My season of peas on earth is ending, for now

During Passover I choose not to harvest any peas  ( not eating them that week) and no one I offered them to was able to come harvest that week … so I had to be patient…. and loved the bounty once Passover was over.

Harvest of snap peas day after passover ended
Harvest of snap peas day after passover ended

 

and so I ripped out my last snap pea, and snow pea plant on Sunday after harvesting the stragglers due to the 100 degree heat we already have  had . I’ve also been collecting dried pods for planting  in the fall. What a wonderful feeling knowing I am doing my part to help  create peas on earth.

Tranquil rest vs Weird Melatonin triggered dreams and headache

weird nightmare type dreams is not what I wanted when I took the melatonin at 2am after waking up at 130 ad being way too awake!!
weird nightmare type dreams is not what I wanted when I took the melatonin at 2am after waking up at 130 ad being way too awake!!

 

I think it is time I totally shun Melatonin as a sleep aid. Just saying for me it just is more trouble than it is worth. I can almost guarantee  I will have some very weird , dark dream that does not have any connection (that is obvious to me)  with what I did, what I looked at or who I spoke to within days prior to the dreams. And it seems I always get a headache after taking it.

I go from looking forward to having a tranquil rest to waking up shuddering in the darkness.

The other night I tried it again after months of not trying it. Out of NO WHERE, I  dreamt about a friend of mine from high school ( I will not share how long ago that was but … oh my , history) . If I remember correctly I am pretty sure that this friend’s  father developed Alzheimer disease years after we were in high school. In my dream I see my friend in a restaurant. I walk up to him and start talking to him. He looks at me with a blank stare.  I have not seen him in person in years ( which is true). I remind him of the wonderful times we had together. I remind him of our great communications we had while I was working at summer camp. He was not a boy friend but truly the closest friend I had when it came to talking about our deep spiritual thoughts. Ironically he was the son of a Lutheran Minister so that made our  conversations even more interesting as we compared “notes” on life. But I digress.

SO , I wake up from this dream with a shudder. Wondering if my high school friend will  at some time be one of the victims of this memory robbing disease.

Melatonin is getting big bonus points in some research I read in reference to not only sleep aid but  that supposedly it  does something to help protect women from breast cancer. Really ?  Well I think I am better off lying in bed meditating than having these wacko dreams.

So here are a few links to read for your personal   caution  ( just saying you may want to check it out) and keep it in mind when  you are looking at all those great blends of natural sleep aids .

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/melatonin-side-effects/faq-20057874

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/fact-sheet-melatonin

http://www.livestrong.com/article/115717-bad-side-effects-melatonin-supplements

 

My take on how Mussar and Chakra overlap

I was asked by Rabbi Elana Kanter several months ago to use my creativity to create  something to  honor Rabbi Green  who would be visiting our New Shul and in relationship to our study of Mussar .

Chakra_and_Mussar__intertwined__LInda_Enger_©_2015

Please note Rabbi Green is much more focused on Kabbalah than Mussar. Kabbalah is more of a mystical based study…  and considering that I had been exploring  Chakra healing and colors with paint for about 4 years I kept pondering what I would actually do. So several months went by. Yes I had good long prep time , but what was the hurry ?

The  7 major Chakra energy fields of the Hindu and Tibetan science of healing focuses on working  to re-connect the flow of energy from the universe through the body.  There are specific colors  that work with this flow. In my painting here you will see that the  top of the painting is  violet which  is considered the 7th Chakra  or crown Chakra . The bottom red is considered the 1st Chakra or Root Chakra . Often in Chakra discussions we start with first things first ( which is the Root /red Chakra) but considering that  Mussar  was the driving force for this finished piece  I feel that we should start with TRUST  first which truly is what I think all spiritual beliefs rely on.

Now more about Mussar . It is a personal development system that is based on Jewish studies  and practices relating  to our everyday life and interactions in the world. In our class we would take one Middot , and after reading and discussing the text pertaining to this create a focus phrase and Kabbalah ( hmmm overlap?) , or action that we want to tap into and follow EVERY DAY for a month. Ouch. For those of  us that easily start and stop practices as we see another shiny object this is no small task! The assignment was to also to include daily journaling , charting our progress and sharing with a partner in the program several times a month per class how we were doing as well as “declaring ” to our small group what our intention was for the month through email. Sounds pretty demanding , eh? Well consistent with the gentleness of our Rabbis it was all strongly “suggested and requested ” that is what we do. Depending upon your personality and emotional makeup this could be productive or not. I am not passing judgement here just stating observation. Considering that this was a 7 month program it could feel like training for a triathalon if one wanted to be consistent.

