I remember the way it seemed as if the stars were strewn along the ice of the creek, each one a shimmering flame-point of light against its glassy surface. I had been brooding over the loss of my job, and my husband suggested we walk out into the evening's bone-chill to clear our minds with a brisk, frosty, foray into the forest that bordered our property, as he knew the gentle beauty of the creek would soothe my worries, as it always did. It had been that kind of day. Who goes to work in the morning thinking they're going to come home unemployed? Not me, that's for sure. I had worked at the same company for 13 years, and had no reason to think that my job was in any kind of jeopardy, but here I was, facing the truth of it - I had become obsolete. So much so, that I didn't even know it until they told me this morning. Stupid stupid stupid! I had let myself grow complacent, and didn't see the signs I was slowly beginning to recognize as I replayed the past few weeks in my head, and understanding - in retrospect - many of the weird tangents that my supervisor's conversations had gone on, lately.
"What would you do if you didn't do this?" she had asked me. "I always wanted to be a pop star," she had said, "but don't we all? Which of your discarded dreams will you pursue in your retirement, do you think?"
I should have known right then, I admonished myself, how could I not have seenit? How could I be so blind? I felt the warmth of my husband's hands through my layers as he kneaded the tension out of my shoulders and neck, down there by my sacred creek, and decided I had had enough of feeling victimized for one day. "Honey, let's just get a pizza delivered and watch a movie or something, okay? I don't much feel like making dinner tonight," I said, out into the cold darkness before me.
"Sure, babe," he replied cheerfully, "you oughta get fired more often, if it means we get to do pizza and movies!" I pulled myself from his embrace, turned around to face him, and punched him square in the solar plexus - not hard enough to knock the wind out of him, just enough to let him know he wasn't as funny as he thought he was. "Oof!" he huffed, and chuckled at me, "Okay, okay, I'm teasing! Don't hurt me," he begged, while putting his hands up to signal his surrender. I tried to body-slam him, but it turned into more of a bear hug, as he wrestled with me, and we both fell to the ground, giggling like children, and rolled over each other in the snow, down the slight embankment, and into the frozen creek, where we cracked through the ice and both shrieked like banshees as the icy water hit us. Laughing and freezing, we pulled each other out and up the bank, yelling wildly as we ran stumbling back towards the house, where all the lights in the windows made me swell with such bittersweet joy, that the light fractured into a thousand tiny rainbows at the corners of my tear-streaked eyes. I realized that I didn't care what was happening anywhere else in the world, right now - I was happy, safe, and loved. I was Home, and everything was going to be okay...
I took a dive on ABC Wednesday this week because I didn't finish my post for X yet, and it's already Saturday night/Sunday morning. I don't really feel like I've been working the prompts properly, and if I'm not putting in the effort to do a good job then what am I doing? I talked about this a few posts back, and I've been halfway stalled ever since. I've gained some new readers, and it's given me reason to think about what my blog is about, and where I want to go with it in the context of having more of an audience response, or using it as a platform to discuss issues and/or ideas, as well as a place to share my writing and pictures. I have talents, and if I'm not using them as a means to communicate with the world around me, to make a difference in both my home and global communities, then I'm just wasting my time. for instance, I used the word 'I' 14 times in that paragraph, and the word 'me' 6 times. that's the kind of self-indulgent posturing that makes social networks the hotbed of snarky narcissism they seem to be (personal opinion).
since my kid has been on Winter break from school, and we've been so busy relaxing and enjoying each others company, I've been able to step away from the computer for a bit, and spend some time interacting with actual humans out in the world beyond my four walls. it's been quite pleasant, though challenging, to disengage from the news, and to ignore the causes I tend to immerse myself in on a daily basis. who am I to lie on my couch and watch a movie with the boy while our European cousins are forcibly evicted from their homes, women are being raped and beaten to death in India, the Middle-East implodes on itself, an unacceptable number of people remain unnecessarily imprisoned here in the US, our environment is systematically poisoned on a global scale, anarchists are going before Macarthyist grand juries and getting locked away indefinitely for refusing to inform on their contemporaries, and a First Nations chief is on hunger strike in an attempt to engage her nations' 'leaders' in dialog over policy? and those are just the stories I know about - and I left out the issues my homo/transsexual brethren are facing in Uganda, and everywhere else. animal rights? gmo's and Monsanto? what am I forgetting? oh yeah...school shootings and censorship issues...the slow silencing of a people. more injustices in a day than I can tick off on my fingers.
