Friday, August 30, 2013
Some years ago in mid October, we traveled to Columbus, Ohio USA .
Leaves blowing, grey frigid winds, snugly coats, hats and gloves on, we went on a pilgrimage to view a real live Cheetah at the Zoo.
On the way to the Cheetah field, we passed a Cougar! He was snuggled into his distant rocky den. We saw his tail tip covering his face. I love how wild animals protect themselves, sleeping yet alert. The animal enclosures at the Columbus Zoo were spacious and open, seeded with native plants, boulders and trees.
Next we trekked past a Wolf Pair trotting on their prairie path. The grey wolves floated passed, expressing their effortless wolf trot typical of some domestic dogs including Collies and German Shepherds. They flashed their Wolf/Collie smile. I smiled back!
Now we came at last to the Cheetahs. I breathed faster in anticipation! We climbed the wooden deck overlook. Just then the sun broke unexpectedly through the grey clouds exploding with sunny brilliance. The golden light ignited the back lit leaves and inflamed the birches into a wash of golden coins and birch twig collages. I squinted in the brightness, searching for Cheetahs. I quickly scanned the large enclosure and then the Cheetah warming houses. No Cheetahs in View?
My heart sank. There were some Cheetahs snoozing with their backs to us inside their warming houses. It was too cold for a long exposure for such a thin animal without extra warmth. We watched, we waited, dejectedly we turned to leave. As I pivoted, I spotted a WHITE TAIL TIP.
I pointed! I exclaimed, "There's gotta be a Cheetah attached to the other end of that tail!"
He heard me and turned his head, and the glory of the magnificent live Cheetah came into full view! I saw his head from the front with the trademark Cheetah "tear drop" stripe from each eye corner and encircling the muzzle. Since Cheetahs are day hunters, some say this marking helps the Cheetah hunter reduce glare in the searing African heat and sun.
I was breathless with wonder as I absorbed the Cheetah into my mind-camera for a future painting. The kaleidoscope Cheetah emerged from a backdrop of small golden sunlit leaves and a sprinkling of dark twigs.
Seconds ago, he was invisible! His spotted coat provided perfect chameleon camouflage effect against the crazy quilt background of shimmering gold and bits of black.
We stopped stock still and stared. We stared longer. He stared back. The cat stare of wild and domestic feline combined as one. We thought of our small cats at home.
We couldn't believe the Cheetah was so invisible? How could we have missed him until now? And to think we almost turned to leave.
Nature In Action!
Bringing the Cheetah to life on canvas took much thought. I chose a very large canvas for the project. What next? I'll paint some thin wash of paint first over the entire canvas. "Under painting" will pick up the golds, ochres, whites, yellows, and blacks to be painted over later. Some of the original under layer of paint is still visible at your top right as you view the painting.
Now for the Cheetah. I blocked her in ("she" was the energy I felt). I used my trusty liner brush with ochre wash. She smiled! She almost looked like a cartoon! Let it flow! Gradually she emerged a fully formed Cheetah! And now for the shimmering leaves and twigs? I brushed with gentleness and ferocity letting the Claude Monet Impressionist brush strokes come into being.
Finishing: I added spots on our Cheetah friend and accented the smile. I put a bit of shadow behind her to make her 3-D stand out from her leafy background. I left the curtain of light on the right "as is" instead of over painting the entire work with leaves. I made sure her tail stood out loud and clear, the beacon pointing to the Cheetah Within.
"Let It Be!" QUIT! I LIKE!
One day in Tai Chi class, I took the large painting into the group. Students brought art work for display or read poems they created as part of the class. We absorbed energy from the paintings, drawings, and collages while we practiced and learned about Tai Chi and Life.
Some student friends saw cubs surrounding the Momcat. I had always thought of my students as Cheetah cubs, and I was the Mom, teaching them how to hunt (practice Tai Chi on their own).
After class, one student lingered. She pointed to the painting and told me,
"Why, you're the Tai Cheetah!"
