LABYRINTH CIRCLES #13
MORE FREQUENT NEWSLETTERS
Some of our newsletters have been spaced more than a year apart. This time, is has been less than six months. I hope to make this a quarterly. Besides news, I would like to add informative articles and links to other labyrinth artists and events. My biggest delay is keeping track of the mailing list, updating it, making additions and deletions. It's a time thing. As you will note below, I hope soon to find someone to assist me with this, and other office work.
THE SPIRIT OF ALOHA
Our first installation of the year was in Honolulu, at The Parish of St. Clement. (Details.) The time away from home stretched to 16 days as we dodged unfavorable weather (rain). I was left with a number of favorable impressions, especially the spirit of Aloha. The South Pacific and Asian influences make Hawaii a wonderful cultural mix, including, of course, those who are native to these islands. The Hawaiian language has the usual five vowels, but only seven consenants: h, k, l, m, n, p, and w. Plus the okina (') which looks like an apostrophe but results in a glottal stop, as when saying "uh - oh." So, "Hawai'i" is not like the mainlander's "huh-WHY-eeeee." It's more like "ha-WHAH (stop) ee" (short "ee" sound). Given the shortened alphabet, all the street names seem alike, full of k's and l's with three or four vowels in a row.
As for mode of dress, even businessmen wear colorful patterned shirts rather than suits or ties. Life is slower -- especially the traffic. Gridlock is constant and problematic in Honolulu, but most folks seem to take it in stride. Japanese tourists dominate in the haute couture stores. Barefoot bronze surfers ride bicycles with surfboards tied to the sides. In Waikiki, restaurants are packed, and expensive. Soaring real estate values have left the skyline filled with building cranes. A drive of 15 minutes takes you into the rainforest where it can rain several inches in an hour. Weather programs report the height of the surf, which varies depending on the season and the trade winds. Our weeks here were cold and wet, with lots of hard work. But in the evening, we found many excellent seafood restaurants -- my favorite. We hope to return to do work on some of the other islands in the future.
JOHN JAMES COMES TO NEW HARMONY -- DON'T MISS IT
My studies of Chartres Cathedral soon led me to John James. He spent six years at Chartres, studying the cathedral stone by stone. That was in the 1970's. For the 30 years since, he has expanded his work to document more than 1,500 Gothic structures in the Paris Basin. No one knows Gothic, and its sacred geometry, better than John. It is a pleasure to note, therefore, that he is making a rare appearance in the United States to conduct two events. Both are sponsored in part by the New Harmony Artists' Guild, and organized by architect Kent Schuette. The location is beautiful New Harmony, Indiana, a town well worth visiting in its own right. (It has a restored hedge maze and also the beautiful Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden, for which Kent Schuette was the lead architect.) Besides his work with Gothic, John and his wife Hilary and their associates also operate The Cruicible, a center for personal and spiritual development and unfolding (in Australia). Drawing your attention to these events was the primary purpose of this newsletter. Below are the details as sent to me by John James:
"Living with Soul in a Material World"
In these three days we will, through discussion and personal experiences, affirm and even rediscover our natural connection with soul. We will come to understand that, in spite of the skepticism of our times, there is solid scientific evidence for the existence of a spiritual form, unique to every individual, that enriches and informs us. We will provide from our wide experience in soul recovery the methods you can use to understand your soul's journey. This way soul becomes the focus of our lives if we are to be in tune with the whole. Life then becomes simpler, for then we find that we are in alignment with the world around us.
Our experience and skills have evolved over a generation of working together with our clients on soul-related issues at the Crucible Centre. As you know, Australia is noted for the originality of its people, in film, science and thought, and has a highly developed interest in personal spiritual journeys of self discovery.
A $100 discount is offered if you come to both workshops.
PROGRESS TAKES HELP FROM MANY SOURCES
Last fall, when Ruth was in Brazil visiting John of God, she asked for the entities to bless Labyrinth Enterprises. She was asked to draw up the "ideal" financial plan, the realization of which would be helped by compassionate discarnate entities. (This comes from a Brazilian tradition called Spiritism, in which it is believed that those who have passed on continue their spiritual development, a part of which is to offer help to those of us still in bodies.) As it turns out, our goal is to grow by 80% this year. That's very ambitious. It is based on our estimate of what is needed to cover the costs of the expanding business (our new studio, for example, with much higher overhead), as well as the extensive costs for Ruth's cancer journey, much of which are not covered by our insurance. Great help has also been evident by our installation teams, which recently have included my brother David and his partner Kathy, as well as Chuck Hunner and John Ridder. While our schedule is filling nicely for the year (with the next availabilities in late September), I have limited my personal travel schedule in order to stay at home more, thus depending on the skill of our team members.
