Tag Archives: nature

What you missed last weekend (but can still sign up for in the future)

Yes, you missed an awesome sunny Saturday spent in the forest in a relaxed atmosphere, learning and creating together at the Land Art workshop I presented.Kreativ im Grünen

After a short introduction to the ideas and possibilities of land or nature art, we set out on the short walk to the forest. The area offers a wide variety of different backgrounds and possibilities, ideal for each to find their best mode of expression. There is a small open birch forest, a dense coniferous forest, a meadow and the Havel river…

We had time to get to know the area, the materials available and then experiment with own works. The exchange between the different members of the group brought further ideas and inspiration and lots of laughter, but also serious discussions.

“What a wonderful way to spend the day! I could feel how the stress of the week quickly left my body and I began relaxing into my surroundings. It was great to have no pressure of having to perform, but to be able to experiment and create to my hearts desire. Thank you, Imke.” Ilona.

If you would like to participate at one of our future one-day workshops, which will be presented on a monthly basis, please send me an email, so that I can keep you updated about future dates and send you all other information needed. I am also happy to create tailor-made workshops according to your wishes, for that extra special private birthday party, company outings, a fun family breakaway, etc.

Please email me at: imkerust(a)iway.na (replace the (a) with an @ when sending).

Further information about the workshops can be found HERE. (The information is only available in German at the moment, but I am happy to offer the workshops in English too. Please request the English information sheet directly from me.)

Since pictures say more than a thousand words, I will not write further and rather share some pictures of the workshop with you (click on the images for a full-view slide show):

New Forest Explorations

Untitled nature art by © Imke Rust

Untitled nature art by © Imke Rust

On the weekend we explored a new piece of forest close to our home. I enjoy that there is still so many interesting places we do not know all around our new home and especially so much nature. The days are slowly getting longer and occasionally the sun shows her presence. I am deeply grateful for that.

Have you ever considered how conditioned we are by the environment we grow up in, and that we are familiar with? Have you felt overwhelmed by new landscapes in a positive or negative way?

I realised that I am still feeling unfamiliar with the environment and that whenever I am outside I enjoy getting to know and experience all these unfamiliar impressions, like a tourist would do. But just like a tourist, I am still very aware of not belonging. It takes time, but slowly I am feeling a bit more familiar with the forest, the weather, the space and the animals around.

With all this nature around us, I found it strange that so far I had not felt called to make any art outside. Once I realised this, I also understood that it does take time to adjust to a new environment, especially if it is so much the opposite of what you know.

I can now already identify a few local birds and trees by name. I am getting a bit more used and comfortable with the winter weather and the wetness of this area. I have watched deer grazing, a fox walking past, studied a red kite circling above our heads and now I have also seen my first wild boars in the forest! They saw us first, so to be totally honest, I just saw three large dark backs running away from us in a split second.

All this makes me feel blessed and honoured to get to know this world.

This weekend, on our walk through a forest, I suddenly regained the spontaneous inspiration to experiencing my surroundings creatively. While my husband continued his walk I stayed behind and just started. I found some wood shavings from a freshly cut tree and nearby a small V-shaped tree who called me….

It felt really good to be creating out in nature again and becoming aware of the challenges of a winter forest landscape. So different to a sunny desert plain…

Anyway here are a few pictures of my latest land art piece and I hope it will be followed by many more soon!

(Please click on the images for a larger view. Then use the arrows on the sides to get to the next image.)

PS. Just a few meters away from this work is the Oder-Havel canal, and at some stage I turned around to this:

Nawa = Good!

Nawa = Good!

NAWA!

That moment when a ship passes you on an outing to the forest and reminds you all is well, and does so in a language you only associate with home i.e. Namibia… For the non-Namibians: Nawa means ‘good’ in Oshivambo and is used pretty wildly, even by non-Oshivambo speaking people.

Why I Believe we can Make it Rain

Rainmaking Experiment #4 by Imke Rust

 

„Yes, I believe we can make rain and we should!

Is it easy? No, but it is definitely more constructive and fun, than being prophets of misfortune and disaster and clinging to our fears.”

That is what I wrote in my last blog.

I might have left you wondering if I am crazy. Or if there could possibly be some truth to it. Or both. I hope that at least you did consider the option that it is possible and I hope that there was a tiny little voice inside of you that wished it was true.

That little voice is in me, and even though it is little, it is very strong.

