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August 2020

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HealingmoonsuncutLast night I made some magical healing moons for my [currently 'way too daunting] Grief Moons project.  The purpose of articulating the various forms of grief has always been to have an accompanying page spread articulating healing moons and how the two forms of energy intermingle and learn from each other.   Last night I grabbed some cardboard inserts from Mama's special dinner food.  I thought I could use the indentations made by the second layer of cans as a cutting guide for creating the moons. 

MooncusJust used the Stickles product brushed loosely around the indentation lines.

CutoutmoonsThen I cut them out free land.  It was harder than I imagined it would be based on the level of acrylic filler and how stiff it made the paper.  I like them imperfect but I need to find a different scissors that can get them somewhere between where they are now and where I personally would never be able to get them without tracing guidelines. 

The 12th healing moon is proving elusive.  It vanishes and then I find it and then it vanishes again.  Perhaps a form of healing I'm in need of understanding more directly before I attempt to give it visual articulation.  Am not sure.  But it did feel good to move forward in this particular way.  It kind of felt like I couldn't move forward with anything else of visual nature until I got more deeply rooted with this specific project.

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TarottableA glimpse at my coffee table work space.  Have been doing irregular but very intensive card readings in an attempt to get past my ongoing sense of wtf-ness.  About anything really but over the past two months a lot of my intentional focus has related strongly to my unplanned writing project.  I knew the past two weeks were coming about a month ago when I pulled a woozer of a group of cards including the tower for the outcome.  Once again - this applied to several areas of my life and general socio-political awareness.  But when I saw the Tower I instinctively knew I would experience loss of both fictional life and presumed Vision.  Some of the stuff I was writing had 'way too many tapes and wires to keep them all tidily concealed. 

Characters of long standing were jettisonned - 4 of my favorites.  Because this display of Tower energy coincided with my hard drive dying a slow weird death I had printed out ALL of the files that I considered part of the working draft (which I further consider about two steps lower than everyone else's presumed notion of a first draft) and guess what whoa there were way too many pages for something I was thinking of as two thirds complete. 

The pruning was extensive and left me with a solid core of maybe 75 pages.  You can see how I felt about that in the marginal scrawl below.

Whattodoaboutallthis?For two days I didn't have access to my laptop and so I labored ever so much over the usable pages.  Another problem of long standing was solved just this morning.  It's hinted at in the picture above.  Ever since I thought of a core portion of this story's plot line I have had a male lead character named Gunther.  Who does this?  I have been clear from the jump that there was this guy named Gunther and, the more I thought about it, here was his story. 

It is not a Gunther sort of story.   It's either a Nicolo or a Victor story.  Think Victor is going to fit no-longer Gunther's personality better.   Nicolo - just objectively as a name - has a completely different form of necessary swagger that would be appropriate for this book only in the form of Carter who, I swear, would find a way to actualize if only for a minute to scare the crap out of me at the mere idea I might change his name.

In other fictional news I gave up two very strong female characters and this bummed me out almost as much as when Elizabeth Warren came in third here in her home state.  No lie.  Almost as much.   But I also added one that was hiding in plain sight.  I've enjoyed writing from her point of view.  It's a very meta form of approaching everything with a fresh set of eyes.

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OutcometrioFor the outcome position in my tarot reading I pulled two minor arcana before I got my soul/life card the fool.  Can see equally how these three cards are a good match for larger life as well as the world that doesn't exist except oh yes it does.  


an exorcism of sorts

ParadisefeverYesterday I woke up understanding that my plague of a headache was finally in the rear view mirror.  By the afternoon I was able to laugh at a friend's short declarative sentenced description of my annus horribilis experience so far.  The dumping-on of the traumas and deaths and difficult news has been beyond overkill but that's what it's been for me so I gotta find my zen with it.  Being able to laugh at just how crucial it IS that I laugh was basically more important to me than the absence of head pain.  That yields gratitude that I didn't have to choose.

In the later afternoon I received the following email from my friend:

Collage prompt : What does the sentient being who has been messing with your life the past 6 months look like...

