remember an antebellum home of dark old red brick with green ivy. When I went there during my search for my past the house was white, so I thought I was wrong. Later, she told me it had been red brick with ivy when she lived there, and she had her picture taken with me on the lawn in front of it at three weeks old, while waiting for the station wagon to take me and three other children to the adoption home in Jackson. Even without ever seeing the photograph, my crystal clear memories are enough to prove the reality of it all to myself, but I am still so grateful that I had someone to share with them.
Susan Arnett, Natchez, Mississippi
Artist- Deep Fried Goodness, Nova Scotia, Canada Deep Fried Goodness' Flickr
Monday, August 1, 2011
When my eldest daughter Jennifer was just a toddler around two years of age, we had a most remarkable experience concerning reincarnation. Jennifer at that time could only say a few words that we had taught her -- "cat," "nose," etc.
One day, I had a book about ancient Egypt open on the table, showing the death mask in gold of Tutankhamun, the Boy King. Jennifer crawled up onto a chair and, seeing the picture, put her finger on it and said "King!" This was a word we had never taught her. But the best was yet to come. I had read where very young children sometimes have memories of past lives. So I asked her, "What do you remember about Egypt?" She looked at me and said, "I knows it." Then she said what sounded like "Kim." Next, she said "bees," "honey" and "flowers." These were words we had not yet taught her. Then I asked her, "What was your name in that life?" Jennifer suddenly looked at me with an indignant expression upon her face and, honestly, for a moment it was like looking at an adult. She retorted without any hesitation (as if I should know) a word that sounded like "Tentooke."
The next thing that happened was amazing. As I have always held an interest in Ancient Egypt, I said to her, "Who was your father in that life?" Then, this little two year old girl looked at me again, and said without hesitation, "Captain of the Guard...Keeper of the Grain." It was said perfectly, just as an adult would say it. Then, within seconds, those special moments were gone, and she was back to being "Little Jen" who only knew a few garbled "bubby" words. I discovered much later on that the ancient name for the land of Egypt was "Kem."
Jennifer is now 40 years of age, and I have never told her about this experience of hers as a toddler. This is because every time I have a birthday (without any prompting from us) she always brings me a gift that has something to do with ancient Egypt! Once she gave me a perfect replica of a scarab beetle (which was sacred to the ancient Egyptians) and said to me, "Leave it in your car, Dad. It will protect you."
Doug Osbourne, Australia
Artist- Amelie Alice, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand Amelie's Flickr
Friday, July 1, 2011
In 1976 I was in a motorcycle accident in which my left leg was snapped off at the knee by a tree. Still conscious and waiting for an ambulance, I was able to stop the bleeding for a short time before I had to let it continue because of the pain. This went on until help arrived. I had lost so much blood by the time I got to the hospital that I recall losing consciousness as I was carried out of the ambulance.
I could hear the medics' voices for just a short time, and then I was feeling weightless. No pain, no hot or cold, no body. My essence, my spirit, "I" was slowly drifting towards a faint and distant light. I could see planet earth, small, off in the distance to my right. There seemed to be an invisible wall between me and the life dimension I had just left. I knew with certainty that I could not return that way. Nor did I have any desire to go back.
Questions arose in my mind quickly and were answered just as quick by myself, as if I had some new kind of knowledge. I seemed to know everything. I knew without a doubt that I would see my family and loved ones when they passed. Not years from then, but as soon as I got to where I was headed. Time as known on earth, such as a human's life span, was a mere grain of sand on a large beach. We all, humans, had no need to worry. It was as if earth were just a level we all had to pass through on our way to a peaceful and more beautiful plane of existence. It was serene, all loving, all knowing, like being born to a brand new world, not as an infant, but as a knowledgeable, understanding being.
Then, without a signal, sign or thought, I found myself on a stretcher with a medical crew working on me. Pain, fear and awe all surrounded me at the same time. To this day, I have never felt anything even close to what I felt in that moment. No joy or drug on earth could even compare with the feeling of security and confidence I had then.
