Contemplation of Earth’s Beauties

I am alone ~ I come to know:  
Earth’s beauties ~ I enter with love:  
A calmness settles me ~ I come to know:
I am never ~ And never will be ~ Alone. ~Ally.

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. ~Rachel Carson: The Sense of Wonder.

Yet, does it always have to be this way?

Our sense of childlike curiosity and awe of the smallest ant, may be hammered out of us at a very early age ~ Or so it may seem.

Yet with an undeniable acceptance of ourselves: Who we have become to meet the outside world. as well as who we are in those moments of total solitude ~ We CAN ‘turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties, reclaim the sense of wonder and humility we had as a child.’ ~R.C.

It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ~Rachel Carson. The Sense of Wonder.

Can you remember your early childhood ‘dreams?’

Prevailing conditions in our environment, social and financial, health and relationships, will take our life’s journey in directions that we could never have believed as yougsters. Some beneficial ~ Some that may not seem like it at the time but in retrospect were needed to shape us.

Often it’s a challenge to recall our early childhood ‘dreams’ and our lives just go on ~ Albeit somewhere between a little lack lustre or so demanding we become overly anxious and stressed. However at critical times in our lives and often when we least expect it, life may make us STOP: An ordinary ‘cold’ or a separation from a loved one. And if we are fortunate, we may be given a wake-up call to come back to venerating our ‘dreams’ once again.

Our core ‘dreams’ will always there. We only need to pause long enough to catch hold of them once again. ~Ally

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will ensure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature: The assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. ~Rachel Carson. Silent Spring.  

Rachel Carson. 1907 – 1964.

Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. ~Wikipedia.

Silent Spring meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings and caused cancer and genetic damage. A single application on a crop, she wrote, killed insects for weeks and months. Not only the targeted insects but countless more and remained toxic in the environment even after it was diluted by rainwater.

Carson concluded that DDT and other pesticides had irrevocably harmed animals and had contaminated the world’s food supply. The book’s most haunting and famous chapter ‘A Fable for Tomorrow‘ depicted a nameless American town where all life, from fish to birds to apple blossoms to human children ~ Had been ‘silenced’ by the insidious effects of DDT. Ref: bit.ly/StoryofSilentSpring

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) was founded in 2009 in Munich, Germany. The RCC is an international, interdisciplinary center for research and education in the environmental humanities. For more information visit: bit.ly/RachelCarsonCenter

Process of this work.

1. Glass stones under a thin layer of ice. Crystal tumble stones and a phalaenopsis orchid resting upon the ice.

2. White chrysanthemums added.

3. Another phalaenopsis orchid and more chrysanthemums.

About my work.

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants and combined with other natural materials that I find in the local  bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced.

I  literally fall in love with individual pieces of nature that I’m using, as well as how the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs that can’t possibly capture the beauty I see with my eyes are taken at different stages of the arrangement. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

I really enjoy receiving comments and questions about my work: From people who may see and add another dimension from their own reality. So if you have another layer to add ~ Please do.

This article was originally posted at Steemit: Contemplation of Earth’s Beauties: To know the sense of Wonder and Humility.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Finding Peace

I give myself time and space to reflect.
I care for my temple. I eat simply. I breathe deeply.
I open my heart. I feel at peace. I open my mind. I think joyfully.
I bend and straighten with grace. My direction becomes clear. ~Ally.

Beginnings.

Small smooth stones in tones of gray were placed randomly ~ But one by one ~ Onto a sheet of thin ice. Tips of Leucadendron Salignum were then nestled into the stones, balancing upright. There always has to be an exception though.

Leucadendron Salignum originated from South Africa, but as part of the Proteaceae family, blends exceptionally well with Australian indigenous plants in cultivated bushland gardens.

Ego: ‘Once it all falls into place, I’ll feel peace.‘ ~Marianne Williamson.

Leaving her be.

The arrangement was covered with a very thin layer of water and frozen. The one rebellious Leucadendron Salignum could easily have been disciplined at this stage and made to sit upright like her companions. But it was decided to leave her be ~ In peace.

Spirit: ‘Find your peace.’ ~Marianne Williamson.

 

‘You’re ALWAYS going the wrong way Alison.’ ~Not unknown. 

Peace comes to the one who always seems to be going the ‘wrong way’ ~ When she accepts that she doesn’t need to ‘stay put’ in just one place or go in the one direction or follow what everyone else is doing. And, can still be just as gracious in her bending as in her uprightness.

