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changes happening here ....

posted Apr 18, 2016, 9:43 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:45 AM ]

Coming soon ... a new look and design for this blog ...
Thanks for hanging around.  

empty space

posted Feb 16, 2016, 6:46 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:44 AM ]


posted Dec 11, 2015, 4:41 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Dec 11, 2015, 8:20 AM ]

"My work on the other hand is more subtle than that - trying to discover the spirit in historical events, bodily events, the signs of our times, the movements of our times - and to connect this with our heritage, tradition, past, and future."  Matthew Fox, pp.324, Confessions.

Reading Matthew Fox's updated book Confessions not only gives insight into his early life and influences, but to the evolution of his work against challenges from the religious community he committed his life to and later from the educational institution he founded.  He is unstoppable in his commitment to helping others and bringing a new teaching into our world.  Matthew continued on to create the Y.E.L.L.A.W.E. program while building a solid platform for his teachings on the Cosmic Christ and creative worship in the Cosmic Mass.  His updated book not only gives insight into his journey as a priest and a teacher, but how it is intricately woven into his true nature in becoming both a priest and a poet in our world.

Matthew heeds the call to the great need in our world for us to become "Sacred Activists," that is to be fully present in the brokenness of our world, and to take sacred action to restore balance and help others in need.  He also writes about the influence in his work from Thomas Aquinas' teaching on magnanimity or "Great Soul" of being virtuous is being in truth.  In being in truth one then  enters into one's own power, drawing strength from the inner truth to become empowered and act from this core.  This is the Matthew I know, a priest, poet, and teacher who is the embodiment and activist of his core truth, his core being.  This truth makes up the unshakable foundation for his action and is his very breath of life in our world. 

We met several years ago through the seven "I Am" tablets created by M.C. Richards.  In the exhibition catalog for her final show, Imagine Inventing Yellow, M.C. wrote about the creation of these tablets beginning with the "I Am the Door" tablet.  How refreshing it is to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary found in our daily lives - the door as an opening, a pathway, and a guide.  In making all seven of the "I Am" tablets M.C. wrote that she found it interesting to think of these statements as names for the self.  I Am the Door, I Am the Light of the World, I Am the Vine, I Am the Living Bread, I Am the Good Shepherd, I Am the Resurrection and the Life, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life - if we thought of these statements as our names we might live in a different way and follow a different path in life, creating a new world for our future generations to follow.

I think of the "I Am" statements as "openings or portals" to awaken the truth within our core being.  To me they are names for the "infinite self" that lives within us all.  We can awaken this magnificent force within through the daily discipline of making our mark in some fashion, whether on paper, clay, gardening, or movement - this process opens the door to the extraordinary that lives within the ordinary; and from there awakens us to a new richness in life, truth in our core being our authentic self, and embracing our beautiful divine nature within.

The "I Am" tablets created by M.C. Richards are photographed with a series of new tablets created by the South American artist, Javier Lemus in Matthew and Bishop Mark Andrus' upcoming book, Stations of the Cosmic Christ.  This book is both a practicum and spiritual guidebook, giving seekers a touchstone to deepen their awareness and daily practice.  Thank you Matthew, it is a great honor to write about your work, your life, to walk with you, and listen to your truth.  Through our work and presence among us you open the door widely for all who want to enter into a newness in life.

I leave with a poem M.C. Richards wrote for Matthew after he was silenced for a year by the Catholic Church....

demanded the Pope.
Silence! echoed
the judges
Silence! pleaded
the teachers.  Silence murmured
the clergy
and still the UPROAR
continued...of the free and
passionate spirit.

-for Matthew Fox, Equinox, 1993, BRAVO!
"Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story." - Elie Wiesel
"The purpose of life is not to be happy.  the purpose of life is to matter, to have it make a difference that you lived at all." - Leo Rosten

8'16" interact/repeat

posted Oct 5, 2015, 11:03 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:46 AM ]

This past weekend I created an interactive  piece for Reviewing Black Mountain College7 to honor Albers and Fred Horowitz.  
Conference is always an intense experience for me, this one in particular taught me a great deal about the power of resistance.

