Sunday, February 11, 2007

maureen from grenada, caribbean

I was just about to write my friend Lia a long email to justify all the reasons why I have not written for the red tent in the past 2/3 months. And then I thought well rather then write Lia an email full of guilt I could change the guilt into creative musings and share on this courageous powerful feline website. So here I am once again sharing the creative life. My only excuse is one that everyone is familiar with, busyness!

I think to myself, the only way I am going to move into my passion of writing is to write and to take on these new innovative writing projects. I have taken on a writing project here in Grenada that involves writing with a writing partner. Every Monday evening Joachim, my new writing partner, drops by to write. We do timed writing exercises and then write poems from these unedited pieces.

Joachim is one of my neighbours. He is 19 years old and full of the creative. Writing is his passion too, along with acting. He is now in the National College, which is a huge feat for him, as he is coming from a very violent and non-nurturing background. Just last year his mother was accused of murdering another neighbour of ours but nothing has come of that since there was not enough evidence. Joachim spent the night in jail with his mom being questioned over the same death. He has been physically and emotionally abused since he was a small child along with his five other brothers. He is, at the moment, the only one of the brothers who has daringly sprung from the violence and moved in alternative directions. And man can he write!!!!!

So Joachim inspires me to write. Our writing this evening jumpstarted me into once again contributing to this creative website.

The past few months have been busy with a variety of art and community projects. I have been selling my originals at a steady pace enabling me to continue giving life to these powerful vibrant women that dance across the canvas. As soon as I begin one painting, another comes to mind; and I have to sketch it out while in the midst of working on many. My style is to have a lot of canvass started at one time so that I am never without a piece on the move. Keeps me moving across the canvas.Thus I apply the same method to my writing. I always have a writing project on the go with a next one started and ready to move. I have also learned how to more steadily work in the miles and miles of chores that never seem to cease.

I take a new attitude and incorporate the chores more positively into the day. Piece by Piece. So instead of leaving dinner to be cooked from scratch, I work on it piece by piece while I am painting or writing. Ok, so not every day am I so positive. There are many days when I end up cursing the incessant house hold chores and my house is a living example.
Many times I find myself wanting to blame Theo, my husband for the incessant chores but then I stop myself and watch him also going from chore to chore in between his coaching and farming. So the blame is simply blame and I turn the blame into constructiveness and see the chores as a chance to take a break from the creative work and practice being more present in my body.

I have also been busy in community. We, the members of Harford community, have started a non-government/non-party politics group here in the village. Our first community project is in progress. We are covering the community centre with a tarpaulin that was donated by National Disaster Relief Agency. We have decided to take control of rebuilding the Centre for ourselves. The Community has been waiting for government to rebuild since the passing of both hurricanes Ivan and Emily. Nothing has happened in 2 years.
My vision of building stronger bridges between my art work and community work is unfolding. I am grateful for these opportunities to practice being and becoming.

Sending positive vibes to all.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

maureen from grenada, caribbean

Chant for Peace

Once again I return to creative musings here on the page. Getting to the canvas these days seems challenging. My body is in front of the canvas but my mind is on writing. I realize one of my writing blocks has to do with waiting for the opportune time to write. I realize now there will never be an opportune time to write and I have to be more proactive. So now I take back the time, thief the time and write whenever, wherever. So now I write while I wait for the spaghetti to boil, just before hanging the clothes, a few minutes before I begin to paint for the day, just before I go to bed, while I am waiting for the bus, or my tea to cool. I still hunger for more direction; more focus but am confident that will follow. I need to listen more from the inside and let go of this incessant fear of getting it right rather then getting it down on paper.

I have three writing projects that sit in the middle of my journal. One is a poem to my favorite writer, social activist, poet, Buddhist practitioner, Alice Walker. I am writing this poem to address a comment that Ms. Walker made at a lecture she gave in San Francisco. A friend of mine who attended the lecture last year just recently revealed to me Ms. Walker’s comment in relation to not being able to forgive white women. Alice talked about forgiveness throughout the lecture and when asked if there was anyone she did not forgive she said “white women”. I have no idea what context this was in and I can only hope I am not one of the white women she cannot forgive as I would be devastated to know that one of my favorite writers; one who I aspire, adore and love deeply for the words, emotions and vibes she relates has grouped me with the white women of her past and present whom she cannot forgive. Anyways I wanted to write a poem to Alice with absolutely no idea of what she holds deep within, what her ancestors hold deep within, what it is like to be a black women growing up in the American South. I think of my daughter who is Grenadian, who is both black and white but whose skin is light honey and looks more like a white child then a black child. Will Maya also be one of the white women Alice cannot forgive? Dear Alice what did you mean when you said this? And am I exempt in any way, and my daughter please forgive her for being born the colour soft honey no where near the creamy chocolaty colour of her dad.