Sometimes I feel like I can't wait to go there again, but I know I have to wait until my existence here is finished. I do not fear death for I know partially what waits beyond. The only aspect of death I may fear is how it will come about, and even then, it will be just a tiny event in the scheme of my existence.
Artist- Benjamin Skanke, Oslo, Norway Benjamin's Flickr
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
| As far back as I can remember, I've always been afraid of heights. I remember visiting a lighthouse on Lake Erie. As I reached the top of the lighthouse, I was attacked with a terrifying sensation of falling to my death.|
One day when I was about 12 years old, I had a vivid and frightening dream that haunts me to this day. In the dream, Images of the western plains came to me and I heard little boys laughing and horses nickering. It was dark, but I felt the wind on my face, and I could smell the scent of sweet prairie grass.
Through the cover of darkness, I caught a glimpse of an Indian boy about ten or twelve years old, riding a pony. He had paint on his face and was laughing. I couldn't really see him, but I knew that that was because I was watching myself! And so, I laughed back. I knew we were on a mission, one that was dangerous and against the rules, but I followed because the lure was too exciting. We rode out across the prairie, with the wind at our heels and bow and arrows at our backs and we were free, young boys on the verge of proving our manhood. I knew he was my brother; I could sense the special bond. Laughing, I encouraged my mount to outpace him, pulling into the lead, as we headed straight toward our objective.
Beneath the full moon, we could see them. Hundreds of buffalo. I could hear the rush, the pounding of hooves drowning out my voice. The exhilaration unbelievable. The dust rose thick as the buffalo drew in around my mount, trapping me within the herd. Looking back, I saw my brother. He shouted at me, waving his arms, an alarmed expression on his face. I watched him fall back until the darkness covered him. But I continued to laugh. How could I not? I was happy and completely free. It's a funny thing: one moment, hearing the sound of the monstrous rumble of the hooves, and then next, an instant silence as you sail through the air, still happy and free, falling to your death.
Later on in life as an adult, I shared my dream with my brother. I was telling him about the two Indian boys hunting buffalo when he gasped in amazement. He remembered having the same exact dream as me, but in his dream, he watched an Indian boy ride over a cliff. Incidentally, just recently I went through a box of old school pictures and artwork and came across a picture I drew in the third grade. In the picture, there are two Indian boys riding spotted ponies, while shooting arrows at buffalo.
Artist- Elkie Koehn, Monroe, WA Elkie's Flickr
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
MAY- "... at the same instance we both caught our breath, finally understanding the dream's message."
My lifelong friend Jill died in 2006 after a long battle with breast cancer. My wife and I adopted her daughter after she died. Exactly one year to the day after she died, I had a very vivid dream about her. In the dream, Jill was standing outside under a tree. As I approached her, she said “Take them with you”. She looked very frightened, and she kept saying it over and over again, as if she was pleading with me – “Take them with you! Take them with you!” I didn’t know what she meant, and I asked her to explain, but she wouldn’t say anything else. Just “Take them with you.”
The next morning, Jill’s daughter Katie, who now lives with us, told me that she also had a dream about her mom that night. In her dream, Jill was standing outside her bedroom window. She was saying something to her but she couldn’t hear her through the glass. We all thought it was weird that we both had dreams about Jill that night, exactly one year after her death, but we just figured it was because we were thinking about her that day. But I was still haunted by the words “Take them with you”...what did she mean? Take who (or what) with me? Where? Why?
3 weeks later, I had forgotten all about the dreams. I had to run out to the store for some things, and as I was headed out the door I decided on a whim to take our daughters along for the ride just to give my wife a little peace and quiet, because she wasn’t feeling well. While we were at the store, a huge storm blew through. Then my wife called on the cell phone and said I better come home right away, because a large tree had fallen on our house. When I got home, I discovered that the tree had fallen directly on Katie’s bedroom – exactly where the two young girls had been playing right before we left to go to the store.
My wife and I looked at each other and at the same instance we both gasped, finally understanding the dream's message.
Anonymous- Ottawa, Canada
Artist- Elana Vaninetti, Milano, Italy Elana's Flickr
- ► 2011 (9)