Reflections from Gathering Participants

“The place where creativity and spirituality meet.”

“An artistic, communal celebration of spirit, nature, joy, love and wisdom.”

“I have to say that week was one of the most transformative retreats I have ever experienced anywhere.” Lisa Lipsett 

“It is a coming together of souls who want to deepen their connection to using creativity for healing themselves, their clients, their communities and the planet. It is experientially deeply spiritual because of the unique blend of energies: the people who attend, the style of Deborah’s facilitation and the land at the Whidbey Institute.”

“I felt such a peaceful and joyful feeling all around. There was much joy and interacting with one another but also a feeling of just being at peace with myself and others and being in touch with nature.”

“As an artist, this was a new way to make marks on the paper, but it is so much more! The thinking, judging, decision making part of me was set aside to allow the deep inner knowing to emerge – serendipity prevailed!”

“The gathering was held in a place of great Beauty…the beauty of the buildings, the Awe-filled Sanctuary, the trees and flowers, the sky, and the animals….the attention to ritual, to community, to subtle energy, to tenderness and care for all, the welcome of diversity, laughter, fun….”

“My heart is full of gratitude for the week. The group was so focused, centered, mature!  Every one was taking responsibility for their feelings and actions. I am slowly unraveling all the treasures I learned last week. Drumming, toning, chanting, touch drawing, writing… the labyrinth, the earth nest, the laugh, the discussions and the silence…The nature all around us welcoming and supporting our bodies and our Souls.” 

You are wise and joyful, your love for every one of us shone through in Grace and light. I feel blessed that I got the chance to witness you at work as you planted the seeds of creative expression like a rainbow drizzle of bliss and pleasure during the gathering. My most important treasure to take with me back home is “playfulness, joy and pleasure” which I tend to forget. I go deeper and deeper in contact with my soul in my touch drawing journey.” Regine Verougstraete

“The Gathering encouraged not only the contemplative, quiet personal introspection, but a sharing with others that was an opportunity of experiencing the Oneness of the Universe on a very deep level. This was possible because those who chose to attend are genuine, graceful, appreciative, kind and thoughtful individuals who treasure this time of sharing and learning. This common attitude and intention, along with the incredibly experienced and gifted facilitation by Deborah, created a magical week unlike any other in my experience.”

“A deep way of relating, communicating, touching and communing with different parts of my being and acknowledging what I cannot always communicate verbally. It feels very comforting for me to have those conversations with myself.”

“This year’s Touch Drawing Gathering was deeper, richer and fuller than my first. I was enriched in many ways. I very much liked the coming together of some of us from last year, seeing the changes and the growth, knowing what we shared the year before. I love meeting the new people, so dynamic and loving. The greatest realization I had was that it’s the PROCESS of TD. as much or more than the actual drawings that do “it” for me. The process of Touch Drawing over an extended number of days had the effect of putting me in an altered state. I had unusual clarity come to me most of the time. There were frequent awareness’s about my life. It was like ‘connect the dots’, and light bulbs kept going on. I also could clearly see some of my own behavior patterns with greater honesty and that was freeing. I tapped into more primal, ancestral places and at times, other worldly places and felt a great sense of satisfaction and pleasure from that. I love the story that unfolds for me, the images that come forth. I get to learn later the foretelling that they are. I am grateful for the process.” 

“I woke up early this morning and was missing the wonderful group of creative souls I met at this year’s Gathering. Touch Drawing at the Gathering has facilitated significant healing in me, even when I was not aware of it at my first Gathering. At my second Gathering I was so amazed at the benevolent, nurturing male faces and figures I created in my drawings. (I have never drawn males before.) For someone who has experienced abuse with significant males in my life I was deeply touched upon creating these loving male faces and figures. At one point at the Gathering, I felt deep feelings that were witnessed by other women at the table where I was drawing. My drawings mirrored back to me the incredible healing and self acceptance that has and will continue to take place within me as I continue my creative process. I have all these drawings displayed in my studio where I continue to dialog with them. When a group of women came to my studio Friday, I was able to share my touch drawing experience with them. We all love the touch drawing process so! Who knows how many souls have been allowed to heal because of touch drawing?!” 

As a person who had a belief that there are only certain people who can create art, this process has been life and belief system transformative… As I was frustrated – near tears praying to create something with heart and meaning – a warmth and a golden light came over me. Even though the next drawing wasn’t “a work of beauty” my spirit lifted and eventually beauty came. I learned to love the process and be able to have dirty hands and draw with closed eyes and have questions answered by doing the practice. Delight warmed every cell in my body.” 

“Touch Drawing has opened the spiritual place within me! I had been so blocked, knowing it was there – afraid to unleash it!! Now it is free – and I no longer am afraid.” 

“The experience was an answer to a prayer to reawaken to the Art of my Soul. I see touch drawing as a vital aspect of the Spiritual Arts Renaissance that is unfolding in the culture at this time. I believe that you have discovered a new language that will be spoken by many. Parlez vous Touch Drawing?” 

“A wonderful, womblike experience.”

We are

We are the eyes
That reflect who I am
The voices that echo
The sound of my soul
The ears that stay tuned
To the mystery
In the silence of our thoughts
And the music of our words
We are called to remember
We invited pain and fear
To dance with us
And to release their loyal hold
On our remembrances
They spilled out on paper
In broad strokes
And tiny details
And then,
With grace and gratitude
We let them go…

We are the guardians of the memories
And carriers of the code
With love
We reach to those who suffer
Or still sleep
We are their eyes,
their voices and their ears
We remember
And we reach out

—Tatjana Zemcuznikov

 

Ode to Touch Drawing

There is magic in the process
Running deep and running strong
Fireshot waves of blue and purple
Heart to hand and hand to heart.
There is power in the process
Power to grow and power to change
Holding love from being to being
In sacred space.
There is essence in the process
Power to love and power to live
Creating space for transformation
In us all.

—Kathie Dame-Glerum


Touch Drawing Reflections

Touch Drawing…
The ribbons of creative fire
weave in and out,
spiraling through our fingers
~ you and I.Touch Drawing…
Stirring, waking, and re-igniting
the embers of distant dreams
and desires within
~ you and I.Touch Drawing…
Unique and yet united,
touching one another
through the collective
signatures of our souls’ expression
~ you and I—Marion Prochnau