And I went from old dog grieving for a departed human to my hell yeah mode just reading the words.  Because as soon as I saw it I realized it was exactly what I needed and wanted. And by nightfall I had gotten this far:

CollageIPAnd I felt so much lighter.  So much more willing to believe that in another day or two I'd feel ready and able to kick ass as need be.  And that in the meantime it was okay if I continued to move very slowly.  Yesterday I had potentially wonderful news and even if that must be tempered it was solidly good.  Also harvested a very large basket of tulsi flower buds and leaves.  Too many to fully process last night as their soothing and calming scent and vital oils overpowered my body and soul.  So I brought the remaining cuttings up to the studio early this morning to complete the garbling process.  And don't worry.  I removed that spotty leaf once I noticed it.  Yesterday afternoon I heaped that entire large basket with budding stems.

Tulsibaskets82120

WhatdoesitlooklikeThought I was going to do something else with the Ptolemy Thompkins book cover.   But this completes the taunted threat.  Also as a side note:  this book is one of my favorite memoirs ever.  We have one degree of separation by way of his father Peter.  Uh-huh.  That Peter Thompkins.  He was at our house twice.  Mega-weird times especially for the offspring of the mega-weirdest. 

or something.  Ptolemy writes beautifully, that's all I'm saying.  Have read his other books a couple of times each.  Will re-read this one last time before I gut the covers and turn it into my next woodshedding paint-oriented sketchbook/journal.


when everything mixes itself together

T.rex

Electric Warrior

what else

?

This is a piece of musical past tense that generally rides everywhere with J in his truck.  But.  J. is rarely in his truck these days.  I originally asked if I might borrow it because I'm a person who believes every book - fiction or non but perhaps not poetry - has its designated album accompanist.  So I've been listening to this off and on every once in awhile with writing as the background purpose.    Now - just because of my personal timeline associations with the songs - I've been listening to it while mourning the end of someone's life by recalling a time in our shared existence and birthplace when we rose up - along with many others who walked around feeling extremely other-ish - in a collective kind of swagger and said okay we are this new thing.  I can get the same feeling from Ziggy Stardust and also the David Essex single Rock On.

remembering things about someone who was adamant in his wish to re-main un-eulogized.  Lots of them.  perhaps the most important being the all caps bolded email he sent around to a disparate group of us about a month ago:

do not emote over me on the internet.

so okay.   Instead here's a few paintings by an artist we both admired and studied somewhat obsessively both independently and together over the years of scattershot and deeply rooted connections.

MeditationMeditation by  Magritte

how I am holding myself steady in this moment I always fully believed would go the other way around.

Paintedplastermaskrick's favorite Magritte painting.  started saying in his teens that he aspired to becoming this specific projection of himself.  i said but it's a Painted Plaster Mask and he said exactly.

Yesterday I 'admitted' my grief process in a comment on Mo's blog and her reply referenced an Edvard Munch painting The Scream as a surrogate for where she was the day before within a similar process.  And how the release pushed through the emotion and reached pro-activity.  I sat for a long while at the table staring into space thinking about the fact that my experience is proving to be a lot more like this:

which happens to be my own favorite Magritte, Homesickness  Have always identified strongly with the black-winged man longing to be somewhere else.  Still do.  But in the months of knowing this was coming and what it might be like moving through it, I feel like I became the lion my friend has always seen me as being.  But I was also that lion particularly to myself.  So that I could get here within my soul and spirit.  While now, more than ever in my life, identifying so very strongly with the homesick man from another Place entirely.

Acceptance

Equanimity

Illumination

below September 16

September26and stitch a collaged mandala of memory, emotion, and the shared ongoing life swagger of what we perceived an electric warrior to be.  To become more of who I am by living in a far greater degree of Solitude.

Solitudeby Jean-Leon Gerome

This is my favorite painted lion.  It used to soothe me tremendously and then the more people (including J) who tell me I'll be the last one standing in our group the more I've seen the painting as a challenge to embrace what might be.  It's weird to be told that time after time.  Especially when I've so often been the most sickly.

No matter.  You reach a point where enough leave-taking and grief find you so you just say, Okay.  You live and breathe and move until you don't.  I've lived a lot of my life like this lion in many other ways. So now this one too.

***

Three weeks ago I asked via his daughter for an okay on sharing the following story.  I got a thumbs up.

***

Most of the characters I'm writing about have been around for a very long time.  One of them, who has always wished to be the epi-center of the story is named Carter.  For a long time he was a little boy and then he was a fireman who played pick-up ice hockey games.  Once he made the shift to a thirty something male having trouble crying over the death of his step-father my now departed friend started bombarding me with emails any time I shared drafts of how things had evolved.