The nickname stuck.
"I'm a Happy Cat"
Key Words: Cheetah, Wolf, Cat, Dog, Tai Chi
What Kind of Animal Are You? (Jan 2011), Escape Artists (Feb 2011), See Spots Run ( Mar 2011), The Edge of Time (Aug 2012), Mrs. Harris is a Sand Cat and Fully Present (May 2012), and Tiger Tales, Mar 2013), "The Cat is Fully Present At All Times."
Ohio USA Zoos:
Columbus large enclosures, natural settings
Cincinnati Fatures Small Cat Exhibits including Sandcats.
Big Cat Diary, produced by the BBC, follow Cheetah, Leopard, and Lion families. You tube selections include Mom Cheetah chasing away an adult male Lion.
http://www.totallyadd.com ADD/ADHD Help for adults, humor, videos, research, medical experts
http://www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org Tai Chi for Health, Paul Lam, M.D. Improve Your Life and Outlook with Tai Chi exercise. Articles, Research, Music, Practice and more
http://chopracentermeditation.com Deepak Chopra, M.D., Meditation helps with calm, creativity, and focus.
Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Painting by Dahlis:
Invisible Cheetah and detailed view
Friday, August 23, 2013
Oak Seedling with Photographer
Who Am I?
Looking out at a vast expanse of kitchen, dishes waiting patiently. "Paperwork" is creeping like a cat nearby.
I sighed. What to do first?
I want to write, but...."Later?"
My husband spoke up,
"My new philosophy is I do what Popeye does! "
"I Am Who I Am!
I Am Where I Am!
I Am Here Now!"
He continues, "And everything will be done in its own Time. I used to fret about things to do next. What I should do? How can I achieve better, faster, easier and more efficiently? I am learning to enjoy the moment now."
So "now" I am writing....
Cut * Paste * Create
What Kind of Animal Are You? (Jan 2011), In The (K)now (Dec 2011), Book Bag (March 2013), and The Universe Within (Aug 2013)
Fun with Cartoons:
Popeye the Sailor (1930's), Felix the Cat (silent film debut 1919), Steamboat Willy (1928), and Krazy Kat and Scrappy (1930's). Steamboat Willy, Walt Disney Productions, was the first cartoon with synchronized sound.
"With Add/ADHD there are two times. It is either now or not now!" Rick Green and Patrick McKenna, comedians, share their experiences. Managing ADD and medical research by experts including Edward Hallowell, M.D.
Paul Lam, M.D., helps people world wide learn Tai Chi integrative exercise. Tai Chi helps focus creative and logical brain functions. Physical strength and well being improve along with a sense of calm. Medical research, articles, free newsletter and more
Dahlis Roy, Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Oak Seedling with Photographer by Paul
Cut, Paste, Create by Dahlis
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Dragon, Fish, Shell, Seahorse, Amoeba? Feel the sea/sky in the patterns.
* I saw an author interview:
The Nature of Spirals by Karen Armstrong
Later, I raced Cheetah-like through a store hunting down a cotton blanket.... then a spiral caught my eye!
It was BLUE in a patterned quilt! The item was all cotton and thin fabric like my Mom and Grandma made by hand! It was 55% off and we had an additional 30% off our entire purchase that day. The design was patchwork as Ma (Grandma) had made, every stitch patterned with love and memories. This quilt was affordable....I bought the small (twin) size. I wanted the quilt to lay on top of a bigger bed, as my Mom had done.
For years I had pictured a dream quilt and here it was in BLUE~and the quilt was MINE, All MINE! I put the prize package into my cart. I cannot believe it~Oh, Yes, I CAN!
Connie, my Mom, had hand embroidered a yellow cross-stitch quilt in squares to be joined together later. This quilt lay on my bed as a child, soft, comfortable, light yet warm.
