"Work is love made visible." - Rumi
I've been doing art projects that have been on my mind for years, including painting this statue from Philippa Bowers, which was part of a Goddess fountain when I had my cafe back in the 90s. About two foot tall, glazed in a matt green, cradling a large vibrant purple amethyst cluster, We named her Hypatia after the greek mathematician, who was killed by having her flesh flayed with oyster shells.
We would add a few drops of bleach each week to the fountain water, to keep down bacteria. After a dozen years, bleach deposit both built up and began to decay parts of her face and body, as well as loosening the crystals in her belly. After I closed Herland, Hypatia came to live in my garden, along with an assortment of other broken nosed and gently damaged goddesses.
Being flayed was a feeling I related to, and during those dozen years I got over a dozen tattoos.
Much of this was a reclaiming of my body, my beliefs, and my standards of beauty. A way to be comfortable in my skin. Everyone has scars on the inside - mine are on the outside, and they are pretty, colorful, and make for good stories.
Now approaching 50, I'm experiencing a new body image issue, that of becoming the crone, the hag, the elder. What does it mean to age gracefully? What does it mean to express my authentic self? I am questioning dying my hair, working to accept my buddha belly (now I know why it's called "middle" age), while pondering the delight in creases, folds, and wrinkles.
So I decided to paint Hypatia, to reclaim her as a symbol of my croning. Her hair is silver white, with a crown of pearls and roses. I will begin detailing more of her face and body next. I'm also painting a wooden stand to a marble table that she might sit on, and a ceramic cat from my daughter's garden. I like working like this, on a few projects at once, since as the paint is drying on one thing I can paint another one.
As I painted her white hair, fine wrinkles, smile lines, tattoos, and scars, I thought of Ani DFranco's line, "I got highways for stretch marks, see where I've grown". I think about all the ways to love a body that is half a century old, the ways to treat myself with tenderness and respect. Just like my old car, this body needs more regular tunings, more quality fuel, and more lubricant.
How will you re-create yourself today?
April 2, 2016
March 12, 2016
I have just begun a 4 month course, "The Creatress Project", hosted by Narayani Gaia and Marya Stark. My main intention is to be in an accountability group, and to both give and receive constructive criticism, general encouragement/support, and possible long termnetworking/collaborations. My focus will be on writing and creating art, specifically to publishing my own tarot deck and book, although I also have a host of other projects I would like to see published. My goals for these 12 weeks are:
- Cultivate/return to a daily creative practice: writing or making art
- Connect with women on weekly basis as part of my spiritual practice
- Birth a long term project that has been gestating for years
The first step was to find time, of course. I realize I spend at least an hour a day playing games on the computer, particularly in the mornings, which is my personal prime time. I like to do a crossword puzzle and a jigsaw puzzle, which feels like a nice brain warm up, and balanced between left and right brain activities. Simply deciding to do these games in the evening as part of my relaxation meant I freed up my morning hour without feeling like I was denying myself something that I enjoy.
Especially since I do enjoy both writing and making art. The resistance comes from that little perfectionist voice that says "it's not good enough". Well, the only way to get good is to develop that daily practice, but starting from that place of joy and wonder, of beginner's mind, the delight of the child playing with colors.
January 25, 2016
Always remember your time is precious.
Take the time to hone your craft,
Take the time to sing and laugh.
Go out and sit by the waterfall,
Dance With Love at the enchanted ball.
Take all day to contemplate your life,
Take a minute to let go of your strife.
Spend an hour walking in the forest shade,
Meditate upon the life that you have made.
Invest in your own self reflection,
Allow your deep desires to be resurrected.
Waste not a moment on worry or fear,
Focus instead on all that you hold dear.
Always remember this little rhyme,
There is nothing more valuable than your time.
December 23, 2015
Knows how to ride the waves of her emotions,
Always ambitious, gliding through shark infested waters,
Walking on the wind and feeling exaltation in her bones.
She is intimate with the tides,
And respects the workings of the moon.
Confident, hard working, she loves to teach
Others the mysteries of the waters.
Disciplined, she knows her limits.
Has excellent boundaries.
Paradoxically is limitless and boundless,
Deep within her core.
She struts her stuff,
Enjoys sand between her toes,
And no matter what beach, what ocean,
She is always at home.
December 10, 2015
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