while I know we all need to take the time to disengage from the bombardment of awfulness that can smack us in the face every minute of everyday if we're paying attention, it still feels as though if I'm not doing something for someone else, than I'm not doing anything worth very much at all. yes, I'm a single mom, and I do a hundred things every day for my boy, but even though we are financially disadvantaged at this time, it still feels like we're living pretty high on the proverbial hog. even though I have no idea how the rent is going to get paid, or the car insurance and gas, the electric bill, the phone, the internet, the food, or our one luxury, the boy's karate class, I still feel so incredibly blessed to be alive and healthy, with a healthy child, and all the benefits of our collective good energy. the people we Americans voted into office are (hopefully not) about to throw my meager unemployment check over the nearest cliff, at which point, we will be done for in terms of all the above listed expenses, including kissing my dream of a Master's degree goodbye, as I won't be able to afford to continue to attend school (though that one may have to go on hold either way - the institute of higher learning I attend seems to think it's perfectly fine to charge single parents who have to bring their kids with them for lack of other options nearly double what other students pay).
but we've entered the age of Aquarius, of the Sixth Sun, a new Mayan B'ak'tun - so I'm worried, but I'm also not. I don't seem to be feeling the same old government sanctioned panic that they tend to spoon-feed to those who can't see the fnords. the blogs I read that actually say something about these various causes and issues inspire me to follow their example. I'm finished being a pawn in someone else's game, and I'm looking to remove myself from the board permanently, so I'm hoping to help facilitate change through the use of my talents, which are writing, and photography. it's almost funny, but I had a conversation today with my son about photography, and how I learned to roll my film in the dark, by feel. this led to a further discussion of how to develop film and make prints, and the decline photography has suffered from due to the advent of digital imaging. luckily, we live in a town that has a 'center for photography', and I intend to make use of it to re-familiarize myself with a field I had to let pass me by while I was in the early stages of figuring out how to be a mom on my own, and starting a home hat-knitting business so I could earn a living while raising my baby.
the job market is brutal for us over-40's, and my education helps maybe not at all. A friend whom I admire recently raved about a new colleague, citing her 'tall and skinny' as a factor in her sales numbers. as a 'short and fat', I'm very well aware of the 'tall and skinny' girls relative carte blanche, having once been slender myself, and able to wear heels of a height I couldn't even imagine, now. I've worked a few high-end sales jobs, and while I did well, no one in their right mind could ignore the political dynamic of one's appearance, no matter how rude and/or wrong it is to do so. I got out of sales, though, because it made me feel dirty. many of us have barriers to work that push us down the list of possible hires, and if you've taken a gander at my 'freebooting' page, you can see the evidence of my spotty and shoddy work history, based on jumping from one useless job to another, with the exception of making and producing my own arts and crafts. it's hard for someone like me to work in any industry whose main goal is to take your money from you. that's why I went back to school - to attempt to be of service to humanity, and to my communities both local and global. but even academia has it's prejudices, and as previously mentioned in the case of my college, one of those is single-parenthood.
speaking of which, I need to take a moment to state how amazing my boy is, and how much I love him! he's such a doll, and even at his worst, he's not all that bad, so again, I feel incredibly blessed in this journey that began almost a decade ago, with me wandering pregnant and homeless through the Vermont winter to bring him into this beautiful sad world, and how much he's improved me in all things. yet I lay awake at night and worry about how to help him reach his full potential, and not be too negatively affected by stigmatization, marginalization, prejudice, and outright racism. on top of that, how to protect him from his mentally unbalanced grandmother and her continued attacks on our sanity through her attempts to put me in jail and take custody of him? I can't afford a lawyer to fight her in court, and the public defender assigned to me doesn't seem to see the issue with any of it, and is treating me as if I were a criminal for bearing a child out of wedlock in the first place. the boy's father is listed as his next of kin in case the worst should happen and I go down someday someway, but he doesn't have any money, either, and wouldn't stand a chance against my mother as she would surely make a case to find him unfit as well. keep in mind, I have been the sole support for my child from the moment of his conception, and there's not a reason in the world anyone who knows us would think that my son is being raised in anything other than a loving and supportive environment.
