Listening to the Earth

by Maria Theresa Maggi on September 26, 2013

Art Stuff

Welcome to my blog’s new “look.”

After I included my drawing of the little ballerina in my post In the Temple of my Daily Life, Susan suggested to me I look through my drawings and see if there was one that I’d like to use as part of a new look for the header of my blog. I knew right away which one I would pick.

I made the mixed media drawing  called “Listening to the Earth” in a large spiral bound sketchbook way back in 1999.

Listening to the Earth 2 small

It depicts a state of attentiveness to the world that lights it up and encourages healing for me. I can always feel this by being still and laying down on the earth. And this drawing reminds me that I have that power. We all do.

I have drawn and painted off and on all my life. I began to draw and paint again in short spurts whenever I was able to because right after my diagnosis of MS in 1996 I made a list of things I had done enough of, and things I hadn’t done enough of. Making art was in that second column.

I don’t remember why now, but once I made this particular drawing I wanted to have a copy of it that wasn’t in the spiral bound notebook so I brought it down to the copy shop a couple of blocks from my house and asked them to print a few copies and try to get the colors the same as in the sketchbook drawing. While I was there, the woman who is the customer service manager at our co-op and coordinates the art shows there came in, and happened to see the drawing as I was putting it away. I was getting ready to be embarrassed because she would think it was childish or untrained, but she said it was beautiful, and that she would buy a print of something like that. Then she said I ought to have a show at the co-op. I hadn’t shown a piece of art since I was a teenager. I objected, saying the process of framing would be too taxing for me (which it would have been then, and can be exhausting even now), and she simply smiled and said, “Well, someday then. Take your time. And let me know.”

I thought and thought about it off and on for years, but did not have the consistent energy or ability to create new work I thought was good enough, or to frame anything or coordinate everything it would take to put together a show, even at the co-op. But I still occasionally drew or painted, when my arms and hands would allow me to. To articulate what Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain would call an “L-Mode” criticism, I didn’t think anyone else would be interested in such “scribbling.”


Each June Moscow celebrates Art Walk, which always starts on a Friday.  Many businesses show art and keep their doors open all evening. The whole downtown is one big art opening, with people strolling and enjoying local art, music and refreshments. Children make chalk art on the pavement of Friendship Square. Our community radio station KRFP also opened its doors this past June with “The People’s Art Show”—which was all artwork done by station members. When the station put out the call for art, I knew my time had come. Thanks to this wonderful way of eating. I was now well enough to hoof it a couple of miles out to the mall (with Romeo assisting), buy some lightweight inexpensive frames, carry them back home, and frame a few pieces for the show. “Listening to the Earth” was one of those pieces.

Eating low fat plant-based whole foods has given me back the stamina to pursue my creative life in ways I did not expect. It also literally helps me “Listen to the Earth” in settings I never expected to experience first hand, like the beautiful Clackamas River where Mike and Kelly “took the plunge” last month. And now it’s got me obsessed with making visual art again.

I will always be grateful to the woman at the Co-op who first made me look at my drawings again as if someone else besides me might enjoy them, and that she kept the door open until I was ready and able to accept her invitation to show them. This coming February, I will be having my very own art show at the Moscow Food Co-op. “Listening to the Earth” may be on the wall again, but there will be new work as well.  I feel many friends in the present and teachers from the past supporting me as I spread my art wings once again.

The mostly wordless realm of spatial relationships, interconnected lines, color, light and shadow has called me back into it this summer. That call is irresistible to me.  Although it’s very hard to find words for what that’s like, I’ll try to show more about my timeless time “there” as I am able to.

But for now, I hope you enjoy the colors and spirit of “Listening to The Earth.” In my view, it really is the state of being that makes miracles possible.

Maria (moonwatcher)


Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marge Evans September 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

what a wonderful story. I get so inspired reading your blog


2 moonwatcher September 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

Thanks, Marge! 🙂


3 Cara September 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

Maria–That drawing is so beautiful. It expresses how I feel in autumn and spring when the earth has a female essence to it. It also expresses how I feel better connected to my body, my soul, and the earth when I eat vegan. (I’m almost 100 percent vegan–I live with meat eaters so it’s been a slow transition for me.)

I would purchase a print of of this! You should put up more images of your work and see what sort of response you get. IT’s really lovely work.

— Cara O’Sullivan, Utah


4 moonwatcher September 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

Thank you so much, Cara, for this beautiful feedback about my drawing, and for your interest in my work. I hope, perhaps, by my show in February, to be set up so I can offer people prints and cards of my work online. I will definitely let you and my readers know about this as it comes to fruition. Like you, I find that connection to body, soul and earth is so much more easily accessible eating vegan. Hooray for that, too!!


5 Cathy September 27, 2013 at 8:36 am

Love the colors! Love it! And love the new blog look! ;-)<3


6 moonwatcher September 27, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thanks Cathy!! 🙂 xo


7 Kristin September 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

It’s gorgeous, Maria!


8 moonwatcher September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Kristin!!


9 Veronica September 27, 2013 at 9:59 am

Beautiful! You are truly a talented artist, in both words and pictures. “Listening to the Earth” communicates so much – I love the colors and lines – to me, I see peace and strength and love. I, like others, would love to frame it and keep it on the wall! I definitely think it’s a brilliant idea to sell prints.
I wish you all the best at the show! That’s so exciting. I wish I could stop by to meet you and see all your artwork – but I will be there in spirit.


10 moonwatcher September 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thanks you, Veronica, for this beautiful comment and for the encouragement about showing and offering my work for sale, too. I will keep everyone posted as I make progress in that direction. I love to think of “Listening to the Earth” on your wall, offering you encouragement. I know you will be there with me in spirit, and who knows, maybe some day we will meet in person!


11 Kathleen September 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Sounds so much like my story Maria, I am also an artist who thought much like yourself, although had much encouragement from friends throughout the years. And I am hopeful, like yourself, to regain myself through a vegan and nutrarian diet. Would like to see more of your work.


12 moonwatcher September 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Thank you, Kathleen, and it’s lovely to hear that you are an artist, too. I, too, hope for you to regain yourself through a healthy vegan diet. I hope you are still doing your art when you can. And I hope to show more of my work here, and elsewhere, as time goes on. So wonderful to have such great support from my readers!!


13 Deborah September 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Hello Maria

I love you

This time, the depth of connection specifically comes from ” I made a list of things I had done enough of, and things I hadn’t done enough of. ” Wow…my mind started the list immediately and I will write it next week when I’m on holidays, a perfect task to start the recharge.

Also grateful for the reminder for me to practice grounding…I guess you’re aware of the science of Earthing.

Thanks again


14 moonwatcher September 28, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hi Deborah, and thank you so much for this heartfelt comment. I’ve really been honored by such supportive and insightful comments about my blog’s new “face,” and this one is no exception. I’m glad the idea of that kind of list resonates with you. Blessings to you as you write yours. I think I’ve just always known instinctively that I need to literally “ground” myself on the earth. 🙂


15 Cheryl October 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I love your new blog banner! Your art is beautiful. And the pic of your art supplies makes me want to find some supplies of my own, or better yet, sit right down at your desk! Thank you for all your great recipes and ideas. It really helps me knowing someone out there is eating the way I do!

Blessings to you, Maria.


16 moonwatcher October 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Thanks so much, Cheryl!! It really helps me keep writing the blog to know it’s making a difference! Blessings back to you. 🙂


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