Louisa is an integral thinker. Her creative work endeavours to re-contextualise the present for new possibilities. It attempts to ‘open up’ the future as it unfolds in the phenomenological present, quivering with new potential. There are definite seeds of futurist-oriented thinking integrated with an understanding/knowing that the past and future manifest simultaneously in every moment – a spiralling mutation of all possibilities.
Every poem, haibun, painting, or word image that Louisa creates is an attempt to open the future with a new way of thinking, perceiving, sensemaking, and imagining the world.
“Writing down these thoughts, I realise that “the only thing worth falling in love with is the word itself” – that writing has become a way to hunt shadows, mine and the collective, continually researching, exploring, peering at the periphery, figuring out the edge of things, attempting to catch glimpses of changing and illusionary forms; pinning them down like dead butterflies on parchment with existing words, made-up words and sounds, with the fusion of words and images, looking through a macro camera-lens into the microscopic wonders of textures and writhing life, to catch the untouched and perhaps untouchable shadows in myself and the collective”.[Journal]
Confucius writes: “Great is the sublimity of the creative to which all beings owe their beginning, and which permeates all heaven….”
Louisa’s poetry (haiku, haibun, prose poetry) and art are a remix of all the other structures of consciousness (archaic, magic, mythical, mental, integral) and embrace liminality. It seeks out (mostly playfully) new and latent emergent planetary mythologies.
Her work moves into the arena of intellectual mysticism, which embraces the living roots(origin) of developing consciousness and how it constantly transforms and transcends reality into a translucent sphere, spiralling human consciousness across the span of history into the present – “always-already shaped by tomorrow” (Jeremy Johnson).
Louisa writes in “Carrying Sand to the River” that when we choose to let go, our mind becomes a complex and profoundly textured sigh. This sigh blurs the boundaries between our judgements and opinions, allowing us to surrender to the mystery of the space in between. This is a space where the human and animal, mind and earth meet – an earthly cosmology.
To travel into the future in the present, we must live on the edge or horizon of processes in liminal spaces where the human and non-human meet. These liminal spaces include the intersection of human and nature, human and animal, human and the more-than-human, mind and earth, and the soles of our feet and the soil. It is a deliberate venture to explore and elucidate the physics and ontology of the vibrational or quivering breath. This breath is delicately textured with mystery, movement, memory, and musings.
“The German proverb, ‘how we shout into the forest, is how the echo will sound’, is undoubtedly true. And the forest is the world. Everything that happens to us is only the answer and echo of what and how we are ourselves. And the answer will be integral only if we have approached the integral in ourselves.” Jean Gebser
The body is like space, even purer than space, more subtle than the subtle, appearing course yet not course, insentient, yet sentient. Yet the body does not conquer the yogi; she has conquered all.
Hence, pleasure and pain cannot affect the yogini. She has become transparent and can never die or go away. She is forever present.
Louisa is a yogini, a ‘Divine Mother”, ‘ of universal harmony, meaning she is a female Master of Yoga. Yoginis are dedicated to achieving ‘enlightenment’ and are a beautiful representation of the spiritual grace of the sacred feminine. The yogini embodies feminine energy, strength, empowerment, and agency and is a powerful force for change and transformation. She can tap into the most profound aspects of her being and others.
A yogini is called a ‘sky dancer’ in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra. They initiate monks or others on the path of development, transporting those who have passed away to the sky and into the dazzling light of self-knowing.
In Sanskrit, ‘yoni’ refers to the womb space or ‘source’, symbolising Shakti. This cosmic mother holds the wisdom of incubation, pregnancy, birth, and death as a mandalic cycle of an underlying structural law of existence.
The mountain is a symbol, metaphor, and archetype of the primordial unity of consciousness, its outward path to the periphery, and its return to the centre – which is both the original, subjective knowledge and that gained by the balancing of opposites, which is referred to in Buddhism as the diamond-palace-mandala.
“Within this body exist the Mountain, the plains, the rivers, the ocean and the valleys.
