Friday, December 30, 2011

"...trailing clouds of glory"

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
the Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
hath had elsewhere its setting
and cometh from afar;
not in entire forgetfulness,
and not in utter nakedness,
but trailing clouds of glory do we come
from God, who is our home...

-William Wordsworth (1770-1850),
from his poem: Ode on Intimations of Immortality

Thursday, December 22, 2011


the snow
has come early
this year,
and with it
the familiar longing
for solitude.
like the she-bear
who enters
her cave in fatness
to ride out
the lean time,
i, too, am ready
to hunker down.
makes me hungry
for god.

-stacy wills (12/22/2011)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

embracing the learning curve

as i mentioned in a recent post, i have signed up for life book 2012. when i signed up, i was able to take one of tam's other online courses. this is the third painting i have completed for the M3 class, the style of which was inspired by one of my favorite artists, marc chagall. i love the little birds that showed up, wanting to be part of the picture.
a close-up of the face shows the hundreds of tiny beads that make up some of the strands of my mermaid's flowing tresses. did i ever mention that the little mermaid was a favorite fairy tale of mine growing up?
and here she is in all her glory! when i began drawing mandalas back in december of 2005 i had no idea really what i was doing, but what i did know was that i had found the creative outlet i'd yearned for. i never imagined then that i would be able to draw or paint anything else - though i wished i could. when i came across tam's website and saw what life book was about, something in my soul said, "yes." so i'm diving in - i still don't know what i'm doing, or where this journey will take me, but i'm in...all in. there's a steep learning curve to be sure (and i have MUCH to learn), but it's a curve i'm embracing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

sweet child o' mine

sweet child o'mine,

tuck your head

beneath my chin

and hear the song

of my heart within,

an echo of god's own -

a beating declaration


-stacy wills (11/30/2011)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

painted prayers

every once in a while, someone will commission me to create a mandala especially for them. i consider this a sacred task, and therefore not one to undertake lightly. usually the request comes with a source of inspiration in mind, as was the case with the one you see here. the lovely woman who commissioned this mandala wanted the mantra, om mani padme hum ("hail to the jewel in the lotus"), to be incorporated into the design in some way. other than that one stipulation, she gave me free reign.

one of the things i love about doing commissioned pieces is that they stretch me, and i learn so much through the process. as preparation for drawing the design, i did some research into the history and meaning of the mantra, and found that it is most often associated with the bodhisattva of compassion. therefore, as i worked on this piece, my focus became compassion - particularly as it pertains to alleviating the suffering of others. i thought of all the times i had been on the receiving end of compassion...mercy...lovingkindness and how much i desired to be on the giving end of extending compassion to others. then each line drawn, each brushstroke painted, each embellishment added, became a prayer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

your love gives my heart wings

so, i've signed up for life book 2012 - a fabulous sounding online mixed arts course that tamara laporte has put together. when i registered, i was also able to choose one of tam's other online classes which i've already started working my way through. with tam's expert guidance, i was able to complete my first piece of whimsy art, which i made for my sweet hubby in celebration of our 31st anniversary - for truly, his love has given my heart wings...and the courage to try all sorts of new things.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the plight of the bookworm

the bookworm devours page after page

a letter, a syllable, a word at a time -

dutifully inching line upon line,

searching for something to savour.

does she truly know

the precious thing of which she partakes -

always trailing through another man's history,

another soul's wake,

when will she make her own?

-stacy wills (11/2/2011)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the difference between night and day

night and day (mixed media, 21" x 21" framed)

this mandala is painted on an old lp, salvaged from the goodwill store and lovingly re-purposed. she speaks to me of second chances, renewal...rebirth. molded and pressed into one service, enjoyed for a season then discarded, she has been sought out for new life. to see her as she was when i found her, scratched and dull, and to see her as she is now, bejeweled and adorned, is like the difference between night and day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


for love of you

my heart is a rent veil

may it never mend

-stacy wills (9/14/2011)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

you, darkness (a poem from rilke)

you, darkness, that i come from -

i love you more than all the fires

that fence in the world,

for the fire makes a circle

of light for everyone

and then no one outside learns of you.

but the darkness pulls in everything -

shapes and fires, animals and myself,

how easily it gathers them!

powers and people -

and it is possible a great presence

is moving near me.

i have faith in nights.

