Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Better Balance

All three of my people are going back to school in the next few weeks. Before we head into constantly changing schedules, I decided to shift my own as of August 1st. As a result, I get to be home an hour early on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I have also decided to take a break from supervising at Friends which opens up quite a bit of head-space and frees me from living so attached to my phone/another email account and moving between my office and the college mid-day. While they seem like small changes, I have already lived one week in the changes and am experiencing great relief!

On Thursday night I walked out of the office at 5:30. Plenty of daylight. Not starving.  I spent some time in the studio getting the neglected space cleaned up. I attempted to create a poured painting with Elmer's glue. It failed, but I was excited to be back in the studio.

On Friday after clinic I had the energy to go to Hobby Lobby and Ace Hardware thinking I would try this new painting process on Saturday. I ended up going out to the studio Friday at 9pm to make the seafoam/gold painting. Ohmygoodness! It was so much fun. So. Much. Fun.

On Sunday I poured this Amethyst painting and a few small blue ones. See my IG link for more  photos. Studio time = pure healing!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Carribbean Blue

The Caribbean in Roatan Hondouras was gorgeous; the reef heavenly. My dear babe is 40.  It's his year to live Psalm 40 now. 

He starts graduate school at Friends in a few weeks. With God's help we will be able to practice together in just two years. 

It will be our FIFTH college degree program completed while married. Will it be our last?!?!! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ryan Adams at Red Rocks

Cody and I skipped town last week to go see Ryan Adams at Red Rocks. Everything about it was AMAZING. I kept sitting there marveling at the huge open sky...and how different my view was there compared to where I usually sit on Tuesday nights. Here are a few snapshots from the night.

That's the city of Denver twinkling in the right foreground.

Natural amazement. Perfect acoustics.Opening act.

It was amazing to be serenaded under the open sky by such a feeling, expressive artist. Never seen him play? Here's a great video from a performance on Letterman:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Modern Venus Opening

I missed the opening; but then I wasn't ever completely sure I would go. So I was a tiny bit sad yesterday when I heard someone at the Finishing School talking about the great success of the Modern Venus show opening the night before. I am sure there were powerful connections made that night! (I taught Saturday---so I got to take some time with the 30ish fantastic show selections.) 

Turns out, I decided to go to bed instead of going out. I had no bone for being social left in my body after the full week I'd had. (Four of us went to see Ryan Adams at Red Rocks...that's another blog post yet to come.) Years ago I would not have missed it for multiple reasons, among them, my burgeoning ego as a closet artist starved for attention. Now, I hear my own voice saying, "Be gentle with yourself. What do you need to do to take good care of yourself?" Staying home was the right thing for me to do that night.

And the show went on and I'm so thrilled it opened to great success. I am honored to be showing next to several ladies whose work I know and admire. On Saturday I took a snapshot of the show's description (see below)---sadly, my phone/camera died before I captured all the artist names.

I Remember the Rocks

I remember the rocks on Rolling Hills
the white soft and sparkly rocks
that illuminated my hand
before it found a voice
Will this rock write? 

Or the clear infracted marbles on Cherry Hills
their sheer faces swirling and glassed off
pitted like craters created by comets
that somehow dropped only in front of Lenny's house at 12 O'clock noon
Gifts from the moon?

Then the red and black lava rocks on Regier
with bubbly pores blinking water
popping and crackling next to my tiny ear
after being held against my twisting tongue
My eyes were always on the ground
in the present

I remember when I felt my first real sand in California
washing off the soft
then rough
millions of tiny grains
when that stranger yelled "Son of a Bitch!"
What does 'Son of a Bitch' mean?

I remember the first time I saw black galena
a whole huge pile stacked on the survivors' shore
Black glass button eyes? From Volcanoes? How did they get here?
in that remote place where I grew from mystified to mortified
all the while only a few shores and even fewer years later
were the smooth clacking palm-sized tumbling rocks in Green Bay
Were those brought in and dumped there, too?

I remember thinking it all happened by accident
Sometimes I still do and I blame you
ancient and glittering and grounded
that such seemingly inanimate objects comforted me
back when I began to dream about rocks
and I still do

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Poetry and Rubem Alves

Call it age. Call it stage in life. Whatever. I am becoming more poet than anything these days.

This switching mediums is a cycle for me to which I am accustomed, so luckily, I embrace the change and I allow the immersion. Poetry feels to me, more intimate than expressive art. I think I will post a poem here and then I yank it down; too exposed. Often they are just stream of consciousness excuses to avoid punctuation. Always, they are expressive and allow me to release my clinical containers.

Over the last month I have devoured two books of essays/poetry by Rubem Alves. This guy is my dream writer because in addition to poet, he is also a theologian, philosopher, and psychoanalyst. (How appropriate? I found him because of an equally and severely beautiful client.) His "sneaky, creeps in and wakes up" style reminds me of the writings of Rabbi Friedman or CS Lewis. I especially love what he has to say about mystery and The church...but maybe it's because his writings are like looking from a dingy mirror into a clarifying mirror, or the freshness that comes after taking a deep breath, or the lightening that lifts upon setting down a heavy weight.