When our girls were very little, my Mom bought me a quilt kit! There were squares to embroider. The colors were cool, greens, blues, and purples. The pattern was a classical Williamsburg (VA) quilt design! We lived near Colonial Williamsburg then in a time of sunshine and flowers. The therapy stitches calmed my mind. This was needed meditation way before I started to knit again and later practice Tai Chi.
Patches of Sacred Blue
** What is Spiralling into "Control?" Teresa mentioned "intent" and "control" in Tai Chi practice. "Control" being related to attention, focus and relaxation, connected with positive outreaching "intent." Daily gratitude for letting go, tapping into the spontaneity of the moment, vast appreciation for nature, and processing incoming ever evolving stimuli is a benefit of mindful Tai Chi daily practice, alone or in groups.
Spiralling energy can be experienced in Silk Reeling exercises practiced by some Tai Chi/Qigong practitioners.
I re-live visiting the Guggenheim Museum, a spiral design in my imagination. I picture my shells, mirroring patterns in the quilt. I bring in a moment of still silent calm as I take the photographs.
Moments of Timelessness
Related Posts: Key Words, Knitting, Tai Chi and Qigong
The Guggenheim Museum designed by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, New York City USA
* The Nature of Spirals book by Karen Armstrong, interview with Oprah Winfrey, OWN Network, 2013
A Gift from the Sea book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
http://www.721pleasantstreetstudio.com Teresa Ferrill, owner, St. Joseph, (SW) Michigan USA. Tai Chi and Yoga, various instructors
http://www.taichi18.com 18 form Taiji Qigong (Shi Ba Shi) is taught by Master Wing Cheung who worked with the creators of the form. Free DVD download and more.
http://www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org Paul Lam. M.D. Tai Chi for all levels of practice, enjoy better health with Tai Chi for Health forms designed by Medical Doctors and Tai Chi experts. Articles, research, free online newsletter, You Tube free lessons
Blue Patchwork Quilt, Sonoma Life & Style from Kohl's.
The Gift of Spirals: Yin and Yang Circling
Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Photos by Dahlis
Sacred Spirit, What Do You See?
Gift from Tai Chi Friends
Friday, August 9, 2013
I uploaded a random picture from the GED numbers rather than the usual visual image, without choosing a certain one....a cat tail (tale) appeared!
I thought back to ancient Egypt as the "animal" hieroglyph is drawn as a curved "tail."
I smiled to feel Sasha's genetic parade as reptile, triceratops, leopard, and domestic (?) cat.
Where have I been? Who am I "now?"
Look into the mirror, who is looking back?
"Look into your own eyes and see your timelessness," Deepak Chopra
"The one you are looking for is the one who is looking," St. Francis of Assisi
Who Are You?
What Kind of Animal Are You? (Jan 2011), Escape Artists (Feb 2011), T-I-M-E and In the (K)now (Dec 2011), All Eyes (June 2012), and The Painted Word (July 2012)
https://www.chopracentermeditation.com Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey team up for 21 Day Meditation Challenge, "Miraculous Journey" Dynamic Relationships, register anytime during the free online instruction that began Aug 5.
Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
A Cat's Tale, photo by Dahlis
Who R U? Collage by Francesca
Thursday, August 1, 2013
* "It is amazing how much better coffee grows when sung to by birds...."
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!
Aroma of fresh brewed coffee can actually stimulate brain function, whether you drink it...or not.
Morning has opened...."Coffee and Oranges in a Sunny Chair~" I read lines in my head from a poem of long ago, the words stayed with me. Why?
I am thinking of images and memories of coffee, all at once!
* I open a book and see a woodcut illustration of a woman savoring the aroma of a steaming cup of coffee. Scent clouds drift upward and surround her whole being. Her eyes are closed. She smiles. Meditation and Memories greet the day.
Rewinding my own timeline, I feel, see, and smell my earliest coffee memories. Little Child.... preschool....
Steaming exotic scent of coffee brewing filled our small kitchen. The dining room was filled with muted morning light filtering through filmy curtains. My parents sat at the mahogany dining room table where I would, in the future, learn to draw, paint, write, and type on my Dad's old typewriter.
