.......this one's for Tammie Lee

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Tammie Lee at Spirithelpers (and her photos and dialog really do help the spirit) takes the most beautiful photos of nature. I, on the other hand, take photos of nature but not always so wonderful. But this one I like. I took it on our way back from Oregon of a lake on the eastern side of Yosemite Natl. Park...
and when I saw it for the first time I thought wow!
Almost as good as Tammie!
Even though it was purely accidental! :)

Not a lot of people make it to the eastern side of the massive granite slopes that make up much of Yosemite.
If you ever visit, and have the time, take the ride it is breathtaking. ~ sacred sunday

The Peaceful warrior greets travelers... "There must be those who, loving peace, will fight against aggression to preserve that peace....there is no contradiction in this. As long as such warriors are needed, The Peaceful Warrior honors those who step froward when asked to do so."
~ dennis smith...artist.

Mt. Shasta

If you're traveling north on Interstate 5 between Weed and the Oregon border,

you might notice a small highway sign telling you to turn left
200 feet ahead for the
Living Memorial Sculpture Garden...

If you've been on this highway you know that it a barren stretch of road made beautiful by the constant presence of Mt Shasta covered in snow way off in the distance.

Any greenery is either sage or tumbleweed sort of plants with a scattering of high plains pine trees.

It's pretty desolate.....
the Gardens can't be seen from the road.

So I don't think many travelers make the left hand turn....

.......the idea of heading off into the sagebrush
on a lonely stretch of highway feels a little scary.

But if you feel a strong desire and
do take the time, and make the turn, you will be greeted by the first...
approximately 15',16' high spirit figure called
Peaceful Warrior

Follow the road and you will come to a parking area, porta potties, a Memorial Wall and two toward the Chartes' Labyrinth and one for the sculptures.....

Taking the path towards the sculptures, which still can't be seen in spite of their height, takes a leap of faith especially if you're a woman....
but the energy of the place sort of pulls you along if you're the least inclined.

There is a peaceful silence there.
It is a powerful place and a holy place.

You can feel that people have experienced strong emotion here....
rage, sorrow, hope, fear...

I think people have raged at the silence here, shed tears...
It's a hidden place, much like our veterans, and their wounds from war...
both mental and physical.....
are hidden away...

If we could see the damages of war....really see and live with war,
as we ask our military and their families to do,
I wonder if there would be less war??

...more figuring it out??

......sacred Sunday ~ the memorial

The Why Group
.....the inaugural sculpture & the center piece of the garden.
On the ground a man rushes to help a falling comrade.
High above, on a pedestal, the central figure aches his back,
rears his head and stretches his arms to the sky.......

The artist is Dennis Smith,
a Vietnam War Marin Corps sergeant and a veteran of the Khe Sanh siege....
"Each sculpture has personal meaning for me in terms of life experience and personal incidents. Through the arts we have the means to peacefully consider violence and to ask questions as well as to offer possible solutions."
His art is patriotic yet cautionary....
"I don't think the purpose of art is to entertain, but to uplift, edify and educate."

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The Bear and I took off last Thursday morning and headed for Klamath Falls, OR....a nine hour drive...I entertained myself by taking photos for you...most you'll never see because I'm not the photographer I think I am....

For those of you who have never been there it is truly an 'all American' town...

it is to me anyway....
it feels like Apple pie
and the American flag

We missed our exit off the highway and ended up taking one that lead us to the Veteran's Memorial Park near downtown.
The photo above is of a memorial taking place over the weekend.
I believe there were 1000 flags in honor of Oregon's veterans.

I learned that 3 soldiers a day attempt suicide now...
and that 20% of our troops suffer from pts.....
the figures are probably hirer.

Klamath Falls feels like stepping back in time,
everyone is neighborly, people go for walks at night,
traffic slower and not much of it,
kids outside playing...
it is depressed and doesn't have enough jobs or drs.
it is the "all American city"

My sister, brother, niece, her husband and two teenage children (1 boy, 1 girl)
live in Klamath Falls....

My niece, Susie, and her family are the all "American family".
They are beautiful to look at....
fit from loads of outdoor activities, they, all four, are runners....
both parents work but give the kids 100%...
kids have straight A's and both have garnered 100s of ribbons as runners & from excelling at other athletic pursuits....
both won state championship awards as h.s. seniors.

Both kids have decided to stay home and attend a college in Klamath Falls & live at home.
It's a nice home with a view of Mt. Shasta and a huge 2 story, garage/apt/game room.
They have one dog and one cat.
They are awesome!

After my niece's daughter won a state championship she gave my her mom a necklace with a charm proclaiming Susie as not only a fabulous mom, but a friend and hero as well...the accompanying card thanked her for being a wonderful mom and an inspiration.
Both kids have "full boat" scholarships.
They are awesome.....
it's nice to be around them.
The all "American family".

Being with them made me wonder if there aren't ton's and ton's of these strong family
units living in all "American" cities, doing all "American" things
and we just never hear much about the???
...except in small town newspapers

My daughter #1 is doing the same with her her young family.
It isn't that the rescission, war, crime, drugs, etc. aren't part of the world both families live in, they just seem to be handling it.

They still believe in the dream....I'm proud of them.

......amma spirit figure

I've been commissioned to create a Spirit Figure who brings to mind the living Saint Amma.....

