It was 30 years ago when my soul stirring began, remembering the creative arts as a way to express my connection to the spirit world, the unseen others that dwell within the landscapes, the flora, the fauna and the mysteries of sea and sky. Picking up this mantle consciously was one of the most important decisions I’ve made in my life. And throughout that time I’ve experienced the power of relying on one’s gifts of soul to navigate the world around and within, to create a body of work that celebrates the mysterious ways that life supports us whether we are conscious of this assistance or not. Whether making art solo or within a community of creative souls, uplifting one another, collaborating and sharing inspiration, creating has been a joyful and transformative experience. I consider all of the ways I move in the world to be artful. Over time I’ve been a bard with lyric and song, a healer with my hands and voice, a crafter with metal and stone, a sculptor of masks, a painter with wax and rich vibrant color, a medium for the wisdom and beauty of ancestral vitality and earth connection. And at the center of all of this is a deep love for the mystery of life, the beauty of creation and the humility that is required of the human species to maintain the delicate balances inherent in rich and multi-dimensional ecosystems that act as essential forces in the unfolding of this mystery. When we develop artful skills and nurture talents, we participate in the generational transmission of these gifts, the essential forces that continue to support life on this beautiful planet. Apprenticing to elders, mastering our crafts, experiencing the joy, soul-stirring beauty and magic that comes when we create in service to life, is a key pathway that needs our attention in these times where hope seems thin. And so I tend to my winter dreaming, immersing myself in the creative power of ancestral memories that guide and nurture, remembering my faith in the kindness and wisdom that humanity is capable of while rekindling my hope that our creative dreaming will re-emerge as a beacon for our descendants to sustain their hope. As I write this, a goldfinch lights at the window, delicately sampling the birch seed husks that cling to the bare winter branches. A yellow bird of hope against a gray palette of snow clouded skies.