Statement of Purpose For This Site

You might well ask— why are you doing this?

Well, I’m putting together my own inspiration as I continue my lifelong search for meaning and beauty. Absent will be my congenital obsession with justice. My Facebook page has a surfeit of that.

I’m learning also that every site has its own DNA and that it will resist pressure to be something it’s not. My Facebook page became something I never imagined when I started it. My intentions influenced it, but it grew into something unexpected. Maybe it pulled things out of me I didn’t know were needing expression—justice, for one thing—towards the earth, towards other life forms, toward humans.

Because of my engagement with found content on Facebook I began to recalibrate my focus on what is inherently important to me and for me to say, namely that kindness is paramount, beauty and meaning are central and connectedness is essential. This site will focus on what I find exceptionally beautiful or fascinating. It has to have a wow-factor for me to include it.

The current situation in our country and in the world is frightening, we know that. There is no lack of news about the dystopia the world is sliding into. Every example carries a little hit of poison to your system. Yes, we need to be aware of what’s actually going on but it seems to me we need more news of the beauties in our world.

I’ve created animafire.com because I became dissatisfied with that Facebook page. It seemed to me it had become a bit overburdened with examples of what’s wrong. This site and my Facebook thread represent two related areas of interest because they both come from me, but they are distinct. It being true that a site has a will of its own and that I am not a dictator in absolute control, both pages can now follow their inherent missions.

I can’t tell precisely where these sites are going but they seem to be going toward creating a vision of a kinder, more just, more beautiful world.

I dedicate this site to the miracle we are all living.

I’ve added a donate button if you wish to support this search for beauty and meaning. Any help to buy another book or paint another painting is greatly appreciated.

Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.

Herman Melville

When you visualized a man or a woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity . . . that was a quality God’s image carried with it . . . when you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.

Graham Greene

The Art of Practical Mysticism.
Why do I remember dreams, paint visions, and write mystic poetry, followed by their processing, I hear you ask? Well, because reconnecting with my Inward Life heals the inner split between me and my invisible Source, the Feminine Mystery of the Sea of Soul, which resolves my anxiety and depression.

Without healing this split between the head and the heart within me first, returning to the Centre and its balance between the visible and the mystery and magic of the invisible dimension of life, I would run around projecting this inner conflict everywhere outside onto the community and causing trouble there- the patriarchal, split, masculine mind and its war on everything that it sees as the Other- and hurting, even more, our already deeply wounded world.

In the words of Andrew Harvey: ‘At the end of his life, the great Indian mystic Aurobindo is said to have said, “If there is to be a future, it will wear the crown of feminine design.” Unless we awaken to the mystery of the sacred feminine, of the feminine as sacred, and allow it to glow into, irradiate, illumine, and penetrate every area of our activity and to create in them all harmony, justice, peace, love, ecstasy, and balance, we will die out and take nature, or a large part of it, with us. Unless we come to know what the sacred feminine really is- its subtlety and flexibility, but also its extraordinarily ruthless, radical power of dissolving all structures and dogmas, all prisons in which we have sought so passionately to imprison ourselves- we will be taken in by patriarchal projections of it. The Divine Mother, the fullness of the revolution that she is preparing, will be lost to us. We must understand that comprehending the sacred feminine is a crucial part of surviving the next terrible stage of humanity.’

image; Melancolie d une Sirene by Marjie79 https://www.deviantart.com/marjie79/art/Melancolie-d-une-Sirene-532991669

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

I will not be “famous,” “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.
Virginia Woolf

© National Portrait Gallery, London
by George Charles Beresford

It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
–Jiddu Krishnamurti

Joanne Conger

I posted this quote five or six years ago – it had resonated with me enough that I wrote down these “barriers within myself” so I could look at them. I saw each as a barrier – each as something that I needed to seriously work on getting rid of.

Fear
Anger
Judgment
Expectation
Assumption
Lack of Trust
Magical Thinking
Stopping the flow
Not Being Present

For a few reasons, I went looking for the list this evening and found it. I wanted to see how far along I was in completing that long-ago list. I wanted to see how many solutions I had come up with.

The solution to Fear is Gratitude
The solution to Anger is Joy
The solution to Judgment is True Open-mindedness
The solution to Expectation is Wonder
The solution to Assumption is Curiosity
The solution to Lack of Trust is Trust
The solution to Magical Thinking is Clarity
The solution to Stopping the Flow is Letting it Flow
The solution to Not Being Present is Present Mindfulness

The past few months have been pretty volatile – up and down for the good and bad. The most awful and the most beautiful things have happened. I have been grateful for gifts – one that really gave us our lives back, me and Bob. I have been sadder than I have ever been, and as full of joy as I have ever been and I just went through it all, felt it all, and am still standing on an incredibly strong foundation, completely centered. That just would not have been possible even a short few years ago.

I have so much this evening that I am excited about and truly grateful for. So much that feels light and joyful.

This past week was a truly awful week in too many ways to go into – I am sure different things will come to light as they will – it’s not important when – just life stuff that can blindside you. Nothing to worry about. Even with all that tough stuff, I still feel great joy and gratitude. Much more than I feel anything else.

I just never realized that you could feel really awful in one place in your heart, and really overjoyed in another. At the same time.

You don’t betray the awful by inviting in the joy.

That’s a really important thing for me to remember so I wanted to say it out loud.

‘History as a record of the past has been told almost entirely in terms of its outer eventfulness and, in a sense, this is the least of history. History progresses on two levels, a manifest one and a profound one which is irresistible but not fully expressed, demanding to make itself known through the way we shape our lives in the world without, and through the failures and disasters brought about because this hidden, inner eventfulness is not fully recognised and given its due role in the human spirit and its societies.
There is no dimension of history of which this is more true than the way the feminine half of the human spirit has been dealt with by the masculine-dominated societies, and inadequately acknowledged and evolved in our cultures and civilizations. We see the result of this neglect, which is with us still, in the decay of the feeling and the caring values of life and in the pursuit of the masculine rationalism which seems to be the dominant element in the establishments of today…it is the loss of this feminine eventfulness which has led to the most urgent and dangerous problem of our time; the exploitation and also the rejection of our Mother Earth, our mother not only deprived of the great store of life it had prepared for us but increasingly being denied the chance to do more.’
–Laurens van der Post. Part of the Forward to The Myth of the Goddess, Anne Baring and Jules Cashford.

Image; Mother Earth by SoulcolorsArt https://www.deviantart.com/art/Mother-Earth-491549966

Robert Chastain

I wake up with a mouthful of words,

and that’s how I know.
It’s time to make a new poem.
A mouth can hold words for
only so long before
putrefaction sets in.
It’s the nouns that do it,
all full of themselves,
all puffed up with their meaty
“representation”.
(You can have the world on the cheap
for a pocketful of nouns,
a reasonable facsimile anyway,
if you’re willing to settle.)
The verbs jam up like a twenty-car pileup,
active or passive makes no difference,
they all have somewhere to go and something to do or something to be and
don’t like the confinement with all that putrefying
nounage.
Thoughts,
not so much.
People think it’s thoughts that make a poem,
but it’s not.
The thoughts come later,
after the words are dumped in a pile
and spread out on the page to dry
and be pressed flat like
leaves you’ve brought home from a walk
in your sleep.
You make a world on the cheap.
You make do with what you have.
And it’s never quite enough.

r chastain 05/16