I first taught with Sabine Danielzig last year in Solingen, Germany– we felt we only touched the surface of the possibilities of exploring Rilke through art. We will continue our exploration of Rilke– through text and image, lettering and paint at the Mabel Luhan Dodge Retreat.
The theme for my workshops in 2019 is Quintessence: The Fifth Element.
We've all heard of the ancient Greek's four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. But how many of us know that there was also an indispensable fifth element, without which those four could have no ability to combine into the infinite variety of forms we see around us? The Greeks called the fifth element aether. The medieval alchemists had a different name: quintessence.
Makers are ignited by the "fifth element", the intangible something else that works through us. The Greeks provide a brilliant background for the origin of aether. Erebus, which means darkness, was the monarch of the realm of the dead. Erebus united with Nyx, the goddess of the night, and gave birth to Aether. Aether is translated as radiance: "to burn, to shine". In Homeric Greece ether meant "pure, fresh air" or "clear sky". It was "the pure essence that the gods breathed". *
The Goddess of the Night is also The Mother of Light. What an image for where inspiration and imagination comes from: emptiness, darkness, the night, mystery. Out of dark necessity Nyx gives birth to light, radiance, Ether.
This, as with all the myths, is far more than a simple made-up story; it is a map of the origin of inspiration, and the longing of every maker. Inspiration was originally used for a divine or supernatural being imparting truth. Inspire comes from the Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, and from Latin inspirare: to breathe or blow into. Something we cannot see, and everyone has, is breathed into us.
2019 classes are posted here: http://www.lauriedoctor.com/new-events/
2020 Annual and Biennial events:
7 - 9 March 2020 ST LOUIS, MISSOURI
13 -15 March 2020 ST LOUIS, MISSOURI
March 2020 TAOS, NEW MEXICO
12 – 19 April 2020 ST MEINRAD ARCHABBEY, INDIANA
June 2020 TAOS, NEW MEXICO
And prepare for some exciting travel in 2020:
18 - 20 Sept 2020 BASEL, SWITZERLAND
23.-27. Sept 2020 DRESDEN, GERMANY
01.-05. Oct 2020 SOLINGEN, GERMANY
DATES FOR A BEAUTIFUL RETREAT IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF AUSTRALIA TO BE SCHEDULED SOON!
* References for the story of Nyx and Erebus and the birth of Aether come from a few places:
The Oxford English Dictionary
Classical Myth by Barry B Powell