HER-story:

With words and images, I am telling my story. Through art, through sculpture, I am remembering HERstory...
CASIMIRA

Tuesday, November 27

mi Estrella Maruca


my exquisite grandmother 

my father's mother

truly a grand mother

mi Uca

mi MarUca

mi Estrella Maruca

I feel her sweet, loving guidance with me always...


Monday, November 26

inward and outward


"For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother's milk for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion

when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish

when we are alone we are afraid love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard

nor welcomed
but when we are silent we are still afraid

So it is better to speak remembering
we were never meant to survive."

-  Audré Lorde (1934-1992)

mixed media on paper



Sunday, November 25

he called me and told me the following


el me llamó y me contó lo siguiente:

"So I took her to the river.
I thought she wasn't married,
but she had a husband.

It was St. James' eve,
and almost as if agreed.
The streetlights went out,
the crickets went on.
At the far edge of town
I touched her sleeping breasts.
They opened to me suddenly
like fronds of hyacinth.
The starch of her petticoat
made a sound in my ears 
like a piece of silk
being ripped by ten knives.
Silver light gone from their leaves,
the trees have grown bigger,
and a horizon of dogs
barks far from the river.

Out beyond the rambles,
the hawthorns and reeds,
beneath her mane of hair
I made a hollow in the sedge.
I took off my necktie.
She took off her dress.
I, my belt and pistol.
She, four bodices.
No silken shell or spikenard
is finer than her skin,
nor did moons or mirrors
ever glow like this.
Her thighs eluded me
like startled fish,
one half filled with fire,
the other half with cold.
That night the road I ran
was the finest of them all,
without a bridle or stirrup
on a filly made of pearl.
As a man, I won't repeat
the things she said to me.
The light of understanding 
has made me more discreet.

I took her from the river
spiked with kisses and sand.
The sabers of the irises
were stabbing at the breeze.

I behaved as what I am.
A true-born gypsy.
I gave her a sewing basket 
made of straw-gold satin,
and refused to fall in love
because she had a husband,
though she said she wasn't married
when I took her to the river."

- Federico Garcia Lorca




Saturday, November 24

my world of lovers


"...my friends have become strangers and I'm surrounded by enemies, but I'm free as the wind, no longer hurt by those who reproach me.

I'm at home wherever I am, and in the room of lovers I can see with closed eyes the beauty that dances behind the veils, intoxicated with love I too dance the rhythm of this moving world.

I have lost my senses
in my world of lovers."

- RUMI

Friday, November 23

so I danced


Dance, when you're broken open.

Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you're perfectly free.

- RUMI

mixed media on paper from my journals 

Thursday, November 22

my mother on thanksgiving


my mother holding my daughter...

I am truly blessed...

happy birthday Mamma, Mimi...



Wednesday, November 21

a fool for your love


"I'm a fool for that shake in your thighs.

I'm a fool for that sound in your sighs.

I'm a fool for your belly.

I'm a fool for your love.

I want to make this plain.

Oh, I know your faded, 
but stay, don't close your eyes...

Caught in this pool held in your eyes.

Caught like a fool without a line.

We're in a natural spring,

With this gentle sting between us.

Stay, stay open..."

- RHYE

a favorite song and a selfie 




Tuesday, November 20

the one for me

- 2007 sketch from my journals -

"Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.
So I took what's mine by eternal right.
Took your soul out into the night.
It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.
You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.
I've kissed your lips and held your hand.
Shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell.
I've been addicted to you.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I am a dreamer and when I wake,
You can't break my spirit - it's my dreams you take.
And as you move on, remember me,
Remember us and all we used to be
I've seen you cry, I've seen you smile.
I've watched you sleeping for a while.
I'd be the father of your child.
I'd spend a lifetime with you.
I know your fears and you know mine.
We've had our doubts but now we're fine,
And I love you, I swear that's true.
I cannot live without you.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
And I still hold your hand in mine.
In mine when I'm asleep.
And I will bare my soul in time,
When I'm kneeling at your feet.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I'm so hollow, baby, I'm so hollow.
I'm so, I'm so, I'm so hollow..."

