Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ask and Receive

Late January, when I got back from Boston (and the White Mountains, a very special gift waited for me in North Carolina.

Kathy Van Kleeck who blogs as KVK had sent me a sweet thoughtful package.

I had responded to Kathy on my post about losing my brother, saying, "You should invent a necklace with a box of tissues in it."

I received this beautiful box.
"Greetings M," Kathy wrote. "I took your response to heart and thought the enclosed would brighten your day a bit."  (It made me cry. )  She invented a beautiful silver vessel with healing jewels and as she said, "silk rather than tissue. A vessel to hold your sorrows, open at the top so they can float away when ready."

As much as i loved receiving this gift, it settled over me that this was a gift connected to my brother. 

Here hanging near my desk in silver, a beautiful talisman that helps hold my sorrow, a fact which still in moments isn't real.  My sweet brother no longer resides on this earth.  I can no longer hear his voice, visit him, see his gaze which adored me since childhood when we began a common exploration of life in two little bodies on this great beautiful world.

(i take a deep breath to visit these words)

I had admired Kathy's jewelry and talismans.
I honestly believe that not just anyone can make a talisman. Yet having one of hers here by me,I know the hand of the Heart is on these; the Heart's eye in action.

Only someone with a clear spirit and spiritual Gift can make a talisman of any power. I can tell you, this vessel feels like an inspired instrument of the sacred space I believe dwells "between" all things; dwells as a third (holy power) between thoughts and spirits /souls. Always, Spirit indwells and awakens when one listening heart avails itself to another's heart cry whispering its simple voice. 
This is true inspiration; a breath gift shaped into & as object.  Inspiration happens into art, as Spirit moves and acts by Grace through us, for joy and creativity. Why else are we alive!

We ask and we receive.  Soul to soul, simple as it should be.


On the first day of spring I decided it was time.
I went out to the river with my vessel.  
I hung the vessel on a branch near the water and tried to focus my emotions where they did not will to take me.  
I breathed. I wanted to let go symbolically of the sadness, but not to let go of my brother. I had to remind myself, he was in so much pain. 
(my note from Kathy said the silk tissue was to release sorrow... )
I might have to do this again and again... but
here goes...

I let it open gently in wind...

... opening like a spring leaf on the river tree.

Found on the Spring warming earth for the vessel, delicate flower to make a brightness.
Thank you Kathy for this generosity and shared grace! I will treasure it always!

Such a beautiful day.

After some lunch I did yardwork in shorts.  The rhythmic energy of raking helped a patch of subtle anger rise up inside,and then such a sadness blossomed. I leaned on the rake watched the river and let it flow down my face. What else could i do?
I really suddenly needed a tissue tissue. ")

(This is how i know my KVK talisman works; it brings on a cartharsis; because it asked me to act out a sacred ritual between myself and my feelings. Doing this, and even posting this seemingly simple action, o how it hurts *but helps! An incredible gift to give.)

Later the wind kicked up. We sat by the choppy water (me wrapped in a cotton blanket) and tried to record sounds of the river (recording is a new desire, random sounds and some oral history). Someone made me a strong Vodka drink in a jelly jar with two overly bright broken cherries where olives should be. The talisman and its flowers were inside--the house, my heart, my attention.
We watched the sun set on the first day of Spring 2010. 

I was shivering. Some fallen pinecones and twigs helped light a transitional fire, a symbolic end of Winter and opening to Spring. 

It felt so good, feet to the flames, me thinking fire (and time) (the care and generosity of others; love) all cleanses.

Three songs:
don't let the sun catch you crying

Hey momma where do we get air... * Dat Dere

** love: (keeps playing randomly)

Last photo: reflections in sunporch doors leading out where the darkened river, the trees, the clouds dolphins crabs snakes jumping mullet deer ducks eagles crickets cormorants red headed woodpeckers gulls blue birds blackbirds ... pelicans herons the rocks and ferries and sailboats rest; out where the wind (right now in pitch black space) makes musical sounds with the house; out where all of you live, and love and dream and play.
I wish you Joy as wealth, as health.

Thank you.
Peace to all who enter here. This is my 101 post, so yes 101concentrated wishes for Peace dwell here. Do you think we can handle it that strong? Peace at 100 proof. Here's to us!

Don't just sit there, drink it!



lynne h said...

oh m., peace at 101 proof feels strong... thank you. for being you...

what i loved most in this post was seeing your hand.

exoblessings and blissings...

kvk said...

oh my........
I love that I'm sitting here on this day of the new moon reading your post with tears streaming down my face.
When the inspiration hits, it is relatively easy for me to create these gifts and send them off free of attachment but full of hopes. It seems my hands are guided by divine grace, creating a small miracle - a gift from the universe that I can share. Unfortunately, I find it incredibly difficult to receive thanks or praise; I tend to curl in and retreat.
Right now, I'm making myself sit straight and receive your thanks full face, full body. To know that my intentions have been fulfilled so perfectly - oh my, I cannot ask for anything more.
many blessings, enormous gratitude, blessed peace - kvk

nina said...

i did not know, until kathy came on monday for a visit, that you had lost your brother. i'm so sorry, so so so sorry, for this tremendous loss. i completely understand what you are going through; i lost my only brother ben four years ago this past january, out of the blue. but now? i think he is still out there, "in the blue", his spirit able to wrap around me in the wind, the smells of spring, the cry of the hawk as it circles overhead.
kathy is dear to do this for you. x

La Dolce Vita said...

oh yes peace and purification.
my brother shot himself last may and so his one year anni is next month, my heart goes out to you. this was a wonderful post. thank you for sharing. xxxxx's

Line said...

that's a beautiful post peace to you!!!

