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Welcome to Creative Contemplation with Light

Dawn and New Beginnings

This week we begin with the theme of light. The invitations offered each day can be engaged in multiple different ways. There is no right or wrong practice. I will offer some reflections and examples as well as ideas to get you started. Feel free to try different things different days or to repeat a routine that works for you. You may find that some days you want to engage with materials while others are simply about traveling with a different kind of awareness on daily walks or even just during time at home.

Our first invitation is inspired by the monastic practice of praying the hours. It is an invitation to be present to the changing qualities of light throughout the day. Today will be an introduction to awareness around changing light throughout the day with a focus on the light at the beginning of the day.

Begin with thinking about your own living space, is there a part of the house that is brightest in the morning sun, how about in the late afternoon? If you have a dog or cat, do they have a favorite resting spot in the sun? In the morning and evening, maybe try looking around at how your home appears in the dimmer light before turning on your lights. There can be a gentle beauty in the softer light just before dusk and dawn.

Outside, take time to notice the skies this week. Sunrise and sunset tend to be the most dramatic; look up the exact times for these in your area and make a point to spend a few minutes observing the skies. Even on misty or overcast days, there can be surprising colors and qualities of light offered. One of my favorite things is seeing trees with just the crowns illuminated in the early morning sun as in the photo below.

Practice

Representing Light Throughout the Day

Today’s practice is to begin noticing light in your environment at different hours of the day. You might begin with dawn, how is the light in your home first thing in the morning?

Think about the quality of light at dawn as well as any routines or rituals you might have around the morning hour. Create a drawing, collage, photo or piece of writing that represents dawn to you.

Below are two examples of dawn from different image series I have done.

Continue to observe the hours of the day and add to your series. How would you represent noon, evening, night? You can continue the series today or observe for today and continue creating over the course of this week. Below are two examples of series inspired by the hours of the day. The first is an accordion book and the second is a series of cards. In each, the images are about 3 by 4 inches. If getting started feels intimidating, I recommend working small and remembering that each image is an experiment in seeing.

Receiving inspiration from others…

My friend Cindy Van Lunen has a beautiful practice dedicated to observing the sunrise and sunset over the ocean near her home in New Jersey. She was kind enough to let me screen shot a bit of her Instagram feed and you can see more at this link.

Images above copyright Cindy Van Lunen - see more on Cindy’s Instagram

Thank you for being a part of this newsletter community.

Please feel free to share anything you are noticing or creating.

Respond to this email or share on Instagram with hashtag #papercolorearth

Thanks, Kathryn

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