My second writng project is a letter to an old boyfriend of mine who just finished 6 years working in Geneva for the World Trade Organization along with his wife Deerdre who worked for United Nations. We had drinks together after attending a Bruce Cockburn (brilliant man, brilliant musician) concert. I was quite disturbed at their remarks, assumptions and comments concerning race and poverty. These young academic Canadians are part of the global decision makers and policy makers and are so ignorant of the people whom their decisions affect the most. I have been formulating a letter in my head to them for the past few weeks but the pleaser in me does not want to offend or come off as If I am the spokesperson for less privileged people.

The third writing project is a letter to Micheal Franti an incredible African American musician who writes and sings powerful conscious music and who recently went to the Middle East with his guitar and his friends and documented the human cost of war. Please see this documentary called “I know I’m not alone”. I wanted to write him a letter to thank him and to invite him to Grenada so he can share his prophetic musical vibes with the youths here and so I can make him dinner and introduce him to Theo!

Besides jumping into my passion to write, I am also painting and creating more beautiful bountiful women who continue to evolve naturally on the canvas. First week I arrived back to Grenada commissions started to flow and I was back to the peaceful meditation of dancing women. I continue to walk and sit and stretch my body and write my way into the many colourful creative projects I am embarking on.

One love.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

maureen st.clair from grenville, grenada

My Creative Way continues to take the form of daily walks, writing three morning pages, painting empowered women and exploring my interior landscape.

My morning walks feed the creative spirit. Walking on the earth one step at a time. It is on these walks that I think of present and future creative projects. While walking over the past month the act of writing seems to have dominated my thoughts. Walking through Harford community every morning, I see not only the beauty of the valleys and gardens and the Atlantic sea stretching out in front of me, but I also think of my neighbours’ stories. I think of stories in general and how every one of us is a story. I think about writing people's stories through documenting their oral histories and putting together a book of photographs and personal her/histories I think about writing my own story through my grandmother’s story and my mother’s story. I think about writing about me here in the middle of this small village in the middle of Grenada, in the middle of my mind.

Writing my three morning pages also feeds and nurtures the creative. Every Sunday I go back over my week’s writings and search for the patterns. This past month has been full of plans for up coming trip to Canada. I write down what I would like to see happen this trip like buying a second-hand car and travelling to the east coast with Maya and Theo; whale watching in Cape Breton; small reggae jam for the opening of my august exhibit; visiting the Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton and meeting Pema Chodron a Buddhist nun who runs the abbey and who has taught me “the wisdom of no escape”; visiting and sharing meals with the many wise and courageous women I know; hanging with Maya and Theo and immersing them into my Canadian roots.

Painting vibrant empowered women is part of my daily doings! This month I have been working on pieces for the exhibit in Canada. The name of exhibit is “Sensitise your vibes”. I realize how much reggae music influences my work. I paint to the conscious lyrics of many reggae artists like Anthony b, Sizzla, Luciano, Marcia Griffith, Ganel Worm, Buju Banton, Culture and many more Rasta women vibsing to conscious music dominate the exhibit coming up in August!

Exploring my interior with Julia Cameron’s second book “The Vein of Gold” continues to be a great source of creative exercise. The past month I have been writing narrative timelines; discovering my secret selves and learning how to nurture and keep them in balance; identifying my vein of gold through analysing the major themes in my life; and creating visual collages that act as a map to my interior. I continue to learn, unlearn, expand, transform, create, be, and become.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

maureen st.clair from grenville, grenada

I am honoured to be a part of this red tent blog and give thanks and praise for women’s spirited creative ways that fuel this earth. I am a women, mother, daughter, life partner, sister, friend, artist, educator, activist, and writer. I come to this blog interested in the power of words, self-journey, self-reflection, self-growth, and voice and I hope my musings over living the creative life help stimulate my own and others’ creative expressions.

Presently my “Way” is painting, drawing, walking and writing three pages every morning. I started walking a few weeks ago and seems like I am in the groove. Early morning walks have become a ritual, a reconnection with the earth I step on, a time to reconnect with community, a time to think my thoughts without the temptation of doing while I am thinking.

I have started Julia Cameron’s second book, The Vein of Gold, and have found myself once again writing religiously my three morning pages. This too has helped me to clear my mind from the “do” energy and focus the energy back into creative play, dreams, goals, and ambitions.

Presently I paint women celebrating Self through celebratory poses. The positive energy that these women radiate seems to have captured others and my art now sells regularly here in Grenada as well as in the Caribbean region and internationally. I also facilitate a children’s art program at the local secondary school down the road from us. I feel honoured and privileged to be able to paint powerful women and work with amazing children.

I also share a passion for words and would like to eventually write. Write what? Not quite sure yet, however, I am open to explore the paths that present themselves and the paths I create. Writing these monthly pieces may be a stepping-stone.

I opened my journal and read: “Work and play are the same. When you’re following your energy and doing what you want all the time, the distinction between work and play dissolves.” Shakti Gawain