In it also dwells the seers, the sages, the warriors and the poets, all the stars and the planets – the crossings of the liminal sacred spaces and all the pilgrimages.
In it whirl the sun and the moon and the wanderings of light around the eternal vowel Ohm opening the flower of the mountain, the blooming centre of the world, where living is a spital of emergence and emanation.
Know this, and you will understand the fierce, translucent, clear consciousness of the Self”.
“Every day, I look at the Swartberg mountain, which is forever present and changing. It is a constant reminder of mountain-me, a mandala in a profoundly nuanced world.
Embrace the world around you, where textures and tones are your music, and your mind captures beauty with a butterfly net.
See patterns in every moment’s unfolding and let the finest tendrils of sensory presences enfold you.
Become a crow, sitting at the world’s edge, tasting the wind of interbeing.
Lean into the nights like a heavy crocheted blanket, unravelling all the yesterdays and tomorrows in various colours, shapeshifting in the now.
Rise early to greet the sun when it slithers over the mountaintop, to capture the light that illuminates the night’s confusion.
Hear the sizzle of newborn stars and witness the infinite living moment of a flexible eternity.
Lay your cheek flat against the poetry of the mountain and remember the beginning of the beginning.
Breathe deeply in a world of fugues, where multiple voices and arms embrace the uneasy ‘harmony’ of it all.
Let the mountain become you in its splendour and golden beauty”.
A message from the Self (In Carrying Sand to the River)
“It is not enough to have the unconscious; you must produce it yourself in the present.” (Gilles Deleuze)
Sitting in my studio this morning, I feel exceptionally vulnerable while looking at the rare phenomenon of pouring rain in the Karoo. I remember the drowning of a thirteen-year-old girl two years ago in a flash flood that went over the road and how we all shared the grief of the family.
Publishing my poetry books on Amazon Kindle has become a nightmare. Last night, I saw all the poems scrambled into formless blobs and burst into tears. It is tough to put my writing into the world, and when it is reflected at me like a grinning chaotic shadow in cyberspace, all my resolve crumbles into fears well-known – churning, burning discomfort in my belly, running mocking circles around my so-called dan tian – the reservoir of my inner strength, and life-force – Momus, the god of satire and mockery, himself, riding on the back of Carol Lewis’s mock turtle with the head, hoofs and tail of a calf – taunting, jeering evil-spirited blame and shame – teasing me contemptuously – lifting the mask of his face.
And then, the inner voice…
Remember that your only way forward is to become fearless, like a Bodhisattva, a path you chose a long time ago after you were extremely ill. Stop the trembling in your heart, close your eyes, sit in Padmasana in the middle of your existence, and let all the emotions become the ebb and flow of the eternal sea of infinite becoming. Nothing can harm you in remembering the all-embracing nothingness you are. Your poems are only a continuous manifestation of your rigorous self-inquiry, repeatedly asking the ultimate timeless question, “Who am I?” “Who am I?” in the absolute eternal ‘here and now’. Nothing that does not belong to your innermost being can happen to you.
To condemn life as dark and sinister, unpredictable before exhausting all its possibilities, is presumptuous, unreasonable, and utterly foolish. You are only encountering your shadow. Declaring the task ahead as impossible and absconding prematurely are the acts of the shadow, grumbling in the unknown corners of your mind, judging, criticising, severing connections and debasing what you already know. Practice perseverance and patience to give the troublesome matters, the difficulties, and the seemingly attainable time to mature. Allow the unripe fruits to ripen and allow the turbulence in the stormy sea of your mind to subside – wait, wait, wait…be still.
I hear an old woman cackling mischievously, prompting me to show myself. I also hear the charming calls of the Sirens to swim fearlessly in the universal lake of ‘becoming’ somewhere on the top of a mountain in the middle of the world. And then the tolling of a bell, reminding me to say goodbye to my body home, as I dissolve into a fearless particle of consciousness in a speck of dust.