I have to take time every day to just Stop - take a deep breath, and remind myself to get back to what's good, regardless of all the evil and negative energy threatening to overwhelm me at any given time. don't we all? well, I know a few folks who manage to manifest love in their lives on a more constant basis than most, and while from where I'm sitting, it looks to me as if I had their lives, it would be easy for me to live that way as well, I also recognize those who come from places way more ugly than me, and do a whole lot more with a whole lot less. these are the people I look to for inspiration - though many times, their accomplishments tend to shame me into a nearly catatonic state of self-loathing). so how do I become an agent for positive change? where should I apply my efforts, and with whom? I am a traveler and a storyteller - I have studied mythology and sacred space in the classroom, and engaged with it on a global level. I have built labyrinths and done ritual, I have engaged with Sufis, Shamans, and medicine people from many different places and traditions. I have been in the cities and lived in nature, I have lived and loved and given birth, given advice, held hands, patted backs and offered my shoulder to countless friends and acquaintances, lifted the darkness from many an eye, but still feel left out in the cold way too often. I have cried out for help and been ignored more often than I've been answered, and yet...I still feel every single one of my blessings helping me back up every time I get knocked down, so I guess I'm somewhat of a fighter, though I've switched my position from offense to defense as I've grown older and infinitely wiser - even as I remain pretty darn stupid.
please do feel encouraged, dear readers, to offer your suggestions, criticisms, hopes, and fears for me and mine. I ask for and accept your prayers, and offer a nod to your damnations. I fling myself without fear or trepidation towards the love and the light, and ask for the continued blessings of the Universe, without which, I would surely have faded from view long ago, unmissed and unmourned. I want to give a special shout-out to my new followers/readers/friends - thanks for being here! - and encourage you to comment and offer your wisdom when and where you can. I need all the help I can get, in a world that seems bent on my destruction. I appreciate each and every one of you.
how long have I known about the significance of the date 12-21-12? I don't know - but I remember thinking that my kid would be around 8 years old by then. I also remember being 8 and thinking about how old I would be on that date. I remember thinking about the number 8, and learning that the Native Americans had some cycle of 8's that I couldn't explain to you now, any more than I could explain why 12-21-12 is significant, but that's just the way it to goes. here's the way it went for me:
in the months approaching the Solstice, I felt really restless in my body. I generally get jumpy in the fall, and I've lived here/in this town/in this apartment for awhile now, so...it was tear my hair out weather to begin with, and then all the crazyness of the Earth in her cyclical death throes, in more ways than one, creating rustles and ripples through my own vibrations...crazy dreams, crazy waking life, crazy experiences, mind-blowing weirdness, incredulous non-belief. the searching for reason, the knowing I'm in a world beyond all that, on my own. inside all of that, I know there is 'something special' approaching - that there are people in mediataion all over the world, that my Rainbow Family is 'Om-ing it up' in Palenque, and there are random solitary practitioners of whatsis and allthat out there who all have been tuned in and turned on, and I've been riding their high. it's been making me really tired, and really hungry. my body seemed like it couldn't get enough protein and sugar. it feels like I'm trying to keep myself here on this plane for fear of going flying off to who knows where without a map to get back, and I needed to stay as grounded as possible in light of this latest Ascension, if you will...
some seriously fucked up shit happened in America last week, as it did all over the world, and I've been ignoring it so I can focus on the astrological/spiritual/magical aspects of what's going on Universally just now, and I'll come back to all the other stuff once I feel like I've fully integrated myself into a certain solidity, as I still feel plenty woggy from the 'trip'. the need to eat was a bit overwhelming, as I'm used to fasting during a big spitirual journey, but hey, I went with it. I get it though - I've been so spacey, had I not eaten so much, I might well have passed out a few times...I've felt like half my being was sitting in meditation in the Old Place I used to get to when I really got down with all that, and my waking life, but that the gateway by where I used to sit was having an unheard of influx of traffic...it's been quite hectic.
naturally, given the sheer volume of 'presences' in the vicinity of my previously quiet gateway, I thought I'd go somewhere a bit more secluded, to raise my vibration a bit. I cast a circle in a cleared space, and enlisted the help of some supernatural travel aides, so I was not surprised by how quickly it took for the air to spasm around me as I connected out with the All-Oneness, the rare enigma of time grown spacious, even as one becomes more rapid and insistent within it. fists clenching, ready to hurl myself bursting through the doorway to the Next, the gateway to the arch that leads
to the corridor, on out to the pathway - the whatever is coming, the dancing towards rainbows, the good energy, the sunshiny happy goodness...but I didn't get there.
well, I got there, but I also got slammed back to Earth with a bad case of the whiskey and cigarettes. not literally, I don't smoke anymore (and I don't drink whiskey), but I had that "drinkin' Chivas Regal in a $4 room" kinda blues, electro-hued, and relentless. desperate and ugly...like I've always had after a good party, but brighter, more positively manic, and juicy, playful even. I could hear it giggling, but in a smokey alto, with the jingle of silver in it. but I'm sore in every muscle, like from a high fall, and the Universe is running rough hands over oil across my skin, and teasing me with imaginary dance partners while I burn for them, and wonder when I'll be ready for another lover...in the meantime, I still feel like I'm coming down, slowly, and readjusting to the gravity of 'this' world. I feel pinned to my bed, but unable to lie in it.
