Sunday, April 27, 2014

Into the Light

Again, thank you all for comments about previous blogs via email, text messages and message on this blog. It is lovely to know what my thoughts and adventures mean to others.
all the notes collected,
waiting to make it into my "Into the Light" book.

I would like to ask you for a little bit of thinking time to help me find ways to gain practical support to be able to use my spars and immensely valuable energy solely on my art and writing to publish "Into the Light". This need was very much brought to my attention during my stay at Dechen Shying.
For the purpose of my book, I am re-reading my journals and found the exact same conclusion at least eight months ago... This made me laugh out loud.

During the past month I have been pushing doors open of every Disability Organisation in Ireland, and many other funding organisation, but unfortunately many doors stay firmly shut. Either no response at all to several emails, others don't fully grasp what I am looking, others are understanding but simply do not have funding themselves. Other doors I was able to wiggled open a bit further, inviting the organisation (public and private) to think outside the box, but so far to no avail.
And I have made Arts Bursaries applications too. Please give these applications some positive energy when you have a minute? ... Thank you!

A lot of time spend on getting help, which I hope will pay off in the end and I can truly use a lot of my energy on my work. The help I am looking for is someone to work with me in the studio and transcribing handwritten notes onto computer.
Or possibly funding for more residency time at Dechen Shying, where I can fully concentrate on my work?

One idea, recently hatched, is that of exploring the so called "Crowd Funding"route, in which the 'funder' pledges money for my project (in this case to buy in support) in turn for my books, or art, or gift vouchers, or free studio time... or what ever else would be appropriate.

Another idea is to find somebody locally who would be interested to "Barter" with me. The person helps me in return for books, art, free studio time, garden plants...

I would dearly love to hear what you think about these ideas.
Or you might have something even more exciting and workable...?

Crowd funding, as far I understand it, can require quite a lot of social media time, which I simply don't have. A friend has offered (bartered for a sculpture!) to look at options as well in the next few weeks, but while the topic is 'in the air', I thought I'll ask my readers and followers of my work too, in order to get the idea rolling.

Thank you for your time to read my thoughts.

love to you all

ps. As I no longer have a Facebook or Twitter account (find it all too confusing...) but you think this Blog deserves to make a presence there, please feel free to link it on your page. 
Thank you!

Monday, April 14, 2014

my own little piece of heaven

I made soup this morning. It felt a bit as if I had run a marathon on hands and feet up and down the mountain. I was so tired afterwards that I pretty much spend the following five hours horizontal. 

What harm! 

It happened to be a gloriously sunny and warm spring day, so I cuddled up on my garden bench, wrapped in a blanket when it was still a little chilly, and later protected from the sun by an umbrella when it got to hot for me. Watching the happenings in my garden, see the short video.

Garden heaven from Corina Duyn on Vimeo.

I watched and listened to the many birds around me. One is chirping right now, just feets away from where I sit. My cat is a bird watcher too, and luckily to lazy (?) to go after any.
I saw blue tits, great tits, a dunnock, siskin, coal tit, chaffinch and gold finches. Bees, and very pale looking tiny flies. Entertained was provided by all the birds, flying to and from bird feeders and on the ground where the gold finches had ditched unwanted seeds from the feeders. 

A great tit sitting on a branch of the contorted willow tree, slapped a mustard coloured worm to stop it wiggling. Having  it's feet on one end of the worm, it tried to pull the worm apart, stretching it like an elastic band. Gobbling it up with great delight not much later. Another great tit, the same perhaps? is building a nest in the wall.

The greatest and most unexpected entertainment was provided by ants.When I picked up a long lost smashed dinky toy car buried in the garden by previous residents of my house, a large amount of ants came running out. I had disturbed their very special home! 
Who would know what adventures are awaiting me in my own little patch of heaven?

Maybe my garden views might not be as spectacular as I experienced at Dechen Shying, but very beautiful all the same!

ps. As I no longer have a Facebook or Twitter account (find it all too confusing...) but you think this Blog deserves to make a presence there, please feel free to link it on your page. Thank you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dechen Shying, a place of extraordinary generosity

I had heard about the Dechen Shying Care Centre  in West Cork from several friends. I had looked at the website many many times since. In March I finally made plans to visit, to stay for a week and  find my "balance" again.
Am I glad I did!
Dechen Shying, means Heaven of the Great Bliss in Tibetan. Their website states that Dechen Shying is a unique place in an area of unspoilt natural beauty in West Cork in Ireland. We aim to serve people from all walks of life facing life challenges, such as ill health, disability, life-limiting illness, or a bereavement or loss, as well as families, carers and supporters.