It is the voice of my inner child, my idealist, my investigator and my rebel. My mind, which is intensely tuned into the creative-solution-finder mode, loves taking up a challenge, especially when it comes to improving our experience here on earth. So together we all have a strong interest in finding out if rainmaking is indeed possible and if so, how and what we can do.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, or have explored my webpage, know that I have experimented with this for the past 5 years. I have read all information I could get on the subject and am always on the lookout for new understandings. I have been putting together my own ideas and insights and started a few different experiments and have planned a few more. As usual, I love to throw all my information together, stir it and see what speaks to me, what makes the most sense and what is practical. Then I weave together those aspects with my personal ideas and creativity in an intuitive process and see what happens.

Possibly the one thing most of us still easily associate with rainmaking is a rain dance. I think most people have heard of it, but very few have any idea how it works. Me included. The idea of the rain dance was the starting point for me. I assume that the fact that there is such a thing practiced in many cultures and over many generations, told me, that there must be some truth to it.

Only bummer is, that my dancing skills are pretty awkward and I do not know the steps. Dancing sounds like a suitable thing to do – just not for me.

So I tried to understand what of the dance makes it rain? Simply put, I think it is a combination of a few things:

  • People coming together with the same intention,
  • People expressing joy and gratitude, but also respect and reverence to the weather,
  • people changing the energy and vibration through their creative action or ritual
  • And since like attracts like, that vibration attracts and favours the vibration of rain.

 

Most of the time I am on my own and not with a bunch of people who would be willing to partake in my experiments, but the rest of those findings I can somehow integrate into my experiments. And add some more of my personal creative ingredients…

 

I could write forever about this, but let me rather just share my Rainmaking Experiment #4 with you:

Rainmaking Experiment #4

What:

See-through plastic bags filled with water and closed with a knot. These bags are then tied with fishing line to a branch, like a mobile. I enjoyed looking at it as often as I could. Every time I saw the drops I paused for a moment in awareness, gratitude and joy. I consciouly remembered the smell, sound and feeling of rain when I saw these oversized ‘raindrops’.

Ritual:

After having these mobile water drops hanging in my garden for a while I started to pinch a small hole into the bottom of one of the drops every day. Then I watched with gratitude how the water slowly poured out in small drops over some time. This ritual added another layer to the rainmaker, by giving it movement, real dripping water and continuity (for the duration of the dripping, but also for the daily morning ritual.)

Why:

To create rain, I guess it is helpful to remind nature of its watery and wet side. The plastic bags formed visual drops and on top of that were filled with water. Combined they looked like rain.

Once the installation was hanging for a while, I increased the sense of rain and water by releasing the water from the plastic bags in a ritual activity.

Outcome:

It started raining even before all drops were emptied and there were still more rains coming afterwards.

Please click on the images to see them enlarged and individually.

To find out more about my rainmaking experiemnts and ideas, please read my previous blogs on this subject HERE

Feeling the Drought in Me

'I am Desert' by Imke Rust

‘I am Desert I’ by Imke Rust (Photography, Digital print on Alu-Dibond)

There is a blurring, hot tension in the air. Even though I am not there, I am so familiar with this situation that my body physically reacts to it every time I think about it or remember the many years of experiencing this same intense and ominous collective fear of an upcoming drought.

I feel how this fear increases with every day in which the sun burns from the bluest skies with no cloud in sight. I feel the heat and the dust and the lack.

The lack of everything…

lack of aliveness and lack of hope.

I can taste the dryness.

But mostly I feel the silent terror and doom hanging in the air like an invisible monster.

I have experienced the impact of a serious drought. And I have experienced the fear oozing out of every wretched discussion, which repeatedly circled around the drought and the rain like a starving dog tied to a tree sniffing some fresh meat in the distance.

The elderly compared and remembered the many droughts they have experienced and seemed to revel in reciting their horrors. The younger, who could not rely on memories that much, were more likely to speculate according to the weather forecasts, the dreaded El-Niño phenomena or any other scientific statistics or findings. I remember these discussions as mostly negative, fearful and resigned, sometimes angry and usually interrupted only with long heavy pauses, knowing glances and deep sighs. For one or other reason, everybody seemed to know that we would be doomed with another great drought, as if by stating the worst that can happen, we are bracing ourselves for it. The few hopeful voices in between quickly got lost or talked into submission.

This fear and the helplessness have crept into my bones. As a child I listened to all these discussions in the hope that somewhere some one would have a solution or know for sure what is going to happen. Will it rain?

Hoping to find somebody who could say: it is going to be okay, even if it doesn’t. Even as a child I knew, that no matter what people said, the rains are not always forthcoming, that is just part of living in a desert country. So I hoped to find some way of creating hope and faith that the natural order of things are okay…

The older I became, the more resigned I became. I had accumulated more experience with dry years, with droughts and the impact it had on our life.

