A tree through history

It all started as a child. I used to go to Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, New York, to sled. My father knew how much Saratoga memories meant to me as I grew older and worked afar. In 1982, he took pictures of Union Avenue where canna arrangements line the avenue in August. At the bordor of Circular Drive on Congress Park and Union Avenue there was always a spectacular flower arrangement. Often it was shaped like a horseshoe, or words would have been spelled out in flowers. Always a stunner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne photo I looked at yesterday showed the trees that stood directly behind the arrangement. They were there to provide a privacy screen for the park and the road that went nowhere in front Canfield Museum. Last week I was riding on a local bus and while I was talking to a young Skidmore student who knew tree chemistry, the bus driver Pat said, I have a tree story.

He said, “I was driveing along Circular Street when I noticed a piece of a pine tree that was cut down. It called to me. It was shaped like a heart.” He continued,  “I asked a young man on the bus to get off and get it for me. The piece is now under a seat. I want you to take the piece home. I am supposed to give it to you today.” At first I declined, but then I realized it meant something to not only the driver, but that it had a message for me also.

seed bombYou see, I had a sacred tree long ago in the foreest in Southern Maryland. It was in a Chesapeake Ranch Estates, in Lusby..  Tia, my dog, and I used to walk the horse trail a few times a week. Within this forest was the sacred tree. I won’t write about it now or this story will be too long.

Anyway, I took a beautuful part of a branch that fell from the tree. I loved the virgin wood that was exposed. The fragrant wood ended up being part of an alter that I maintained in Minong, WI. The tree always spoke to me. Tia and I would go visit the tree, before the branch fell. It was a large tulip tree and was burned by lightening fire long, long ago. This had significance for me because it meant that the medicine of the tree was strong. In Southern Maryland, after I brought it home, I kept it under a shed out of the rain, wind, and snow. There was no place in that house to display it. The house in Minong, WI, however, had a fireplace mantel and it was here where I placed the beautiful shaped wood and set up my alter and lit a candle in the morning to do morning offering.

The Eno River in full bloom.When it became time to leave Wisconsin in 2012, I knew where I was moving to had no place for the alter. I had to leave it behind, along with several other sacred objects. I won’t name them. I took the wooden alter and sacred objects to a place near my home where several women and I would get together and do sacred water cememony. This was a sacred site to me and no one knew of it, expect those I brought there. It was here I did my last Water Ceremony and bid goodbye in the last ceremony. I placed the alter here among the sand dunes and Jack pine that was moving in. These sacred objects had been part of my life in Venezuela and Peru. These were objects that I carried with me after I no longer lived in South America. They had been part of my life since the 1970s.

In Saratoga Springs, I don’t have a sacred wooden alter. This wood is about the right size to place on a wide window ledge. Once again I will have sacred wood around me. I can smell the beautiful scent of pine in my bedroom now as the wood ages. In January, I will give it to a woman who’s husband is a master workworker. He was sand it down and put a light protective coat on it.

Isn’t it amazing how Creator comes to us and offers something that is high significant to each of us? I am honored to know this young man, Pat, the bus driver and to know he recognized the importance of the story, even though he hasn’t heard anything about why.

Blessings from the other side

This morning I touched a handmade piece of art glass because my friend Worth Cooley-Prost made it. Then I was clearing

out some old greeting caFeatured imagerds and I found this note from Worth. She has walked on, but she left these words behind.

14 April 2013

“The Circle of Light in this piece were cut from glass placed under the sheltering arms of the Grandfather Oak that cover part of the balcony outside our room – on the day of the full moon eclipse in June 2012, thorough the [Venus not sure of word] transit the next day, and through sunrise the day after that -

Net of Light made for Mary Ellen with love and gratitude Worth Cooley-Prost 2012

The other piece like this, cut side by side from the same glass, was made for Grandmother Whitedeer.”

Grandmother Whitedeer is the founder of the Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites. Worth was a member. I am a council guide of the Sisterhood.

Love and light,

Worth

NOTE: I do believe in the Veil of Light from the other side. Worth is surely doing her blessed work from the other side. I can’t help but think she is very close to us from afar. The photo of glass animals were made by Worth also.

Happy Thansgiving Blessings,

Mary Ellen

Edward Curtis film and discussion at Skidmore College

Tonight was the first time I ventured out into the night alone here in Saratoga Springs, New York. I wanted to attend a program at Tang Museum and Art Gallery, at Skidmore College. The bus comes by my building and so I rode to next stop, Skidmore College. I attended the Film Screening and Discussion, “Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians.”  I saw first hand the sacrifices Curtis made in order to capture the Native People of the west. He didn’t bother to photograph east coast Native People because they were now influenced by settlers. Out west, it was still pristine and primative. Curtis felt that  Native People would disappear because of white settlers and he desperately wanted to capture a noble people.