I'm hoping the ride comes to a stop before I puke, I don't have the stomach for these sorts of things anymore. glad we made it to the light half of the year, though, the promise of 'outside' can lift many a weary spirit this season, or maybe that's just me - I tend to hide indoors once the sun begins setting at 4pm and earlier. I'm still in my hibernation period, and as I'm human, I never fully get to realize my need for a seasonal withdrawal, and I should probably pay more attention to that in the future. in fact, I'm going to bed right now, I'm exhausted...I feel like I've traveled light years since last week, and my body has rocket-lag or something. all those g's sure do feel like a kick to the head when you come down, and there'll be so much work to do when I wake up ~
I don't really have anything spectacular to say, I just felt like posting that ; )
here's what I came back from my trip to the planetarium with:
I'd actually like to see them all cubed, on a flat plane, but I don't know how to do that, yet. maybe I'll hold off this post until I do... ...nope. I got the images put together the way I saw them, but they needed some tweaking that was beyond my current level of computer savvy, so Ihaven't been able to post them, as they don't seem to be recognizable as 'images'...weird. no bother, they're suitably spacey as they are.
(blood, nudity, sex, profanity, body fluids...you've been warned.)
sleeping on someones' couch...a grandmother's, his or mine, I don't
know. had there been a funeral? was one impending? curled up under the
arm of my man, no one I know...he seemed older, edgy. in the morning,
he was gone, and I realized I had gotten my period during the night, and
that I wasn't wearing any pants. grandma was still asleep on the chair,
but there were two young children beside her, one half-waking, the
other awake. I picked up a pair of sweats from the floor in front of me,
and pull them up as I stand, dropping the blankets away, and glance
towards the children to see if they notice, but the girl is curling back
up to grandma to catch a few more winks, and the boy is looking away
with his hand over his eyes. hey, I did my best, and a glancing view of
my ass won't damage anyone severely, I think, as I make my way to the
bathroom to clean myself up, hoping there isn't a large bloodstain on
grandma's couch, waiting to be discovered under the blanket.
I bring a
wet rag with me on my return, and mop up the bloody half-foot and
toe-prints that tracked my path to the bathroom, wondering where they
came from, as my flow hadn't appeared to be coursing down my leg with
the veracity this evidence indicated. a man in navy slacks and a blue
oxford (no idea why that seemed relevant enough to share) had appeared
on the couch - younger than the one I had been snuggled up with the
night before - who watched me in a way that made me slightly
uncomfortable as I mopped my way across the floor on my hands and
knees. having returned to the bathroom to clean the rag, I went to
inspect the couch cushions, sparing a slightly annoyed glance for the
strange man. I mumbled "excuse me" as I pushed the blankets aside to
scrub at the small, light smear of red that thankfully came up readily
off the pearl-colored fabric. the man had stood while I scrubbed the
cushion, and as I folded the blanket, he came close and told me I was
beautiful, those dark eyes of his on me like a devouring.
"oh yeah?" I
replied, while glancing towards where Grandma and the two children had
been asleep - only to see they were gone, now. I sat down in the center
of the couch, trying to puzzle out where I was and why I was here, and
he sat down next to me, draping an arm across the back of the couch, and
began to play his fingers across my right shoulder, and up the side of
my neck. I turned my head to the right as I felt him touch me, then
turned to look back at him on my left, just as he leaned in to kiss my
left shoulder, right where it curves into my neck. instinctively, I drew in a
breath, and rolled my head back, as I felt my upper body lift into his
"are you Greek?" he asked me, as he drew me closer, leaning
over me slightly. "no..." I breathed, confused and excited by his
advance. "Spanish?" he asked, as he maneuvered himself over me, and
pressed his body into mine. "no..." I shook my head and wondered just
what the hell was going on here, because I somehow knew that I wasn't
supposed to resist - that I was supposed to wait for my man of the night
before to come and 'save' me. the younger man on top of me was kissing
me, running his hands over my body, and generally indicating that he
was getting very excited. I was getting excited, too - excited at his
attentions, to be sure, but more so at knowing that at any minute, this
guy was going to come up against someone who considered me 'his' prized possession, who would deal with the interloper
accordingly. my allowing the advance gave my male companion the
opportunity to get all puffed up and act like a rooster by getting in a
fight over my honor, an experience I knew he would savor. (I also
couldn't help but notice that I magically knew the rules of the
intricate relationship I seemed to share with my edgy gentleman. the
gift of dreams is that it sends us perfect lovers - the tragedy is that
no Earthly partner can match them.)