Writing down these thoughts, I realise that “the only thing worth falling in love with is the word itself” – that writing has become a way to hunt shadows, mine and the collective, continually researching, exploring, peering at the periphery, figuring out the edge of things, attempting to catch glimpses of changing and illusionary forms; pinning them down like dead butterflies on parchment with existing words, made-up words and sounds, with the fusion of words and images, looking through a macro camera-lens into the microscopic wonders of textures and writhing life, to catch the untouched and perhaps untouchable shadows in myself and the collective.
I follow Bella’s cues – hovering quietly with her when she tilts her head in the direction of the unseen shadowy vapours of nuance, the invisible currents of formless energy, moving her ears delicately to catch the sound of the silence, holding the movements of wildlife, and the windchimes of the breaking waves. I stretch with her when she lifts her tail and points to invisible presences, feeling the pinprick subtleties of the unknown, hunting for shadows. Sometimes, she blows air through her mouth, delicately puffing up her cheeks whilst sniffing the air. In these moments, we became shadow hunters, moments revealing the unsaid, catching the unlived and unknown, which is an integral part of life on earth, fearlessly.
Bella is standing in silhouette in the shallow waves, looking at her shadow. For a moment, I understand that the clarity of the moment’s immediacy makes it possible for us to merge with the hunted shadow, our darkness, as our other, or alias, when we call it by name.
The words we form break through the thick veil between us and the unknown. This can only happen when we are fearless shadow hunters in a masked, opaque, and veiled world.
This encounter, integration and merging with the shadow in spirals of deepening awareness, or as Carl Jung refers to it, the “process of individuation”, requires a finely attuned mind that centres itself in the movement of involution and evolution, synchronised with the natural ordering laws of all nature.
I feel the fiery tentacles in my belly, masked in the anger of my projections, lift, and the smell of fear of burnt coffee beans and camphor mixed – abating.
It is still raining unashamedly in the dry Karoo…and I… wait…wait…wait…a momentary still point, in the whirling of the cosmos.
In hunting our shadows, we are living the questions…
This is the path Louisa has chosen.
Louisa’s life changed forever when she discovered the teachings of the Jewel Tree, one of the most significant sacred wisdom texts of Tibetan knowledge of the soul. The text is called “The Devotion to the Mentor” and discusses the jewel tree. As she delved into the text, Louisa experienced a deepening of awareness that lifted her from herself into a perspective of unity. The living mandala’s brilliant reflections of the multi-faceted world dropped into her like a fountain bursting forth, showering her with unbridled compassion.
“I have spent many years studying and meditating since I started exploring the luminous shelter of the jewel tree of Tibet. During this time, I have interacted with beings living in a world with multiple perspectives. They have realised the meaning and reality of selflessness.”
And then she recognised The Ash Tree in her backyard, playing with the moonlight. The great Ash tree extends over the entire earth and grows from the well of wisdom. The jewel tree, the tree of knowledge, grows from earth to heaven. It is filled with wish-granting jewels, a family of living mentors who share their bliss with you and help you open the inner doorway to individuation.
The world tree, the tree of life, the Tibetan jewel tree, the Ash tree, and the Silver Oak tree of her childhood, and now the thousands of Olive trees in her immediate life on a farm, are all metaphors for this teaching of interconnectedness, loving-kindness, and compassion for self and others. The many branches of the trees reflect on multiple paths of understanding, where many jewels (teachings) illuminate and guide all of us to live our lives in service of others, fearless, awakened with razorblade-sharp intelligence, courage, and deep compassion.
“The world tree, the tree of life, the Tibetan jewel tree, the Ash tree, and the Silver Oak tree from my childhood, and now the thousands of Olive trees in my life on a farm, all serve as metaphors for the teaching of interconnectedness, loving-kindness, and compassion for oneself and others. The many branches of the trees reflect on multiple paths of understanding, where many jewels (teachings) illuminate and guide us to live our lives in service of others. We should strive to be fearless, awakened with razor-sharp intelligence, courage, and deep compassion”.