HER-story:

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

Tuesday, September 30

an intimate dialogue of truth

- 2014 mixed media on paper from my journal -
"Ultimately, healing is the result of a mystical act of surrender; an awakening that transcends any religion.  It is an intimate dialogue of truth between the individual and the Divine."
- C. Myss




Monday, September 29

a path appears




"Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing - but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears." 
- Lu Xun, Chinese essayist, 1921

an inspiring and encouraging evening with Nicholas D. Kristof





Sunday, September 28

to arrive at a kiss


"Amor, cuantos caminos hasta llegar a un beso, que soledad errante hasta tu compañía!" - Pablo Neruda

"Love, what a long way, to arrive at a kiss, what loneliness-in-motion, toward your company!" - Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Tapscott

2013 mixed media on canvas


Saturday, September 27

volcanoes melt me down

- mixed media -
"...and what I am to you is not real,
what I am to you, you do not need,
what I am to you is not what you mean to me,
you give me miles and miles of mountains,
and I'll ask for the sea.

don't throw yourself like that,
in front of me.
I kissed your mouth, your back,
is that all you need?
don't drag my love around,
volcanoes melt me down.

...what I give to you is just what I'm going through,
there is nothing new, no, no just another phase of finding,
what I really need is what makes me bleed...

I kissed your mouth,
you do not need me."
- Damien Rice

Friday, September 26

amar es el empiece de la palabra amargura

- 2007 mixed media on paper -
"Es por culpa de una hembra
que me estoy volviendo loco.
No puedo vivir sin ella,
pero con ella tampoco.


Y si de este mal de amores
yo me fuera pa' la tumba,
a mi no me mandeis flores,
que como dice esta rumba:


Quise cortar la flor
mas tierna del rosal,
pensando que de amor
no me podria pinchar,
y mientras me pinchaba
me 
enseñó una cosa
que una rosa es una rosa es una rosa...

Y cuando abri la mano
y la deje caer
rompieron a sangrar
las llagas en mi piel
y con sus petalos
me las curo mimosa
que una rosa es una rosa es una rosa...


Pero cuanto mas me cura,
al ratito mas me escuece,
porque amar es el empiece
de la palabra amargura.


Una mentira y un credo
por cada espina del tallo
que injertandose en los dedos
una rosa es un rosario..."

- J.M. Cano



Thursday, September 25

asceticism and awareness

- I adore dark, wet, rainy mornings -

"Love springs from awareness.

It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she REALLY is here and now and not how they are in your memory or your DESIRE or in your imagination or projection that you can truly love them, otherwise it is not the person that you love but the IDEA that you have formed of this person, or this person as the OBJECT of your DESIRE not as he or she is in themselves.

Therefore the first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality as it truly is.  And this involves ENORMOUS DISCIPLINE of DROPPING your DESIRES, your PREJUDICES, your MEMORIES, your PROJECTIONS, your selective way of looking, a discipline so great that most people would rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than to SUBMIT to the BURNING FIRE of this ASCETICISM.

When you set out to serve someone whom you have not taken the trouble to see, are you meeting that person's need or your own? So the first ingredient of love is to really see the other.

The second ingredient is equally important to see yourself, to RUTHLESSLY flash the LIGHT of AWARENESS on your motives, your emotions, your needs, your dishonesty, your self-seeking, your TENDENCY to CONTROL and MANIPULATE.  This means calling things by their name, no matter how painful the discovery and the consequences.  If you achieve this kind of awareness of the other and yourself, you will know what love is. For you will have attained a mind and a heart that is alert, vigilant, clear, sensitive, a clarity of perception, a sensitivity that will draw out of you an accurate, appropriate response to every situation at every moment.

Sometimes you will be irresistibly impelled into action, at others you will be held back and restrained. You will sometimes be made to ignore others and sometimes give them the attention they seek. At times you will be gentle and yielding, at others hard, uncompromising, assertive, even violent. For the love that is BORN of SENSITIVITY takes many unexpected forms and it responds not to prefabricated guidelines and principles but to present, concrete reality. When you first experience this kind of sensitivity you are likely to experience TERROR. For all your defenses will be torn down, your dishonesty exposed, the protected wall around you burned.