-rainer maria rilke (1875-1926)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


...if your eye is single,

your whole body

will be full of light!

-matthew 6:22

Monday, August 8, 2011

from the one heart

hear from the heart

wordless mysteries!

understand what cannot be


in our stone-dark hearts

there burns a fire

that burns all veils to their

root and foundation.

when the veils are burned

away, the heart will

understand completely...

ancient love will unfold

ever-fresh forms

in the heart of the spirit,

in the core of the heart.

-rumi (1207-1273)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

to see what poets see

i want to see

what poets see

the ones who weep

at the sight of stars,

knowing they see

the hand of god

-stacy wills (7/30/2011)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

the quill

i came upon a feather quill

dipped into a cedar inkwell

whose writing desk is this, i wondered

for surely only one hand can pen

the sacred text of nature

from which god reads aloud

-stacy wills (7/24/2011)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

only this

i do not know what this is...

only that it is.

i do not know what this means...

only that it has meaning

and wanted to be made.

i do not know who this is for...

only that it belongs to someone

and when they see it

they will know...

what it is, and what it means.

-stacy wills (7/19/2011)

Friday, July 15, 2011

(re)learning loveliness

...for everything flowers from within of self-blessing; though

sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness...

-galway kinnell (b. 1927)

from his poem, saint francis and the sow

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the waterfall

cut a new channel

through this heart

of mine, let me be

a young river and

you, the waterfall

-stacy wills (7/12/2011)

Monday, July 4, 2011

blue jay way

blue jay comes to remind me

that we all have a place in this world,

a unique part that is ours alone to play.

a bold, bright bird with a fondness for acorns,

she carries and buries far more of them

for her winter cache than she will ever

be able to recall...and yet she persists.

now perched on the rim of the old birdbath,

with a knowing gleam in her coal-black eye,

she cocks her crested head at me, as if to say:

how many oaks have you planted today?

-stacy wills (7/4/2011)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

" infinite storm of beauty"

when we contemplate

the whole globe

as one great dewdrop,

striped and dotted

with continents and islands,

flying through space

with other stars

all singing and shining

together as one,

the whole universe appears

as an infinite storm of beauty.

-john muir (1838-1914)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

has my heart gone to sleep (a poem by antonio machado)

has my heart gone to sleep?

have the beehives of my dreams

stopped working, the waterwheel

of the mind run dry,

scoops turning empty,

only shadow inside?

no, my heart is not asleep.

it is awake, wide awake.

not asleep, not dreaming-

its eyes are opened wide

watching distant signals, listening

on the rim of vast silence.

-antonio machado (1875-1939)

Monday, June 13, 2011

the tree hugger

it was a full circle moment, coming home to you,

your arms held out in greeting

as though you had been anticipating my return.

how safe i felt cradled in your branches

all those years ago,

when climbing 10 feet off the ground

felt like i had scaled mount everest.

you were my hiding place, a refuge and fortress,

a castle, from which i surveyed my kingdom, and

the crow's nest of a sea-tossed pirate ship,

my very own swiss family robinson treehouse, and

a trusted confidant to whom i whispered secrets

dearest old friend...give me a hug

-stacy wills (6/13/2011)

Friday, June 10, 2011

everything works together

everything works together

a bump in the road

becomes a stepping stone

or a bridge

that takes us to a better place

we couldn't have gotten to

any other way

paths we would not have chosen

somehow seem to choose us

and lead us

to ever-widening worlds

-stacy wills (6/10/2011)

Friday, June 3, 2011

the rose window

my beautiful cedar,

i love the way sunlight

pours through your branches

as through stained glass -

how fitting a rose window you are

in nature's grand cathedral

-stacy wills (6/3/2011)

source image: grandmother cedar

Monday, May 16, 2011

the cecropia moth's final resting place

three feet off the ground

in a hollow of the old cedar tree

is an altar of sorts.

and in that sacred space

i laid the cecropia moth

my husband found

lying lifeless in the street,

mostly intact - save a

tattered wing.

i imagined how many

others passed it by,

but he saw beauty

in a broken thing

and thought

to bring it home

to me.