Ian Berry, Tang Museum Director, and Jill Sweet, retired professor of Anthropology, led a discussion about their experience in co-curating the 2002 Tang exhibition, “Staging the Indian: The Politics of Representation,” which featured work from Skidmore’s extensive holdings of Curtis’ work.  I had no idea that Skidmore College had this vast collection, which is currently not available for view. It is held at the library and only a handful of professionals have seen it.

There are  going to be further programs as part of Saratoga Reads!. One of the books read was The Round House, about the Ojibwe people and the topic was rape. It is a very sensitive subject because a number of tribal women are victims of violence and rape on tribal land, and yet it is not talked about in the open. There are many secrets. A young man tries to find out what happened to his mother and why doesn’t the tribe come out in the open and do something about it. He tries to find the answers himself within his culture. It is a brave thing for  Louise Erdrich  to bring this subject out into the open. She did so brilliently.full moon

Doctrine of Discovery

Conquest of Doctrine of Discovery. It’s an international law that was used for the colonization of America. I can hardly believe what I am hearing. In the early days of conquest, the Europeans were using the International Doctrine of Discovery and that meant they mapped bounderies and Indian territory by water. Using the Mississippi, they cornered the land by water bounderies. It is such a eye opener. The United States owned Texas in regards to Manifest Destiny. How can this be?

John J. Sullivan coined the words “Manifest Destiny.” What a term. As if we are God’s elete and had a right to the land. How could this be?

We are now in a time of Indians rights. I need to study Doctrine of Discovery. I will look to read the  book.

Spic and Spac at Congress Park Saratoga Springs NY

Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home,” but if you are from Saratoga Springs, New York, this is completely untrue. Saratoga has a heartbeat all her own. I have always known her to be the grand lady that she is. Oh she’s been around for ages and has known fame throughout her ageless majesty. 2014-10-14 10.18.242014-10-14 10.17.382014-10-14 10.17.502014-10-14 10.37.132014-10-14 10.24.36Today, I walked in Congress Park, getting off the bus at Spring and Putnam. The Italian Renaissandce Gardens with Spic and Spac water spouting sculptures have been spitting water since I was a child and they are still going full steam. What a joy. I purposely walked over the them because my friend Ruthie Masetta Hillman and I remember sunbathing by the stream with the water spraying sculptures in the background. I could even remember the sound of the water being the same.

What a beautiful job DPW is doing at Congress Park. A nice gentleman came up to talk. He was in the landscaping business for 30 years. Now he enjoys protecting the park and all its gardens. There is a pond with Saratoga ducks and they still remain or return to this pond, even after 50 years. I even saw some forget-me-nots growing. My sister and I remember them growing along the creek. Than I saw a sleeping fuzzy black and rust banded wooly bear caterpillar that turns into a Isabella Tiger moth. Oh he’ll be around all winter sleeping under a bed of leaves before emerging as a moth next spring.

It is so precious to me to be back with my beloved. I can’t wait to call Ruthie and share the photos for her to see.

FIREKEEPER A LESSON IN HISTORY

I about finished reading Firekeeper, a Narrative of the New York Frontier by Robert Moss when I picked up a  pamphlet with History of the Saratoga Springs Mineral Waters. Within the pages I discovered that Sir William Johnson truly was alive in the early 1770s. He was an “Indian” agent for the British. Johnson is the character of the book.

Johnson had a strong bond with the Mohawks of the Iroquois Nation. In 1771, the Mohawks brought him to Saratoga Springs High Rock Spring for healing. For centures before, native people thought of the land where the springs are located as sacred ground. The springs were known as “Medicine Spring of the Great Spirit.” Sir William Johnson was the first outsider to discover the springs healing properties outside of the Iroquois Nation.

geyser (10)It wasn’t long after that outsiders heard of the healing power of the waters. In present day since I was a child, I have known that this particular spring is good for eyes and skin. My father and I went there years ago when my father was suffering from cancer. His skin was extremely sensative at the time and he told me that the spring was good for the skin

The Jewish people know of the healing power of the water and had for years been bathing their eyes and bodies with the water. I go to this spring for the mineral water to drink. I filll up water bottles and bring it back home. The water is good for the digestive system. I haven’t had any stomach upset since taking the water. The water makes me feel well.