so here comes my man on the scene,
and I react to him with my whole being as he walks straight towards us
on the couch, picks the guy up off me by the back of his clothing, and
tosses him...away, out of my sight range. I don't see, he's just gone.
I'm sitting up now, on the edge of my seat, vibrating in every cell as Mr. Thing approaches, undoing his belt and his pants. I can't get his cock in
my mouth fast enough, but he only lets me have it for a minute or so,
just enough to get it slick with spit before he sits beside me on the
couch, leans back into the arm, and uses my hand to get himself off
quickly, only coming a drop while staying hard. I look into his eyes
full of hope and desire - will he fuck me now, please? he thinks about
it, looks at me, asks if I wanted to fuck the young man who had been on
top of me, and I say yes, I would have fucked him. not for any reason
than he was there, and had taken such liberty. I can't imagine he'd
have been a very good lay, but I'd have let him have me and made a good
show of enjoying it. he asks me this because he knows I found the stranger's attentions arousing, but also because hearing it arouses my lover. (again, so interesting the level of
knowledge of this relationship) so I still really need him to fuck me,
and he agrees, but as I climb on top of him and feel him sliding in, I start to wake up...oh well, isn't that the way of it?
love the 'older, edgier gentleman' throwing the 'younger lover' out of
the scene! weird that it took place at someone's grandma's house, and
that I appeared to be bleeding from somewhere. the kids were weird, too
- one of them might have been a younger version of mine, the other, an
older version of one of my kid's friends. is it strange that I feel
somehow blessed to experience these sensual encounters by way of the
divine? some may say they're just dreams, and they are. some say I
dream about sex because I think about it a lot and get it never, which
would also be true. but there is a mythological poetry to making love
with the divine, joining in holy communion and touching the face of the
Absolute, so I'll go with that. interpretation to follow...
some shots of a Vintage blouse I have, made by my great-grandmother, and worn by: her, my grandmother, my great-aunt, my mother, two of my cousins, and then me. I tried to pass it on to my nieces, but my sister-in-law didn't want it, and so broke the chain for a generation (though I did get the older niece to put it on so I could at least have a picture of her in it). maybe I'll have a granddaughter to give it to, someday.
that's all I've got this week, and two days late, at that. check out some other great posts over at:
ubiquitous - everywhere always. unique - there can be only one. unequivocal - without a doubt. ugly - visually or morally unpleasant. unicorn - mythical horned horse. ukelele - small guitar. unanimous - all in agreement. unwittingly - without intent. unsympathetic - negatively inclined towards. Uruguay - South American country. unsure - wavering doubt. undine - water being.
so I have some things weighing heavily on me, and therefore little energy for much else, though I've been actively engaged in making festive as Hannukah starts Saturday night, and I plan on inviting people over at some point during the week for latkes and Suvganiyot. on Tuesday (or Monday, who remembers at this point) I brainstormed all the U words that came to mind at once, and then went on about my attempts to get festive with all this heaviness threatening to break through and crush me. yesterday, I realized it was Wednesday and remembered that I hadn't done anything with this post, and tried to kick some life into it by defining the words I had spontaneously erupted. this led to a long series of self-doubting nonsense: 'I can't think of anything for U, and next is V, then W - and what about X? what can I possibly do for X, or Z for that matter? and Y...sigh. why do I bother? I've turned into one of those bloggers, haven't I? just spewing vapid chatter out into the interwebs towards no discernible purpose, mission, or goal. I post twice a week, for two prompts, and I go around visiting the other folks who post for the same prompts. what Earthly good am I doing? shouldn't I be raising awareness about some perceived evil? should I draw attention to the disparity between what politicos say/what they do? should I post about love and ascension every day to draw that energy into the circles I influence? should I be afraid to post sexually explicit content for fear of offending the few readers I have? maybe I should just quit.' and so on...but here I am, on Thursday, still trying to make it work in the little time I have before the UGLY hits me right in the face again. I have to get through this, so I will use the words listed and defined above in the formulation of a centering chant (to amuse me) to raise a shield of protection woven of hilarity and nonsense. here goes:
love is ubiquitous in all areas of my life
my vision is unique
my commitment to my child is unequivocal
this ugliness shall pass
the Unicorn of Righteousness is on my side
he will play the Ukelele of Justice in defense of my honor
decisions in my favor will be unanimous
those who seek to do me harm unwittingly harm themselves
I must unfortunately remain unsympathetic to those who would deny me my freedoms
if I moved to Uruguay, would this still be an issue?
