In 2008, I had the amazing good fortune to attend a writer’s retreat in Taos, New Mexico at the famous Mabel Dodge Luhan House, said to be home away from home for such visionary artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, D.H. Lawrence and Ansel Adams (just to name a few). My luck was tripled when I met my roommate for that retreat, Kate Robertson! She and I turned out to be true kindred spirits and I’ve been thrilled to see her journey evolve. Today, she is a painter, mixed media artist, spinner, weaver AND a Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach. She’s not only making art herself, she’s helping other women become their most creative selves (visit Kate’s coaching site here)!
Kate’s journey through uterine cancer and the part prayer flags played in her recovery was one of the things that inspired this series. I was a contributor to Kate’s project, meaning I was part of the healing/cheering squad she gathered; and, in a very real way, I was also a recipient of that healing power. You simply cannot witness the immense flow of love Kate gathered without being touched yourself!
Here is Kate’s story…
When I first learned about Tibetan prayer flags I was enamored with the idea. Pieces of pretty cloth sending prayers and blessings out to the world was such a great idea. I hung some of the traditional flags in my garden and loved just looking at them blowing in the breeze.
When my art group came up with the idea to make our own, I jumped right in. One of our members had cancer so we wanted to support her in an artistic way. We made flags for each other and for the person who was ill. It was comforting to know we all had the same set of flags hanging in our yards. Our friend also was touched by the gift (she made a full recovery).
A couple years went by and I found myself in a similar situation. I had been diagnosed with uterine cancer. In addition to surgery, I was determined to let nature heal me. That year a pair of Great Horned Owls nested in our yard and they began to leave me feathers. I have felt a strong connection to owls since then. I know they had a part in my healing.
During my recovery, I intended to spend a lot of time in my garden. That is when I thought of the prayer flags I had hanging there. So I put out a call to my local and my online friends to make prayer flags for my own healing. The response was wonderful. I got simple flags and elaborate flags and flags made with a lot of love. They came from all over the US and Canada. I spent a lot of time in that garden with my dog Flynn, the birds and those beautiful prayer flags.
Those flags are pretty worn now, but they have been sending healing out to whomever needed it for several years now. I recovered from my cancer and I now like to make prayer flags and send them out to friends facing their own health struggles.
So inspiring – thank you, Kate!! I think Kate’s flags have only grown more beautiful with time (top photo and bottom two were taken this week). It fills my heart to think of them still dancing in the wind, spreading healing power all over Kate’s community and beyond!!
That’s it for today – be sure to check back in tomorrow for the final installment in this series. I’ll be sharing a video tutorial for the water flag in my own gypsy prayer flag set!