7.24.2015 visual response ability

posted Jul 26, 2015, 8:58 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:33 AM ]

"Whether you respond to life or react to life, determines how far you are going to go in life." - Unknown

7.6.2015 collective consciousness creates the new cool

posted Jul 6, 2015, 2:22 PM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:36 AM ]

5.9.2015 Beauty and Courage

posted May 9, 2015, 7:35 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:44 AM ]

Certain diseases carry a social stigma with them, making them uncool and totally the last thing we ask for in life. Young girls are so vulnerable to cool.  When "food" becomes the poison rather than "drugs" or "alcohol", well how do we 12-step that? Or make recovery "cool"? Food combined with our self-image can cause "nourishment" to become stressful and tainted. Eating disorders are NOT choices or phases, they ARE an illness that can cause serious medical complications, not to mention disrupted friendships, and isolation. The beautiful thing is that full recovery is very possible with professional trained help, ongoing support, and guidance.

When women use their power of purse, our purchase power alone can raise awareness to create change within the fashion, music, and movie industries allowing new and healthier cultural paradigms to flourish. This disease can strike women (and men) at any age, but our young girls are not fully empowered at 12 years old, they are at an incredibly vulnerable stage in their life development, and need us to step up.  We are Vessels of life that come in many varied, and uniquely beautiful shapes. 

I invite you to step up with me in support of young girls falling prey to eating disorders.  I felt shock mixed with fear when I learned of many young girls' struggle, fight, return to wellness, and stumble in their recovery process. Stumbling on the new path to recovery is not unusual and can be part of the recovery process for many. After research, I learned this illness can happen to any of us at any time in our life, it holds no prejudices.  Responsible awareness is also a part of recovery as many young girls are stepping up and sharing their stories-of-hope to spark and inspire parents and their daughters.  Parents and community play a much needed role in the process of healing and recovery, not just for young girls, but for everyone.

Lynn Grefe (pronounced "grief"), organized a national campaign to promote education and treatment for eating disorders, and to convince women whom teenage girls idolize, like fashion models, that being too thin can be fatal.  In 2003 she became president and chief executive of NEDA Feeding Hope, a non-profit that seeks to raise awareness.  Recently Lynn passed away from lung cancer, her daughter who was diagnosed with an eating disorder at 19 said, "my mother would like people to know, that if her own daughter can do that(recover), then anyone can."  My life experience has shown me over and over again that my true friends want what is best for me, and totally support me in my well being.  More than anything, I am writing this piece for girls who believe they have no support or no hope,I want you more to trust/believe that there is a path for you...Writing these words is my way of placing my hands between the shoulder blades of those who feel alone, and letting them know there is hope, there is community, there is a place.  

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and when we celebrate from deep within the chambers of our heart, it becomes sacred. 
May we all hear the silent cries from our young, the cries that go unseen before our eyes.

685., I
What we call  beginning is often
the end
and to make an end is to make a 
The end is where we start from.
-T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from, "Little Gidding" from the Four Quartets, Singing the Living Tradition, Unitarian Hymnal

Thank you Austin Kleon for blogging about Eliot's beautiful work!

3.3.2015, 99u/Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren't The Ones Who Count

posted Mar 3, 2015, 11:43 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Mar 3, 2015, 2:09 PM ]

Entering into the arena was not easy task for me because my comfort zone was sitting in the audience. And when I did finally enter the arena, it was for reasons beyond me.  

I owed it to a friend, who published my essay in a beautiful book. 

I owed it to a teacher I never met, whose artistic expression was never truly recognized during her lifetime.  

Even though a famous poet had instructed me on how to create a protective space in front and behind me

Even though this poet told me that once I released my speech or work into the world, it no longer belonged to me.  Once I stand in the arena and set it free, it belongs to the world.  

Even though people came up to me after the talk, so deeply moved.  I never imagined.

Even though a close and well-respected friend told me I was a natural.   I am sure she was being supportive.

These were not the thoughts I carried home that night.  These are not the thoughts that kept me awake for most of the night as I tried to understand.

My critic delivered a personal attack on my name of all things, not my work. Somehow it was all about all of the possibilities of why I might be named after a car.