I am unsure as to how much will be accomplished today, but I hope for a positive outcome
I will hold an image of an undine in my mind as a device to remain calm and centered.
I guess U is mostly for Ugh right now, but it can also be for Ululation (a joyous noise). there are just umpteen other things I'd rather be doing than going to court because my mother can't seem to figure out that she's a bit overbearing and creepy. enough. I was tired of it before it even started, and I can't wait for it to be over. utterly unnecessary. ultra uncool. unabated unacceptability. undeniably unappealing.
perhaps a song? let's see what you tube has to offer:
James Galway playing Reinecke's Undine - meh.
Ravel's Ondine played by any number of amazing pianists - here's one!
a whole list of ballets, piano movements, poems, novellas, paintings, songs, etc. that came up in a search for 'undine' - but I'm out of time. maybe I'll check in later with an Update ~
first I like to type out all the words to feel what's there, and have a list to cross out so I know which ones I've used: affair wax forlorn manic clash hewn sand desire find fuse drive fork.
this time, I thought I might try grouping the words to see if any of them seemed to work together for me - here's is what I came up with:
desire forlorn affair manic clash
fuse wax sand
I left 'find' out altogether, and I didn't figure it out until after I finished the poem (which is heavily formatted and may be destroyed when I hit 'publish', we'll see):
this desire, this...
forlorn affair -
manic clash that drives them,
like the time she had set a candle in a dish of sand,
and it had melted all the way down.
she drove a fork into the fusion of wax and sand
'to save her bowl', she told him.
but he would find, in the way she worried the utensil
back and forth, back and forth
that her need to compartmentalize simply, everything
was hewn directly from her ancestral tree,
and would worry him
back and forth, back and forth
until he split -
like the bowl,
by the force of her desire.
and finally, to change the eighth line from 'but he saw, in the way she worried...' to 'but he would find, in the way she worried...' and I'm done! fun. I like the way that one rolled out - oh, but now there's still the formatting issue to check when I preview/publish the post, so...
...looks good. linking up and commenting, then going to make the rounds. oy, Monday...too bad I feel like crap and just want to go back to bed, because I simply can't. too much to do, holidays approach! lots to get done! more more more! aaahhh!!!
some of you may have noticed my awesome profile picture, which I have used on other sites as well. I use this image because I LOVE it, as it reminds me of me in so many ways - from the pouty/dreamy expression, to the wild hair, to the many little bits of shiny ephemera, all on a dark-bluish background (my favorite color). I can't remember how I found it, most likely on a search for a 'blue fairy' or a 'grumpy fairy', but when I saw it, it struck me deeply, and I pulled it off the web to add to my collection. there was no artist listed or I surely would have credited it properly, because I am a stickler for such things. I even remember re-searching the image to give it another go, as I really really wanted to give credit where it was due, but to no avail. the image's origins remained a mystery to me.
until TODAY! 'Laloofah' of Mehitable Days left a comment on a recent post of mine identifying both the artist and the painting, as it turns out they are her favorite - hooray! so I can now tell you all, and the world, that this image is titled 'Magpie Fairy', and it is by Josephine Wall - check out her website! my deepest respect goes out to Ms. Wall for creating this image, and I do hope she forgives me for using it all this time without proper acknowledgment of her hard work, and dedication to her wonderful art. below you will find the artist's description of her own work, which just made me love it even more!
"I enjoyed painting this work, which I think of as the "Magpie Fairy" because just as the bird is
attracted to bright shiny objects which he collects, so too my fairy has been attracted to various
Discarded as rubbish, or accidentally lost, she finds them irresistible and adorns
herself with them. Obviously because she is very tiny, the objects are depicted larger than life. I had
great fun deciding which objects may have been discarded by humans and would be small enough and
interesting enough for a fairy to collect.
