Summer Solstice 2020 and Year's End at the Labyrinth
Come celebrate with us the Summer Solstice 2020 and the coming end of 2020 at the Art Centre Labyrinth on Friday 18 December at 11:30am. This is an opportunity meet together to give thanks for a memorable year, and share our hopes for 2021.
The format of the gathering will be simple: a peaceful walk through the labyrinth, a 15 to 20 minute time for silent meditation/contemplation together, a sharing of thoughts and poetry (your own or works others have written), and lunch together in the Art Centre Courtyard. If it is hot, we move to the shade in the courtyard for our meditation and sharing. We also have lunch in this area so everyone has the option of getting take-aways from Cafe 191, or BYO food and/or drinks.
The Labyrinth has continued to grow gently during the year and is an important peaceful haven for many who visit the Centre. Our random piles of rocks have become interesting and intriguing stacks, and part of the fallen tree has been moved to reveal a previously unused part of the labyrinth path. The plants continue to grow, and hopefully the ones that were challenged by the dry weather will be saved by the current rain. If you have any Australian native plants wanting a new home, please let me know as we may be able to find a place for them.
This will be the last Friday gathering this year, and we will resume on Friday 8 January. CAFE 191 will close for Christmas break at 1pm on Sunday December 20 and reopen 9am January 5, 2021. The Centre itself will close for the break on Dec 23rd at 4pm if you have any last-minute Christmas shopping. If you are looking for an interesting place to visit during the holidays - especially if you are entertaining children - the Labyrinth will still be accessible during the holiday break.
Thank you for your continuing support of the labyrinth as it continues to remind us of both the amazing beauty of our environment and of life itself - and of the many twists and turns along our pathway.
Further information on the Labyrinth can be found here, and my collection of poems written for our Friday group can be found here. They give a good idea of the special sharing we are having in this group - everyone welcome to come and join us Fridays at 11:30 am.
The Labyrinth (and Lucky) Celebrate their 4th Birthday
The Labyrinth and Lucky turn four on Thursday 5 November, and will celebrate the occasion during our Friday Celebrations at the Labyrinth the following day (Friday 6 Nov!) starting at 11:30. Everyone is invited to join us on this special day. It is also a time of celebration for the Art Centre as a whole, as the whole place continues to grow and become an important hub of creativity on the Island partly due to the magic of Corey and his coffee and cakes at Cafe 191.
As part of the celebration, and the ongoing evolution of the labyrinth, we have just opened up a winding section of the pathway which has been closed since a banksia tree fell over the pathway shortly after the path was built. As well as bypassing the potentially risky step over the tree, this opening of new pathways seems very suitable in these times of needing to find new and creative approaches to our challenges.
Our regular activities at the Labyrinth have changed and evolved over the years, and have now become a very special way to celebrate our lives and the joy of coming together. We now meet each Friday at 11:30 am for a walk of the labyrinth, and a quiet time together for contemplation and meditation (sometimes accompanied by gentle singing), followed by a time for sharing prose, poetry or just reflections on our lives - or just listening. We finish with coffee/lunch at the Art Centre's Cafe 191, and often enjoying the current exhibition in the Matthew Flinders Gallery. Everyone is welcome to come and go as their time permits. Although the labyrinth itself is generally cool and shaded during the summer, we have just moved our meditation and poetry sharing into the cooler shaded area in the Courtyard.
I do have a separate email list for updates to these Friday Celebrations, so please let me know if you are interested in receiving it. In addition, I have put my contributions to our weekly sharing in a separate blog just to give people a taste of our celebrations (https://joycesbirdpoems.blogspot.com/). I did consider trying to collect all our shared pieces each day, but quickly realised that this would be difficult for some, and in any case, would not capture the magic of what happens on each day.
Please remember our labyrinth when you are looking for a quiet and magical place to visit - and we would love to see you at our Friday Celebration!
Join us Fridays from 11:30 am for our weekly Celebration in our very special place. Our gatherings are evolving as we explore ways of sharing our joy at the beauty of the labyrinth, and at the magic of having time together to explore who we are. We usually include a contemplative walk through the labyrinth, a time for a silent (or sung) meditation, and for sharing of poetry - our own or ones suitable for the day. We finish with lunch or coffee at Cafe 191 accompanied by thoughtful conversation sharing our current concerns, and often viewing the current art exhibition.
As shown in the above photos, the labyrinth is a constantly evolving work of art. Our latest projects have included adding structure and life to our rock piles. Please come an hour or so early on Fridays to join us in this and other creative playing.
Everyone is welcome to join in our Friday Celebrations. If possible, please let us know by 9 am Friday if you are able to join us so we can make a suitable booking at the Cafe.
We have decided that sharing loved pieces of poetry (our own or someone elses) following our Friday noon meditations would be a good way to share our thoughts and feelings because of the way poetry encapsulates what we are trying to say in a way impossible with words alone.
Please join us for a peaceful hour (more or less) of a labyrinth walk, time for silent meditation/contemplation, and sharing of poetry (if you wish). This will be followed by BYO lunch - and perhaps enjoying coffee from Corey at Cafe 191 (he is serving cake and toasted sandwiches too). As the Art Centre is still closed until 10 July, follow the road around the back to the Labyrinth.
