Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Self care and inspirational sacred spaces

Some days you just need to get away from it all and get centered. I have a spot in each state that I have lived in that brings me back to center. Now home is New Mexico and the place is el Santuario de Chimayo. For years I vacationed in New Mexico and always this place was on the list to visit. I am now so honored to live just a short drive from this sacred northern mountain sanctuary. 

There is a creek that guides you to the scared space making the sensory experience complete with the sound of water as it dances over the rocks. This place has grown over the years yet it still maintains a simple spiritual energy. For me its not about the type of religious space but more about a place of authentic spiritual centering filled with love and hope by most who visit.

The flowers were blooming this trip and provided a softness around the adobe buildings, stone sculptures and rock niches that adorn the grounds. 

The one time trailer makeshift kitchen has become a quaint building offering indoor and outdoor seating. The fresh mountain air mingles with the smell of tamales, green chile corn and other native New Mexico favorites. As we savored the historical recipes and nourished the body we reflected on the how this place does feed the soul and is good medicine in many ways.

There is a long history attached to this place and I can't tell you when I first became drawn to it. I just know I have left burdens, prayers, petitions, and given thanks on the grounds over the years. For me most of New Mexico holds a strong energy. A positive feast for the spirit. Its like a homecoming, a calling to be here. If you want to see more about Chimayo and the sacred space you can visit the website here http://www.elsantuariodechimayo.us

 Many visit from near and far to leave a prayer or petition for healing and light a candle. I left a request for healing and direction one year and it has been answered. I often bring or create a milagro of sorts to give thanks as many do each time I visit. 

The visual representation of commitment, thanks giving, requests for healing, and remembrance of those that have gone before us are evident in many ways on the grounds. These mementos adorn the trees, rocks, nichos, and fences on the land. They add to the positive energy and overwhelming feeling of love you experience in this space. 

A beautiful mosaic of St. Francis lover of animals and nature blesses my beloved Quincy. St. Francis and his poetry, love of nature, and how we are interconnected speaks strongly to my spirit. 

Over the years the rock structures seem to have organically grown from the ground. There are many spaces to honor loved ones and offer petitions and prayers along the land represented by many images and different languages.

We give and push each day to reach goals and some days end up feeling somewhat empty. Remember to recharge your spirit, breathe in and out, and stop to just listen and feel the energy around you. This beloved will fill you up mind, body, and soul so that you can get up and go again. Take a moment to be present if not every day then find a place and plan the visit to your soul often.  Self care is the most important care you can do.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Website, book cover, and a new community oh my!

Finally the website is live and I am adding new work often. Please take a minute to check it out and share with others. I also welcome any suggestions or ideas of what to add.

 It is beloved community that make things move forward. This adventure continues and I am honored by those who have crossed my path. I am happy to announce that my artwork on Bayard Rustin (pictured below) will be the cover of a new book by Dr. Nicole Hirschfelder in Germany. Published by Universitaetsverlad Winter Heidelberg and will be available in hardcover and ebook this winter. Thank you Nicole for selecting my work now in the collection of Mandy Carter. We look forward to seeing the publication soon.

I am also feeling thankful for finding the most amazing, eclectic, creative, intelligent, diverse, interesting, and fun women in New Mexico. I have been welcomed into their community and I am thankful to begin this new journey with all of you. I look forward to sharing and learning as we exchange experiences and creative energy. 

Having a community is so important, and one that accepts all of who you are is even more essential for the spirit. I spend a lot of time alone and in studio and I am thankful for that time.  However community feeds the spirit in ways nothing else can do. Seek out community that accepts and respects you, all of you. Its good medicine.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Monsoon Rains and Bee Rainboots

After experiencing thunder, lightening, cold breezes, and hail for an hour; we stepped out on the deck. The amazing smell of wet earth and ponderosa and piƱon trees was intoxicating. Among the usual symphony of after rain sounds we could hear a familiar yet rarely heard sound. 

I quickly put on my favorite rain boots the "bee boots" to investigate. Off for an adventure in the mud we went.

