Where permaculture stands out from the crowd as a design system is in its capacity to integrate the intellect with ethics. It can teach us to ‘think’ with the heart and respond with the head.

Knowing Grace

Instead of attending to this blog I’ve been working on an album depicting my year of “pilgrimage.”  I want reminders of my experiences moving across the country, living with others who shared their homes. And I want to recap for myself what I’ve learned.

I have few financial reserves and most days I can acknowledge that reality
with some trepidation. At one time, overwhelmed with fears, I thought falling
apart would lead to total dissolution and then I fell right into the arms of a
group of loving women, and my family and friends who’ve helped glue me back
together in a configuration not completely formed. There are some cracks but as I’ve read, they let in the light…

Much of what I try to practice are the pleasantries we learned in kindergarden that get us through the day – ” Say thank you and please, pick up after yourself, participate in chores and don’t interrupt. However as adults I/we forget these simple admonishments; rough edges show.

Since I was a child I’ve know Grace. I also know when I lose that feeling I become fearful and judgmental. Carolyn Myss, who has some rough edges herself, writes in her book Invisible Acts of Power “…everything comes from love, even when it doesn’t feel that way.” I relate to Carolyn Myss’s writing, “Even those who do those things to us which bring suffering are performing a great service, for we are being given information through that experience about where we need to bring the light” (p.169). Myss then asks “Is grace real?” And answers, “Grace is not logical or rational… grace highlights qualities in you, enhances your strengths, and heightens your inner senses” (p.111). I hope so.

Vijali, an earth artist asks “what is your essence? What is holding you back? And What can you do to achieve who you are? I created a group of collages to answer her questions.

The first is my essence is often a fish out of water – I am from the ocean, it surges through my body but I stand firmly on bedrock. The ancestor’s bones and spirits are the underpinning and sometimes obstacles as well as the bridge to the present and the future.

When reeled in by the Big Hook in the Sky I can be a leader, though often leading just by a nose. I’m an introvert. I watch; my authority comes from the fact that I glean the Great Unknown even in my dreams, for all that I am. I am learning to love.

However my obstacles are a fear of being judged – humiliated, caught in penury, illness, and unable to care for myself.

 In my collage Judgment sits with his bony hand reaching out to grab all my thoughts and actions. Going into the cave is a place for self reflection and self knowledge, a place to rejuvenate. The cave can also be a place to escape the inner terrorist who sews together my truths. A cave is a germinal place of brooding. Friends and family wait at the entrance.

And, finally; overcoming obstacles requires faith in my feminine self, my trickster power, my art, my body and my skills. My glued together brokenness provides my strength just as often a broken jar that has been glued back together is stronger. I have a spiritual framework. By trusting my inner wisdom and coming to grips with my images, birthing them, accepting responsibility for them, and accepting the consequences I know grace.

I dreamed I had gone to a well for water and that 2 men were on the other side of a fence but did not see me. I was invisible. My image, not at all ghostly, still appears in the mirror. I am often surprised that she who appears isn’t 40ish, but I do recognize the wrinkled face and see the sunshine, wind, sadness and laughter that created her.

P1020229My work is now that of a 69 year old woman. I try to remember that “the conscious crone is the product of maturing femininity, the wise older woman who has traveled far and gained a wide perspective on life. Woodman calls her ‘detached, she is no longer invested in the power games…’ She is our matter whose wisdom grounds us and keeps us in touch with the slow rhythms of nature. (Zweg,1990, p.108)

I try to remember Pema Chödrön’s words, “you must unzip the armor.”

Stories Don’t Have Endings – Letting Go, Letting Go, Letting Go

When Ptolemy drew his atlas that was for a millennium and a half the standard source on geography of the world he “recognized the possibility and probability of Terra Incognita beyond the limits of his arbitrary boundary lines. He left the matter open to further investigation.” (Rebecca Solnit)

Stay tuned…

About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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5 Responses to Grace

  1. George Polley says:

    Very wise words from a wise woman, Marian. Many of your struggles have been my struggles, and I honor your way of working with them. I’ve just about finished reading a marvellous. new novel by Ruby Standing Deer (“Circles”) that deal with the same struggles and issues you and so many others struggle with. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Anne says:

    Wonderful. Thank you for your continuing wisdom and loving kindness. xoxo Anne

  3. Sarah says:

    Marian, dear sweet wise sister, thanks for sharing your heart felt thoughts, thanks for unzipping your armor. You are an inspiration to those of us a few years younger…not by much…but enough to know that the years ahead are fertile. Love, Sarah P.S. Always a warm bed, plate of food (lobster?) and roof over your head, waiting for you here in Maine.

  4. Darlin’ Thanks for your response and one of these days I’ll take you up on the bed… I love my times with you, and you. M

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