Frances Mary Santos ~ Indomitable Spirit
(March 7, 1925 – March 27, 2016)
Today I sit queitly, my hands and legs settled in a relaxed way. This form of meditation helps to soothe the rawness of my mother’s passing on Easter Sunday. Throughout the week, between the tears and memories, I’ve traced mom’s life in my mind/heart. I discovered a graceful inheritance.
As an artist and mother, Frances lived true to her way and being. Art was a spiritual practice she attended to with every breath. Her dedication shaped her life and was a source of nourishment and strength. She practiced steadily until there was no space dividing the artist from her art.
The kanji pictured on the left speaks to the surety of practice. Head in the sky, feet on the earth ~ “Indomitable spirit.” This is the way that I remember my mom, as a woman fully alive, strong and vibrant.
Other small remembrances charm me. As a potter, her love of nature and asian philosophies influenced the rhythm of her work. It was her presence that was so amazing. Without hesitation, she felt that moment when a Raku bowl became more beautiful than fire and clay. She cooked and sewed with the same awareness. In her generosity she wanted all of us to have that direct experience of beauty.
At home, the ubiquitous cups of water holding plant stems were carefully placed in sunlight. On some level, I know my mom touched on the deep wisdom of nurturing roots and leaves. I imagine that if she had a mantra it would be simple and clear. “Rain falls. The sun shines. I am here.”
I remember you, mom, always in the artistry of your life, in the happiness you found in your family, in your joyful heart and being. You are with us forever and everywhere now – a radiant blessing on us all.
Ai to hikari (Love and light)