Free to explore her own truth and reality, she will also attract like hearted beings and together they’ll never need fear rejection and ridicule again.

Forming of the Heart.

Rougher rocks with dusky pink tones formed a loosely heart shaped rockpool. More water was added to cover the ice and partially cover the Leucadendron Salignum. Six double jonquils were floated upon the water, echoing loosely the shape of a heart.

The wayward one is barely visible, bowing to the beauty of the jonquil.

Essence of  Jonquil.

When you feel swamped by the pace of the world around you and life continually presents you with a variety of directions and you don’t always know which way to bend ~ Remember the intoxicating fragrance and beauty of the Jonquil.

And if your mind tells you that you haven’t always made the right choices, the healing essence of Jonquil will allow you to ‘Slow down and smell the Jonquils’ ~ To accept that you have always been where you were meant to be, to arrive at where you are NOW.

‘Go with the flow’ to move more confidently into the ‘Unknown.’ ~A Heart filled with Joy.

Spirit: ‘And then everything will fall into place.’ ~Marianne Williamson.

Azaleas.

Delicate pink azaleas were placed around the edges of the rockpool. Softening the boundary with different tones of pink and curling transparent forms.

The wayward one is no longer visible, and now bows to the beauty of both the double jonquil and azalea.

Essense of Azalea.

The Azalea corresponds to the Heart Chakra and is a symbol of femininity and womanhood, love and gentleness.

Living in moderation, practicing temperance and taking care of ourselves and our loved ones, we find that our direction can become clearer to us.

And as all things are in constant change, remember that what may be hidden one day ~ May be revealed the next. So take heart ‘Princess.’

New depths of colour beneath your beauty. ~Ally.

Pink.

The colour pink is also attuned to the Heart Centre: Whispering of love and femininity.

Usually associated with the early awakenings of romantic love as well as a mother’s love filled with tenderness for those she cares for ~ Pink is also a wonderful colour to wear, look at or breathe in, to help us connect to our feelings of self love. So that our ability to love and be loved can flow unimpeded.

Reflections of love. ~Ally.

About my work.

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Most of my materials, like these shells and stones,  and the lichen covered branches and twigs are recyclable. After being photographed all the materials are gathered up and restored. The flowers are often floated in bowls of water, as simple house and garden decor.

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments.

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may see another dimension of them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.

 

The Heart of ‘S’

Sometimes:
When we don’t know the answer:
It’s time to simply be with the question. ~Marianne Williamson.

Signature Spiraling Shells.

All the images that I share at Steemit are my photographs of my arrangements. However when asked to verify that they were my own work, I was in a bit of a  quandary as to how the  word ‘Steemit’ on a piece of paper next to the work would verify its authorship. So I let this slight ‘complication’ sit at the back of my mind for a while, until the idea came to  make a special ice work for Steemit.

This new piece would contain elements that had been previously used in my images already at Steemit: Some of the tiny spiraling shells that I’ve frequently included in my rock-pool images.

‘S’ to represent Steemit.

This time, instead of the shells being placed randomly: As if in a natural setting: The would form an ‘S’ to represent Steemit.

Sounds like a very simple thing to do? Not so. It was one of the trickiest things I’ve done so far with my work using water and ice.

The shells forming this first ‘S’ on a thin layer of ice, slid out of position immediately the ice started to melt. I had just enough time to quickly photograph it: Before, like a breeze dissipating a cloud, it was gone. Leaving me to start another ‘S’ all over  again.

Allow perplexity to have her place. Ally.

Ice ‘Glue.’

The positive outcome: Forced me to develop a new technique for holding small elements onto the ice. Placing 3 or 4 shells at a  time ~ Freezing to hold them in place ~ Giving them a  fine misting of water and re-freezing, strengthened the hold.

The art of working with water and ice in this way requires incredible patience!

This next ‘S’ was interwoven with orchids: Dendrobium Kingianum, an Australian miniature rock orchid. From my garden.

Let her settle ~ Go on with your daily life. ~Ally.

Protecting the Inner Sanctum of ‘S.’

Stones and a few shells encircling the ‘S’ alluding to currents of energy, swirling around a ‘Place of Stillness’ for the ‘S’ ~ A wellspring to support the nurturing of creativity.

A solution will come. ~Ally.

The Heart Surrounding ‘S.’