No matter how much I assured him that I was NOT named after a car, but after a heroine from a romantic novel my mother read while carrying me. 

My beautiful, elegant mother wanted something empowering to go with my first name.

No, none of this mattered and that was all he got from one of my most passionate public talks on the power of creative acts in our daily lives!

Fortunately, I had just watched Brené Brown's 99u talk, “Why Your Critics Aren't The Ones Who Count”.  During this talk she prepared me for the person(s) waiting in the audience that I had no clue would be there.  

Because of this, I was able to work my way through what happened without shaming myself (for too long), and without an enormous amount of chocolate.      

So, if you are going to do what you LOVE and show up in your life, which I wholeheartedly recommend this path, then watch and trust Brené’s talk.  

Reserve a seat for the archetypal energies of shame, scarcity, and comparison because they will be there.  

Go ahead and also reserve a seat for your own special personal critic, whoever that might be.  Know these energies will be there, count on it, and don't let them get you down.  

NOW, know your values and why you are there.  Have one beautiful person who loves you, and can pick you up, no matter where the chips may fall.  The one person who is honest, helps you move forward in life, and who has your back. 

AND Reserve a seat, the best seat, for your beautiful self that truly knows why you are there, and has journeyed with you through life.

WHEN you stay true to your AUTHENTIC SELF and your values are in place, when you know why you are truly there, and you know the archetypal energies waiting in the audience, THEN you empower your work to carry the meaning.  

At some point your work will carry you to the arena again.  Well that is if you keep working and showing up in your life, which I also wholeheartedly recommend.

FINALLY the best truth is, only empower the feedback from others who have been in the arena themselves!!  YES!

All of this I learned in less than 30 minutes from her 99u Conference Talk with lots of laughs, she makes it fun because she is such an amazing “Research Storyteller”.  

Money spent on her books, supporting her work is a sound investment.  You can trust her, she has been there and is one of the first to tell the true story and she has your back!

And MOST of all, our world needs your creative expression!!!  If I can find my way, and DO IT, then so can you because I am just one ordinary person.

99U/Stop Focusing On Your Critics

the magic of dolls, 2.26.2015

posted Feb 26, 2015, 7:27 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 12:42 PM ]

This morning when I was researching Japanese "Hina" dolls, I began looking at the different pictures and realized I had been given a pair years ago when shopping at a yard sale.  The lovely lady said she was reducing things she no longer needed, that she and her husband lived in Japan for awhile.  They look like the "Emperor" and "Empress", maybe.  She referred to them as a bride and groom, but now understanding more about the meaning and tradition, they hold an extra special space in our hearts and home now.  Isn't the magical synchronicity in life wondrous? And where it can lead us so unexpectedly, if we only listen closely to it, while trusting and following its quiet whispers in our soul...

The Brave and the Bold, both my heroes ..."Rauschenberg told art critic Calvin Tomkins, “Kennedy . . . reestablished what a President is supposed to be—somebody special. . . . One of the things that was so shocking about his death was that it was so believable; it wasn't out of scale with the strength and abruptness of all the things he’d done in office.” Kennedy’s social activism made him a hero to Rauschenberg..." http://www.rauschenbergfoundation.org/art/art-in-context

the art of dolls, 2.25.2015

posted Feb 25, 2015, 6:07 PM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 12:40 PM ]

There are times when reading the daily news can be disheartening, and email can be disappointing.  On February 9, 2015 a website called the "good news network" reported Caroline Kennedy had found the Japanese lady that sent dolls to her father while he was President. She remembered playing with them as a child.  On February 6th, she was able to find the sender,Tsuyako Matsumoto, who had sent them as a gift in response to receiving a letter from President Kennedy. 

Not only is this event uplifting, but inspirational in illuminating the power our stories hold, the power of a letter(s), and the beauty in the simple act of giving a gift.  How far these seemingly small acts can go to shape our lives and inspire our world.  March 3rd is  special day in Japan called, Hina Matsuri or Girl's Day, when the dolls are traditionally displayed by families to pray for the health and happiness of their daughters.
"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

I am currently reading The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde.  Tomorrow is a new day, rich with hope, possibilities, and wonder.

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