The usually dry arroyo, creek bed, or seasonal creek as it is called was fiercely flowing giving off all those ions and awakening the senses. The beautiful red clay of the lower Rockies was creating my very own Willy Wonka chocolate river! (One of my fav movies)

It was exciting to see our usual paths for walks were well under water. There was evidence that there was a much higher flow earlier in the storm. Small trees, branches, and shrubs were over turned along with forest floor debris all making the journey through the once dry sandy rocky path. 

The precious gift of moving water and the ever present little girl that resides in me are a magical combination. I was flappy happy and giddy. Moving water is the only real medicine that can immediately release all of my anxiety and stress. For someone like me on the Autism spectrum my anxiety and stress are naturally high all the time. I am not able to quiet it. Meditation/prayers, the outdoors, making art, and select other things can calm it but nothing like moving water can cleanse me and set my spirit soaring. Immediately I am set free. 

Living on the mountain in a drought has been tough new experience. A dry well that I pray will be restored and water shortages in the state make for little to no time for me to get a water healing. So I couldn't help it. It was time to shed the bee boots and step in.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Good energy, prayers, love and light to all those who mother and nurture. Beloveds we are a collage, a beautiful natural community of different ages, class, presentation, gender identification, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and abilities. Each a unique and essential gift to the community. We may not be in the same space but we are united in our goal to give and receive love and nurturing necessary for self and other care.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela

Honored to share that my work is one of 34 from the US and 33 from South Africa selected to be a part of the exhibit, Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela. This two year traveling exhibit opens July 2014 in Johannesburg. It will travel the US and South Africa and is organized by Michigan State Art Museum

Solidarity is More Than Black and White © Sabrina Zarco 2014

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Take a vacation to your soul

I know its been said before, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. Well it happened to me and its been like riding the waves of the wind up and down but always moving. I look forward to settling in and letting my roots stretch and take hold.

I changed my day job due to lack of grant funding and then this past summer I moved to full time artist. In the midst of all this I had 3 physical home moves in 3 years and one within a few months of the other. So the wind blew me to New Mexico and I am finally moving into my house and studio soon. Its still very surreal. And Im still waiting to catch up with myself. 

It sounds magical and I wish I could feel it. Seems I am fighting major stress and meltdowns. Research says large changes cause stress and as an Autistic person stress is already a way of life; so for me its been a heavy load to carry.  I am working hard to keep going. To have the joy of  dreams come true, changing the direction of my career, and entering a new chapter of my life. It is overwhelming, exciting, and very challenging.

Underneath it all I knew I had to go back to center. As I stood on the edge ready to crash under the stress and uncertainty I somehow heard my soul calling me. I had to catch myself and its not always an easy task. So I stopped everything and took a vacation to my soul.

We drove through the mountains where you can let go and be reminded that you are part of a larger picture. Where the wind sounds like ocean waves. And if you look up at the right moment you can see the wave move through the trees on its way to wash over you.

Where each step you take is a journey back to who you know you are but somehow got lost in the grass. Got tangled in the dead leaves of the past.

And then you see your reflection in the lake. And begin to smile because even though the journey is challenging you see a glimmer of your stregnth.

And then there is the magical sound of moving water. Its always a healing sound for me. Water that doesn't stop and nothing can get in its way. The proof that it keeps going is evident as you hold the weathered stones and branches pushed along the shore. And you remember you that you too can keep on going.

And then you enter a magical place with a pool of emerald green. A place where you can feel the ancestors gather. You become aware of your breathing and heartbeat. And the stress, fear and anxiety begin to melt into the water like the snow on the banks. 

And then the universe sends you a smile! (Yes I found this rock exactly like this with a natural carved face.) Then a deep breath and your soul smiles back and you know its all going to be ok.

New mantra: The universe is conspiring in my favor. And it is not mine to determine the how. Stay present, be thankful and open to receive.

Blessings, love and good energy for you on your journey. Take a moment and reconnect with your soul. Gracias Thank you Tlazocamati Ometeotl 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Amor y Amistad Day of Love & Friendship

As a Chicana I celebrate holidays and traditions bi-culturally. In Mexico and a few other Latin American countries Saint Valentine's Day is know as Dia de amor y amistad (Day of love and friendship). Its a time to let your Beloveds know you care. Its not uncommon for it to be a day of acts of appreciation for friends. 

