Laura Hansen

"Art can be about play, exploration, experimentation and daring. We need to reclaim the capacity for art making that’s not just about making things that are nice to put on the wall, things that look good, that prove something to someone else, but the kind of art making that perhaps comes from the very roots of our humanity, that comes to reflect our soul to our self, an art making in which we can meet some of our own knowings, the taproots of the love of living, that has to be in us for life to continue, whether we know it or not, moment to moment. This kind of art making is one that belongs to all of us, we all have it in our bones, we’re all born with it."

~ Jane Seaton

"Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world - equal to but distinct from scientific and conceptual methods. Art addresses us in the fullness of our being- simultaneously speaking to our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory, and physical senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images."

~ Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

"A regular diet of creative self-expression is an important and often underutilized tool for those of us on the path of spiritual and psychological development and personal growth."

~ Chris Zydel

"What would it be like if you lived each day as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a masterpiece, unfolding, every day, a work of art taking form with every breath."

~ Thomas Crum

Aimless Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore I fell in love with a wren
And later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.
In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress still at her machine in the tailor's window
And later for a bowl of broth, steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

No lust, no slam of the door,
Just the love of the miniature orange tree, the clean white shirt,
the hot evening shower, the highway that crosses Florida.
No waiting, no huffiness or rancor,
just a twinge every now and then for the wren
who had built her nest on a low branch overhanging the water,
and for the dead mouse still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod
ready for the next arrow of love.
After I carried the mouse by the tail to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink gazing down affectionately
at the soap so patient and soluble, so at home in its pale green soap dish,
and I could feel myself falling again as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

~ Billy Collins

"A Flower Cannot Be Opened With a Hammer

If you would grow
to your best self
Be patient, not demanding
Accepting, not condemning
Nurturing, not withholding
Self marveling, not belittling
Gently guiding
Not pushing and punishing
For you are more sensitive
Than you know.

Mankind is tough as war
Yet delicate as flowers
We can endure agonies
But we open fully
Only to warmth and light
And our need to grow
Is fragile as a fragrance
Dispersed by storms of will
To return only when
These storms are still

So accept, respect
Attend your sensitivity
A flower
cannot be opened
with a hammer."

"I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit."

~ Dawna Markova

"Prayer for Tranquility

Slow me down Mother
Let my spirit be reserved again,
Rooted and still as the ancient sacred trees.

Help me to stop chasing my life
And instead pour into my life like a waterfall
Collecting here like a fresh pond of water
In the center of this moment.

Let me observe, be calm
Let me know peacefulness
So that your natural messages
Are clear to me.

I ask to remember
My own true rhythm,
My own true pace,
My inner quiet as tranquil
As the green shade in the lightest breeze.

I call my own rivers back to me
Bringing in silence
My essence on a silver wave.

Let me touch now
The serenity of the Goddess
And may the oceans that flow
Through my soul flow calm and free."

"We Have Not Come to Take Prisoners

We have not come here to take prisoners,
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.

Run like hell my dear,
From anyone likely
To put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision
Of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience
That stand outside of our house
And shout to our reason
'O please, O please,
Come out and play.'

For we have not come here to take prisoners
Or to confine our wondrous spirits,
But to experience ever and ever more deeply
Our divine courage, freedom, and

~ Hafiz


© 2008, Laura Hansen, All Rights Reserved
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