Story Writing Exercises 460: Tuesday 7th October

Insectamonarca:

Hi Morgen, Nice to see your page this morning. My book My Name is Butterfly was recently published as an eBook. My second book The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book was translated into Spanish. It should be published by end of 2014. My success has a lot to do with you and the fact that you interviewed me a few years back. Cheers!

Originally posted on Morgen's Online Short Story Writing Group:

Here are your four story exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

460 eye 819849Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: alien, freak, silence, shape, small
  2. Random: a weird conversation
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: When You Call

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).

View original 380 more words

Horse racing inspired art by Shawn Faust

victoria pool

Victoria Pool next Gideon Putnam Resort Hotel. Open to the public.

My niece Melanie Miller and I had lunch at the historical and prestigious Godeon Putnam a few weeks back in August. We visited the Art Gallery to enjoy paintings by Shawn Faust. I loved the horse paintings that were inspired by Saratoga Race Track. One in particular caught my attention, “You caught my eye.” I fell in love with it because the eyes of the horse reached heart center.

Melanie left within a few days for Westminister, Massachusetts. I told her I was going back to the Gideon Putnam and the state park to go swimming at Victoria Pools. I would stop at the hotel to see how I felt about the painting. If I loved it still, I would purchase it. Well, I simply had to have it.

You Caught My Eye

You Caught My Eye

I asked the gentleman who attended the exhibit if he were the artist and he said yes. “My name is Shawn Faust, and we shook hands. It turns out that the original painting sold last year for several thousand dollars. I purchased the limited edition numbered 12/100. It wasn’t cheap. I paid over $500 for it, which I normally would never do. I would spend this on an original oil or acrylic painting if I loved it. It is beautifully framed and hanging on a wall that has open space around it. Here’s the link at http://buff.ly/1qTYiQg

Shawn Faust head studies of horses caught the attention of Mr. Richard Golden, a prominent horse owner in Chesapeake City, MD and president of Northview Stallion Station. Northview is best know for standing Northern Dancer, one of the greatest thoroughbred stallions of all time. Mr. Golden commissioned Shawn to paint some of his prized thoroughbreds, including Polish Numbers and Tenski. As a result, news of his work spread throughout the Mid Atlantic Region and he was busy traveling to many different tracks and farms to perform portraits of some of the top thoroughbred in the country. Source Faust website at http://shawnfaust.com

Faust is currently recognized as one of the premier equine artist in America. He is a founding member of the Portrait Society of America and a Full member to the American Academy of Equine Art as well as an Associate member of OPA (Oil Painters of America). His work hangs in many prestigious corporate and private collections.

You Caught My Eye 003I feel like a million owning this very meaningful painting. Art is all in the eyes to Shawn Faust. I felt his heart flutter when I told him why I purchased the art. I fell in love with the horse’s eyes. Love at first sight!

Who says squirrels are not cute

babysquirrelThis photo is copyrighted but I don’t know who the photographer is. I downloaded it from Google animal photos. Today I was at Saratoga Community Garden. My intentions for the visit was to add raw vegetable scraps in the composter. I sat on a bench under the arbor listening to the peepers in the fall warm afternoon sun and enjoying the show before me.

sunflowerpollinatorsWhen I set my eyes on a raised garden bed in the distance, I noticed a brown squirrel in the path chewing on a yellow sunflower head that had fallen to the ground. The squirrel was enjoying a pleasant experience, but decided that he/she wanted to carry it out to a lawn area. At a distance, I watched as he devoired sunflower seeds. I mean this squirrel wasn’t going to stop eating till he/she ate all the seeds. It really was enchanting to watch.

Spend time outside and learn something new about the natural world. Nature calms us down and is healing.

Happy thoughts.

Let’s see how easy this new method is to create on WordPress

Boozhoo,

It has been quite awhile since I posted. Lovely to see the lettering is bigger. I can actually read it without having to use reading glasses. I think I am going to like this.

I am getting ready to go out to dinner with my niece so I will close shortly.

SATURDAY – April 23
10 am – 12 noon
Walk Around the Park

Retired biologist, Neal Anderson, will lead us on a walk around the park at Gateway Park, 19 Sheldon Street, Fitchburg, MA. Find out about plants, invasive species, the Natural Pollinator Habitat, Community Garden.  It is going to be a lot of fun because there is always something new to learn.

If you are visiting Fitchburg, MA, come on out and join us. The art is from the art wall on Main Street, Fitchburg, MA.

Sweetest robin I have ever seen

Sweetest robin I have ever seen

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