Roxana said...

i am in awe -

i can only reach out and hug you and stroke your hand...

Gwen Buchanan said...

very beautiful... you, your friends, your response, theirs, .. it has sadness but also calmness... it is all so very touching...

I think of you...

Disa said...

i have no words, and am in awe (because) of yours.

Seth said...

Such a moving post. Kathy's gift to you is so special and meaningful!

ArtPropelled said...

A beautiful, beautiful post. I am so moved by this gift Kathy has made for you ..... and moved by the way you have written your story. May your healing continue until you reach a place where you can enjoy the good memories. At first the good memories can be so painful but a time comes when you can relish them.

mansuetude said...

Thank you everyone!

lynne~ 101 proof is a private batch in private labeling. I'll send a bottle across the States.

Funny you should mention my hand, that is Exactly what a certain delectable goat said when i let him out of his envelope. He said, Oh M, so nice to see abd be in your hands. I said, Oh beautiful goat it is so nice to have you home.

Thank you!

mansuetude said...

Kvk~ everyone should have one of these talismans; to force a symbolic ritual every three months or so. The emotions are always riding under the ease of daily life's bounty that wills us to stay in the joy, and your vessel makes a place to bring it up into the daylight, again and again. I send big Joy blessings.

mansuetude said...

Nina ~ Thanks for that. But how long does it did it take?

I know it gets easier, and moving near the coast has helped--the "Carolina blue" was so mesmerizing on the ocean surf during sunset, its like a milky mirage i still can't fix as real... and that is where i have been taking my grief these days. Its so warm and wonderful in those waters already.

Ocracroke is on my soon list too--a few days stop at least!


La Dolce ~

my heart goes out to you there, and may your one year be a release... not easy. Blessings and healings. Thanks for your support and care.

Line~ your sense of grace is a gift; thank you and Peace to you too.

Roxana ~ your wisdom gift and radience, i thank you for sharing, and for coming over. Blessings.

Gwen ~ thank you for all you give.

Calmness is an interesting thought in this, an idea to ponder... wonderful to hear from you. Blessings. Hope spring has got a grip up there!

Disa ~ Thanks. Your humor has helped me so much so long! I am so enjoying the southern spring you must miss it.

mansuetude said...


Thanks. I have to come by and catch up some; your poem that inspired others so reflected on this gift, and inspiration between bloggers... I am grateful for your presence!


Thank you and a big Thanda for your words. I've held so much of the story back, writing it here isn't timely yet, though that will be my work i am sure, to put down the memories this summer; and to enjoy the sea which seems with its rhythmic stoicism and eternal grace of "being" to wash away my small self, and open the eternity that knocks on the mortal me every day, more and more consciously by this and grace.

thanks for all you share, too. Its been a joy.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Time, grace and some strong drink have been helpful to me in taking out the sting of my losses...and then stars come out and a long night begins again.
Lovely gifts and rituals, all helpful in this...my best thoughts go to you on this beautiful spring day.

mansuetude said...

Mary Ann ~

oh yes! Bring on the tequilla. The stars have been incredibly brilliant by the river here... and last night i saw the moon like an eclipse ...just a sliver showing through while crossing on the ferry. The world will be reflecting long after we pass on so we might as well enjoy it!

Thank you for coming over and sharing your wonderful art.
I still think of those last pieces i commented on, the play of language and color. Love it.


rivergardenstudio said...

Your words and photographs here
are so beautiful
as you lead us through your day,
inside and out,
and the talisman is beautious as well.
I imagin your dear brother with a soft smile
high in the clouds
just for you.
Sending wishes for more days of healing,

mansuetude said...


hope YOU are well, too. Still glowing from your opening!

my brother grins, i am sure of it.

(Lynne sent me a card with a stamp of a bird you carved for her... so sweet.)

Blessings to you.

ELK said...

what an artist with a special heart to know just what you needed . then your spirit filled poetry as you gently laid out each image with words wrapped around them ..the talisman of beauty here.

mansuetude said...


what wonderful words to wake up to this beautiful morning. Thanks for brightening my day.

Jeane said...

no words xxo

mansuetude said...

Jeanne. We r in car. Your comment made us laugh so loud.

My belly grumbles better than that.

No words equals two words. Xo

La Dolce Vita said...

oh I agree, we do not have to limp, it is a choice! thanks for the kind remarks as always xxx's

Amelia said...

what a powerful post! Thanks for visiting, glad I stopped by. I want to be there too, all the places you were and the rituals. Magic. I am reading 'Myths We Live By' at the moment by Joseph Campbell and he talks of the rituals we have lost and maybe new ones we are developing in this evolving world . . .

I will be back.

Thank you for sharing.


mansuetude said...

La Dolce~

We HAVE to dance! While we can, while there is a will to it. :)

Whatever feels like dancing, do that.


Oh yes, wonderful. I think i forgot about Joseph Campbell lately, though he is in our cultural thought now. Thank you for reminding me of this now.

Janis said...

You remind me that life is mysterious and beautiful.
101 hugs by a river, letting it flow... xo

Lori Witzel said...

I am so sorry to hear about your brother.

I've been off the blogline for a while, and while the wishes are late I'll still send them: for healing, for joy.