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Creating Space

I had a dream the other night:

In the building where we live one of the condos is going to be rented out for a couple of months, so I decide to go take a look at it. When I first walk in, there is a small cramped kitchen with a stairway going up from the middle of the room. I climb the stairs and discover a lovely room up above with floor-to-ceiling windows and a view of some lovely old stone church ruins (similar to the ones I saw in Ireland–photo above is on the Dingle Peninsula) and beyond that a wide expanse of sea. I decide it is worth the $1000 per month rent so I can use it as an art studio.

I love dreams about hidden rooms.  I seem to have them often.  I walk into a space and at first it feels small and cramped, but then I open a door or walk up stairs and discover that there is so much more than I imagined.  I can feel these dreams physically vibrate through my body, they feel like a wide expanse of freedom being born within me.

I brought the dream to my spiritual director, who is also a Jungian analyst, and so we do a lot with dream work in our sessions together.  His interpretation is that my psyche wants more space and wants me to make an even bigger commitment to my art, I am being called to invest even more and to put my art above everything else.  I breathed deeply and smiled, but at the same time wondered, what could it mean for me to invest even more of myself and my resources in my creative life?  I will be praying with this image over the weekend and exploring the possibilities in my journal.  I have decided to reclaim a regular visual journal practice again and see what emerges from the process.   I began by creating some background sheets (see below for a few examples) using good quality paper, and painted them with Twinkling H2O’s (shimmery watercolors) and then I drizzled liquid acrylic paints over them.  I will then use a glue stick to adhere them inside my journal and layer images and words as they emerge in me.

May your weekend be filled with new discoveries and wide expanses.  May you find the courage to devote yourself to what brings you joy.

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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10 Responses

  1. I love your blog and images. I too have been an avid fan of the monastic way of life. I love the colors also in the painting. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. powerful words and beautiful images filled with/and awaiting so much possibility! my heart longs for more room to expand–reading your post feeds the longing. thank you!

  3. Thanks Suz. I have been doing the Jungian work off and on since before the summer, now that I am back to my routine I will be seeing him more regularly. It is already quite powerful work and I love it. I adore the archetypal and mythic connections. The process was definitely enjoyable. Very freeing too, because I just set out a dozen pieces of paper and all my paints and experimented with color. Knowing it was for my journal helped me to just follow my own impulses and I really liked how some of them turned out!

  4. Such a great image of Creating Space, Christine. Thank you for sharing your dreams…I have hidden room dreams often, too. I work with a spiritual director who does Sand Tray…some vague connection with Jungian in that the objects are archetypal. I would LOVE to do work with a jungian analyst sometime. And the project pages make me want to get out those paints again and play right now…too bad I am falling asleep. They look like so much fun. Was the process as enjoyable as the product?