...If it is love that you truly desire then set out at once on the task of seeing, take it seriously and look at someone you DISLIKE and really see your PREJUDICE. Look at someone you CLING TO or something you cling to and really see the SUFFERING, the FUTILITY, the UNFREEDOM of CLINGING and look long and lovingly at human faces and human behavior..."

- Anthony De Mello

from my early morning meditation

Wednesday, September 24

new moon in libra


I have begun to step into my power. 

I am facing my fears and surrendering to the unknown.

I refuse to shrink...

"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not fear insecure around you..." - Marianne Williamson






Tuesday, September 23

y en el ultimo trago me besas

- Frida Kahlo and Chavela Vargas, 2013 mixed media on paper -
"Tomate esta botella conmigo,
y en el ultimo trago nos vamos.


Quiero ver a que sabe tu olvido,
sin poner en mis ojos tus manos.

Esta noche no voy a rogarte,
esta noche te vas de deveras.


Que dificil tratar de olvidarte,
sin que sienta que ya no me quieras...

Nada me han enseñado los años,
siempre caigo en los mismos errores,
otra vez a brindar con extraños,
y a llorar por los mismos dolores...

Tomate esta botella conmigo,
y en el ultimo trago me besas.


Esperamos que no hayan testigos,
por si acaso te diera verguenza.


Si algun dia sin querer tropezamos,
no te agaches ni me hables de frente,
simplemente la mano nos damos,
y despues que murmure la gente..." - Chavela Vargas




Monday, September 22

autumn equinox


watercolor skies greeted me home...


a NEW YEAR begins in NATURE...


a time to celebrate and give thanks for the abundance in our lives...


longer nights...inner journeys...




Sunday, September 21

dreaming of the sea again


"...mientras que tu sales del mar, desnuda, y regresas al mundo llena de sal y sol, reverberante estatua y espada de la arena." - Pablo Neruda

"...while you come naked out of the sea and return to the world full of salt and sun: reverberating statue, sword in the sand." - Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Tapscott 

Saturday, September 20

at the touch of a lover


"Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet." - Plato

mixed media on canvas, circa 2001, in a private collection 

Friday, September 19

io non dormo e penso a te

- mixed media on paper -
"Io lavoro e penso a te,
torno a casa e penso a te,
le telefono e intanto penso a te...

Come stai e penso a te,
dove andiamo e penso a te,
le sorrido abbasso gli occhi e penso a te...

Non so con chi adesso sei,
non so che cosa fai,
ma so di certo a cosa stai pensando...

E' troppo grande la città,
per due che come noi,
non sperano però si stan cercando... cercando...

Scusa è tardi e penso a te,
ti accompagno e penso a te,
non son stato divertente e penso a te...

Sono al buio e penso a te,
chiudo gli occhi e penso a te,
io non dormo e penso a te..." - Lucio Battisti (1943-1998)



Thursday, September 18

I will bare my soul in time, when I'm kneeling at your feet

- mixed media on paper from 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 


Wednesday, September 17

soy el mar de todos tus puertos

- 2014 mixed media on paper -
el talismán de tu piel me ha dicho
que soy la reina de tus caprichos,
yo soy el as de los corazones,
que se pasean en tus tentaciones,
el talismán de tu piel me cuenta
que en tu montura caerán las riendas

cuando una noche de amor desesperados
caigamos juntos y enredados
la alfombra y el alrededor, acabaran
desordenados
cuando una noche de amor que yo no dudo
la eternidad venga seguro
tu y yo, el desnudo y el corazón...seremos uno

yo soy la tierra de tus raíces: el talismán de tu piel lo dice,
yo soy la tierra de tus raíces: lo dice el corazón y el fuego de tu piel,
yo soy la tierra de tus raíces: el talismán de tu piel lo dice,
yo soy la tierra de tus raíces: a ver que dices tu

el talismán de tu piel me chiva
que ando descalza de esquina a esquina,
por cada calle que hay en tus sueños,
que soy el mar de todos tus puertos,
el talismán de tu piel me cuenta
que tu destino caerá a mi puerta
 
song lyrics - © ROSANA ARBELO

Tuesday, September 16

head and heart in the clouds


I thought about you today 
- under blue skies...

