bricolage project day 11 [her]

The word of the day is her randomly chosen from Rob Brezny‘s book Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia.  Oh, how I wish I had the energy tonight to delve into her but alas, it has been a full day.  I will say that I was at a poetry reading tonight at Columbia City Gallery.  My friend, Daemond Arrindell was reading his soulful, permission-giving poetry which moved me to tears.  The woman sitting next to me–a woman I had just met–looked at me tenderly and put her hand quietly on my arm.   I cannot think of a more fitting example of what I think of when when I think of the word her.  Compassion.  Love.  Kindness.  Gentleness.  Ferocity.

Also, when I think of her I think of being a mother and how hard it can be to be both a mother an artist.  As I type this, my daughter keeps chatting with me and and my ex is texting me pictures to show her.  I could say no.  I could hole myself up but in truth, it’s just part of the experience.  My life and my art are often inseparable and, at least in this moment, I’m okay with that.   Apparently, other mothers have faced this.  Austin Kleon wrote a post sharing a bunch of books on art and mothering.  How fabulous!

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Today’s quote is from Osho:

All the great artists of the world slowly slowly start growing a quality of feminineness, grace, elegance, exquisiteness. A certain flavor of softness, relaxedness, calmness and quietness surrounds them. They are no longer feverish. What I am teaching here is really to turn the whole world feminine.

Yes.

bricolage project day 7 [finding]

your he(art) is ready.

Today’s randomly-chosen word is finding from Awakening the Heroes Within by Carol S. Pearson.  I continue to be intrigued with the words that are coming each day.  I open the book to a random page and point to a word without looking.  Twice, I’ve pointed to a blank page but otherwise, these are the words I’m getting.  The words thus far have been nameless, girlhood, alone, perceived, whimsical, beginnings, and now finding.  Fascinating bits of randomness given the nature of my art and life.

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Today’s rule for the art piece is:  No frame.  The frame has been dissolved by the rain falling in my lovely city today and has been replaced by openness,  possibility, and poetry.

rain falling softly

like a lover whispering

“stay right here with me”

Today’s quote is actually a stanza from a poem that I was reading this morning.  The poem is “Ocean Lady” from The Poetry of Pablo Neruda.  I chose it because it stopped me.  Each word is like a little found treasure at the beach that I keep turning over in my heart to see the way time has etched itself on the surface.

Remember: you carry the bird’s heart
in its cage: the debate of wings and song,
so many violins, soaring and flashing.
Gather, gather for me, the sounds and jewels,
until wrapped in air and fire, we voyage
accompanied by the congress of pure harmonies
to morning’s waterfall of shimmering ingots.
And may our love palpitate like a fish in the cold.

Perhaps this catches in my heart because it speaks to the tension I feel related to domestication and my heart’s deep longing for freedom and an embrace of the wild.  The way we have been domesticated doesn’t work for me.  I don’t have tidy hair or any sort of desire to appear respectable or professional to others.  I embrace authenticity and admire it in others.   I don’t aspire to live in the woods but I do have Neruda’s “debate of wings and song” happening at present.

Yesterday, I was introduced to the writing of Jeriah Bowser and his Wildist perspective.  I found his piece Weeds in the Holy Garden: A Wildest Review of the Laudato Si’ to echo many of my own current thoughts about the very real problems we face on this planet and the way that transcendent belief systems are serving to calcify these problems.  My desire to find harmony with life is often thwarted by the degree to which our world becomes increasingly controlled and carved up.  As Mr. Bowser says, “…there is the daily reality of resistance to domestication.”

There’s a teaching story about how a mouse in a cage can wiggle through the bars if it stops eating the cheese.  The question is:  What will it find on the other side of the bars?

bricolage project day 6 [beginnings]

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Today’s randomly chosen word, beginnings, comes from the achingly beautiful book,    Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.  I got the book for my daughter and ended up reading it.  I’m so glad I did.  It’s the kind of story that takes your heart out, squeezes it hard, heals it, and hands it back to you.  I cannot more highly recommend it.  On the cover of the book, it says, “If you’re lost, you might need to swim against the tide.”  Wow, can I relate to that sentiment!  The past many years of being a single mother, going to school, and making my way through the thicket of relationships, healing from childhood trauma, and losing my mother have made me feel very lost at times.  Clarity comes in fits and spurts and often through art and writing.

The art today is 3-D.  Except for the chalk, everything is three dimensional so I can see the shadow.  After viewing the gorgeous Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse a couple of weeks ago, I have been pondering the nature of shadow and light a bit more both within and without. Today’s quote, from Leonardo da Vinci speaks to this:

The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.

That quote echoes what I have felt for a long time about shadow–long before I ever read Carl Jung‘s work–that we are animated by shadow.  You learn that when you sketch.  You feel it in your body when you allow it.  Despite this knowing, I still carry so much judgement at times, especially towards myself.  Judgement and the fears that come along with it can totally paralyze me in moving forwards at times so I’ve been mindfully moving through it.  One of the ways I’ve done that is listening to Tara Brach‘s podcasts of late.  She’s a wonderful teacher with a calm presence that I appreciate.  The most recent one I listened to is Letting Go of Judgement in which she quotes Rainier Marie Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet:

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

Finding the helpless parts of myself that want love is taking a lot of courage and fortitude.  Listening to Ms. Brach’s encouragement to be present with what she calls “aversive judgement” and to look for the layers of vulnerability underneath it makes me realize that this layer is a conditioned response that has been trying to help me.  She says, “It’s not our fault that we’re judging.  It’s really deep in our evolutionary history to sense that something is wrong.”  She calls it a “survival fear” that “mobilizes us for war”.  This idea that we create an “other” that we need to defend against as a layer of programming–of armor–that we can mindfully learn to take off really resonates for me.  I long to love the parts of myself and life that have been hidden underneath that armor.

The armor is too heavy and makes it hard to breathe and swim.  I’ve been living with the intention to swim against that evolutionary tide and into a place that is more loving, a place that comes from higher mind.  It takes consciousness.  It takes an awareness of life as both three dimensional (shadow.  immanence.) and ethereal (light.  transcendence.)  In his notebooks, da Vinci says, “The painter who draws merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies every thing placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence.”  So, too, with life.

an eternal ellipses

she waits with
an eternal ellipses
like still water after a storm

Animus lunges forward toward
her stillness –ready

ready to receive his
turgid embrace

delicious Divine dance
tantric transmutation

they merge
exhaling whispered longing
circling back
to their unknown, unspoken joy

she waits with
an eternal ellipses
like still water after a storm

***
One of three poems written in response to art for the Poet’s Favorite Tour at the 2014 Seattle Erotic Art Festival

always careening

careeninginvited in
but always careening towards
something
(careless footsteps)

skin throbbing from the sting
(and not wanting to forget)
the pulsating rhythm of blood
rushing to the point of entry

bathed in sunlight,
the clenching stops
while quiescent clouds gather

rich, mellifluous enchantment
moments and memories stitched together
(everything in his house has a story)

trust comes in timid sips