As you can see there are many items, from safety pins and
paper clips to stamps and a bottle top, changed from the original wording "Dry" to read "Fey", obviously
she felt it was more appropriate, in addition to many forest items such as acorns and oak leaves, she has
nuts for rings and of course, last Christmas's broken 'fairy' light bulbs for earrings. Not a traditional
fairy but rather a streetwise, happy-go-lucky, modern fairy." - Josephine Wall
a recent interaction with my psyche, in which the Universe provides me with comfort in the form of a man who is both familiar and attractive to me:
in the dream, my head lay upon the smooth, bare chest of a sleeping man, encircled by his arm, holding me close. as my eyes opened (in the dream), and I realized where I was and who I was with, I curled against him in his bed, and felt content. oh, and the scent of him! the strong, solid, shape of him, still so attractive to me after all we'd been through, separately and together. I skimmed my hand across his skin - held it just above the surface, hardly making contact at all. it was so still, and the flecks of early sunlight just beginning to touch the glass ornaments hanging in his windows told me the dawn was yet to fully come. I filled myself with the serenity of the moment, as I knew (in my dream) that I was in one of those dreams that held the power to sway me off of my feet for most of the next few days. as the lucidity fell away and the waking dream ended, my eyes opened to the sight of my own unshared bed in my own room, sighing as my dream lingered in my senses, and I burrowed beneath the heap of my blankets to preserve the feeling as long as possible. these dreams often manage to help lift some load off my shoulders, or burdens from my mind, just by serving as sweet reminders of comfortable companionship, and that I am loved. oh, but the smell of him - even in a dream - and how it carried me through the next few days on a cloud of emotion, much like a reflection of falling in love with the same person, eternally. and as much as I love the person represented in the dream, I also know the dream is telling me the one I need to be in love with - is me.
the things that made up my childhood included family get-togethers centered around the Jewish holidays, the film industry, photographs and stories, so is it any wonder that I write, take pictures, and 'stare at my navel' as most people refer to the practice of contemplating the wonders of the Universe and choosing to actively engage in them? well, I guess it was to me, because I'm still figuring it out...but I've always expressed myself well through the written word, and I still have copies of a few stories I wrote in elementary school alongside the journals I was published in during college, including the travelog my mother forced to me to keep on our trip to Israel in 1977 - an exhaustive, photographic history to share with my classmates when we went back to school in the fall. how I resented my mother for making me do homework every night of that trip, but maybe I'll publish it someday, and allow myself to forgive her.
so there were these two elements that were pervasive in my life, though I took to the stories like a duck to water, and absorbed them all sponge-like and thirsty. and I read a lot. more than anyone I knew. I wrote poetry, and did well in school on English assignments. and I told a lot of lies. I don't remember why I lied when I was a little kid, but I remember how powerful it made me feel to trick my family into thinking I had run away by opening the window of the room I was sent to in punishment, and then hiding in the closet as I listened to them frantically run through the neighborhood looking for me. when I came out of my hiding spot, they were so happy, we all forgot why I had been punished in the first place, and I became a life-long suspect of criminal behavior.
I lied when I was older because I didn't want my parents to know what I was really up to, correctly suspecting they would disapprove of my choices. telling them "I'm sleeping at Robin's tonight," made way more sense than saying, "my boyfriend and I are getting a hotel room, see you tomorrow."
I don't necessarily think they believed me all the time, but perhaps they appreciated the effort to preserve their sanity. so, into college, and still with the stories, the short stories, the poems, the newspaper articles, the interviews, the speeches...and then came the photos. my folks had cameras, my school had a Photo I class, and it looked like I would have an easy few credits - which I did - but I didn't count on really digging it, and taking to it like...well...having been raised around it my whole life.
'snow tires' - winter '94
from the first roll of black & white film I developed myself
at that point, though my spiritual background was firmly embedded in the Judaism I was raised with, I had enough exposure to other forms of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to know what was going on with most of those people, as well. I was getting hyped on Zen and Buddhism, and connecting to Paganism, and the Celtic traditions, as well as runes, herbs, meditation, Sufism, metaphysics, psychedelics, mysticism, ancient rites, neurosciences, sacred dance, pendulums, dark arts...anything and everything esoteric. so when I had a chance to take four months with which to write and photograph my way around the world, I jumped on it attempted to balk at it, but the Universe took its proverbial pound of flesh and made me do it anyway - while I am eternally grateful that I went, I hate the price I had to pay for the freedom with which to do it. so I wrote my way around the globe, and took pictures of the trip. I will probably be sharing some of those words and images in the near future, stay tuned.