Yes, I fear the droughts. Deeply. But I came to fear one thing even more: the continuous doom saying and negative speculating that happens throughout the year, but increasingly in the rainy-season, when this seems to be the only topic on everybody’s minds. And the feeling of helplessness.

Sure, when the rains come and when they are good, we all are grateful for a moment, only to easily and quickly forget our moaning and return to life as we know and want it.

When the rains do not come, or let us wait too long, we are spiralling down into an ever darker abyss of fear, lack and death. I came to think of this as natural, but when I became more aware of physically experiencing the discomfort of cringing cells in my body whenever I think about this, I started to question what is happening. Even more so, when I realised that even far away from home, in Germany, I am not immune to this.

What is natural is that we are living in a very dry country – in Namibia, named after one of the oldest deserts, with unpredictable and variable rainfall. What (according to me) is not natural is how we deal with it.

I understand the fear, because I feel it too. But I refuse to believe that this deep fear and immense sense of being helpless at the hands of the weather is necessary, natural or useful. I also feel that the relentless doom-mongering and negativity is the worst way of expressing this fear or avoiding the situation.

This constant distress is killing our souls and we have let the drought creep into our hearts and veins.

I started thinking about the ancient San people in Namibia and then also about so many different ancient cultures, maybe the most well-known being the American Indians. All people throughout history were exposed to the unpredictability of the weather and to extreme conditions, droughts, floods, raging storms and endless freezing winters. Maybe it is idealistic of me to assume that the people long ago had a better relationship to the woes of the climate and nature, but from the stories that we have from that time, I am sure they knew something, which we have lost.

I guess the core difference is that they lived with deep respect and reverence towards nature and understood the importance of a healthy give-and-take relationship with everything around them. They understood themselves as a small part or children of this much larger Mother Earth.

We on the other hand have come to view ourselves as masters of the earth. We believe it is our birth-right to exploit any natural resources, to take without giving and separate and put us above the rest of nature.

We have made man the centre of the universe and profit our highest and only purpose.

Every time a drought looms, we are uncomfortably reminded, that we are not the masters of this universe. Our presumed intelligence, scientific and technological advancements and our arrogance all are futile, when the environment stops supporting us. When earth stops to produce new resources. When earth dries up and shrivels under our endless and greedy exploitation.

We are at the mercy of a benevolent environment and we are part of everything that happens. The old people understood that, we don’t.

With every drought we get angrier and more fearful. People like farmers who live closer to nature feel it first and the most intense, while others can ignore it for longer, as they have already distanced themselves so much from nature. Their money can still buy food, when the animals and plants on the farm already starve, but eventually their money also will have nothing left to buy.

What if we all would be willing and open to rethink the possibility living more in tune with nature again? Before nature forces us to. What if we would stop investing our energy in complaining and doomsaying and instead find better ways of prepare and deal with reality?

'I am desert II' by Imke Rust

‘I am desert’ by Imke Rust
Photography, Digital print on Alu-Dibond

I refuse to believe that we are separate or above nature. And I refuse to believe that we are powerless. Not only should we honour and respect mother earth, but we should accept the responsibility that comes with it. If we understand that we are but a small part of the whole, yet we are an important and powerful part.

If we would see us as the hand of a person, we would understand that the hand is subjected to what the body does, but at the same time, it also has an important purpose and function. It is powerful in its own right, but not of its own. It needs the body. And the body needs the hand. The hand cannot complain that it is starving, if it refuses to act in its power and pick the fruit and bring it to the mouth.

My research and exploration into old rainmaking traditions have shown me, that we have the answers and the power of our destiny within us. Yes, there are forces larger than us, but we are part of those, and thus we also can have an impact.

Rainmaking has become synonymous to me with actively co-creating our reality, to become conscious of our part in this grand oneness and act accordingly.

We can choose how we want to act out this role. We might not be able to change Namibia into a rainforest, but we can learn to accept that we are living in an arid country, we can take responsibility for living within the means of what is available and the courage to act as blessings to our surroundings.

We can honour and respect what we have, and express our joy and gratitude in a thousand ways.

We can use our power to change our ways and find ways to better serve our earth-body.

Yes, I believe we can make rain and we should!

Is it easy? No, but it is definitely more constructive and fun, than being prophets of misfortune and disaster and clinging to our fears.

Do you fear being at the receiving end of the weather and climate around you? In what ways do you deal with that fear? And what is your solution? Do you save water? Have you ever performed a raindance? Or have you consciously prayed for rain? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

If you want to read more about my thoughts and actions on rainmaking, please click HERE to see a list of all blog posts on this subject.

( I started writing this as a short introduction to one of my rainmaking experiments which I wanted to share with you, but then it turned out to be a loooooong introduction and I decided to rather let you digest this first, and share the experiment with you in the next post.)

