“Since time immemorial, the primary function of altars and shrines has been to provide sacred and holy places amid the ordinary reality of life.” ~Denise Linn, Altars
Altars fascinate me, speak to me, lift me up, keep me grounded, remind me of the magical possible amidst the mundane.
My publisher, Annette Chaudet of Pronghorn Press, surprised me with this treasure of an altar for Meadowlark. I could go on and on of all I love about this altar, as the more I studied, the more each detail specific to Meadowlark, or my real and creative world, comes to life. The physical and cultural expressions of my landscapes—the Southwest and the Great Plains—decorate this piece. Real prairie grass sprays around the meadowlark and milagros of books, chile, sacred hearts, and horseshoes float amidst all. In a single piece, this altar expresses so much of my heart and what I love.
Altars began speaking to me over a decade ago and have been an integral aspect of life ever since. Many of my altars are collected piece that come together on their own throughout time. I suddenly realize an altar has been created, often without my realizing what I was doing. Altars collect on my kitchen windowsill, top of the dresser, and in my writing room. They are often not fancy, but rather come together with a life of their own. I find myself looking to altars throughout the day, running my fingers over their textures. The glass balls that hang from the archway between our living room and kitchen create an altar. I’ve come to experience our landscape itself as an altar.
When I look to the silhouette of the horizon or a beautiful sunrise or sunset, I see the altar of our world. In many ways, journals are altars. A reader and dear friend, Teresa Kilbury, created this photo altar of Meadowlark and two flowers bound with a blue ribbon to express, “Two dried prairie roses fell, intertwined, from the last page.”
In our Dewdrops community, we have had a number of pieces highlighting the artistry and sacred spaces within our community. I invite you to explore both—a feast for the senses and spirit!
Artists Among Us displayed the amazing art in the form of painting, music, jewelry, song, food, photography and more—with each artist sharing a bit of their journey as an artists. In Writing Spaces of the World, writers both professional and personal, shared their sacred spaces and what they mean to each.
In Invitation to You—In a celebration of altars of all kinds, I invite you to send a photo of your altar and what this space means to you to share with our community. I do this for the love of altars, the energy they create and bring into the world, and the sheer infinite expressions of this energy. Perhaps your altar is within your home, perhaps it is a place along a river, perhaps it is a tiny matchbox on a windowsill, perhaps a cairn of stones. I cannot wait to see!
Please send the photo of your altar and what it means to you to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31.
Noé and I have a saying we say to one another that we picked up somewhere along the way, “Your name is safe in my mouth.”
Your altar is safe in our community.
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