- Sacha Skarbek, sung by James Blunt 





Monday, November 19

too awake


"You are expanding wildly within and your powerful ripple is causing havoc around you.

Your change has been noticed and causing distress for some.

Chaos is inevitable now you are shifting into your true being.
It’s up to you: Will you choose the chaos or will the chaos choose you?
Both have the same outcome.
To drop you into BEing.
In alignment of you.
Will it be a fight for things to stay the same and draining you of your life force?
Or will it be uncomfortably surrendering into the liberating change the Universe is conspiring to create for you?
Slowly but surely the drums that are playing in your soul will tremble loose everything that no longer honours your highest truth.
You choose this path.
Walk it speaking your own voice
Radiantly dance into the night
Woman you are too awake.
Face your boundlessness and roam free."

Sharona Lautoe

self-portrait - my shoulder 

Sunday, November 18

hold on to center


"Often we long for another person because, in an invisible, intangible realm, we're still communicating, still connecting, still seeking resolution...

...there was a time when widows wore weeds for a year; grief was understood, acknowledged, validated. It's not neurotic to grieve a relationship; what's neurotic is when we don't. On some level, no matter how disassociated from our feelings we might be, every relationship brings hope - hope that this might be a safe place, a haven, a rest after all our battles.

When a relationship doesn't work out, for whatever reason, our disappointment is natural. Every intense encounter represents a deep and complicated KARMIC connection. An ending of a relationship is much like a death, and in many cases the sadness is even greater. When someone has died, there has often been completion and understanding that doesn't occur when both people are alive but have separated without higher awareness. Perhaps the one we love is simply on the other side of town now, sleeping with someone else, yet they are really universes away since the resolution we so crave has not occurred. There's no need to pretend this isn't a knife to the heart. It is, and there's nothing to do but cry the tears that gush forth like blood from a wound...

...It takes great courage and personal strength to hold on to our center during times of great hurt. It takes wisdom to understand that our reactiveness only fans the flames of FALSE DRAMA. Love creates a mystical shield around us, protecting us from chaos...TRUTH can never be destroyed."

- Marianne Williamson


Saturday, November 17

inertia


"The first layer of consciousness is inertia. It is a level of non-movement: it is a level in which your energy, whether on the dance floor or in your psyche, is simply stuck.

Everybody experiences inertia. It is the groggy, barely conscious state when you first wake up in the morning. Or when you return to work from vacation. Or when you are in momentary insecurity about something or other. It is the state of despairing inaction when you've locked into the same routine day after day. The drugged passivity of TV watching. The stoned immobility of drug-taking, drinking. The moral and intellectual laziness of just getting by.

The only question is whether you choose to live in inertia or pass through it in the flow of your life - day to day, year to year, cycle to cycle. Inertia is seductive. It has characteristics of the ecstasy we're seeking and knew in the womb. It's natural, effortless, totally accommodating. But we're made to move, to become, to grow, to change, to create, and the true paradise of ecstasy lies not in inaction but in action that is so totally absorbing it seems like no work at all. Quickly the false ecstasy of lazing around, indulgence, and passivity takes its toll in the self-destructive effects of imploded energy...

...As a temporary resistance to the demands of life, inertia is simply a place from which to start. As you recognize its grip on you, you can confront it with movement and vitalize your being with the energy of change. You can summon the dancer within, the part of you that instinctively knows how to explore the full range of the body's rhythms. It is natural for the body to move, and the simplest way out of inertia is to start moving it. Stretch, lean, shuffle, swirl, with or without music, alone or with others. The easiest way is just to ease into flowing movements that will gradually seduce the body into the other rhythms. Dance is always available no matter where you are and is a ready catalyst to get your energy moving.

If you live in inertia - "waking sleep," Gurdjieff called it - as your basic energy level, as most of us do, your reality is comprised of a structure of unquestioned beliefs and frozen attitudes that are a bulwark against change. Movement and change are feared as painful and disruptive. The status quo seems to offer a haven of security. Truthfully, you are a wallflower at the dance of life, refusing every offer to move, out of fear of the unknown or of making a fool of yourself; you don't make the effort. But this holding back - hanging on tight to everything, especially your body, which becomes the repository of all your repressed feelings, thoughts, and action - used up all your physical, emotional, and mental energy. And you have nothing to show for this use of energy but the same old patterns and a deteriorating body and spirit. Because you don't dare to breathe life in and let it out, you live on a very restricted energy supply.

At bottom, inertia is the level of being unconscious, the home of the victim, the place where life just happens to you and you're unaware of your responsibility to create your own reality. It's the level of the pregnant woman who obviously chainsmokes, the macho laborer who stupefies himself every night with a six-pack, the high-powered executive who's married to his job and measures everything and everyone, including himself, by company standards, or the actor who has nothing to say without a script.

In inertia we want our life and friends to be stable, predictable, homogenized. It's so much easier to be in control when things around us don't change and we have the security of the known. We stay in an unhappy marriage or job or situation for years and years rather than risk the uncertainty, the adventure, the pain of venturing forth. In fact, all our "adventure" is planned and prepackaged, innocuous and ultimately dissatisfying - we buy the hype of cruises, cars, beer, movies, to sate our frustrated desire for true novelty and authentic experience. 

Often we turn around and watch even our children lock themselves into routines and perspectives that suffocate them, choke their growth and spontaneity, and snuff out the sparks we saw burning in them when they first entered the world. It hurts as we watch them lock into the vicious spiral of victimization, resentment, isolation. Or of flattery, melancholy, and self-importance. We know all the dances all too well. We taught them the steps. We reinforce these patterns rather than acknowledging our children's pain and guiding them to face the challenges that will nurture their growth. Because we are not bold, not warriors, we don't empower our children - to their lifelong detriment. Seeing their weakness, cowardice, and compromising is to watch parts of ourselves die, the parts that are young and fresh and full of promise.

Listen to the voices of inertia: Don't rock the boat. You're making a big mistake. Don't act impulsively. You've got to plan ahead. Be careful. Be prepared. But think of your family. Think of your friends. But if you do that... Don't burn your bridges. You'll regret it. You'll be sorry."
- Gabrielle Roth

so, my dear I invite you to step onto the dance floor with me...it is time to seduce the body into other rhythms...

Friday, November 16

dance me through the panic


"Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin -
Dance me through the panic, 'til I'm gathered safely in -
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove -
Dance me to the end of love -

Let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone -
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon -
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of -
Dance me to the end of love -

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on -
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long -
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above -
Dance me to the end of love -

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born -
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn -
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn -
Dance me to the end of love -

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin -
Dance me through the panic, 'til I'm gathered safely in -
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove -
Dance me to the end of love..."

- Leonard Cohen

mixed media

Thursday, November 15

move on


"Your past is over!

By bonding to your past, you not only ensure that you'll be immobilized today, but you prevent yourself from healing...

In a universe that's an intelligent system with a divine creative force supporting it, there simply can be no accidents.  As tough as it is to acknowledge, you had to go through what you went through in order to get to where you are today, and the evidence is that you did.  Every spiritual advance that you will make in your life will very likely be preceded by some kind of fall or seeming disaster.  Those dark times, accidents, illnesses, abuses, and broken dreams were ALL IN ORDER...

Practice living in the moment, and REFUSE to allow any thoughts based on your past to define you.  Stop and take notice of all that's in your immediate space - the people, creatures, vegetation, cloud formations, building designs, everything.  Stay in the present by meditating and getting closer to the ultimate now...God.

Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality.  Don't allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments.  Your life is like a play with several acts.  Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger.  Some are villains and others are good guys.  But all of them are NECESSARY, otherwise they wouldn't be in the play.  Embrace them all, and move on to the next act."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer


2013 limited edition mixed media on paper

Wednesday, November 14

woman


"Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.

A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.

Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.

A woman who listens to her needs and desires.

Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past's influence on the present.

A woman who has walked through her past.

Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.

A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.

Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.

A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.

Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.

A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.

Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the 
Goddess in her changing body.

A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.

Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.

A woman who sits in circles of women.

Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman."

“Imagine a Woman” © Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995

Tuesday, November 13

stolen kisses


"What large, dark hands are those at the window
Lifted, grasping the golden light
Which weaves its way through the creeper leaves
       To my heart's delight?

Ah, only the leaves! But in the west,
In the west I see a redness come
Over the evening's burning breast —
       — 'Tis the wound of love goes home!

The woodbine creeps abroad
Calling low to her lover:
The sun-lit flirt who all the day
Has poised above her lips in play
And stolen kisses, shallow and gay
Of pollen, now has gone away
— She woos the moth with her sweet, low word,
And when above her his broad wings hover
Then her bright breast she will uncover
And yield her honey-drop to her lover.

Into the yellow, evening glow
Saunters a man from the farm below,
Leans, and looks in at the low-built shed
Where hangs the swallow's marriage bed.
The bird lies warm against the wall.
She glances quick her startled eyes
Towards him, then she turns away
Her small head, making warm display
Of red upon the throat. His terrors sway
Her out of the nest's warm, busy ball,
Whose plaintive cry is heard as she flies
In one blue stoop from out the sties
Into the evening's empty hall.

Oh, water-hen, beside the rushes
Hide your quaint, unfading blushes,
Still your quick tail, and lie as dead,
Till the distance folds over his ominous tread.

The rabbit presses back her ears,
Turns back her liquid, anguished eyes
And crouches low: then with wild spring
Spurts from the terror of his oncoming
To be choked back, the wire ring
Her frantic effort throttling:
Piteous brown ball of quivering fears!

Ah soon in his large, hard hands she dies,
And swings all loose to the swing of his walk.
Yet calm and kindly are his eyes
And ready to open in brown surprise
Should I not answer to his talk
Or should he my tears surmise.

I hear his hand on the latch, and rise from my chair
Watching the door open: he flashes bare
His strong teeth in a smile, and flashes his eyes
In a smile like triumph upon me; then careless-wise
He flings the rabbit soft on the table board
And comes towards me: ah, the uplifted sword
Of his hand against my bosom, and oh, the broad
Blade of his hand that raises my face to applaud
His coming: he raises up my face to him
And caresses my mouth with his fingers, which still smell grim
Of the rabbit's fur! God, I am caught in a snare!
I know not what fine wire is round my throat,
I only know I let him finger there
My pulse of life, letting him nose like a stoat
Who sniffs with joy before he drinks the blood:
And down his mouth comes to my mouth, and down
His dark bright eyes descend like a fiery hood
Upon my mind: his mouth meets mine, and a flood
Of sweet fire sweeps across me, so I drown
Within him, die, and find death good."

- D. H. Lawrence 

detail from mixed media on canvas, 2017

Monday, November 12

dharma


"Turning your mind toward the dharma does not bring security or confirmation.  Turning your mind toward the dharma does not bring any ground to stand on.  In fact, when your mind turns toward the dharma, you fearlessly acknowledge impermanence and change and begin to get the knack of hopelessness.

In Tibetan there's an interesting word: ye tang che.  The ye part means "totally, completely," and the rest of it means "exhausted." Altogether, ye tang che means totally tired out.  We might say "totally fed up."  It describes an experience of complete hopelessness, of completely giving up hope.  This is an important point.  This is the beginning of the beginning.  Without giving up hope -- that there's somewhere better to be, that there's someone better to be -- we will never relax with where we are now or who we are.

To think that we can finally get it all together is unrealistic.  To seek for some lasting security is futile. To undo our very ancient and very stuck habitual patterns of mind requires that we begin to turn around some of our most basic assumptions.  Believing in a solid, separate self, continuing to seek pleasure and avoid pain, thinking that someone "out there" is to blame for our pain -- one has to get totally fed up with these ways of thinking.  One has to give up hope that this way of thinking will bring us satisfaction.  Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there's anywhere to hide."

 - Pema Chodron


I bring it all to my meditation mat: the numbness, the emptiness, the anxiety, the loss, the boredom, the grief, the gratitude, the joy, the laughter, the exhaustion...without judgement.  I sit and breathe and simply honor what is going on at the moment.  I am more than feelings and emotions.  I am more than thoughts.  I am more and yet I am nothing and everything. 

from my journals 

snapshot: detail of a tree, inspiration for a series of paintings 


Sunday, November 11

come on, save my soul

 

"I want a little sugar
in my bowl
I want a little sweetness
down in my soul
I could stand some lovin'
Oh so bad
I feel so funny and I feel so sad

I want a little steam
on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up
so they'll go
Whatsa matter Daddy
Come on, save my soul
I need some sugar in my bowl
I ain't foolin'
I want some sugar in my bowl

You been acting different
I've been told
Soothe me
I want some sugar in my bowl
I want some steam
on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up so they'll go
Whatsa matter Daddy
Come on save my soul
I want some sugar in my bowl
I ain't foolin'
I want some - yeah - in my bowl..."
- Nina Simone

mixed media on paper




Saturday, November 10

irresistible


"She was so extraordinarily beautiful that I nearly laughed out loud...I fell in love with her at once.  She was like a mirage of beauty of the ages, irresistible, like a pull of gravity.  She has everything I want in a woman." - Richard Burton (1925-1984)

mixed media on paper


Friday, November 9

fruta


"Woman is like a fruit which will only yield its fragrance when rubbed by the hands. Take for example the basil: unless it be warmed by the fingers, it emits no perfume. And do you know that unless amber is warmed and manipulated it retains it's aroma within? The same with women: if you do not animate her with frolics and kisses, with nibbling of her thighs and close embraces, you will not obtain what you desire: you will experience no pleasure when she shares your couch and she will feel no affection for you." - Sir Richard Burton, circa 1886

excerpt from a delicious book my Latin Lover gifted me many moons ago

snapshot: watermelon, from a series of fruit 

Thursday, November 8

gratitude


I enjoyed introducing my children to the Peruvian master, Fernando de Szyszlo. Their paternal grandparents knew him well and my grandfather collected his early artwork.




Wednesday, November 7

te invento a veces con mi vanidad


"Tengo la convicción de que no existes
y sin embargo te oigo cada noche

te invento a veces con mi vanidad
o mi desolación o mi modorra

del infinito mar viene tu asombro
lo escucho como un salmo y pese a todo

tan convencido estoy de que no existes
que te aguardo en mi sueño para luego."

- Mario Benedetti

detail from mixed media on canvas, 2013

Tuesday, November 6

I want you to know


"Quiero que sepas
una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe,
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
piensa
que en ese día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

Pero
si cada día,
cada hora
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable.
Si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos."

- Pablo Neruda

"I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is: 
if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch 
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash 
or the wrinkled body of the log, 
everything carries me to you, 
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats 
that sail 
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me 
I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me, 
for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners 
that passes through my life, 
and you decide 
to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots, 
remember 
that on that day, 
at that hour, 
I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off 
to seek another land. 

But 
if each day, 
each hour, 
you feel that you are destined for me 
with implacable sweetness, 
if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me, 
ah my love, ah my own, 
in me all that fire is repeated, 
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 
my love feeds on your love, beloved, 
and as long as you live it will be in your arms 
without leaving mine."

- Pablo Neruda
detail from mixed media on canvas, 2017

Monday, November 5

tu compañía


"¡Amor, cuántos caminos hasta llegar a un beso,
qué soledad errante hasta tu compañía!
Siguen los trenes solos rodando con la lluvia.
No amanece aún la primavera.

Pero tú y yo, amor mío, estamos juntos,
juntos desde la ropa a las raíces,
juntos de otoño, de agua, de caderas,
hasta ser sólo tú, sólo yo juntos.

Pensar que costó tantas piedras que lleva el río,
la desembocadura del agua de Boroa,
pensar que separados por trenes y naciones

tú y yo teníamos que simplemente amarnos,
con todos confundidos, con hombres y mujeres,
con la tierra que implanta y educa los claveles." - Pablo Neruda

detail from 2013 mixed media on canvas in a private collection