Qi

Anne’s Qi – Healing Journey Quilt

I like to think about history’s mysteries and the mysteries of the world a lot. My parents raised me and my brother so that we could go to whatever churches we wanted to go to, and they told us we should not join any church until we got married. We attended churches and spiritual places as we found them.

When I became a grownup, I had a lot of questions and thoughts about something I now know as Qi. In English, qi (also known as chi) is usually translated as “vital life force” and it has a healing aspect by its very nature, but qi goes beyond that simple translation. According to Classical Chinese Philosophy, qi is the force that makes up and binds together all things in the universe. It is paradoxically, both everything and nothing.

As I encountered the writing below, I was happy because I could not have stated it better my own self. I offer this to read with honor to the writer, Lynne McTaggart.

“Quantum physics findings show that consciousness itself created order – or indeed in some way created the world – this suggested much more capacity in the human being than was currently understood. It also suggested some revolutionary notions about humans in relation to their world and the relation between all living things. What they were asking was how far our bodies extended. Did they end with what we always thought of as our own isolated persona, or ‘extend out’ so that the demarcation between us and our world was less clear-cut? Did living consciousness possess some quantum field like properties, enabling it to extend its influence out into the world? If so, was it possible to do more than simply observe? How strong was our influence? It was only a small step in logic to conclude that in our act of participation as an observer in the quantum world, we might also be an influencer, a creator. Did we not only stop the butterfly at a certain point in its flight, but also influence the path it will take – nudging it in a particular direction?

This explains action at a distance, what scientists call non locality. The theory that two subatomic particles once in close proximity seemingly communicate over any distance after they are separated.”
Lynne McTaggart, The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe

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Cycle of Life II

Milkweed plants one week after being devoured by Monarch Caterpillars

I could not believe my eyes when a week after the Monarch Caterpillars totally ate every single leave of the two plants that have also propagated themselves in several other places in the yard, and within one week, they have all come back, bigger and fatter leaves than before.

Sometimes we just need to believe that this old world will continue as it has been doing for thousands of years. Yes, I am not so naive as to believe that we do not have things like climate and environmental changes that are affecting the world. I am sure that some of the things have been happening since the beginning. I believe most sincerely that many changes in cultures have taken place because of the inability of human beings to adjust to the changes successfully. Some of the changes I am not certain humans could have adapted to very successfully such as the ice ages that took place, or perhaps the plagues. But at the same time, mankind DID in fact exist before AND after those things, so perhaps it was an accident that they survived, and perhaps they adapted more than we think they did.

Today a lot of psychology is used to convince us of this potential thing or the other thing, much as the whole world was set to collapse with the coming of the year 2000, is about to happen to us and there are more books and talks, etc. by all kinds of people telling us what we need to do to survive. And of course it IS fully possible that this thing or that thing could cause total destruction of our world at any given time, but the truth is if that happens, I don’t think we need to worry about it anymore.

If, like the cycle of life that I witnessed in my Milkweed plants, this old world goes on, why not just continue to do what makes sense and stop worrying about destruction or the rest of the “what if’s”. When and if they happen, we will deal with them as we need to then, and we will hopefully learn from our mistakes. There is really no guarantee either way.

Enjoy the moment. Appreciate the air we breathe. Look for the beauty all around us. Find miracles in the everyday events. Remember not to always worry about tomorrow because the reality is that when tomorrow comes, it will also be today. Tomorrow is just a way to avoid being fully alive today. Trust, because trust really is something that can benefit us all. I am glad I trusted those caterpillars eating the Milkweed plants and gave the world a chance to do what it does best. Someday I know those Monarch butterflies will show up, and when they do I will be glad that I gave the world and myself this gift.

Cycle of Life

Monarch Caterpillar devouring Milkweed courtesy of Bing.com

Now if you were to see this creature happily munching away on your beautiful milkweed plant, you would, without further identification, be tempted to get the spray and put an end to it, especially when it appears in large numbers, all chomping away at the same time.

Something about this creature was so magnificent that I paused to think about the cycle of life. Yes, the Monarch butterfly is beautiful, but it could not exist without this little creature happily munching away in preparation for its creating a cocoon to become something even more exquisite.

Can you believe that the beautiful caterpillar became this magnificent creature? Photo courtesy of Bing.com

Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? We never know how things will turn out. I remember well the song, Que Sera, Sera, when the girl singing is asking her mother whether she will be beautiful and loved when she grow up, and her mother tells her “Que Sera, Sera . . .” (Whatever will be, will be.) So perhaps in the destruction, perhaps temporary, of the beautiful milkweed plant that nourishes the Monarch butterfly, it too will return after its purpose is accomplished. I noted how many seed pods opened up and let the seeds with their fine feathery parts fly away to start more milkweeds. I know now that this is a beautiful life cycle that I will never fully understand, but I will always support for the rest of my life.

I have already decided to give my body to Science Care when I am gone so that perhaps just one part of me can help to nourish or make possible someone else’s life. My significant other, Richard, told me that his son was horrified when he told him that Richard and I are both donating our bodies. I guess my dead body could nourish the earth too as it decays and becomes fertilizer, but perhaps another human being needs desperately something, and I would love to see life go on. . .

P.S. For those of you who read Part I of a post below by Steve Tanham of the UK, you can read Part II under Sun in Gemini. Thank you kindly.

Vexed by the Tribe (part one)

If you don’t read anything else today, I hope you read this article. It gives me hope for the world as we know it today. This is a lot to take in, but we sure can use some change and perhaps this can help bring it about. Thank you kindly.

Sun in Gemini

I am vexed…

It’s a word you don’t hear much, now. Old English, I believe. It describes an agitated state of mind – and possibly body – when something nagging can’t be solved.