Now it  seems that with every practice that I attempt to take on to make a change for the positive in my life it always seems to be that I am confronted head on with exactly what I am attempting to resolve and move past . So too with my taking on a an artistic project concerning Mussar. I floated over the idea for months as I was involved in a month long study for  each Middot. It was not until around 2 weeks before delivery was due of my piece while I was supposedly sleeping it all came together in my mind. I am not sure if that was the  hard part… to know exactly what I wanted to do.

With my  painting for several years around the concept of Chakras I had been observing the reactions to color while in the meditative practice of painting as well as how others respond to being in the surroundings of the colors of the paintings. I would arrange the paintings in different ways to see how  the response would change.

It finally clicked with something Rabbi Wasserman said in his shabbat Dvar Torah on March 7th at The New Shul. I meditated on it. I slept on it.  I walked on it. And come Sunday morning I had connected the dots. I cross referenced my readings and personal practices concerning the Middot with those of  Chakra emotional energy centers. FYI there are more chakras just as there is much more to personal development than we cover in our Mussar classes. The learning is never ending in the continuum of personal growth .

FYI  process of this project from conceptualization to completion truly reminded  me of all the Middot. Many of the challenges that I have experienced while in each month of the practice of the middot I found  staring at me daily with this canvas. You see this canvas painting started prior to the Mussar classes . It had been hanging next to my desk asking me WHAT AM I DOING HERE ANYWAY ? It is  interesting how as I kept layering the canvas the size of the color swatches kept changing and in retrospect  it seemed to keep reminding me of what aspect of my life I needed to be working on at that very moment.

For further insight into the painting here are the personality and emotional traits of the Middot and Chakras … see the connection ? The First word is the Hebrew word ie Bitachon, which is the transliteration , and next to it is the English translation , ie Trust.

I have not included the Sanskrit words here as of yet.

Bitachon …Trust

Crown Chakra – Violet

Oneness with god,  understanding , awareness, intuition, universal flow,

Anavah… Humility

Third eye Chakra – Indigo

Ability to see divine perfection in all things,insight, clarity,intuition .

Shtikah-Shmirat Halashon… Silence and Mindful Speech

Throat Chakra – Blue

Expressing truth ,communication, listening.

Chesed… Lovingkindness

Heart Chakra- Green

Love  and acceptance of self  and others,compassion

The Magen david symbol is actually used in traditional Chakra symbolism

Kavod …Dignity Honor

Solar plexus Chakra -Yellow

Ability to manifest goals , personal power,logic, intellect,  anxiety,freedom to be one’s

self, self esteem

Salvanut… Patience

Sacrum- Orange

Relationships ,emotional needs. utilization of creative forces,seat of will power,productivity, enthusiasm , optimism

Emunah… Trustworthiness

Root Chakra – Red

Ability to work lovingly in the physical plane,grounding , stability ,drive, passion .

Seder… Order

By writing these words with Hebrew at top and English at bottom of canvas completes this artist’s attempt to make order out of the curiosity of how these very different worlds of philosophy have such great affinity.

I hope you enjoy and would be grateful to hear or read any comments you may have about what I have said or displayed here.

Namaste and Shalom …

linda

 

 

Thoughts while trimming bougainvillea

Thoughts_on_trimming_bougainvillea©_2015_Copyright_Linda_Enger_PhotographyThe last several days I have  been having a painful  heart to heart conversation with  our three frost trashed bougainvillea shrubs. . I have no desire to post what the winter brought to these shrubs and come March I know I have to go for the tough love. I hack away at the sharp spiked branches. I have way too many scratches and punctures from which have gone through shirts, gloves, and pants . Come June the plants will once again be showing off their  beautiful bracts . The flowers are actually tiny and white and the   yummy magenta color  display are actually considered leaves not  flowers!

So why the painting instead of a photo? As I was trying to maneuver the endless sharp stems into trash bags for yard waste, and putting  the  mulched up leaves for compost I kept thinking about a series of paintings that I was working on  around Valentine’s day. The paintings  have many layers of work into them and this 24 x30 painting reminded me of the branches and stems that so viciously protect their beautiful leaves and flowers.