when traveling alone, in countries new to me, I found that I would gravitate towards places of worship, or centers of spirituality, as they were generally islands of calm, and a convenient place from which to get my bearings, as this country girl can get pretty overwhelmed in the fast-passed, stress of an urban environment that uses the same language as me, let alone one that wasn't even on the list of French/Spanish/Latin classes offered at the schools I had attended. so, I gathered up more great stories, took some wonderful photographs, and grew in my heart and spirit as one must do when actively reaching out to touch and experience the new, the unknown. like crossing one's own consciousness, the point of synthesis, the Nexus, if you will, of my Ecstasy (the title of my first collection). after which, I landed in the Great Snowy North.
a great many things happened there, but the one that pertains particularly to this little ramble had to do with clay. these words from T. S. Eliot came to me through a study of our planet, several years before that happened, though:
We shall not
cease from exploration
And the end of
all our exploring
Will be to
arrive where we started
and to know the
place for the first time
in my case, I had come back to clay as a medium in which to cultivate and work with formulating my ideas by using my hands, rather than a tool attached to my hands (pencil/pen/keyboard/camera). I had to start over, in a prehistoric way - had to pound out tablets to carve glyphs on, draw maps through the mud of primordial myth-making, and suck out an understanding of my new self from an old place. the subsequent release came in the form of a realization through my own work - in traveling the globe and photographic the holy sites I had visited, I had drawn myself a sort of picture of spirituality, and an idea of how it may be informed by the geography of the land on which it's born.
as a theme, it was something we discussed briefly in the class group I was part of at the time, but mostly because the faculty advisor to the student teacher found it interesting, and worthy of further exploration (thanks, Hong Yue). so while my writing life was keeping busy, my photography life was taking a vacation and indulging in some pornographic shenanigans to blow off a bit of pent up creative steam. I found that while I could write my way through my spiritual and mythological ramblings, I couldn't photograph them so well, and fell back on engaging in studies to try and experiment with ways to express 3-dimensional ideas inside a 2-dimensional box. and porn, just because it's fun...
right about this time was when my readings began to resonate more deeply within my body - not just on the surface of my skin, or in my mind. to be sure, my skin has always been sensitive to psychic phenomena, but it's also thick, like my skull, and hard to penetrate. and as I looked harder and more intensely into the abyss, I began to understand that spirituality has an inner country, too. that the pulse and rhythms of the planet we live on vibrate through us, and that by connecting with them, we can effect change in a physical way, right before our eyes. I mean, I suppose I had known that before, but I saw it as a separation...or rather, as a growth, of the concept that 'female' held just as much power as 'male', and that the divine combination could be synergistically transformative - but for the most part, we were better off leaving each other alone to do our thing.
anyway, as I dove down the rabbit hole of recreating my own personal mythology by drawing from the rich and varied resources I've gathered while under the influence of loving life and pursuing happiness, which I have had the great fortune to dedicate the majority of my life towards, I thought a wonderful way to synthesize my interests would be to invite people to take part in an artistic process that involves both writing about, and photographing oneself as, the embodiment of one's personal spirituality. sounds fun, no? I think what I'm feeling is if the geography of the land, on the surface of the planet, can exhibit influence over the vision of divinity employed by the people who live in different regions and climates, how much influence must the inner waves and rhythms of the planet itself have over the vibrations and frequencies absorbed by our physical beings? are we, can we be, instruments through which our Mother can fine tune us/herself to align with her needs and desires? perhaps she's calling on us to summon our father the Space Dust for an interstellar gathering of the tribes, and our consciousness is to serve as the invitation...
wouldn't that be some party? so, to you, my friends, during this auspicious time in our collective transformation, I offer the word that in my house, has become the equivalent of a 'joyful noise':
some of you may prefer a sort of poetry:
or some gospel:
whatever it takes for you to get a groove going, set your booty bouncing, makes you throw your hands up in the air and laugh and sing, get to doing it. the world is gonna need a whole lot more good feeling going around, and it's up to each and every one of us to recognize what brings out the best in ourselves and others, and to focus on creating more of it. as I move closer to retreating so far into myself that it's all I can do to sit in full lotus, clothed in orange, chanting Om while radiating Peace with every ounce of everything moving through me - I want to take a minute to be thankful for the opportunity and freedom to do so. I sincerely hope that there is a need my experience can fill, and that in some small way, I already helping to give it the room it needs to manifest.
what do you do to get inspired to take on the world? what are the concerns that you find yourself drawn to address? in what ways do you get involved? what drives your passion in these pursuits?