A heart of orchids surrounding the now submerged ‘S’ to protect and bring love. And covered with white blossom, ‘S’ is aware of the fragility and beauty of all life.

That thinking could not see. ~Ally.

The Blossoming of ‘S.’

Apple blossom, the most beautiful and delicate blossom of them all: Signifying the glory of Springtime with freshness and vitality surrounding ‘S’ ~ Lifting our Spirit ~ Providing an abundance, to share without reservation.

Although unseen now ~ The energy of ‘S’ remains.

Ephemeral Art.

Like a Tibetan mandala, my work is of a temporary nature. It reaches a  point of absolute exuberance and then starts to ‘fall apart.’

I  hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the creative processes involved in my work with natural materials, water and ice. The experience and outcome is never quite the same for each new piece ~ So many variations in both the making and photographing. Always unpredictable.

About my work. 

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants  combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland  or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced.

I  literally fall in love with individual pieces of nature that I’m  using, as well as how the different elements greet, merge, compliment  and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs that can’t possibly capture the beauty I  see with my eyes are taken at different stages of the arrangement.

Sometimes  ideas/thoughts/words come to me, as I look at the resulting images,  giving form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

I really enjoy receiving comments and questions about my work ~ From people who may see and add another dimension from their own reality. So if you have another layer to add ~ Please do.

 

Fragrance of the Heart

The heart:

Can remember: 

Her true fragrance: 

Accept change is constant:

Slow down and smell the Jonquils. ~Ally.

Flower Essences:

Flowers, plants and trees have been used by indigenous people from all over the world for thousands of years to bring gentle holistic healing. The oldest known living tradition lies with the Nyoongah Aboriginal people of the South West of Australia.

Dr. Edward Bach introduced flower essence therapy to the Western world in the 1930’s with his system of 38 healing remedies made from English wildflowers, to correct emotional imbalances where negative emotions are replaced with positive.

And may we ever have joy and gratitude in our hearts that the Great Creator of all things, in His Love for us, has placed the herbs in the fields for His healing. ~Dr. Edward Bach: Heal Thyself.

Since then flower essences have been crafted from wildflowers, growing in wilderness area all over the world from the celtic plains of England to the rainforests of the Amazon to the desert and mountain regions of Australia.

The effect of these essences is similar to that of meditation in that they enable the person to access the wisdom of their Higher Self ~ Negative beliefs and thoughts are dissolved, balance is restored and true healing occurs. ~Ian White: Australian Bush Flower Essences.

Visual energy and vibrational fragrance:

When I was painting on silk in the 90s, a herbalist  introduced me to the idea of absorbing the healing vibration of a flower from a photographic image of that flower.

‘Holding’ the healing energy of a flower as I was painting it, was quite a challenge at the time, but opened out a whole new way of working as my belief in visual energy transmittance increased.

It wasn’t long before I began to make my own flower essences from Australian wildflowers growing around the rural areas of Sydney. Some of the flowers with their healing properties were not yet listed in any of the publications at that time and so my task became to intuit what their healing properties might be.

For instance, I was fortunate to see a Xanthorrhoea spike in full bloom and make an essence from it. I was later told it was one of the most powerful of all the Australian essences ~ Too powerful if not used correctly and so not available commercially.  I wasn’t selling my essences ~ But giving them to friends for their feedback.

Beginnings of this piece:

A rockpool with a ‘natural’ appearance was formed with a scattering of small rocks, sculpted to leave the shape of a heart at the centre. The  arrangement was then partially covered in water and frozen.

Shells were placed on top of the ice, inside the heart shape. Double jonquils were positioned on the edges of the heart shaped rockpool.

If your heart is already awakened: 
Sleep peacefully, sleep in the arms of Love. ~Rumi.


See with your heart the beauty of Jonquil.

The healing essence of Jonquil will allow you to more fully accept that life is continually changing. So that as you gather the force that your lifetime of experience has given you ~ You can move into the being you, in your true heart know yourself to be.

The heart can remember its true fragrance ~ Always. ~Ally.


Breathe in Jonquil.

The healing essence of Jonquil will also help to ground you so that you can ‘Slow down and smell the Jonquils’ and then ‘Go with the flow’ and move more confidently into ‘The New You.’

About my work:

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Most of my materials, like these shells and stones,  and the lichen covered branches and twigs are recyclable. After being photographed all the materials are gathered up and restored. The flowers are often floated in bowls of water, as simple house and garden decor.

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments:

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may be led to see another dimension to them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.