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angel of the quake [or the patriarchy is crumbling]

angel of the quake

she clings to his leg
holding up the fractured pillars
(white marble with purple veins)

she clings to him
looking up with such devotion
(the master feeds her)

she clings to his leg
holding on to a crumbling world

she is in the rubble now
her hands bleeding
seeking his eyes

he doesn’t see her
his eyes averted
(he sees only all the work he must do)

neither of them see
the water rising
but she is under first
the water filling her lungs
(he doesn’t notice)

he leaves to
find an oar

An ekphrastic poem I wrote inspired by the photo “Angel of the Quake” by Manuel Álvarez that I had the privilege to see at the Frye Art Museum as part of the Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Mexico’s Poet of Light exhibit.

***

The patriarchy is crumbling.  Creating chaos.  Creating opportunity.

The poet Holderin wrote

Danger itself/

Fosters the rescuing power

Danger and risk can serve to lift us out of our complacency.  It’s certainly true that comfort seems to keep us deadened in many ways.  Clinging to crumbling pillars will not end well.  We can co-create a new reality.

Embrace the new.

Imagine new possibilities.

Stay woke.

Love.

***

Note:  Image is a piece in I did in 24 hours as part of 14/48:  The World’s Quickest Theater Festival in January 2014, now in a private collection.  We were given a prompt, a support, and 24 hours to create a work of art in whatever medium we chose. I didn’t know at the time that would one day have an orange-haired clown as POTUS but that’s how the Unconscious works, isn’t it?

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how to use the F word

How many times are we told to forgive a transgression? Like it’s a prescription. It’s supposed to make us better or so the story goes.

The point being what? Enlightenment? Brownie points in heaven? Feeling good inside? I wrote recently about how yoga has made me feel more vulnerable and more forgiving towards myself and sometimes others. It’s true. I mostly feel more open and aware of my own heart.

It’s also unlocked some deeply buried pain.  Pain most especially from the men in my life who haven’t just hurt me but keep coming back to hurt me again.

And again.

And I have let them.

And let them.

(I take responsibility for that, for the record.)

Recently in yoga, my teacher said, “Yoga stirs things up.  It brings out the darkness and the light.”  It does.  Life does.  As a reflective person, I’m realizing how important it is to truly honor all the parts that come up.   She said, “Namaste means honoring all the parts of us.  The light.  The dark.  The demons and the demigods. ”  I gave a very emphatic Namaste in class that day.

This is the work.  Honoring all of it.

But as a “good Christian woman” I was only taught the forgiveness part.  I wasn’t taught about boundaries.  I wasn’t taught how to use the F word.  Wasn’t taught to say FUCK YOU nearly enough.

I wasn’t taught to draw some boundaries around myself and my own psyche with an energetic sword.  With my tongue.

In the past, I’ve received negative feedback about having a sharp tongue.   Guess what?  I no longer give a fuck.  I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how I say something; if the person who did something hurtful doesn’t want to be held accountable, they will push against whatever words are spoken.  After years of therapy, I’ve learned that it’s really okay to speak my truth and ask for what I need.  That’s how trust is built.

I can forgive people but not let them off the hook.  Amends need to start being made for bad behavior.   We are doomed to keep repeating old patterns until we stop the cycle.  Sometimes the cycle is stopped by a good, solid FUCK OFF.

Today,  I honor my demons and demigods.  I honor my Mars in Aries self.  I didn’t come here to fuck around.  I didn’t come here to play small.

So I won’t.

The glorious Helen Mirren was quoted as saying,

“At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘fuck off’ much more frequently.”

I find myself wondering how different things might have been for me in my life if I had been raised in a culture where women were encouraged to draw boundaries more often.  I wonder if so many women would have fallen prey the abuse from Harvey Weinstein if we were encouraged to speak truth to power and expect to be listened to instead of told to forgive and carry on or worse, threatened for doing so.

So, lovelies, now you have permission.  Like most powerful tools, use it judiciously but use it all the same.  I did recently and guess what?  It felt amazing.

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we mend (and love) what is within our reach

I’ve taken to daily mediation walks. It’s nourishing to my spirit and helps ground me to my purpose. I walk for 30 minutes then journal until I feel complete.  Here is today’s reflection:

A cat visits, twining itself around my legs for a while. I pet it and also just let it be , allowing it to enjoy the feeling of its fur on my bare legs (I enjoyed that too).

A little girl in a black, velvet dress rocks gently in a swing. The kind of swing with a back. She smiles. I tell her she looks peaceful. She nods.

Three older girls are playing on the hill above her. In the dirt. The kick it up then oddly dust themselves off. Then get dirty again. I want to tell them it’s okay to be dirty. To get dirty and messy and stay that way.

A hummingbird flies straight up into the blue sky. Like an elevator. I am in awe not only of their abilities but their ability to fill my heart with joy every time I see them.

This moment is saturated in peace and yet I want to leave. This is always true for me. I have such a restless soul. When something is peaceful and beautiful, I appreciate it but then want to explore something new.  I’ve come to accept this about myself.

I move a small snail off the pavement. It’s dry and would take a long time for it to reach the grass. It’s a small act of kindness.  It will die anyway. Maybe today. Maybe by a small child climbing the enormous cedar tree I placed it under.

But we do what we can, we tend to what is in our reach.  Reminds me of this quote by one of my favorite teachers:

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”  ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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bricolage project day 22 [world]

bricolage_project_10-22-15
“has materiality and thus dimension”

The randomly-chosen word of the day is world from Stand Still Like the Hummingbird by Henry Miller.  I’m going to offer the entire paragraph that it came from because it’s so fantastic.  It will serve nicely as today’s quote:

Frankly, if we must play with this idea of saving the world, then I say that in making an aquarelle which pleases me–me, not you necessarily–I am doing my share better than any cabinet minister with or without portfolio.  I believe that even His Holiness, the Pope, little as I believe in him, may be doing his part too.  But then, if I include him I must also include such as Al Capone and Elvis Presley.  Why not?  Can you prove the contrary? (p. 83)

  • I cannot prove the contrary.  In fact, I think it’s true that we’re all doing our best, all learning from one another, all have our part to play in each other’s unfolding.  The world certainly doesn’t need saving but we do.  We need more love and appreciation and less condemnation.   More patience and tenderness.  More play and delight.

Continue reading bricolage project day 22 [world]

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bricolage project day 21 [others]

Today’s randomly-chosen word comes from the Tao Te Ching.  I picked up a copy at a used bookstore yesterday to use for blackout poetry and decided to use it for our word which is others (from book one XX).

bricolage_project_10-21-15

I don’t have much to say today.  I just wanted to paint with my blood again , create a bricolage by assembling the ephemera that has come me of late, and feel.  I’ll let Carl Jung speak instead.  Today’s quote is from The Red Book.  (He always has a lot to say about others.) Continue reading bricolage project day 21 [others]