And the photo above is the new centerpiece of the labyrinth where all the loops of the winding track meet - a bit of a reminder of the magic of the place, and how life goes in cycles to and away from the central mysteries.
As part of reexamining what we do at this time of change, we are changing the time of our regular walking and silent meditation / contemplation at the Art Centre Labyrinth to 12 noon on Fridays to avoid the winter cold. The meditation will be followed by BYO lunch (or lunch from Cafe 121) together and time to discuss our current concerns together. Please join us in this special way of enjoying a peaceful place.
Corey will soon be opening Cafe 121 for coffee and cake, and working towards returning to offering his full lunch menu so those wanting to enjoy his offerings should be able to do so soon. (The Art Centre itself will be reopening mid-July, though many of the working together groups are already back at work.)
The above photo - a humpy for Lucky - shows some of the changes that we are slowly making to enrich this area. We welcome all contributions of environmentally-friendly art and suggestions for further developments.
Hope to see you on Friday at noon,
Joyce Newell 0439 329 334
PS Our Winter Solstice meditation will be the following Friday 19 June - and this year is especially appropriate as it marks the beginning of the return of the sun to our lives, at the time we are getting our lives back in gear as the lock down is relaxed.
EcoArt at the Labyrinth Tuesday mornings 8:30 am to 11 am (in addition to meditation and discussion!)
We have long been wanting to add more art to the labyrinth, and now is our chance when we have more time and space in our lives, and an urgent need to focus our lives on gratitude and celebration.
We are going to experiment Tuesday morning with adding an artistic component to our 8:30 to about 11 am labyrinth walk, meditation and discussion on 'Celebrating the Last Chapter of our Lives'. It will be an adventure to .see how it can all fit together, and let those who come be part of as many or as few activities as they want!!! Our first priority will be to maintain adequate social distancing and respect for each other so everyone can feel safe together. It will be good if you can bring your own chair (or something so you can comfortably sit on the ground) so we can move around with the moving shade, maintain social distancing, and be in different parts of the labyrinth if we wish.
For Ecoart, you can find lots of inspiration online (Richard Schiller and Andy Goldsworthy are good artists to start with). You can make your art as ephemeral or as long lasting as you wish. We are especially interested in items that are both attractive and make interesting sounds, either naturally with the wind or when struck or shaken as we walk the labyrinth. (We have some virus-free materials to start you off on making these if you wish.) In addition, we would like to add colour to some of the bricks and pavers along the labyrinth path to make the path more interesting and visible. It would be great if these path markings could be bright, playful, and tell a story. If you have any suggestions for this, but lack the time, flexibility to paint them yourself - or would like to share the project with others, we would love to explore your ideas with you. Another possibility would be to make the rock piles in the labyrinth more interesting - or to start your own...
For our art work, it will be important to bring or find your own materials - or for things which must be shared to bring materials to clean them well to minumise the chance of cross-infection. There are plenty of natural materials onsite (leaves, branches and rocks etc), so bring some containers if you want to collect anything. If you would like, and if your project is suitable, please come early enough that you can organise your working space that will let you join in the discussion while you work.
This week's discussion will focus on how to maintain quality of life in the face of the grave situations we as as individuals and as a community are facing. I hope we can move the discussion beyond rehashing the details of the challenges ahead (e.g.how the virus is progressing, and the economy suffering), and how we might like others to change themselves or our current policies, to focusing on what we personally can do NOW to enrich and celebrate our lives, and to perhaps share this celebration with others.
I hope you can join us Tues morning for the next step in our adventures together.
Fall Equinox Meditation Sat 21 March at the Labyrinth
Most of you would be aware that the Art Centre and Cafe 191 are both closed indefinitely in response to the Corona Virus Pandemic. However, the Labyrinth is still accessible and open for those seeking a quiet and peaceful outdoor spot. The outdoor setting and low usage of the area should ensure that there is minimal risk of it being a potential site of transmission of the virus. Please do not use the area if you are ill or have had direct contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus, and maintain social distancing protocols in the unlikely event that someone else is there when you are.
To continue our tradition, and to honour this very special area and its healing energies, we will be holding our Fall Equinox Labyrinth walk and Meditation as planned, followed by a short discussion of the impact of the Pandemic on our lives, and our futures, and on how we can continue such socially important events as our meditations in the Labyrinth safely. If it is convenient, please bring a chair to help us maintain appropriate social distancing.
Our Tuesday morning meditations. now at 8:30 am, are followed by a discussion on the general theme of 'Celebrating the Last Chapters of our Lives' - a topic which is presently very pertinent to us all. Please join us if you can.
We are working to make if possible for people to take part in our Labyrinth Meditations and discussions remotely online via Zoom. Please let me know if you are interested in being part of this, and I will let you know when we have it organised and working.
I hope you can join our meditations in these challenging times,
Joyce 0439 329 334
PS The photo above is of the right hand side of our mural in the Art Centre courtyard. It can be interpreted to depict the last chapter of our life journeys in a final period of both darkness, and a developing sense of Hallelujah at the mysteries of life and the privilege of being alive now - and seems very appropriate for these times. We hope that our meditations and the Labyrinth can help you keep aware of this celebratory side of our journeys through this challenging period.