Song Of The Universe

Celebrating a dream manifest to reality

Italy Spiral
Dreams are the stuff of my imaginal realm
Fulfilling instructions a dream gives is sometimes difficult.

My connection to spirit fuel my paintings, they are threads that weave into the enormous web of life. Dreams speak loud. Will I fulfill the life contract I am asked to express, be the hollow reed, embrace the illumination I am gifted. Each choice matters each choice shapes the character of who I am. Each choice resonates for all to feel.jewelry7

 I merge into five days of intense hands on learning and fulfillment, making a physical manifestation of a dream that had come to me months before.

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Under the wings of a master goldsmith I fashion a brooch that represent experiences I have, dreams over the past year ask to come to life.jewelry13

My medium is usually paint on paper. But more is asked of me. I stretch my comfort to fabricate these visions and meaning into a brooch.

Martin Ebbers, a German master goldsmith with over thirty years of award winning excellence accepted me into studio. From 10- 6pm for five days he coaches me on the alchemy of molten metal.

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High Plateau drive to Lake Titicaca

We arrived in the dark in Puno a city high in the Andes by Lake Titicaca. An 8 hour bus ride from Cusco. It was teeth rattling as we navigated through frontier towns where 100% of the brick buildings are in partial completion, and the main road through the towns are littered with trucks in various states of repair. (Plastic litter everywhere)Peru4
Potholes and broken pavement meant navigating in zigzag fashion. Once out of town the main highway is two lane paved, one could relax somewhat and view humble mud bricked homes a corral of out buildings with high same bricked walls. Llamas, sheep, cows grazed the yellow grass land. Flat treeless with bare hills to mountains beyond all moderately featureless. The sky a deep blue with fluffy white Georgia O’keefe clouds. The range not too dissimilar to a very long drive through Nevada Duart and I took two years ago.

Yesterday in Cusco we bought lunch supplies for the long ride. Buns we stuffed with ham from our breakfast, almonds, dried apricots and bottled water.
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Our road trip was punctuated with a few stops. This lady and her alpaca was waiting for us. Eager to have her photo taken for money, it seemed one of the few times I could photograph without averted eyes. The country women are still dressed in some manner of local custom. Most notably their hats and skirts. Inka temples are well preserved and are fringed with venders all selling similar wares. Some interesting like regional hand painted pottery. But mostly the same sweaters, gloves, alpaca hats and colourful bags. It seems self employed vending is a staple for income. It is at every stop!Peru7

I am back from dinner with my group of ten including Willaru. Exhausted with Andes music playing loud in my head from our restaurant. The altitude and jitters from the long ride I am happy to now be snug in my bed that is stacked with thick wool blankets. It is chilly here! Tomorrow we take a reed boat trip on the lake and visit the floating islands.

What an experience!
Jill

Peru Newsletter # 1
Peru Newsletter # 2
Peru Newsletter # 3
Peru Newsletter # 4

Newsletter No 2 from Peru

Peru11We spent three nights in Cusco. Everyday an adventure!  What is surprising is the amount of walking/hiking we are doing. Some beaten paths but often stone steps and even flying steps! An Incan step system  of huge stones imbedded in 15-20 foot walls the stones stick out sideways. Each step is like taking two and no railing. An easy way to scale the wall. The terracing is amazing so advanced as each flat area a small football field size is edged in tightly placed stone troughs the water is collected as it pours down the mountains (clouds gather and recede dozens of times in an afternoon and can bring mist, rain or sun all in the space of Peru815min.) water falls, dipping areas the water courses ever down the mountain. The tight fitting stone walls are a marvel of engineering. Built by the Incans to catch the water and provide growing space. Their society was clearly spiritual and cosmic based. The sun is central to their life . All of nature was embraced. The mountain peaks are called Apu as they are sacred female, mother earth.

Out hiking today with a view of the Sacred Valley. Our small bus for the ten of us climbed steep paved roads from Cusco that zigzagged past eucaliptis groves.  Peru5Small mud dwellings including courtyards with small gardens some tethered cows, chickens lazy dogs and people about everywhere walking or working fields. no bikes and few cars. Our road offered dizzying views to distant grass and stone mountains soft greens to camel shades blended in the mist that could shroud and offer an expanse of embrace when the sun shone. Luckily our hike today was mostly clear as the single file stone path snaked a route round and up a sacred Apu to Incan Temples built thousands of years ago. Stone steps ascended round jagged rock faces I mostly clutched the mountain side my fingers found stone niches. I would place each foot firmly, carefully as much shale rubble covered the uneven steps. A few spots gave convenient log railings that were fastened to the outer sides but judging by the erosion I felt safer hugging the mountain wall. The views were breath taking. Vistas over a garden valley richly terraced. A muddy wide river meandered to the amazon far below. Small gathering of homes mud bricked a pleasing colour against the spring green from recent rains. What was so inspiring was the mountains that surrounded the valley. Each as queens regal, gracious and yet softly protecting the sacred valley below. Truly heart soaring vistas that even without the awareness of the esoteric mystery teachings of the Incans one feels the land is blessed.photo(24)