I thought about you today
- when I felt the sun...

I looked up and saw your messages in the clouds...



Monday, September 15

no puedes por razones técnicas

"Look, I don't ask much, just your hand, to hold it...I need that door you gave me for coming into your world, that little chunk of green sugar, of a lucky ring. Can't you just spare me your hand tonight at the end of a year of hoarse-voiced-owls? You can't for technical reasons. So I weave it in the air, warping each finger, the silky peach of the palm and the back, that country of blue trees. That's how I take it and hold it, as if so much of the world depended on it..."
- Julio Cortázar translated by Stephen Kessler

the original version in Spanish always takes my breath away...

"Mira, no pido mucho, solamente tu mano, tenerla...Necesito esa puerta que me dabas para entrar a tu mundo, ese trocito de azúcar verde, de redondo alegre. No me prestas tu mano en esta noche de fin de año de lechuzas roncas?No puedes, por razones técnicas. Entonces la tramo en aire, urdiendo cada dedo, el durazno sedoso de la palma y el dorso, ese país de azules árboles. Así la tomo y la sostengo, como si de ello dependiera muchísimo del mundo..."
- Julio Cortázar 

Sunday, September 14

slow and powerful


"The graceful movements come from a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor. Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge of driftwood along the beach, wanting! They derive from a slow and powerful root that we can't see. Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out." - RUMI

I dreamed with ancient oceans again last night...

snapshot: detail from a work in progress, mixed media on canvas




Saturday, September 13

grounded in wisdom of uncertainty

- 2013 mixed media on canvas -
wisdom from Deepak Chopra:

In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty...in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning.

And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.

...in order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it.  This doesn't mean you give up the intention to create your desire.  You don't give up the intention, and you don't give up the desire.  You give up your attachment to the result.

This is a very powerful thing to do.  The moment you relinquish your attachment to the result, combining one-pointed intention with detachment at the same time, you will have that which you desire.  Anything you want can be acquired through detachment, because detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self.

Attachment, on the other hand, is based on fear and insecurity - and the need for security is based on not knowing the true Self.  The source of wealth, of abundance, or of anything in the physical world is the Self; it is the consciousness that knows how to fulfill every need.  Everything else is a symbol: cars, houses, bank notes, clothes, airplanes.  Symbols are transitory; they come and they go.  Chasing symbols is like settling for the map instead of the territory.  It creates anxiety; it ends up making you feel hollow and empty inside, because you exchange your Self for the symbols of your Self.

...The search for security is an illusion.  In ancient wisdom traditions, the solution to this whole dilemma lies in the wisdom of insecurity, or the wisdom of uncertainty.  This means that the search for security and certainty is actually an ATTACHMENT to the known.  And what's the known?  The known is our PAST.  The known is nothing other than the prison of past conditioning.  There's no evolution in that - absolutely none at all.  And when there is no evolution, there is stagnation, entropy, disorder and decay.

Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom.  Uncertainty means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new, always open to the creation of new manifestations.  Without uncertainty and the unknown, life is just the stale repetition of outworn memories.  You become the victim of the past, and your tormentor today is your self left over from yesterday.

...In your willingness to step into the unknown, you will have the wisdom of uncertainty factored in.  This means that in every moment of your life, you will have excitement, adventure, mystery. You will experience the FUN of  LIFE - the magic, the celebration, the exhilaration, and the exultation of your own spirit.

