2018 Spring Refreshing

 

As we continue into our second year of publication, we’re reaching more and more people who tell us that Leaping Clear’s celebration of the arts and meditative practices nourishes both their inner and outer lives. Thank you for joining us and for sharing the site.  

We’re delighted to feature one of our favorite poets, Jane Hirshfield, in this issue. The power, insight, and beauty of her poems and essays amplify the deep place poetry holds in human history.

Music is another, perhaps prehistoric, ancient art. Roseminna Watson’s “Limbic Hymnal,” touches the embodied and moving power of music with violin and voice.

Black River,” a video by Georg Koszulinski, uses what would be conventionally called a newer medium. In this piece, however, we’re brought to focus on a primal sense—seeing—and the interplay between seeing and perception.

We’re refreshing the site itself, so you can more easily visit or revisit previous issues. They’re under the new Archives tab. And the Links tab now features contributors’ sites, as well as other sites of interest.

Wherever you choose to dive into Leaping Clear, we believe you’ll find that the artists and writers offer gifts of fresh viewpoints, emotions, perceptions, and understanding of what it is to be humanly alive.

Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor

 

 

Happy New Year

 

Wishing all of you a Happy and Peaceful and Joyful New Year! We’re leaping into the new year with new artists and writers and musicians from around the world. They’ll join us in the wonderful Spring 2018 Issue, March 20. The dedication and quality of these artists working in all forms continue to bring us insights and joy.

At the New Year, many of us stop to check in with our deep intentions. We renew our aspirations in resolutions. We breathe in and out to feel life’s creative force moving within us. We taste freshness and hopefulness from the original and bountiful wellspring that is part of our human heritage.

We make art and stand before it in wonder to remind ourselves of the wellspring. We write poetry and stories, make music and videos, and read and listen and look to inspire ourselves. We turn to the wellspring of meditation and contemplation to see clearly what’s important.

My own intentions this year also include diving deeper into collaborative artistic work, and into working with others on social equality and justice.

                        Every day’s a new day. Beginning
                                    again’s a long story we
                                    restore again and again.
                        Hallelujah, a New Year anew!

 

Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor

 

Giving Thanks

 

Thanksgiving Day always reminds me of how our lives are connected to so many others and to the innumerable conditions that sustain us: our loved ones and our societies, as well as the impersonal forces of life. Different spiritual traditions use different phrases for this.

Years ago, I was fortunate to attend the sweat lodges of Fred Wahpepah, a Native American elder of the Kickapoo and Sac-and-Fox tribes. Fred shared his great-hearted presence along with some of his sacred Native American traditions, including the Lakota phrase, Mitakuye Oyasin, which commonly translates as “all my relations.” This includes all of life: the life of humans, of all animals, the life of all plants, the life of water and earth and rocks and soil, the life of planets and stars.

Today, my thanks go also to our contributors and subscribers and donors. Thank you all. Our contributors inspire us with their diverse talents and dedicated contemplative practices which bring alive the deepest human aspirations for wisdom and beauty, compassion and truth. Our subscribers energize us with their enthusiasm and comments. Our donors sustain Leaping Clear with their open-hearted generosity.

I’d especially like to thank our Editors, Alyson Bloom and Margery Cantor, and our Webmaster, Dick Walvis, for their voluntary service to the magazine in the midst of their busy lives, as well as for their ideas and perseverance in finding the best ways to create each issue.

I also want to thank our Web Designer, Joe Hall, whose artistic sensibility and technical knowledge guided us to the web design that best highlights our contributors’ works in a welcoming and beautiful space.

Leaping Clear began as an idea, one that is now a flourishing reality, with the support of many individuals with many talents and dedication. To mention all would mean a long, long list, but our former editors, Diana Deering and Walt Opie, gave essential guidance and support for the first issues. And our gratitude continues to the Advisory Board who from the earliest, exploratory conversations have been generous with encouragement and contributions.

And thanks to the unknown stones
that reflect the moon in my mind
so I see how I have finished and
must begin again.

Thank you all, 

Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor

 

When the Earth Shakes

 

It wakes us up—sometimes literally. I was shaken awake at six in the morning many years ago. The sun was just rising and the full moon setting. Through the east, west, and north windows I could see power lines snapping, arcing pale orange, violet, and blue. Smell the smoke. Hear the dogs howling and the sirens wailing from every direction. I was fortunate that my small wood-frame top-floor apartment on top of a small hill was far enough from the epicenter to survive the quake. Many in Los Angeles were not.

The earthquake woke me up to a psychophysical understanding of the privilege, the unpredictability, the mystery of being alive, and to the unshakeable knowledge that I shared this aliveness with all others on this earth. I could see, hear, smell and feel in body and mind, not only the earthquake, but also my inner sensations and emotions. Not only fear and adrenaline, but also empathy for friends, firemen, all the people in the city, and the animals, whose fear I understood in those moments was the same as mine.

What we call natural disasters—earthquakes, hurricanes, floods—often awaken us from the sleep of dissociation—the arbitrary separation of the heart and mind from the body, the constricted sense that each of us is an individual, solid, and solitary. When we realize how we’re not really separate, we respond empathically and emotionally to the recent earthquake in Mexico and to the Atlantic hurricanes with natural generosity. We know that no matter where we live, it’s earthquake country, hurricane zone.

Such responses are found in contemplative art and literature from the earliest times to the present, part of our human heritage. The “Hymn to Poseidon” in The Homeric Hymns: “I begin to sing of Poseidon, the great god / mover of the earth and of the empty sea.” It ends: “Your heart is good, O blessed one. Come to the aid of the sailors.”

Ruth Ozeki’s recent novel, A Tale for the Time Being, set in both Japan and British Columbia, Canada, bridges the Pacific in a story of the connection between two writers, separated by culture, time, and space. Yet connected, even as strong earthquakes on one side of the Pacific cause tsunamis on the other side.

The artist and geologist J.T. Bullitt uses technology to bring us the deep earth sounds of earthquakes that he collects from geological stations worldwide. He transforms the sound waves from the earth to ones human ears can hear. In the link below, he also expresses his connection with the many who were directly affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami through his artwork.  

www.jtbullitt.com/earthsound/tohoku-2011

 

Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor