Monday, 31 January 2011

The Topling of Ancient Kingdoms and Old Beliefs

Good Morning All!

Thank you to Mike and Annamora for their thoughtful and sensitive remarks-I am grateful.

Today, I will convey my second dream which, I believe, is hopeful and challenging. Only fragments of memory remain, but the essence lives on. The atmosphere of the dream was filled with fire and our three heroes from the Harry Potter books were desperately seeking an ancient tomb and a relic among its' contents. After the topling of ruins in an effort to keep us away, we reached this hidden and below earth tomb. We took a sharp object to chip away at the stone and to pry the protective slabs open. Finally, light reached inside and a skeleton with different relics was revealed. One of the teenagers grabbed the relic, but I stayed to look at the skeleton. It seemed to be a cardinal or bishop who had been buried with all his garb and both showed signs of rot. As I was studying this, the steeple of the church, which was attached to this crypt, caught fire and black smoke spread into the already flame-red sky. And, it crumbled in a very neat fashion from top to bottom.

The dream ended with our getting out of there and watching the flame-ridden site. And, it was only the steeple that was destroyed; the crypt and the attached building were left intact.

Perhaps, beliefs that we once held sacred destroyed themselves and the relic that was taken is that nugget from the past which we call experience. And, it is this experience that plays a guiding role in determining the direction we take.
Please share your thoughts and/or feelings.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Staging Dream-24January,2011

Hello everyone and anyone who reads this, especially those caught in the maelstrom of free floating and extremely powerful energies. I wish to break this entire experience in instalments for all of us to digest slowly and thoroughly let alone respectfully.

It began on Sunday afternoon. It was lovely, quiet and grey. Perfect for napping, particularly after a healthy walk in the morning. And, so at 2h30 pm, I went for my nap. Three hours later, after a quick bath and preparing my home for evening, a singular wave of exhaustion overtook me. The nap had served as a precursor to the banquet of visions that were to follow. I could not stay awake and all I wanted was silence.No sound from any electrical device-I felt allergic not only to the loud bells and whistles of technologies, but also to my own routine. I just wanted to lie in the dark with the company of a solitary, courageous candle. And I did.

It was an incredible night-bumpy,sweaty, busy, turbulent,sad and ecstatic. So, I will start with dream one which I believe now set the stage for the vision quests to follow. Firstly, this dream took place on an early summer's day in the softly beautiful English countryside. There was a large estate with gardens and it was manicured to perfection.Fountains were gushing, the birds singing in their specific choirs. Only, the staff was able to partake in this exquisite scene. The owners were away for the day.Consequently, routines were relaxed and behaviour happy and unbridled. The large windows were opened and everyone was outside dancing and listening to music. They all decided in unison that this was the change they so longed for and wouldn't it be nice if only the landowners could free themselves up to enjoy life.

As this was going on, the owners spontaneously returned and took everyone by surprise. The lady of the house was Maggie Smith and the lord, actor Robert Hardy.The lady was slight and graceful, but she had abandoned her usual morbid attire. She wore a lovely deep yellow and green dress that brought her to life. The lord agonized about what to do and confided to a young maid that he wouldn't mind dancing but was torn between his usual demeanour and this unexpected behaviour. It hurt him deeply to the point of tears. The maid gently took him and led him to the dance outside in the gardens. Everyone reveled and enjoyed a picnic and music for the entire afternoon.

Friday, 21 January 2011

An Anniversary, A Gift

I did have a very meaningful and inspiring day on Tuesday! It was crisp and sunny and, as my mother often said, when feeling lost or at loose ends, grab your bag and leave the house! I took this advice and drove to Glastonbury.

I had heard of a new cafe called the Orangerie and decided to give it a go. It was all new and different inside with an airy feel. I liked it at once. Behind the counter were two lovely women, Emma, the owner, and Stella. After my first coffee to get me going and to lift the anvil of sadness off my heart, I thought of mom who loved meeting people and plunging into colourful discussions. So, I said to myself, " try something new today that Mother would have loved" and away I went. I talked to the women for over an hour whereupon three other ladies joined in and we enjoyed each other's company for another hour. At the end of this morning coffee-clatch, we shared addresses and phone numbers and I garnered a walk that afternoon with kind Michelle. It was near an organic farm with animals which Ma also loved and taught me to do the same.

When I stepped out of the car, I was greeted by 5/6 adolescent and vocal piglets.After scratching their inquisitive noses and heads, Michelle and I gravitated towards a friendly ram, named Rambo (oh dear!) and a very shy and slightly aloof goat. Then some very long-haired sheep from Dartmoor and two horses covered in mud and soaking in the last rays of the afternoon sun. We schlepped across fields, streams and mud-ridden paths and I finally encountered Gog and Magog, two ancient trees that are part of the lore and lure of Glastonbury. It was all fantastic.

I would like to thank each woman I met that day, each animal I caressed and each field traversed. Lastly, I wish to thank my Mother who shared her love of both human beings and rural beauty with me throughout our lives together.

Monday, 17 January 2011

A Quiet and Deep Remembrance

Today, the 18th of January, my life changed. Seven long and oftentimes arduous years ago, my mother died. It had been a very snowy and cold week and I had been suffering from flu. I did not move from my flat -just followed a monk's regime of hot teas, light foods and uncomfortable silence. I believe now that my body was keenly aware of something huge and it was clearing the path, so to speak. By Saturday, I was feeling much better and it was cold and sunny out. I decided to check in with my mother who was on her own in Vermont. She reveled in the company of her wise and active Jack Russell named Saucy and the many birds hungry and fluffed up from the below freezing temperatures. Our local grey squirrels were hanging upside down on wind-blown feeders clinging to each rung feverishly. We spoke for over 45 minutes and she was cheered. At the end of the call, I said," You know just how much you are loved". She shyly laughed and said "yes, I believe I do". And those were our last words.

On Sunday, I decided that I was strong enough to go to work for a few hours and trudged my way in. It was biting cold and grey. The snow was deep-it had snowed the night before and it was still dusting the landscape. At 3 and,after 3 brave customers, I was told I could go home. I was exhausted and took a nap just to be interrupted by a phone call. It was my brother and he sounded both troubled and deeply serious. He told me what had happened that morning between 10 and 11 am and my life has not been the same since. A patch of black ice on our familiar route had not melted and my mother careened over it on her way to church. I felt like a tall glass with freezing water being poured into every cell and, from then on, events ocurred in an automatic blur.

There was no-one to feed the birds or chase the squirrels across the snow dunes around her house. The lonely fox that loped in the view no longer had reason to stop.The warm and loving bustle of my mother had been replaced by lifeless grey that starved everyone who knew her. The house was kind and lovely, but eerily neat. Saucy had been taken to stay with dear neighbours and it was q.u.i.e.t.

I will never forget the 18th which, that year, fell on Martin Luther King's birthday and I was comforted by that. This year is the beginning of the seventh year without my mother in real and tangible form. But she is here and a candle is lit so that she knows that there is warmth and love for her...And the birds are always taken care of.Bless you, Ma....always.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Stillpoint

Good day, everyone!

What is truly meant by " good day"? Is it just a greeting that leaps upon one's lips at the first sight of dawn? Or of another human being? What distinguishes it from any other day? Can the day be free from any qualification, so that it may start in all innocence and spontaneity?

No matter what the energies have been pelting us with these past few weeks, I choose to believe that each day heralds something good-tough sometimes, but, at the end of 24 hours or longer, good and full of potential. I love to wake up each morning around 5 am and sit in the semi-darkness waiting for the light to appear. At times, I will light a candle that accompanies me through my quiet routine. At others, just coffee will do and Quiet. I am finding it more and more necessary to seek refuge in silence or birdsong while electricity vibrates incessantly beneath my feet just waiting to ignite my peaceful self into frantic activity.

The early morning is my treasure for which I am able to give thanks and just breathe.As long as I can offer myself this gift of space and quiet time and hold onto to it for awhile, each day is wondrous.

Friday, 14 January 2011

What To Do with Negativity

Welcome again, my friends!

In the event of the tragic shootings in Arizona, I would like to post an image or two that I created after brain surgery that reflect(s) the task facing all Americans.
Thank you.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Redwings and Black Secrets

Good day Everyone!

I believe this post will be political as well because I am feeling very angry.....again. I have felt very affected by the incident in Arkansas plus the release of findings (again) on the Gulf Oil spill and the awarding of billions of dollars in bank bonuses all over the world. Now, these happenings remind me of the repetitive falls and burnings of empires throughout history. Today, I do ask myself ,"Where are the majority of people who are subject to all this greed and destruction"?

I believe the use of anti-depressants is unnecessary as long as there is the Tube and a plethora of mind-numbing media parasites willing to hide or to partake in the eating away of our own willpower and ability to reason and,more importantly, to feel.

As populations become weighed-down,buried by debt incurred by their governments and banks, a deep and resentful silence takes place. And, with this, they grumble each day and devour their own ability to act positively and decisively. In short, the higher echelons of power are permitted to commit murder and destruction with no fear of retribution,punishment or even of being brought to justice. After causing total destruction in the Gulf of Mexico, BP stocks are rising in value in Europe and they continue as the North Sea, perhaps the Arctic. And the banks, after causing 2 years of total instability the world over, they have the temerity to award themselves with our money without shame! What is going on here?

And now, the possible slaughter of thousands of wild creatures who have done no harm but live their lives as any animal should be permitted to do...I do believe in being a force for good and for holding prayer for this planet in my entire being. I do most fervently...But, while populations are lost fiddling with the latest techno-gadget, our world is burning in so many ways and our prayers need some form of action to be taken.

And, I believe,that we artists can play a deciding role once we get out of the box of galleries and the cycles of show and sell. We have an amazing amount of energy, feeling and intelligence that we allow to be sequestered to an isolated part of society. Even the art websites remain our havens while the world continues on its' very dubious way. Let us put our hearts and eyes together to really challenge what is happening on a daily basis....It doesn't have to be strident,ugly or loud, it can just be definite. Thank you.

Monday, 3 January 2011

In the Belly of the Creative Beast

Today, I received a lovely and important comment from Annie. I did respond to it, but, as I am still learning the convoluted pathways of electric cables and so on, it never got published. So, here goes again...

What Annie has said is true and very discouraging and frustrating. It does make one wonder if artists are an aggressive part of the food chain witholding the creative keys to their survival ( hence to others) or are they generous benefactors sharing their personal visions of inner and outer lives. Probably both. However, I believe that all artists possess a unique imagination (when we allow ourselves this) that can never be copied. Individual imagination is a divine gift mixed with so many ingredients of our personal lives and perceptions...I do not wish to simplify this very special and sacred connection...But I do feel that we interpret it more narrowly than it is...Yes, we do go through ups and downs and dry spells highlighted by traumatic events and individual revelations. And yes, our creativity experiences the effects of our lives, but, it never truly stops for good. It imitates dry spells exquisitely and we agonize and grieve regularly...But the truth is is that it is always there in the light or buried deep in the shadows.

I went through the high and lows particularly when I was writing my Master's thesis and the line between "real"life and 19th c.French creativity became indistinguishable and boy, did I suffer. I would heighten states by listening to Berlioz, Poulenc...and my living habits were monastic to say the least. As a result, I ended up in a Parisian hospital for over a week exhausted and suffering from anorexia to boot. And I lived like this for 4 years before at Mount Holyoke College. I would disappear in the library during the day and to empty classrooms at night starting religiously at 6h30pm. Academe and intellectual expression were everything and the social sphere spun in its' own universe. My mother often said that I should return to college just to partake in the more communal activities and have a bit more fun.

I don't regret how I proceeded, but Paris gave me pause for thought....

Additionally, our creativity is full to overflowing really and we need not become selfish or hard-hearted in sharing what we wish to share and how we choose to do so...What we individually possess is overwhelmingly abundant and generosity to others is a normal passing of the gift that was given to us.

Thank you.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Greetings and Happy New Year!

My goodness, this is my very first posting and I truly do not know where to begin. I guess the best place is to try to define what the main inspiration or inspirations behind this site are. Firstly, allow me to present myself- I am a visual artist who has chosen collage as her medium. But not collage in the traditional sense. It is not a chaos of images or wordy cuttings that so many viewers assume. And rightly so. It is collage of a unified image with many layers of meaning and feeling integrated into the final offering. It is traditionally executed-with scissors, basic glue and heavy coffee-table books to press and flatten the image. Sometimes, I let them dry on a very sunny window-sill or on the radiator and I have to do this layer upon layer. Wrinkles and tears are of course a risk, so I need to be both patient and methodical.Two things which my temperamental make-up finds extremely challenging! As a result, I pray alot and there are always responses of differing sorts.

The only time I may use a computer is to refine the finalised image-to free it of glue-gaps,wave-wrinkles,colour discrepancies and other eye-disturbing elements. I am recovering from serious brain surgery, so my eyes cannot stay fixed to a screen for long.

So, in the mornings and evenings, I sit, usually before the tube, and embark on a journey with no particular destination. By the way, I will not watch the box during the day-I listen to classical music, mostly Baroque in origin because I find the cheer and mathematical precision very comforting and it does not interrupt the intensity of the creative act or my concentration. Sometimes, I have a vision or a dream in mind, but, mostly, it begins with a single cutting of an image followed by a long path of trial and error.

I never thought of collage before. I had been a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Middlebury Language School specialising in linguistics and Animal Symbolism in 19th c.French literature. For some unknown reason, since my very first years, symbols, images and the realm of the non-verbal were my preferred channels of deep communication. After this, I was a language teacher in France, the United Kingdom and the States for over 10 years followed by a variety of careers in cultural arts administration, photography, dramatics, a theatre guide in London and finally, in retail. I also spent a couple of years as an assistant innkeeper. My cv resembled a patchwork quilt of impressive but scattered experiences and a singular path of unknown destination. In 2000, I decided to recycle images and objects from these endeavours and create collages-different views of a multitude of experiences , feelings and visions. As a result, I have been at it for just over 10 years and I am waiting for my work to carve a path of exciting yet largely unknown horizons. Whoooppppeeeee!

However, there is a conundrum. I am not the typical, commercially-successful artist nor am I interested in expounding "process" or my biography. What I like is to share with others interpretations and to be of help to those on their " way" whatever that is . I wish to have my art work on behalf of our mutual evolution and to benefit the healing and transforming of our attitudes towards this incredible planet and its' many environments and horizons. It is simply not enough to show what I can do-that can be a very hollow direction and it is rarely of any benefit. So, how and where does an artist ( of any definition) walk his /her talk in this wide world of ours? The net only goes so far, really. After joining a few major art sites and the ever-present and engulfing facebook, one ends up with kind comments, but little else. What I want is to have image and feeling to lead to vital and positive impact (not strident or preachy)-to expanse and transformation of the deepest kind.

So, I am putting it out there and I do welcome your ideas, visions, feelings and suggestions of where we can go from here. With my blessings, whisps of vision
ps-And images are always welcome!