-stacy wills (5/16/2011)

Friday, May 6, 2011

unfurl yourself

unfurl yourself

into the grace of beginning

that is at one

with your life's desire...

-john o'donohue (1956-2008)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

green is such a hopeful color

after the rain, i stepped outside

and found squirrel waiting for me

on her favorite perch in the cedar tree.

we watched a red-headed woodpecker

swoop down to tap out a message

on a hollow branch. it seemed urgent, but

neither of us could quite make out what he was saying.

the world is so green this time of year, i said.

green is such a hopeful color, squirrel replied.

yes it is, said i, and we were quiet for awhile.

-stacy wills (5/3/2011)

Friday, April 15, 2011

before you lose all your marbles...

some days it feels as though

you're about to lose all your marbles.

on those days, if you can,

(at least figuratively)

pull up a chair - beside the ocean,

beside a friend, and gaze awhile

at the horizon. gather your wits,

your thoughts, your self, and then

kneel on the ground, draw a circle,

knuckle down, and begin again...

-stacy wills (4/15/2011)

source image: orange beach, alabama

Monday, April 11, 2011

a poem for lent (for d. w.)

i was raised on stained glass images,

quiet ceremonies, and

pristine baptismal pools,

but no window

ever told me the story

of how you waded willingly

into a muddy river

teeming with humanity or

how deeply you plunged in

to search the churning waters

i drowned in long ago

how strange then to

know myself now

as one heaved ashore

sopping wet and

weak as a newborn

hearing my name

spoken aloud

for the very first time

-stacy wills (4/11/2011)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the borrower

in a tribute written for georgia o'keeffe's induction into the american academy of arts, it was said of her work that she...created original symbols for old experiences, sometimes too intimate for more direct revelation...

until the language of my own making

is found,

to speak of the tender wound,

i must borrow

words and symbols.

like a hermit crab

who outgrows one dwelling

and is forced to seek refuge

in yet another second hand shell,

i leave a mark behind

in those temporary homes -

a sign to the ones

who will follow,

that i lived there for a time.

-stacy wills (4/6/2011)

Friday, March 25, 2011

our lady at sunrise

an otherworldly glow
appears on the horizon
venus, eclipsed,
surrenders the sky
to another at dawn

-stacy wills (3/25/2011)

(source image: daybreak, orange beach, alabama)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

at dawn

at dawn
seems possible...
hopes and dreams
long buried,
sleeping -
flutter awake
and rise
like fragile
bubble worlds,
newly formed -
for substance
to be inhabited

-stacy wills (3/20/2011)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

electric snail

every single species of
the animal kingdom
challenges us with all...
the mysteries of life.

-karl von frisch (1886-1982)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

chagall's mandala

i was born between heaven and earth...
and the world, for me, is an endless space,
through which my soul wanders like a little flame.

-marc chagall (1887-1985)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

out of the blue

out of the blue
the words came:
let your dreams
be dreams again
stop mining them
for meaning
and so i learned
to take refuge in
the nightly asylum.
out of the blue
the words came:
let nature
be your teacher
and so i learned
to be still.
out of the blue
the words came:
draw a circle
and so i learned
the Spirit's voice.

-stacy wills (3/1/2011)

source image: cypress swamp along the natchez trace

Friday, February 25, 2011

swan song

i know the heavy ballast
of feeling out of step
with your companions,
those who would try
to tame your wildness
and make of you a pet
they do not understand
that you have been infected
with the desire to see
the beauty in all things
-the oyster and the pearl-
or how, like the swan,
you are able to drink
only the milk from a
saucer-full diluted with water
i know it isn't easy, but persevere
in learning to sing your own song

-stacy wills (2/25/2011)