FYI- I realized when I was messing with this image to post that I had quickly shot this on my iphone . I need to shoot it also with DSLR  and see the difference.

 

24 Snow Peas

24_snow_peas©_2015_Copyright_Linda_Enger_Photography

I love snow peas and snap peas.I have tried growing them for several years in the ground and in 24 inch pots. Yeah I got some but never enough at one time to make a really dish! I even let them dry up and saved about 20 or more dried peas to plant . Well I think the thing that worked this year is I started earlier than before .   I am excited to say I have numerous plants in varied pots and in the ground planted at different times . Some were started in styrofoam cups others directly into the soil. I need to look up in my gardening  journal ( yeah it really does help) and get back to you on when I started planting which where. But it is March 4th and I am waiting for more to grow big enough to harvest but this is a batch from the other day 🙂 yummy. Hard to get in a recipe though. Almost hard to get them to the kitchen to wash before eating !

The painting is one of the Chakra series that  I love to use for a back drop for harvest photos. The Painting  is 16″ x 40″ and  the intense green focus energy on the heart Chakra . I keep noticing how Green seems to be a  color  I gravitating to lately . Ironically I used to never like green.

There are numerous sources I have used in my study of Chakra healing but I remember when in 2016  I bought the book “The Healing Tones of Crystal Bowls” by Renee Brodie (when I bought two tone bowls as anniversary gifts for my husband and myself ) I think that was the beginning of my real exploration of Chakra healing. So much to say on that … another time .

Gardening analogy – one of many, lemons and my life.

lemon line up #2 web © 2014 LindaEngerPhoto

 

I keep experimenting to see what REALLY works for me in life. Been doing it as long as I can remember.

When I see what works for someone else I can not help but wonder if it will work for me too.

I plant and see what happens.

I get caught in the process when I am really into it and loose track of time.

I keep working on  growing deep roots

I am so grateful when the results I am working for actually happen

I keep trying

I guess I am too foolish and  obstinate to know when to give up. More on that later.

Despite how much certain aspects of the work seem to be hard on me or/ and for me … I keep trying a way to either ignore it, find a work around, or just keep complaining about the pain and keep doing the work … right and not just find someone  to pay to do it!

I know if I have all these thoughts…. others do as well.

These lemons are just a few of oh so many I have harvested from our neighbor’s tree . Really not the best image for this analogy?

Thanks to our dear neighbors there has been lots  of lemonade, and varied dishes using the lemons….  and art as often as I can think to take the time.

Wondering when the lemon tree we planted last winter will bear fruit. Just covered the ground with more home grown compost and lama dung. ( another post), and free wood chips before the big rain hits.

OK- photographically…. I found that workflow for  this image  in Light Room  to On ONE did not give me the quick and easy results I had hoped for where LR to Photoshop  worked much faster for the clean up .

Peppering my thoughts.

5_green_sweet_peppers2014__©_Linda_Enger_PhotographyLinda_Enger_It has taken me many attempts at growing green peppers from seeds to get a few decent size organic peppers home grown … dare I try again?  It is that time of year. I missed starting  seeds inside in  pots but I have 2 sweet peppers and 2 hot pepper plants in pots outside that have survived our Scottsdale frosts. I will see what happens in the next few months.

Yep, I love multi tasking my chakra series of paintings as back grounds.

I woke up feeling like dirt this morning … why would you want to read this?

out_of_the_darkness_comes_insights_7079Linda_Enger_©_2013Yep, The title sounds pretty negative. But hold on. This blog is WAY overdue.  WHY?  Why the blog or why overdue. Well when it comes to a creative mind , priorities and distractions…. there are lots of shiny objects in each 24 hour day .

Honestly I am proud of myself I am finally here. Not wandering off down another rabbit hole of interesting websites, researching interesting stuff. I am also  very appreciative that you are here as well. Why? What is the old poem/ saying about a tree falling in the forest and no one hears it? SO what is the intention of this blog site anyway? The story is this. I want to  share with others this  fusion of ideas, and imagery that is overwhelmingly back logged and really have a place to  generate a conversation around some topics that are on my mind and in my world resonate with  the images I am sharing.   I look forward to sharing not only my insights but hook you, my reader  up with sources of information that I have found helpful… and that is just the beginning.  Yes the title may sound like gardening and cooking … which are very important to me. But that is not all it means. Stay tuned . Please come back …. and please comment.

I woke up feeling like dirt…. after editing this I am feeling delicious.