[In this post I will begin guiding you in painting your own Dark Magdalene. Begin at the end of the post.]
My life has changed so much since last year. After so many years of being an independent artist, I now work full time and paint part time. In the beginning this made me feel sad, like I was in mourning for my freedom. I couldn't really cope with it, and felt uneasy and afraid most of the time.
Little by little, I have been adapting and coming to enjoy my everyday, the children I serve, the teachers I help. And little by little, I have been reclaiming the time I need to dedicate to my soul work.
I can also understand how this was an important part of the path. It would have been hard to continue being a full time artist while everything in my life is so "in progress." My building is in progress, which means my housing arrangements are temporary and very limited, my economy is in progress too, and I realize, my newest dream is also in progress.
This dream is turning my studio-house in Puerto Rico (La Casita de la Pintora de la Magdalena or The Little House of the Painter of the Magdalene) into a lively place of artistic creation and gathering. I am not there all the time. My life is, at least for now, in NYC, but it doesn't mean the house needs to be empty and alone.
My first artistic guest was Nicole Delgado, a local poet and friend who was also my colleague a long time ago in 2005 when we both worked at Boricua College in Brooklyn. We took off to pursue our dreams and she has now lived in Puerto Rico for many years, creating books of poetry by local authors as well as her own work. She spent a few weeks at the house working on her latest poetry book, which she will publish this month.
My work with Mary Magdalene has often been solitary, but as people learn about it, there is more community and companionship in the process. My studio has always been a place of gathering where I invite people to talk about their creative challenges and send them home with ideas or tools to begin their journey.
As I prepare to go to the house during the Mid-Winter break in February, I am thinking of ways I can continue to pursue this work. First things first, I need to bring the place to a more comfortable state before people less brave than Nicole come to stay and work creatively!
But to make progress gracefully and flowingly, and start building community locally, I am doing a workshop at a local Paint and Sip, La Casita de Ely: Taller Creativo, to continue to create ties and friendship with people in the area. I am also giving a workshop to the children of my friends, 5 wonderful girls. They have been wanting to come paint with me since I met them last year, but I was not able to invite them at the time because I was reconstructing the kitchen and finishing a large painting.
I hope, one day soon, to be able to offer a monthly hands-on experience in Painting Mary Magdalene. I want to travel to the house-studio once a month and work there both by myself and with people who might want to come enjoy the place and work on a painting in a spiritual way, the way I have guided people in my workshops to experience painting as a joyful and meditational path to union with Infinite Love. I don't know if people will like this idea or how it will evolve, but that's the seed I'm planting!
Let's start! We are not in Puerto Rico yet, but it doesn't mean we can't paint Mary Magdalene together.
I invite you to use the drawing above to create your own Dark Magdalene. I will be guiding you, post by post, in Painting Mary Magdalene!