Mama moon was in her full brilliance. They were howling rainbows towards the Milky Way. Just as the howling vibration hit her heart, she noticed glitter on her fingertips and chose not to wash it off. Instead, she smiled, cackled in harmony as they sang Hallelujah, and rubbed the glitter all over her clothes, giggling herself awake in the land of fairy nymphs and lightening bugs.
Women. Art. And, the Texas Hill Country. Not only was this adventure about rejuvenating creativity in her life, it was an adventure about accessing the wild woman part of her soul.
These things happen at Lucky Star Art Camp for Women. The only time that exists in this space is when the color hits the paper, the words mix to make the perfect note, and the needle stiches just the right patch.
Upon waking up, I made my way to the dining hall following the smell of freshly baked cinnamon. I poured my cup with piping hot fresh chai tea, took a big whiff of all the spices, and allowed it to warm my core with newfound inspiration. I scanned the room with my extra-lightened eyes, steaming tea cup close to my chin, and sat meditating with immense gratitude for the ultimate life movie folding in front of me.
As everyone lined up to load their plates for breakfast, I noticed an energy of ease and relief. It was like the person we were before entering camp was kicked out to the highway to hitchhike for a new ride and the only thing that was left was this buzzing curiosity and intimate luminosity for rediscovering the effects of profound grace in our lives.
So many of us had travelled to this sacred space in the hill country to return home. Not the kind of home where our husbands, wives, cats, dogs, and children reside, but the home of our wild woman soul.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes of this particular soul journey home in her book, Women Who Run With the Wolves. This journey home can manifest in a myriad of ways for women. If we don’t take this journey home we create the possibility of getting really lost and lack luster and liveliness in our lives.
As I looked over at the enticing food choices, I noticed the freshly baked breakfast pastries. “We can even find god in a donut,” I thought to myself as I sipped my chai tea at the breakfast table.
I got lost in my own movie. I became transfixed with the shape of a donut. It’s perfectly round, light and fluffy, and oozing with sweetness. But, it’s not a complete circle.
Some genius had the idea to make this sweet breakfast pastry by punching a hole in the middle and selling the donut holes as a separate item! Ok, back to god and donuts.
The sacred symbol of the circle is illustrated everywhere – in the world’s major religions, in our celestial planets, and in common vernacular when we are describing the completion of a cycle, such as “we have come full circle”. Circles symbolize wholeness and completion.
“Donuts almost do that, but it’s missing an essential elements – it’s core,” I noted as I plated one of those tasty homemade pastries onto my plate.
When a woman hears the call to return home, she realizes even if she can’t verbalize it that a piece of her core is missing. It’s an unconscious sense that manifests in a deep desire to go create, to sit in silence, to be outside, etc. When this feeling arises it’s like someone punched the life out of her (we’ll call this the life stuff) and that piece is constantly searching for home as soon as it leaves.
But, this is no simple donut hole. It’s a hole in the soul, a wound of sorts and instead of being sold separately as a tasty treat it’s sold in relationships looking for completion. Here lies the rub; it will never fit, no matter what the relationship is because there is no completion there.
We can go searching our whole life and never find completion. Honestly, I don’t think finding completion in this lifetime is possible, otherwise we’d be amongst the celestial bodies in eternal formless bliss. We are humans, not wholly celestial bodies. What is possible, however, is to add colorful sprinkles to our soul, accept the multiple calls home, and enjoy the life-long process.
As I finished my last bite of the fresh cinnamon infused pastry I concluded my initial thought, “Donuts, god, and sprinkles make up for the missing hole in the middle.” I sipped my last drop of chai tea, gathering my schedule from the table and walked to my water coloring class.
Low and behold, I couldn’t believe what was on the agenda – water coloring and mandalas! Mandala in Sanskrit means circle. It was indeed the right time to come home.
As I sat down to paint my mandala I was thinking deeply about wounds, pain, and suffering. Wounds are the things that punch holes into our souls. We can’t run from it, we can’t hide from it, or bury it! But, we all sure do try.
When my brush hit the palette and then onto the paper, I felt like each brush stroke added extra sprinkles to my soul. Somehow those sprinkles brought a little wholeness back to my entire being.
Perhaps we’ve read how many great saints find and rediscover god on a mountaintop or in the quiet stillness of the desert, but the everyday things also have the power to bring such enlightened epiphanies and transformations.
After relishing in the full weekend of art, conversations, laughter, and communion, I smiled to myself standing in the closing prayer circle before everyone said farewell until next year.
I was happy I answered the call home again to find a little more wholeness upon accessing the wild woman within – with donuts, god, and sprinkles as my luminous sidekicks.
Om Shanti Om ~ Athea