Autumnal Equinox

Hello Autumn (leaf work by Imke Rust)

Hello Autumn (leaf work by Imke Rust)

Yesterday I realised that we have just passed the autumnal equinox…

Ahh, I have to accept that summer is definitely over and the days are getting colder and shorter. I fear the cold and was just about to feel miserable, when I decided I just need to make friends with the situation.

And what better way than celebrating the beautiful things about autumn, like the red and yellow leafs with some creativity?

The wild vine covering my soon-to-be studio is slowly turning red. It is really beautiful and I have already collected and pressed the first of these red leafs.

(Click on the photographs above to see a larger view.)

I had the idea to type something onto these leafs. It did not work too well… but I had the opportunity to sit outside in the garden with my old typewriter (which my husband found in the trash). Touched by the cool sun and struggling with the fragility of the leaves, the stubborn, faulty typewriter, no idea what to write and my miserable spelling skills, I started to feel better.

As a welcome to autumn (for those of us living in the northern hemisphere), I decided to share a few of the imperfectly perfect results with you.

The typing worked best on a larger green leaf from the cherry tree.

Dear Universe, thank you for the different seasons in nature as well as in our lives. Thank you for the summer that has passed and the autumn on our doorsteps. Thank you that the sun keeps on shining, no matter what & the stars return every night. Even if we do not see them, they are there for us.

A little prayer of gratitude: Dear Universe, thank you for the different seasons in nature as well as in our lives. Thank you for the summer that has passed and the autumn on our doorsteps. Thank you that the sun keeps on shining, no matter what & the stars return every night. Even if we do not see them, they are there for us.

I even tried to type on this white feather which I found in the garden, but it was not really successful, I guess the ink tape of the typewriter is to old and dry. But I liked the photograph 🙂

White feather with love by Imke Rust

White feather with love by Imke Rust

There is a kudu in my studio…

Painting...

Painting…

I have been quiet. I withdrew from the online world for a while, due to computer fatigue – I just needed to take a break. A break from reading, posting, searching, reacting and mostly from starring at a computer screen.

The decision to take a break was supported by the fact that I am back in Namibia, and realised how much I have missed just being out in nature. For the past few weeks I got so much joy and peace from just tending to my garden, watching all the different wild birds and small animals in it, consciously breathing the fresh air, soaking up the sun, slow down and basically just being.

During this time I also tied the knot with the most special and wonderful friend and partner.  We had a beautiful celebration with a handful of selected family and friends in Swakopmund. A special time of love, family and friendship that deserved my undivided attention.

Happiness: Getting married to my love at the Atlantic coast.

Happiness: Getting married to my love at the Atlantic coast.

But now I am happy to be back online and resume sharing my art and thoughts with you again…

My lovely husband and I have been at the Waterberg Wilderness Lodge for a few days, as he is producing an image video for them. During that time we saw a small herd of young kudus. They did not seem to mind us walking up really close to them.

While my man was filming, I just watched, taking some photographs and being grateful for this special experience. After a while I had the feeling that the one kudu cow wanted me to draw her portrait.

Excuse me… what?! I was confused. It can’t be… but I suddenly got a very specific impression about some parts of the painting, like the size and the composition and her insistence in the matter.

I was reluctant. I have often said I do not see the point in painting wildlife just for the sake of it. Isn’t it just too banal to paint a picture of a kudu? But she insisted, letting me know that there is a purpose. ‘Just trust me, I will guide you through it, once you get started…’ she seemed to say. And she did. (Or who or whatever placed those thoughts into my heart.)

What you see here is the almost finished work in my studio. I got some further specific directions while I was painting. Or was it just my creative mind? Anyway, hopefully I can soon follow up on them and let you know about the final work.

For now there is a kudu in my studio, watching me, with her kind and gentle eyes.

A kudu in my studio - not yet finished.

A kudu in my studio – to be continued…

Last days of summer

The days have become shorter and colder, but the sun is still shining. Packed warmly (yes I already have started wearing some more layers of clothes, scarfs and gloves…) we ventured off for a long walk in our favourite little forest outside of Berlin. After all, yesterday was public holiday here in Germany. And I got a little time to play and make some art celebrating the beautiful and strong colours of summer.

I jut love the red berries one finds here and always wanted to use them in my artworks. Now I finally did.

Red Star

Red Star, blessing and thanking all the corners of the universe for its natural abundance and growth.

Unfortunately the wind was so strong that my original ideas did not work out and in the end I arranged this star flat on a tree stump, but almost could not photograph it fast enough before the wind blew it away again.

LindenbergRedBerries

And here is a little bouquet for you! Because you are wonderful!