a constellation of you
I do not know what to say about any of these images, finding myself again in the familiar lands of my past five years of art making. When I focused my being to call creatures of the imagination into the material world
words fell away
but I am a writer. I have a writing degree and I poet myself to sleep at night, though catching those butterflies in the net of virtual reality is another thing entirely, so here I am again, writing about not writing, because I am compelled to share these images and the process by which I came to them.
This is truth. Creating heals the mind and exercises the brain, offering an exit off the hamster wheel of those thoughts we run so far away from home with.
I painted this piece with my left hand
First, I sketched a Frank Lloyd Wright architectural design upside down, painted it upside down and inked it upside down. I wish I had photographed the pre-cut painting inked, but you can see the black lines come through in the finished postcards following.
This was an exercise suggested by a friend to stimulate the creative right brain, and during the process my body revealed to me, the circuitous nature of my current creative life. Unruly destruction rampages beauty through my right brain flowing naturally to the left side of my body - who remains still - sending the newly charged electric impulses shrapneling back again through to the right side of my body and out of my right hand.
The following morning I sneezed while cutting a sweet potato and threw out my neck, vividly reminding me of this culturally sanctioned imbalance for days to come.
Upon finishing the original painting with my left hand, I re-employed my right hand to cut the piece into ten, 4" x 6" postcards and add the detail work of the heavenly bodies and the poetry they inspired as I sat with them.
The resulting images are unlike anything I have painted to date.
This beauty is not kind, she will kill you as soon as look at you - wild fire, hurricane, tsunami - though how can we know what death by beauty would be? We rarely remember those lands before physical form, but we will all go there again, and an honor to go by way of Beauty.
The above photo shows the next stage of the process; after inking the architectural lines, I cut the cards, and added the celestial bodies of Sun, Moon and Earth in watercolor.
The elusive idea behind this series prefers the dark and dank corners of my wonderment to the light of language and connection with other humans, but I must try. The planets whirl around our Sun in undulating geometric patterns set by gravity, their frequencies surrounding us from birth to the grave and beyond in infinite directions. These wandering bodies, the planets, dance their geometry in lines and circles, in triangles and squares and all of the polygons and these shapes, bound by gravity, utter their tongues into each waking and sleeping moment of our significant insignificance like a song - just like a song.
And that, my friends, is how Astrology "works."
Astrologers use a myriad of structures to categorize and observe these patterns, and more like musicians than anything else, these are people gifted with the ability to perceive what the planetary song of a chosen moment sounds like, what it feels like, and the lines of force enclosed in it's unfolding. Just as a musician looks at sheet music and knows how that song will sound, how it can be influenced and toned to subtle and pleasing or displeasing variations, and how to pick up their instrument and play you that song, a keen Astrologer discerns the movement of the planets around a moment in time. Language is currently the primary instrument of Astrology - I am learning to use images as my instrument to communicate the planetary sounds of our moments.
Now being that I advertise these little postcards as painted with espresso (and also being that I am a fiend) I had to take these beauties into the coffee shop. This was also a departure from my usual process of espresso first, watercolor second, and I greatly enjoyed the experience. I painted Methodical Coffee's Gedeb, Ethiopian Espresso on these in the delectable Owl Bakery of West Asheville, and received the lovely complement of having my work photographed and shared with their instagram followers.
Death is not unlike birth and as women, we walk through every day of our lives and every place that we travel with a portal to this place inside our bodies. No wonder they fear us. No wonder they guard our doorways. Earth 2018 - in a culture determined to defeat death, we invite Kali and Kali laughs. She enjoys this laugh, long laugh, she shares it with all her friends and they pity us. Then they wipe away their laughter tears, gather their composure and offer us the compassion of strong medicine.
Today we feel strong medicine.
This is battlefield surgery for those fallen in the war between the sexes, The Great War extending as far back as our records reach, and today, this day we find ourselves manifested in flesh on a water world, breathing oxygen and receiving hard medicine for the war-wounded lineage we sprang from bleeding. We woke up bleeding but we will not go out like that - we are the generations healing the ancient wounds, whether or not we know it, whether or not we like it, whether or not we admit it, now is the time and here we are, undergoing excruciating surgery on a battlefield without the mercy of the poppies, but undergo it we do, for we must. And it is here, as we lie bleeding but alive under a sparkling night sky that we cast our gaze upward (for where else is there to look?) and we realize who we are. We look over and realize who is beside us. We look inside ourselves and realize how long we have known each other and we wake.
Somehow on this battlefield that becomes a playground, we find each other.
And here all this time we thought we were grownups with our rocket ships and our stock markets and our sky scrapers and all our generous weaponry, but in this life, this one auspicious lifetime, we find that all along we've only been children and are only now becoming, as our dear Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī foretold, "initiated into what love is". And here at this ending, our apocalypse, we find we are actually only now beginning, this death a doorway to another life all together different that we already know intimately and here in this beginning stands love; confounding love, consuming love, languageless love. Our lack of language for love perfectly illustrates our juvenile condition. Thank the gods we are babies - it certainly explains a lot.
“I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
from waiting to not waiting for you
my heart moves from cold to fire.
I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
Maybe January light will consume
my heart with its cruel
ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who
dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.”