Anyways, here is one of his poems:

What is hope?
It is a presentiment that imagination is more real
and reality less real
than it looks.
It is a hunch that the overwhelming brutality of facts
that oppress and repress
is not the last word.
It is a suspicion that reality is more complex
than realism wants us to believe
and that the frontiers of the possible are not determined
by the limits of the actual
and that in a miraculous and unexpected way
life is preparing the creative events
which will open the way to freedom and resurrection . . .
The two, suffering and hope, live from each other.
Suffering without hope produces resentment and despair,
hope without suffering creates illusions, naiveté, and drunkenness . . .
Let us plant dates
even though those who plant them will never eat them.
We must live by the love of what we will never see.
This is the secret discipline.
It is a refusal to let the creative act be dissolved
in immediate sense experience
and a stubborn commitment to the future of our grandchildren.
Such disciplined love is what has given
prophets, revolutionaries and saints
the courage to die for the future they envisaged.
They make their own bodies the seed of their highest hope.
- Rubem Alves

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Love, My Genogram, and the (Meta) Modern Venus

I am honored to share my genogram, Meine Familie, in an all female show next month. I cannot imagine a more perfect venue and event in which to shelter/exhibit the piece for its first time public showing. Though the Modern Venus show is a separate and distinct thing, I know the space well because it houses The Finishing School, which is near and dear to my heart as it is the brain-child of my brilliant friend Jill. I will post more about the show as it comes in. (Seriously, could there have been a more perfect first opportunity for it? I think not.)

Following are Rilke's enlightened words on Love and what he predicted to be (what I am calling) the (Meta) Modern Venus. Enlightened? Yes, because he wrote these words over 100 years ago. I find these words to be even more true today, and love that they were written by one man to another man.*

"We are only just now beginning to consider the relation of one individual to a second individual objectively and without prejudice, and our attempts to live such relationships have no model before them. And yet in the changes that time has brought about there are already many things that can help our timid novitiate.

The girl and the woman, in their new, individual unfolding, will only in passing be imitators of male behavior and misbehavior and repeaters of male professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions, it will become obvious that women were going through the abundance and variation of those (often ridiculous) disguises just so that they could purify their own essential nature and wash out the deforming influences of the other sex. Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately , more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who, arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, carried in her womb through all her suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she has stripped off the conventions of mere femaleness in the transformations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching will be astonished by it. Someday (and even now, especially in the countries of northern Europe, trustworthy signs are already speaking and shining), someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only of life and reality: the female human being.
   This advance (at first very much against the will of the outdistanced men) will transform the love experience, which is now filled with error, will change it from the ground up, and reshape it into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman. And this more human love (which will fulfill itself with infinite consideration and gentleness, and kindness and clarity in binding and releasing) will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle: the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other."

If quotes from letters aren't your thing, here's Rilke's poem Love Song:

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin's bow,
which draws *one* voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song. 
 *If you want to read his whole letter to his younger friend, enjoy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

O Dear Me

I in my vessel
all patina flesh and brain
Groaning bound with earth
in radiant pain

Thus I sail the stars
heave to in the night
Mainsail to the moon
starboard I alight

Dive into the deep
floating as I might
Neutral buoyancy bliss
gradient blue in sight

Outer space, inner sea
Love plus eternity
Flesh and blood
Earthbound feet
I am.
I cannot help but be.

Edit: I keep playing around with the name. I've settled on O Dear Me, a sort-of-homage to Robert Louis Stevenson linking with the last verse of this poem.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Work in Progress

Need to add a finger or two and do some more work around the edges. The emotional processing with this one is intense...and I love it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines 2017 Forcing Lens

    I love making valentines. I usually start thinking about them just after New Year's day. Every year I ask myself, what is Love currently teaching me? My valentines are born when one answer becomes more important than the others.
     Last Sunday night I was meditating on a few current themes in my life. On Monday morning I woke to three words, the exact sentiment of my Valentine this year: "[Love] requires context." I also woke up knowing I needed to use famous context to convey the message.

     I wanted to use images of Venus and Mars for very microcosmic reasons. For the nearly 23 years of love I have known with Cody, we have fought "great battles" together. I am rising while he regroups, or he is rising while I regroup, or we are both fighting together---and through all of it we are always side-by-side. To this point it has been very rare when both of us are "resting". Sometimes it hurts to feel/hear the judgment of others...but that only smarts when my eyes move off of us and who we were created to be and what we are co-creating.

     On a macrocosmic level this theme of inconsideration without context is everywhere I look. As an empath, I have always felt my way into consideration for others. It is almost impossible to have the unique lens of being a therapist and NOT consider context...but when it comes to the activation of my own basic human emotion, even I fail to consider what I might not know. I think about my clients who were on the news this past year...and how emotion causes others to speak and judge without context...and how sad it is for those of us who know there's more to the story.

     So this year I took Venus and Mars completely out of context. In the absence of surrounding visual cue, the viewer is met with disorienting, mystifying and hypnotic *imagery which force projection and judgment and ultimately curiosity.

     On the cover of the valentine, beautiful Venus stands exposed in the middle of Times Square. Knowing she is a fish out of water does not stop her from posing for the obligatory when-in-NY photo. She lovingly expresses a longing for her own "home" (as opposed to I *heart* NY) while her quiet, confident, presence transfixes the tourist, the valentine
     On the inside of the valentine, Venus confirms that even her own love requires context...or more importantly an awareness of the lack thereof.
     On the signature side of the valentine, Botticelli's "winds" blow for change.

     Humans are relational creatures. We are so threatened by our differences when we can not/do not understand each other. This reality does not have to push us apart. Let us wake up! Let us dialogue. Let us seek first to understand then to be understood. Let us seek context and create a relational benefit-of-the-doubt, thereby cultivating a world in which it is possible to give and receive love.

*Special thanks to Steve Cloud for the awesome find.