I've had several friends attend Darshan where Amma will offer blessings in the form of hugs.
It's said that she will to sit for up to 20 hours,
giving thousands, upon thousands of hugs....

I've been meditating on how I can best create this Spirit Figure for the woman who feels a connection to Amma.

I'm excited....
I can't wait to see where she will take me.

"The one word solution to all the problems the world is facing today is compassion. "

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Hula Hoops have come a long way from when I was a kid...
and a champion Hula Hooper, they light up!
A couple of evenings ago, Daughters 1 & 2, Beloved Grandson, Wonderful Son-in-Law, Almost Son-in-Law-Now-Friend, all came for dinner. The house was lite up with love.
The energy that remains in the house has kept me on a Love High.

I feel filled with Spirit

I was given another boost on Sunday when I went to the Positive Living Center....

a Science of Mind gathering place...
There is a sign in the sanctuary
that says,

'Only Love Spoken Here',

and there is a real attempt to keep to it.

A person can't help but feel better after a Sunday gathering because we do try to send love out in every direction.
And it feels good knowing there is a Tribe of us out in the world who believe......
thoughts become things so choose good ones....
I believe this tends to make us cheerier and it trickles down.

I don't know if positive thoughts keep negative things at bay,
I do know when I spend more time with positive thoughts, I seem to notice more good than bad in my life.

"I have it on good authority that Spirit does not belong to any particular church, but resides in the deepest part of your very own heart every time you love."

from the book, The Simple Feeling on Being

.......spirit figure & me

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....Music Man

The color is a bit off in this one...note art work by fellow Timberline artist Valerie Runningwolf behind Music Man also ribboned
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.....artist shamelessly tooting own horn

This is the Spirit Figure I entered in the Yosemite Western Artists show Saturday night. I arrived a Gallery Row, which is the home of Timberline Fine Arts Gallery, Williams Gallery, Stavast Gallery and Stellar Gallery The event was held at Stellar...the owner of Stellar, jon Bock is a fabulous artists and he also promotes all arts and artist in the area in a huge way. He is the driving force behind Sierra Art Trails and so many other things to keep the arts in the spotlight in our area.
I digress...
I had volunteered to sit Timberline from 5 - 6 pm before going to the YWA reception.
During that time my husband arrived and whispered in my ear that I had won Best in Show!! I didn't believe him....
I thought whoever told him was mistaken.
I was pretty sure I would ribbon in the fiber arts category.... but Best of Show never even came into my head as a possibility.
There are so many talented artists here....

But I did...!!! the Music Man & I won Best in Show in the fine arts category!!!...
A huge thrill for me and a nice nod to fiber arts!

So I shamelessly toot, toot..

Thanks for letting me...
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........Mother's Day

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Happy Mother's Day to fabulous, caring and nurturing women everywhere....

May your blessings be huge!
May today and everyday be filled with happiness and hope.
Thank you for all you do to make the world a brighter place!
hug, hug, julie

.....YWA Art Show

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This is where I'll be this evening.
It's a fun show
Both established and new artists come out in support of this gathering put on by
Yosemite Western Artists
The mood is always festive.....good food, entrainment, old and new friends.
The reception is held at Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst @ Gallery Row
from 5pm-8pm

The show hangs through Saturday the 16th
Hope to see you there.

.....completion anxiety

I've discovered I have completion anxiety...
Sounds like a sexual problem, but no....

It's this thing I do when a piece is not quite finished.
I procrastinate about getting that final little thing done so I can send a figure out into the it adding some beads or securing a bone or feather...or maybe I just won't add the pendant or center piece even though I know exactly where everything will go...............

I do meet deadline.
However I'm often rushed as the 'show an tell' date approaches and
I must detach from a piece.
I have
It's a problem.

Once I pronounce a piece done it generally means it's time for judgment. The completed piece will be sent out into the world to be juried,
or sent out as part of a show...
or scariest of all if is a commissioned piece I have to deliver to a person who has asked me to create just for them....

scariest because they have a vision too

So what to do about this dread of judgment?

This letting go, detaching.
Because that is what it is about too,

Letting go of something that I have put my heart and soul, and best vibes into...part of my heart.
Wanting the figure to touch someone more deeply than just surface viewing.

The other day one of my figures, Unity, sold out of Timberline.
The person who was sitting the gallery that day sent me this email after I'd inquired about recent sales so I could congratulate the artists...

Dear Julie --
I sent you a copy of the email because one of the pieces was yours, "Unity". I thought I had left a voice mail or some kind of message for you that you might want to bring down a replacement. It is going Fed Ex, to New Jersey and should arrive Saturday. The second piece was by Kathleen Mattox.
By the way, these folks came the previous day and had in mind some other pieces, including yours. They wavered and changed their minds on the other pieces, but never wavered on "Unity". They really loved it. They didn't even know where they wanted to place it on their wall, but the emotional connection was so strong, they said they would figure that out later.

This is why I create....

making sales is a must if I'm to continue to do what I do...
but it's really about that connection....
it is what feeds me.
It's what I want.

It's visceral....

It goes with the floaty feeling when I'm in the zone.

So each time I finish a piece I want everyone to connect even though I do know that just isn't going to happen. Different Spirit Figures speak to different people.
So I guess when it comes right down to it, it's about ego, and my desire to please, and to have a figure touch someone in a way that is lasting.
But it's also about detachment..
.letting go.

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