Cultural Worker's Dream Pillow © Sabrina Zarco 2014

Embroidered symbols and the words 
Love, Peace, Justice, Freedom, Change, Equality,
 Action, Power, Unity, Voice, Vision and Art

So on this day of speaking out loud the names of those we love and treasure in friendship I choose to honor and send big love to

- my teachers, mentors, and path finders on this Good Red Road.

- my Beloveds,  the ones who share my daily life with love, commitment, and passion. Not always an easy task.

- my children I am honored you call my Mom

- my Autism family for your special way of seeing and experiencing the world keep strong in our self advocacy work.

- all my Beloveds I call sisters and brothers and family who have crossed my path on this journey, blessings. 

- the four legged and winged ones you add so much to my life.

 - you cultural workers, social justice workers who keep the stories alive and keep fighting the hard fight for dignity and justice. 

 - the true change makers who walk daily challenging bigotry at every turn.

- my artist family, creative brothers and sisters who tell the stories that need to be told in cloth, on walls or canvas, in spoken word or song, in gardens, kitchens, and classrooms.

So Happy day of Love to all of you and thank you for your gifts of inspiration and living by example. 

May the places you visit in Spirit and body today be welcoming to you and yours and know that you are loved!

Monday, February 10, 2014

For Paul C. Gorski in love and solidarity

 For many of us doing cultural work, social justice work, movement work, community education and organizing we know we walk in the footsteps of those that came before us. And if we do our work well we pave new paths for those that follow. I am honored to share with you a very special work for a very special brother friend Paul C. Gorski.
If you do not know about this gentle amazing man take some time to explore and share his work. For starters go here http://www.edchange.org/who.html

Several years ago I coordinated a conference and asked him if he would share his wisdom. On a small budget he generously donated more than we could expect and touched many lives the three days we spent together. Especially mine. I had gown weary doing the work each year not feeling appreciated or seeing any kind of movement in the community. Sometimes change work moves slower than a snail's pace.Thats when Paul shared in his gentle way that things were moving and I was working in the right direction. He gave me insight to his life and challenges in only the way another warrior in the journey can do. I thank you for my renewed spirit and vision to move forward with my work.

We spoke many times and unknowingly we had deep connections and intersections to those that inspired us to do the work. I was honored he shared this wonderful woman with me, his Grandmother.

As a thank you for time energy and giving of his spirit I created this work in memory of his inspiration. May this art gift serve to remind you Paul that you are never alone in this work. We carry those that came before with us on this journey as we walk along side one another and make fierce new paths for those that follow. You inspire me and excite me and am blessed to call you inspiration, friend, and brother. I love you.

This is repurposed fabric and buttons, hand embriodery, photo image transfer, and inktense pencils.
© Sabrina Zarco 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mandy Carter and Bayard Rustin

Sometimes when you create the ripple effects are beyond what you can ever dream. I am blessed and honored to say that the Bayard Rustin work is now in the collection of Mandy Carter. 

Once the work was complete I shared it online and received a great response. I created it for a social justice exhibit in Little Rock. My long time friend Pam Mc Michael of the Highlander Center said she had to have the work as a gift for Mandy Carter another long time friend. You see Mandy has worked tirelessly for many years on educating the community about the amazing work and life of Bayard Rustin. I was thrilled at the idea. I was even more thrilled to hear that Pam offered the idea to a group of community members who know Mandy. They all wanted to be a part of the gift and as a community purchased the work. As an artist that makes my living on exhibiting and selling work this to me was the most beautiful way to honor and celebrate a fellow activist. A community gift to honor a community leader. It is so powerful when we stand in solidarity to do the work and even more important when we stand with one another to celebrate!

I look forward to Mandy's visit to my home this summer as she takes a long overdue step back from work and just share in community. May you remember to take time to celebrate with your community the work that you do to make it a better place for all.