My legs shaky with the hours of hiking on uneven rocky paths amazingly supported me through the whole day. Frequent rests with lots of emergence C laced water and arnica as my final tonic when we finally reached the bus. I felt so grateful to experience the views the stories Willaru our guide shared along the way and the expansive energy of the surroundings. Our small group are all so supportive of each other. What perfect company on this journey into the mystery of ancient Peru.

Tonight we checked into a hacienda style resort. Still in the valley of the sacred. Our accommodation luxurious a steep contrast to the humble mud bricked homes we pasted in the small village nearby. Tonight in celebration and thankfulness for my body and its strength and resilience in the face of hours of ascent and decent I had Alpaca steak, quinoa and zucchini a mixed green salad and cocoa tea.
I am sharing a room with Stephanie from Germany, she joined our group today. Familiar with Willaru she had taken a guided trip with him last year including time at his retreat centre.
The frogs are loud tonight, the sound of Spring in Peru.

Off to bed too sleepy to peer into my iPhone any longer.
Hugs from south of the equator.
Jill

Peru Newsletter # 1
Peru Newsletter # 2
Peru Newsletter # 3
Peru Newsletter # 4

Newsletter No 1 from Peru

An up date on the start of my travels in Peru:photo(17)

I flew out of Victoria 6:30 tues non stop to Toronto. Luckily I met up with two of the ten on our trip at the Toronto airport. Air Canada non stop to Lima was comfortable until the last two hours. Much turbulence as we flew over the Andes plus the jet stream was very fast as we cut off 30 min. Wonderful lightening show in the dark of night. We arrived Lima at 1am and were met with our guide and diver. It had similar feeling to India driving through city street poorly lite with crumbled buildings and graffiti. A comfortable 2 star hotel with a simple single room for me as my shared companion I had not met cancelled Her trip at the last moment.photo(15)
Lima turned out to be a surprising mix of American wanna be shops, many Scotia Bank outlets, beggars, foreign exchange vendors and families! Yes the streets were filled with walking laughing families. Halloween was being celebrated the kids all dressed up in store bought costumes shout Halloween waving plastic pumpkins. It was sweet and heart warming. No one on cell phones! Everyone interacting with each other!photo(16)
Nov 1 all saints day, a holiday, we toured the church of st Francis as the national Museum was closed. The 14th century library was filled with floor to ceiling leather bound hand scribed books some giant ones on table tops beautifully embellished they were at least 2 x 3 feet in size. The spiral staircases and ornately carved furniture  reminded me of the Dublin national library only add layers of dust and the sound of cooing doves in the skylights.
photo(14)We toured the catacombs a particularly eerie feeling as mass was chanted directly above as we filed though chambers of thigh bones and darkened sculls. How appropriate to be here on all saints day. Later in the afternoon we spent hours in a water park. Impeccably trimmed grass, tiled paths bordered in flowers. The fountains shot water in shows that rivaled the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Children and families respectful and having a wonderful time getting soaked in pools. Patrolled by guards who would instantly megaphone us if we walked on the grass. It was a study of contradiction!
I had numerous taxis rides about the city of over 8 million people. Distinctive districts that seemed to house many in high walled enclaves. Everything was edged in security fencing and barbed wire and yet the streets were for the most part very clean of garbage. Not surprising that every street had a masked sweeper with huge brooms.
photo(18)We flew to Cusco today an hour bumpy flight high in the Andes. Home of the Incas, the culture is evident in the crafts sold at every street corner. At 11,000 ft I am slow to get acclimatized. Lots of water, the most delicious trout and quinoa soup  and with cocoa leaves in hot water to help with the altitude!
With enlightening conversations with Willaru our Incan guide these past few days feel full of the flavours of original spirituality and the worship of the sun, moon and Mother Earth. Tomorrow we drive deep into a valley they say is sacred. I am off to bed content with the sounds of joyful pan flute playing in my head as we were just treated to a concert of traditional music.photo(13)
Hugs and warm wishes jill
Peru Newsletter # 1
Peru Newsletter # 2
Peru Newsletter # 3
Peru Newsletter # 4