What I found was a place of extraordinary beauty and generosity. For starters, please watch the VERY short video I took from outside the conservatory of room 1. It finishes with a view of the circular mediation room, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking these glorious view.  

Dechen Shying from Corina Duyn on Vimeo.

I had come to find peace again. Peace with the deterioration of my health.  
I found an awful lot more.

Sinking © Corina Duyn 2014
For the past few months I had the feeling I  had sunk into a very rough place, and had found it much more difficult to find a way out again.  Although I obviously have dealt with challenges of relapses before, I somehow seem to have lost the ability to see beyond it this time round.  As one friend stated in an email, " I know you will make it fuel for your creativity whether you like it or not".
Of course she was right.
Initially an image of a figure rising out of a rock came to mind. But while at Dechen Shying, I realised there were images proceeding this re-emerging. One of sinking into the stone, one of a hand reaching out catching the light again and drawing it into the darkness.
Reaching for the Light © Corina Duyn 2014

Throughout the week, I worked a few minutes at the time on my sculptures in my beloved conservatory.
conservatory Dechen Shying 

Sculptures (all my art) arise from a very deep part of me. It possibly brings to fore what I can not express in words.  Creativity, became once again a big part of my life.
A great deal of this realisation was rekindled by the loving staff and fellow guests, for which I am immensely grateful. Thank you all, from the deepest part of my being.

I had lost my way. I had lost trust in my own abilities. They help me find it again.
...can one fall in love with a chair? I did.
Throughout the week I rested, meditated, contemplated, reflected, cried, laughed, slept, ate, wrote, talked with fellow guests and staff, and just looked out the window at these glorious views.

Dechen Shying is a place where you can do all that. It is a place to rejuvenate, to take time to evaluate where you're at, with the background support of the staff.

Twice a day there are guided mediation's, which I joined when I could. Provisions were made to make sure I was comfortable. Also one of the spiritual guidance staff was available to me to talk with during the stay. Not a counsellor, but a loving, listening understanding ear.
I had landed in heaven, at the edge of Ireland.

one morning's sun rise
 Not all the realisations were as easy as the creative one.  I realised I need to ask for more practical help, that I am not able to look after my own needs as I was before.  I realised I needed my mobility scooter to get around the building, which by the way is fully wheelchair accessible, as I could not trust my legs.
Acceptance.  That big word. Acceptance.
How many times do we have to enter this uneasy space...?
(I am in the process to obtain support... but that is a story in itself.)

Creativity is my way to combat the challenges. I accept that!
I very much enjoyed working on my sculptures, which I left in the collection of the Centre. I called them "Work in Progress" as they are not really finished, but neither is my journey of re-emerging.

"Work in Progress" in collection of Dechen Shying © Corina Duyn 2014

Re-emerging © Corina Duyn 2014 
Re-emerging, and taking with me the wisdom and strength from the earth, from the rock. I am one with the earth.

One of my other hopes was to really get started on my writing of "Into the Light". I brought a few of  the now cut up sheets with me, and placed them around me. And hung them in the shrubs, like the Tibetan prayer flags...!

my writing sheets as prayer flags
prayer flags outsude Dechen Shying
I did a tiny bit of work on the book, but enough to bring back the confidence that this is what I need to do. Again, the support from people around me helped me see this.

I have the fortune to be able to go back there in August, supported by a bursary from the centre.

This truly a remarkable place, and I for one am forever grateful I made the decision to go there.
Explore it here: Dechen Shying Care Centre and go and see for yourself if you can.
It is great for small groups too.

If you like to hear more, or have some questions, please email me, or leave a comment on the blog.

Best wishes to you all

ps. As I no longer have a Facebook or Twitter account (find it all too confusing...) 
but you think this Blog deserves to make a presence there, please feel free to link it on your page. Thank you!