*the above artwork is a painting by Leaflin Lore Winecoff
Editor’s note: A dear friend asked me to take a look at the below writing for feedback as she set up her Patreon page. I loved it so much I asked if I could share it here. I find it inspiring and it helped me think about my own predicament around money, asking for money and feeling supported for work that is largely uncompensated in the ways more conventional work is generally compensated for in our society. The artists/mediums/writers/magicians among us have a difficult time finding ways to articulate how it is we serve. I now celebrate my friend Leaflin and the magic she displays below that we might all find ways to sustain ourselves while living honestly, in integrity, from our hearts.
by Leaflin Lore Winecoff
My name is Leaflin, and I am a purveyor of magic in the forms of paintings, yoga, healing, costumery and performance, poetic scribblings, and the way I dance through life. I wish to offer the you a strip-tease of the soul, in the hope that the terrain revealed is a treasure map for us both!
I am lucky enough to know what I am here to do on this planet. I have always known. I am here to make art, to practice and share yoga, and to be a pat of a healing journey. I am here to shake the shakti and churn the chi on this mad whirling dance-floor of life. I am here in service to my muse, whose mission is to serve all. In another timeline, I might wander with a begging bowl to be filled with rice. In another timeline, I might be burned at the stake. I am bound to do my best to live in integrity and be of service as best I may. In this timeline, I am in danger of “slipping through the cracks”. I have glimpsed through the cracks and seen a truth. I see that you have, as well.
Enough waxing poetic for a moment. Here’s the Real Deal: I’m painting like crazy, putting in at least 20 hrs a week. Treating it like a job even though there is no guarantee of getting paid. I think the stuff is good! I any case its keeping me mostly out of trouble as my psyche splinters and my soul unfolds. And I have so many more paintings in me …. In addition to stilt characters that want to be born – (Did somebody say Pink Lightning?!) and energy that needs to be channeled into healing. Do you want to see what happens if you encourage me? I’ll work my ass off AND I’ll offer you gifts! I’ll offer gifts to them that need them! Art objects, ideas, practical magix, & entertainment. Healing. Yogic wisdom. Evidence. You put some rice in my bowl; I’ll show you what I know.
Anyway – I’m touched deeply that you even read this. If you feel like you’d like to be a part of my world by supporting me in this way, I welcome you with supreme gratitude.
I wish for your hungry soul to be well fed.
More about me:
From the time I was tiny, I wanted to be an artist. Before I knew the word “yoga”, I was tumbling in the yard making up sequences of movements that felt good to me and the earth, thinking to myself, “this is what I want to do when I grow up”. Above all other ideals, I have longed to be a free spirit and embody magic, and share that magic with the world.
My own life has been saved many times by art and yoga. I do not say this lightly. I have struggled with the burden of the gifts I bear. I would like to not think in terms of words like “anxiety”, “depression”; “chronic pain” and “disorder”, because I feel that these words cloak secret treasures. I got “magician problems”. I’ve been twice tickled by lightning. I have been gifted with an exquisite and articulate body with a built in ladder to heaven and hell. My heart is full of rapturous vistas, and my brain winds paths through magical exotic lands. There are devas whispering in secret folds. Ghosts gnawing and oceans roiling. I am “tri-polar”: I embody the apex of the pendulum’s journey in both directions, and the still point from which it swings. I am a host for numerous sleeping dragons. Some of them require constant lullabies to soothe and keep them from awakening and devouring me. Some of them, if kept well fed, give me the power of flight and fire. I am a broken shaman, seeking to mend the world by living my dreams … which, it turns out, are your dreams, as well …
My comfort zone is a strange place, where I am upside down much of the time, where I climb trees on stilts, where I am naked in front of everyone no matter how many layers of clothes I’m wearing, where I sit for long silent periods in the dark, where my loved ones can come and weep and wail, or laugh like mad and speak in tongues, and though I may not have an answer, I will hold them in unconditional love.
Yoga and Art have given me the skill-sets to more or less navigate this world – a world which is ailing and calling for us to wake up and understand what we are capable of. Krishnamurti famously said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” I feel myself in danger of slipping through the cracks of this society, and often wonder if perhaps it is by slipping through the cracks that we might actually find the truth … the world we’ve been waiting to inherit all this time, a world that is whole and in which we are fully alive, unashamed and liberated from the “artificial information field” that clogs the doors of our perceptions and prevents us from trusting our senses. Indeed, what has been touted as “grave danger” may be the beginnings of waking up… I am on this path, and I wish to share my experience that it may illuminate the way for others on it.
I admit I have been given gifts. They are not mine to claim, they are not mine to keep, and they must come through me. An indication to me of their power is the pain I experience when I feel I am not able to share them, when I am thwarted by inner or outer obstacles. Indeed, I feel that I cannot truly receive these gifts unless I am sharing them, and this is what I have set myself to do in this lifetime. This is what I can only do with the help of them that are willing to receive them.
I long for the freedom to fully serve.
I long to know what it’s like to thrive.
I long for the thrival of all beings, in all realms.
In Curiosity and Faith,
In Love & Light & Darkness,