We have been growing at our St. Louis studio, now that we have plenty of space (see studio). Besides our long-time painters Judy and John, Jim is developing very well and Barbara is showing great promise. We still draw and paint by hand, so the only way to increase production is to have more people working. (We aren't willing to print our labyrinths, as another highly visible labyrinth company does.) Next I am seeking a part-time office/Internet assistant and some janitorial help. None of this would be possible, of course, without a continuing flow of clients. So to all of you, clients past and future, as well as our helpers, visible and invisible, we are grateful.
LABYRINTH MAKING SEMINAR, OCT. 13-15
While I give facilitator trainings that cover a wide range of subject matter (the outline alone is 44 pages), my greatest contribution is in teaching others how to make labyrinths. Therefore, I am offering a weekend seminar that concentrates on all aspects of building labyrinths. The cost will be $200 to $250. The seminar will be held October 13-15 at our 8,000 square foot studio in St. Louis (see studio). It will be limited to 10 participants. I haven't yet atarted official registration, but it would be good to express your interest as early as possible.
RUTH'S BOOK NOW PUBLISHED
My wife, Ruth Hanna, mentioned frequently in my writings on this website, has been writing a column for Spirit Seeker Magazine for more than eight years. Called "Heart Lessons," the essays point out some of the deeper meaning available in our everyday experiences. Ruth also describes her cancer journey in her writings. Her book, Heart Lessons for the Journey Home: Essays to Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire, contains more than 60 essays. It is available from Ruth for $17.95 plus $4 shipping (total: $21.95). Send your name, address, and credit card number to Ruth at: firstname.lastname@example.org. She will personally inscribe and autograph the books, according to your requests. You can also see her website at www.1heart.com.
ROBERT ON CRUTCHES
In February of 2005, while flying to Brazil (our first trip to see John of God), my heel developed a blister from rubbing on my shoe. I attributed it to swollen feet from air travel. But as the months passed, the heel got more and more swollen, and more painful. Not one to rush to treatment, I waited until January, 2006 (when I could no longer walk), to see a specialist. The diagnosis was retro calcaneal bursitis, an inflamation of the sac where the Achilles tendon attaches to the back of the heel. Treatment: immobilization. Which is to say, a cast from toes to knee (right leg), for two months or more. Crutches make carrying anything almost impossible (not convenient with a second-floor studio). Ruth wrote one of her monthly columns in Spirit Seeker Magazine, a local metaphysically-oriented publication, about the humorous incidents created by my resistance to accepting help. (Apparently this is the corollary of the above paragraph, about acknowledging help. Is there a lesson here, or what?)
While making the labyrinth in Hawaii, however, I could do much of the work which required being on hands and knees. I've even developed clever ways to push my suitcase or shopping cart, with my foot. Photos.
LIMITED EDITION LABYRINTHS
In our last newsletter I described our policy of inviting artists to make one-of-a-kind canvas labyrinths. The cost reflects both the production of the labyrinth, and the value of the added input by the artist. Our concrete labyrinths, I have realized, could also be considered limited editions. It is my full intention to retire from labyrinth making in July, 2010, if not sooner. At that time Labyrinth Enterprises may be sold, or carried on by some of my workers. Since we only do eight or ten concrete labyrinths per year, my production between now and retirement will be less than 50 concrete labyrinths (and 400 canvas ones). That means every labyrinth we construct between now and then is really part of a very exclusive limited edition. Given the thousands of hospitals and churches that will be wanting labyrinths, our work as the leading labyrinth artists in the world will have an even greater intrinsic value due to its limited availability.
OUR WEBSITE FEATURES
Last fall I completely revamped our website, which is our principle interface with the public. There are a few things left, such as adding a shopping cart and some more pdf articles. Very on-going, however, is and will always be our links section. We have more than 300 links to labyrinth-related sites -- the most to be found anywhere. If you have a website with something relative to labyrinths, we want to include you on our website. To see if you are included, do a search for your website address. If you are there, please check our very brief description to see if it is accurate. Tell us of other sites that we have missed. Also, you may want to see our extensive bibliography, which includes some 87 labyrinth books. If you know of any labyrinth books, in any language, that we haven't covered, and which can be purchased (either new or used) somewhere, please let us know about them. I will buy a copy for my library and then include it on the website.
Thank you for your interest in labyrinths and your support of Labyrinth Enterprises. We look forward to staying in touch via our next newsletter, summer, 2006.