What I’m vexed about is the entrenchment of nationalistic opinion across the world, in the face of much more important issues – like the world’s climate problems and the undermining of democracy as a new type of war carried out by authoritarian regimes.

I’m vexed because I think I’ve seen beneath this to the psychological mechanics of something that has the potential to kill the world.

In Britain, with Brexit, we are marching, like lemmings, towards a clifftop that will bring chaos and self-inflicted harm to not only this generation of voters, but our children and their children. They will look back at the devastation and ask why somebody didn’t do something to avert it.

Friends in…

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A Time for Tears

The last few days have been a true challenge in my life. My art quilting career has spanned nearly 20 years, and though my work has not been award winners, it has made me very satisfied, for I am not a person who wants to ever be competitive. It is not who I am. I make things that speak to me spiritually or in which I find humor. I have participated in group projects or challenges, but they are not competitive in nature.

For some reason, I suddenly wanted to access my quilts for I have a few that I have out next to my sewing machine that I have worked on or thought I could get to working on soon. Being a caregiver for my significant other has not left me much time or energy for such things, but it has given me a great desire to create again. When I think of how I feel when I am creating, I guess it is somewhat like Peter Pan and how he could fly away to places unknown where adventure always awaited him with opportunities to be who he really wanted to be.

I looked in the places where I would have kept my quilts, and I realized that they were not there. And as I looked in other places where I might have been able to store them, I realized that they were not in those places either. I have had quilts I collected and used in my studies and giving talks and teaching quilt restoration classes stolen so theft is not new to me. But this somehow struck my heart like the sharpest of arrows, for I just posted one of my mother and me, and another I wrote some words on about death shortly after she died.

This time I am not sure if it was the people where I lived in Calimesa – a bunch of senior bullies and drug addicts and drug selling/human trafficking people who had, back in 1994, assaulted and bullied me until I developed severe PTSD. I am just giving a tiny bit of what was done to me, but to this day, it still comes back to haunt me at times. I have my second degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in law, and I had thought I would become a mentor/advocate for juvenile delinquents, but the cancer surgery in 2016 and my age then – 74 – was against getting hired for that even though I have previous excellent experience when I worked with a high school department for juvenile delinquents.

Right now it appears that a large number of my art quilts have been stolen. The reality or possibility of that was overwhelming, and I just had to lie down and sleep, or try to meditate for the last couple of days. Today I am moving forward, working on my Pumpkin cookbook, which is in its 3rd revision, and I will likely put into print before the end of this month. Yes, my heart is somewhat broken from things I put my love and best efforts into, but at the same time, here I am going on 78 in November, and I believe that I can make more quilts if I so choose. Perhaps not everything we create is meant to live on forever, just as we don’t likely live on in our present life form forever. I feel more saddened for the people who do these evil deeds, for they have lost something that cannot be regained when they continue to do these things – their compassion and humanity.

I have lived a difficult and challenging life, but I still have compassion for others, and I still do work or deeds every single day to try to help others in this lifetime. So I have only to look back on life and see how far I have come, and to thank those who did such terrible things directed at me, for it is those people who have made me strong. Yes, I will cry at times, and I will mourn, but I will get back up again and start over as many times as I need to and am physically and mentally able.

Almost . . .

Annie’s Almost Kite Man Quilt

If you’ve never been a quilter, you might not have no clue of what an “almost” or UFO is. How many things in life for you have been “almost’s?”

I used to beat up on myself for not finishing things, but I look at them differently today. I am glad that I started something I had in my mind, and I also realize that I don’t need to finish every single thing I start. Sometimes it is enough just to bring the idea into reality, or I do this with techniques too, seeing if I can do something, or if I enjoy doing it, and then that is quite enough.

I remember when my former husband and forever friend, Spencer H. MacCallum, an anthropologist who discovered some now famous potters down in Mexico, talked about the way that the potters, without any aids, could create the design on a round pot perfectly from one side to the other so that when you looked down on the pot, it was identical on each side. I wanted to see for myself, so I made a pot and tried to paint a curvilinear design on each side that would be identical. I could not do it and it showed me that it takes some time to develop such a skill.

Mata Ortiz Pottery by Mauro Quezada, one of the best young potters in the village. Courtesy E-bay.

The important thing to remember is that if you start something and don’t finish it, don’t beat up on yourself. You can never fail when you are trying to discover something. The only failure is the failure to try at all.

A River Runs Through It

Art Quilt By Anne Copeland, Painted, Collaged and Machine Quilted

It was a warm summer day and my mother and I were up in the mountains of New Mexico, in a place called Ruidoso, which today is a big tourist place. But in those days, it was just a quiet little burg, and we went to stay in a cabin there owned by someone we knew. I remember one of the few times when my mother was actually glad to share some moments of peace with me. I am not sure my brother was born yet, but I don’t think so; I think my father was overseas still, one of the many times he would be sent there as he was in the Army then.

I intentionally did not paint my mother’s face or mine; I just wanted to capture a moment in my memory when faces were not important. I knew she was my mother, and as we sat there with our feet dangling in the water, there was nothing else that needed to be done or said. It was a moment shared, and one I was able to remember through my life. Such moments would be gone forever when my father returned. Our father did take us places for dinner or Sunday rides, or sometimes to see a movie, but the time would never again be like this one.

Life is short, often too short, and I think perhaps this was the one moment in time I will always remember as the time I treasure. I am not sure what happened in my family, but it was as though the whole world changed overnight once my father came back, this time perhaps from Korea. I hold onto that image in my mind, and I often wish I could remember the wonderful scent of those pine trees, and the way the breeze blew. But all I have now is the memory of a life, and the way a river runs through it.