Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oops - I forgot (must be that darned Eclipse!)...

This was in my box this morning from Tut -
Have you ever noticed how folks instinctively know that creating wealth is much more fun than spending it, yet they dream more about spending it than they do about creating it?
Could it be, Teresa, they've momentarily forgotten that they're supernatural, that they can have whatever they want, and that life is but a dream?
2010 is all yours, baby -
    The Universe
Don't you love it?!
Now, I am off to fix a "special" celebratory drink:
  "Spiced Cow"
Heat a cup of milk (I prefer almond milk or coconut milk), throw in sugar to taste, remove from heat, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg after you toss in your rum (I am using whisky. My Mother always told me that rum makes a person crazy. I still obey that rule.) and a few shakes of bitters (they are good for you) and a splash of vanilla. I suspect that Captain Morgans Rum may be very good in this concoction. A dark rum may also be splendid (and have a higher alcohol content than the Captain).
I might get crazy and top with whipped cream. Yee Haw!!
In Love, Peace and Beauty ....

A Blue Moon, an Eclipse and Brian Eno...

It is December 31, 2009.
Tonight is the Eve of the New Year, 2010. It is an auspicious evening for cosmic types - it brings us a blue moon (the 2nd full moon in one month - will not be another until 2028 - is that right?), as well as an eclipse. YIKES!!! I will NOT be driving and drinking on this night!!
The Eve of the New Year usually means drunken debauchery, staying up until midnight, kissing strangers and celebrating 'out with old and in with the new'.
For many years, I lived in the city of St. Louis. I would hear handguns being randomly fired (usually announcing a crime, not the New Year) or pots banged with kitchen utensils at the stroke of midnight.
Firing weapons is the announcement of choice in my new locale. Friendly Fire. I hope.
I used to look forward to a New Year....but for many years now, I have felt fear. As a friend of mine used to say - "Wonder what train God is going to roll down my track?".....
I can tell you this, if it is a pleasure car, I want to knock all the women and children aside and jump aboard!
I am growing weary of all work and no play. And time grows short, my friends....
2010 means another birthday rolling around. Just don't know what to make of that....the older I get, the less I know. There was a time in my audacious youth that I thought that I knew many things. Oh - to have that self-confidence, or just plain youthful folly back! Ignorance may truly be bliss.
I will probably be fast asleep before midnight thanks to chemical assistance.
I am going to take a cue from my style guru, Jerry and adopt this haute couture look (below). I have already donned a similar ensemble in honor of the evening's festivities. I don't care if Jerry does have better legs than me! Dammit! I am wearing it!

Lastly, I have been thinking about Brian Eno (who knows why?). He was one of my avant-garde, intellectual  heroes when I was in art school (happiest days of my life....the years ahead appeared to loom with infinite possibility. Clearly, I was delusional).
I recall his attractive cross-dressing in Roxy Music. 
I owned "Music for Airports".
I read one of his scholarly contributions to an art anthology - something about the fusion of all art forms. It made sense at the time.
Here is a recent quote:
“I'm struck by the insidious, computer–driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity. The transfer is not paying off. Sure, muscles are unreliable, but they represent several million years of accumulated finesse.”
Hmmm....I do not know what to think about this - was it not Eno who was light years ahead of everyone in the music industry? Did he not get there via "technical wizardry"-  not by physically playing an instrument? He pioneered ambient sound and computer-generated visual and sonic art.
See? Just goes to show you - the older I get, the less I know. Told you so!
I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a safe and happy new year- actually, a new decade!! 
I would also like to ask for the one thing that seems elusive - PEACE.
Let us each be the change we want to see in the world.....this is a widely quoted, but rarely practiced statement from Gandhi.
Yours in Peace, Love, Truth and Beauty ....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

End of the year

It is a cold, lazy, yet sunny Sunday afternoon.
Perhaps my lethargy is due to the fact that I ate and drank too much over the Christmas holiday. Or, more sinister and truthful is the real reason for my blatant laziness -  snow is in the weather forecast again.
I know, I know - many people have been hit with more difficult weather than my recently adopted homestead.  I should be silent like the night.
There was a time that I loved winter - snow, warts and all.  My favorable attitude has significantly waned this year.
I have held an obviously misguided notion that when most of the summer is spent near or in triple digit temperatures that the subsequent winter should be mild.
My belief has been proven wrong! 
Why did the Bush Administration categorically deny global warming?
I suppose that I could take some tiny amount of satisfaction in the fact that "W" resides not too far from my household and now he knows that global warming is real.
No satisfaction to be had in that presumption.
Meanwhile, I will have to warm myself by the fireplace (pictured below).
Thank Goddess for heat!

May you all be warmed by the fire within........

Friday, December 25, 2009

Peace and Goodwill on Earth

Today is Christmas Day.
Here in Dallas, Texas, we were blessed with the first widespread "White Christmas" since 1926.
I am watching the 2008 video  "Coco Chanel" with Shirley MacLaine.  Gabrielle a/k/a Coco Chanel changed the world! The guy from Clockwork Orange is in this video too. Hmmm - let's see...
There is a fire roaring in the fireplace (it is 20 some odd degrees) and I have drunk too much red wine. Ahhh....the holidays.... (sigh) fraught with emotions, expectations and the Ghosts of Christmas Pasts...
I would like to see the new film with Audrey Tatou also... "Coco Before Chanel"...another time.
If you have not guessed, Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel is one of my heroines. Sigh. To be that kind of person in the world - what if?
I am an unabashed Francophile ... Napoleon is one of my idols.
Happy Holidays - and let us all do what we can to make the world a better place.
Apologies for no problems this day,
May you be blessed with Peace, Love & Understanding....and the knowledge that each of us can make the world a better place!
In Truth & Beauty...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yule: Winter Solstice December 21st