"Can I have some coffee?"
"Coffee is an adult drink, it has caffeine in it, a stimulant. You can have just a Tablespoon. Here is some cream."
I pretended I was a cat and lapped it up out of the saucer!
Another morning, I was allowed to dunk a small piece of powdered sugar donut in a cup of coffee with cream, just one piece of donut and one dunk. The sugary cake melted in my mouth! However, I liked plain coffee better, black actually.
Into a Barnes & Noble Cafe where the book, Silver Butterfly, was preparing for takeoff. Joanna and I met for steaming coffee and evolving conversations. I enjoyed my coffee with lots of real cream and no sugar in our monthly meetings. When I forgot my note paper, I scribbled Johanna's teachings on paper napkins. A book was born!
Recently I smelled steaming coffee again in my imagination. *** It has been years since I went caffeine free, the extra stimulant is no longer needed after Tai Chi and Qigong practice entered my life.
** One day I watched a program on Dr. Mehmet Oz's show about the nutritious benefits of coffee. The man interviewed researched coffee drinking habits, especially in Greece where, in the morning, people boil coffee. Greek coffee is made from a very fine grind and foams on the top when boiled. Arabica Beans are used in the grind. Boiling morning coffee releases nutrients! My ears pricked up.
Various techniques of drip or perk coffee may enhance caffeine but may not encourage nutrients in the brew, according to the interview. I know coffee brewing machines may be difficult to clean or leave a residue build up to affect flavor over time. Some coffee filters may use bleach or other chemicals.
Then I remembered!
My Mom and Grandma BOILED coffee. Later they got a percolator, but the taste was never the same! I hurried to the store and picked up a bag of coffee "just like old times," the same brand my mother preferred. I excitedly poured a cup of cold pure water into my Mom's small old stainless steel saucepan.
Boiled Coffee: Time 15 minutes for one cup
1 cup cold pure water prefer stainless steel saucepan, not aluminum or plastic coated
1T (or more to taste per cup) of whole coffee beans
I decided not to grind the beans. I love opening the coffee bag and inhaling the rich aroma of the whole bean experience! I love connecting to the whole coffee bean, bringing me closer to coffee plants and the Earth. Jump starting me into focus is fun!
Bring water into a rolling boil (4 minutes for one cup).
Scatter the whole beans over the coffee and stir occasionally. Boil vigorously for 5 minutes. Adjust the boil to slightly less if needed and boil/simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now the whole kitchen and living-dining room is bursting with coffee aroma!
Turn off heat and pour immediately (use strainer if needed) into a coffee cup, mug, or heavy glass cup. I separate liquid and beans. Scooping out the beans quickly with a spoon lessens the contact with the stainless steel pan/strainer, and the pure flavor is better. Coffee left in a stainless steel pan will pick up a metal taste over time.
Taste and Enjoy! I take just a sip, not needing the caffeine. I keep the beans in a small glass dish for awhile. The aroma lasts for hours, coffee aroma therapy is here! This boiled coffee is nutrient rich. The color can be amber to a bit darker, depending on the strength of the bean-water ratio. It is free from the "black/brown" look of typical restaurant coffee. Coffee lives and breathes!
I hear a cat purring....
* A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez, vivid woodcuts by Belkis Ramirez bring story to life.
** http://www.doctoroz.com Dr Oz Show, April 2013, boiled Greek coffee, article and video online
*** http://www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org Paul Lam, M.D. Tai Chi for Health. As you practice Tai Chi, your body and mind improve in strength and stamina. Change your life with Tai Chi and Qigong.
Cat's Purr Cd by Chet Day, Lucy, a real cat, purrs accompanied by nature sounds, binaural beats for relaxation. Cat's Purr is in the frequency of 50-70Hz.
Coffee's Aroma Stirs the Brain, article June 13, 2008 at Web MD
email@example.com Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Photos by Dahlis
Good Morning, Coffee and Cat