Saturday, November 23, 2013


*  Eye on the Sky

What is weather?

What isn't

Sun and Flowers or Grey and Chilly, how does this effect our energy and mood?

Our refrigerator is sensitive to heat and humidity, just like us!  

I write random notes in a blog draft and fill in the blanks later....

And then there was Nov 17 when midwest storm pictures on TV, FaceBook, and online news stunned the daylights out of me.

You see, years ago we lived near today's hardest hit areas of Peoria and Pekin.  Most of Washington, Illinois~flattened.  We knew the streets, the trees, and friends near and far.  In nearby Bloomington, central Illinois, I learned Tai Chi and later was promoted to teaching....

Early and often warning helped us and others be watchful.  We knew storms were brewing on Saturday and prepared for Sunday in advance.  I bailed out on cooking and freezing extra food. On Sunday morning, a grey sky took a turn to yellow-green.  The grass lit up with a bright neon hue.  Unusual colors can be a signal to watch the skies.  A quick small storm crackled by with a few sharp lightning bolts.  Drum beats of thunder brought our cats to the door and into their safe warm home.

Sunday I also thought back through the years to Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.  I remembered huddling in the hall of our Iowa house.  Our tri-level had no basement.  We gathered our three young children plus Zar the cat and Sky the Collie.  We nervously waited as we listened to the battery operated radio to keep us posted.  

I remembered Illinois, when Paul and I sat on the old wooded steps to our basement while Chessie, the cat, wandered about on the cement.  "It's just south of us..." the radio crackled.

Another time in Illinois, we dropped off Chessie for boarding.   A quick tornadic storm blew in.  * "Suddenly the sky was a mix of turquoise and mud.  Horizontal sheets of rain beat down.  Sirens blared."  We made it home safely only to find the power out and would be all night and longer.  "We packed suitcases by flashlight and sweltered in the searing heat and humidity" before heading south.

"The next day dawned clear and bright." Our trip was momentous, I would meet and work with Jou, Tsung Hwa, Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming, and the Yang Family, Tai Chi experts, in seminars held in Winchester, Virginia at A Taste of China.  Connecting with others helped me be more inspired and be a better teacher. 

When I was a child, my parents in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh cautioned to me "put sturdy shoes on and get a coat ready" no matter what the season.  The coat or blanket can be used as head protection. "Gather a few items in case we have to leave the house (or can leave the house.)"  Tornadoes were not the usual weather for our area, but we listened and watched when the storms were very strong with high damaging winds and large hail.

Then I took breathing space, a few hours off to eat lunch and watch Mark Nepo, a poet, interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.

"We are all students of the long silence," Mark Nepo

As the line of storms coming across Lake Michigan approached us thickened glared red on the radar, I packed a few (very few) items in a small purse in case we had to go to a shelter later if need be.  I put on my shoes and gathered the coats.  One time our radar indicated a direct hit for us.  I remember thinking that as the warm air from the Grand Mere sand dunes rises, it may disperse the full storm hit and push storm cells north or south.  Without hurrying, I put glassware in safer places clearing counter and dresser tops.  I felt calm, centered, and as prepared as possible

White Rain
The winds picked up.  As we looked out our back patio window, sheets (some horizontal) of white rain slashed the Earth.  The green grass became a muted mint hue with white lace design.  There was no hail or ice.  It was 68+ degrees today in November near Lake Michigan.  Visibility was practically zero. 

"Nature plays no favorites" 

"It's not often you have a blizzard (12-17" snow Nov 12) and a tornado warning in the same week!" Rob added.

The storm, traveling at 60-70 mph whooshed by in minutes.  Gone!  It skipped over us, but thousands were without power and housing.

We saw black clouds re-forming to our East.  Over Cassopolis, Michigan I saw a mushroom cloud hovering near a band of cream colored clouds on the horizon.  I didn't see it touch down, but later found out thousands lost power and a possible tornado had struck Cassopolis.

Surprise!  Then bright sun came out for a sunset show of lights and colors shimmering over my paintings and igniting my personal copy of Claude Monet's Autumn on the Seine.  In studying and copying this painting, following Monet's techniques, I learned how his play of vibrating light and color patches really work!  As the setting sun filtered over the painting, tree branches dancing in the wind created a play of movment, like shimmering water and colorful leaves, nature in action.  The layer of sunlight was like a transparency placed over the painting itself, somewhat like Walt Disney's multiplane camera for his classic cartoons.  The sunlit effect created depth and movement united, living art!

I practiced Tai Chi while watching the cosmic dance of sun and shadows on paint!  I am grateful for these moments~every moment.   

"Every Life Has Value," Rob

Related Posts:
Unplugged~Letting Go Again (Jan 2012), Lavender Blue, (June 2012), Off the Grid (Oct 2012), and Aftermath Nov 2012

Mark Nepo, author and poet, book 7,000 Ways to Listen, interview with Oprah Winfrey on OWN TV and Online, Nov 17, 2013

*  Quotes from Silver Butterfly Create A Vision, a Tai Chi Journey with a Mystic Twist, free E-book by Dahlis

Eric Satie, composer, pianist from Normandy provided a quiet calm.

Cat's Purr by Chet Day Cd, purring cat and nature sounds are relaxing.

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Eye on the Sky, crayon sketch from memory of Internet news photo, view from I-55 Gardner Road, northern Illinois, south of Chicago.  How many times have I looked out the passenger window to my right and seen this same stark view minus the tornado?  Electric power lines dot the left.  You can feel the vast expanse of "Midwest" here.

Tiger Lily Bloom in Crystal Vase, photo

Photo Collage of Monet's Original of Autumn on the Seine.