I particularly love the winter solstice...really gives me a feeling of being grounded. I have my own traditions surrounding this day and I celebrate with joy and hope.
I set aside some time to do something creative. I light many candles. I drink some mulled wine. I lay in my bed and gaze at the sun as it sets in the west. I give thanks for its light and warmth.
That sunlight is some powerful stuff!
Consider the title of an old Sting album, "Nothing Like the Sun". Truer words may not ever have been written.
My solo celebrations actually keep me connected to the flow of life, my ancestral chain and the earth. They are a reason for me to consciously mark time and set intentions.
So, on this, the longest night of the year, I want to wish each and every one of you peace, contentment and the hope that comes with knowing that there is light after the dark.
While winter seems to have been anxious to descend on us this year (all that snow!), winter will  surely give way to spring. Until that glorious burst, I find it is a good practice to welcome stillness in winter. Meditation. Slowing down. Savoring. Hibernating. Taking care of myself and all the creatures that depend on me.
All living things need a period of rest!
Though I no longer live in an area blanketed by snowfall, I love the luxury of being able to cocoon. Winter and snow days are perfect for that....and it comes at a befitting time of the Roman calendar year. Reflection on the past year as we look forward to the next year.
I am so grateful and privileged to be able to write this to you this day.
I read an article on the marriage of scent and memory today. I was thinking about the smells of winter. Some cheering, some desolate, some nostalgic.
What smells do you associate with winter?
Memory is a trickster. Be careful! Be wary of the truth of that is a topic for another day.

Until that day, I will leave you with an image of the famous painting by Salvador Dali, "The Persistence of Memory" (1931). I was never a huge Dali fan, but his iconography and imagery are endlessly fascinating to dissect.
This winter, be aware of your bright place in the universe. Take time to care for yourself and others. Pull inwards. Conserve your energies.
Spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kandinsky in NY Times today

Very interesting article on Kandisnsky's concept of the circle and the sphere.
Another great Kandinsky piece from NY Times here
I love that the author makes mention of the fact that Kandinsky dressed like the college professor he was and sounded like a mystic when he was not thinking like a scientist. To my thinking, that is an apt description. Well done!
In truth, light and beauty....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Remain in Light

I have not posted on this blog in a few weeks. I have been busy with my soapmaking - and blogging up a storm 'over there' - I find soapmaking to be very creative, energizing, fun, surprising and, yes, I am addicted. I have been making soap for over 5 years now. It never fails to engage me. One idea led to another and very soon my house, my studio and my garage looked like Mr. Wizard's Warehouse of Crazy Chaos.
I cannot recall exactly how I made my first batch of soap. I think that is odd! I believe I started with melt and pour (generally looked down upon by 'real' soapmakers) with luxe additives to achieve some  Ayurvedic custom blends. I graduated to the cold process method (which is my favorite). I am currently utilizing the hot process 'cooking' of soap which is straight out of the Middle Ages, Folks! I discovered rebatching and milling.
Sometimes I wonder if my love of soapmaking is greater than my love of metalsmithing. This new lover has created a personal dilemma for me. For 40 years, I have been a metalsmith.
I started making and selling jewelry at a very young age. I literally grew up playing with tools and listening to opera in my father's workshop. My grandfather was a blacksmith.
Metal defined me for most of my life.
Recently, my creative impulse simply prefers soaping to smithing. I have grown impatient with age - and I want to 'lighten up'.
Metal can be a tad - pardon me - "heavy".
Soap is lighthearted.
I cannot quite get away from the fire and drama of the forge and torch - or the gleam and glimmer of metallics. The hot process soap is quite medieval - and I love to swirl a bit of gold or copper minerals in my soap batches. My wrapping is 'gold leaf' paper!
I have even produced a line of Gem Crystal Soaps. Below is my Topaz/Citrine soap:

So, soaping is consuming me now. It does lighten my spirit. I love the way it morphs and changes as it cures. It always surprises me - not unlike the metal of my younger days. The soap materials are not as pricey as gold and silver. Soap allows me to play. If a batch fails, or displeases me - well - I can recycle it or simply toss it. Metal is not so forgiving. Metal can be a harsh taskmaster. Metal does not allow me to play. I have to wear my serious hat.
Soap might just be the ultimate alchemy. It basically requires water, sodium hydroxide and fat to produce something that I think can be magical.
I was actually thinking about my current enlightenment when I came across this post in Wikipedia - This is a piece about Talking Heads and their recording of "Remain in Light". I am flabbergasted that it was recorded in 1980! How could it have been so long ago? I still have the album, fer crissake!
Talking Heads were art students from Rhode Island School of Design who became celebrated musicians. I wonder if any of them still make visual art? I wonder if they felt conflicted?
I could almost conclude that life really is about 'going with the flow'. After all, that which does not change, dies - and then it changes in spite of itself.

Above is a mixed media composition of fine silver wire, steel, surgical gauze and feathers. It is entitled "Walking With the Angels". I was fond of this wall installation. It was the first in a series of similarly themed pieces. This piece literally felt as though it created was pure channeling. As I look at the piece now, I see the taut, tense pulling apart of the anthropomorphic form. It appears to be spinal - or birdlike - and it is being pulled in many directions and pinned down. captures exactly what I was experiencing in my life at the time.
This piece also has an ethereal and airy quality to it - as though it was infused with a light from within.
As the days of winter grow darker, let us all seek to remain in light. Especially the light within.
In peace, light and beauty....