I'm Carter, right??!!?

actually - though this part wasn't approved in advance -  those emails have occurred on and on through the years any time I've circled back to these people.

and it wasn't true so I kept saying no.

and then near the end of rick's time here I had seen someone in passing who seeded a brand new character.  Somebody who would be very close to Carter.  Started writing the character based on a 20 second sighting of someone who looked very different the next time I saw him.  and then the next two consecutive times.  As in - I'm not exaggerating - every time I saw him he appeared to be 2 or 3 inches shorter than he'd been on the previous occasion.   And otherwise his energy seemed nothing like I'd felt it to be the day I thought to myself "so he's a character in the book, okay.  I think I'm gonna call him Trevor."

(for people who have ever watched television in the 90's and re-runs since it was exactly like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry dates a girl who looks radically different depending on the lighting.  Only this didn't swing between pleasant or unappealing it just kept getting progressively more ... non-descriptively unappealing.)

So in my head I had erased Trevor's origins and just worked from my assumption that the only thing that might hold Carter's vacilating attention span would be a guy entirely sure of himself who made zero apologies for who he was.  But was normally sufficiently charming or knowlegable to be perceived as a people person despite pragmatic evidence suggesting otherwise.

who was this person?  they seemed really super duper familiar.

I thought Carter would be best served by somebody very close to his own age but also entirely different and so "from out of nowhere" I decided well this guy ought to be a double aquarius.  And by then it was - what.  A month ago or 6 weeks at most?  And I knew pain was winning over smiles a lot of the time so I sent a text:

you are definitely not nor have you ever been Carter.  But how do you feel about becoming a guy who grew up in NH militia country utterly cut off from the normal world until he joined the marines at 18?  He is destined to marry Carter and be legit happy in whatever form possible is that good enough??

about an hour later I got a reply dictated to his daughter who'd read him mine.

I'd like him to have two failed marriages before he figures out why.  Thinking they should both be out to lunch about how real it is.  Have them get married really quickly for something specific they believe to be the reason but other characters and readers will see through it from a mile away. 

so.  a gift of inspired collaboration that has thrown everything else asunder there in the Other Place of fictionland.   From a man who was once a sixth grade boy repeatedly sent to the cloakroom when he couldn't control his strange rocking caws of laughter.

Electric warriors don't just leave the building.  They kick the door down on their way Out.


odds & ends

JudeheartblogLife has become a new thing.  I'm glad I'm able to say that even though this particular new thing is unknown to a large degree.  In some ways it's defined by the old things I'm inclined to keep.  Or in this case, complete and then keep.  I know exactly what I want to do with this.  Made in a Jude class that had hearts in the title.   I also made this in the same class:

Georgeglassesthese psychedelic sunnies were inspired by this:

Beatle George Harrison tours the Haight, 1992 ...

and now that J works from home and keeps misplacing his special working mode spectacles, I'm going to to use the motif as can't-miss-it-embellishment on the case I'm going to make for those glasses.

GaiacuInstead of overdosing on news articles I've been spending the heat wave experimenting with getting more detail shots from some of my art quilts.  This is a detail from Gaia Heals Herself.  Considering gift giving in the coming season(s).  What will it look like?  I thought about printing postcards to bundle with other little trinkets that are useful and fun to share.  Really like the idea of generosity large enough to spread bits and pieces of our special personal treasures here and there.  Placed into new context and sparking unknown creatives to make something new of their own.

Gaiaheals
 As current events give us an opportunity to consider female power and potentiality I've been looking at a book that's new to me.  And I really love it.

Psychedlicmysteries

Sacredfeminine Artwork2 Artwork3
Wish there was more artwork.  The essays I've looked at so far have been nourishing and thought provoking. 

The plentitude of electrical storms have put a huge crimp in my stitching plans.  There's only so many times I can stab myself with a needle or drop a really sharp scissors on my bare foot before it starts to feel like a losing proposition altogether.  I want to be near cloth and thread, though, so I've been going through stuff, again, to see what might be bundled and re-distributed somehow.

The other day I wrote on my main blog about how much trouble I had not going to garden centers and greenhouse throughout the spring and early summer as I normally would have.  Have also had a lot of trouble not redistributing books, clothes, creative supplies, and so forth.  It isn't, for me, about de-cluttering it's about the redistribution of energy.  Something wishing to re-create its own relationship to sharing.  Not to mention discernment.

Gardenia71320