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Astonished! is an inclusive community where young adults with complex physical disAbilities can name their dreams, explore their strengths, and lead others to a more authentically inclusive society.Check out their great website and the 2016 Growing Gratitude video on their home page that will tell you more about this amazing initiative.
What Inspired “Earth Dance with Sky”
Each year in spring and fall as large flocks of snow geese, Canada geese and others make their annual migration north and then south, I am deeply stirred and moved by their presence on the earth and in the sky. One fall when I was considering the relationship between earth and sky (or body and spirit, or the practical and the visionary), it occurred to me that the geese were like arbiters between earth and sky, feeling at home as they do in both places. When you are driving along in spring or fall, suddenly part of a field or a slough will scatter and rise up as a flock of geese take to the sky. It’s like the earth is taking flight! Or…. like the sky is landing!
In 2008, when Astonished! was the kernel of an idea, I joined a group of people in the Qu’Appelle Valley to who were exploring the dream and its possibilities. This day took place in early October. The geese were on the move, great flocks of them writing their hieroglyphics across the sky. The movement of the geese affected our day as much as the hills that held us and the sky that we gathered under. One of the participants, Cherie Westmoreland referred to “this thread of geese, finding their formation, moving in their beautiful, lyrical way.” She continued, “I am a part of that thread, that longing, that tumult…” Another participant, Barbara Barnett said, “It (the unfolding of Astonished!) feels like an amoeba, ever flowing, reshaping and changing….” This was my sense of the day, too.
Others talked about community, their need to be part of a group, the impossibility of doing something like this alone. The group that gathered was strong in visionaries, creative folks who know how to dream. Sometimes, tensions can arise between the dreaming side of us and the doing side of us. I felt so strongly that earth and sky, dreamer and doer, body and spirit must be integrally connected, must dance together for this astonishing dream to become both grounded and be given wings. As Jean Vanier writes, “Truth from the sky must be confirmed and strengthened by truth from the earth.” All of these threads were moving in me, as I considered how to express some of this visually.
It came in a moment when I cut out a round piece of green tissue paper, rolled it in a ball to give it a wrinkled torn appearance and stuck it on some navy rice paper. The fun began!!! I tore so many pieces of coloured tissue and other paper…soon abstract geese found their way on to the paper….and after many obsessed and joyful hours, “Earth Dances with Sky” came into being. It seemed fitting and necessary that this piece might somehow contribute to the dream that is Astonished!
Currently giclee prints are available in 2 sizes. The large size measures 24 x 24.5 ” and is available in a limited edition of 50 prints for $180 each. Shipping and tax is extra.
The smaller version measures 12 x 12″ and costs $60 for a print. Shipping is extra.
These high quality reproductions are done on 100% cotton rag archival watercolour paper using archival quality pigment inks at high resolution.
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