Every day you can look for the excitement of what may occur in the field of all possibilities.  When you experience uncertainty, you are on the right path - so don't give it up.  You don't need to have a complete and rigid idea of what you'll be doing next week or next year, because if you have a very clear idea of what's going to happen and you get rigidly attached to it, then you shut out a whole range of possibilities.

...When you get attached, you freeze your desire from that infinite fluidity and flexibility into a rigid framework which interferes with the whole process of creation...With uncertainty factored in, you might change direction in any moment if you find a higher ideal, or if you find something more exciting.  You are also less likely to force solutions on problems, which enables you to stay alert to opportunities.

...You can look at every problem you have in your life as an opportunity for some greater benefit. You can stay alert to opportunities by being grounded in the wisdom of uncertainty. When your preparedness meets opportunity, the solution will spontaneously appear.

What comes out of that is often called "good luck."  Good luck is nothing but preparedness and opportunity coming together.  When the two are mixed together with an alert witnessing of the chaos, a solution emerges that will be of evolutionary benefit to you and to all those that you come into contact with.  -- Deepak Chopra


Friday, September 12

intimate friends

- mixed media from ongoing series -

"Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body.  The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life, while the latter looks on in detachment." - The Mundaka Upanishad



Thursday, September 11

"MAMA look - the Twin Towers!"


My young son and I have made a habit of beginning our days with books.  Reading is a central part of our little morning rituals, along with yoga, music and usually some yogurt.

We take turns choosing books and I always have him choose the first one.  Today's selection was a compilation of short stories featuring an adorable little monkey.  When we reached page 183, my son gasped and exclaimed:

"MAMA, look - the Twin Towers! 
I wish I could have seen them for real.
People in New York are so brave.
I love New York City."


Wednesday, September 10

Jorge Vega Umana - New York City Fashion Week




It was an honor to have my CASIMIRA pieces make a cameo appearance...

Congratulations to my Jorge Darling...you truly outdid yourself once again...


Tuesday, September 9

wearable sculpture


these pieces arrived in New York City with the harvest moon





Monday, September 8

HERstory on the full moon


miles and miles of pearls...detail from one of the pieces I worked on this weekend and mailed out to New York City today...

"La diosa de amor vestía de perlas en noches de lunas llenas..." - casimira

When I began creating pieces (in the late 1990s), I realized each of my "wearable sculptures" had a story to tell...

"Each piece tells a story and like the human soul, no two are exactly alike." - one of my signature quotes for almost two decades. 

HERstory...is my story and perhaps a part of your story?

may tonight's full moon bring you mystical dreams...and perhaps tell you a story...

Sunday, September 7

mermaid goddess dreams

- 2007 mixed media from journals -
I dreamed with my ocean once more.

I can still taste the salt waters, feel the warmth of the sun.  

I dressed in shredded, transparent layers...veils of sensuous shipwrecked silks.  

Was I once a mermaid? 

Was I once a goddess of the sea?  

Don't these archetypes still exist in me?


from my dream journal


Saturday, September 6

it is your beauty

- mixed media from my journals, circa 2007 -
"In all my lives you have been with me; whether day or night I remember.

When you fall out of my sight, I am restless day and night, burning.

I climb hilltops; I watch for signs of your return; my eyes are swollen with tears.

The ocean of life - that's not genuine; the ties of family, the obligation to the world - they're not genuine.

It is your beauty that makes me drunk..." - MIRABAI

a delicious poem that found me this morning after sunrise meditation and yoga


Friday, September 5

so love

- mixed media -
"This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings.  So love, love, love." - HAFIZ



Thursday, September 4

expression

- mixed media on paper -
"There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost."
- Martha Graham (1894-1991)

how do we block ourselves?

how do we block our expression?

why would we do this to our souls?

we are on this planet to DANCE our DREAMS into realities...we are ALIVE so that we can stretch and grow and learn and laugh and cry and express the beauty that is within us...





Wednesday, September 3

from the feminine mystique

- mixed media on paper -
"If a woman's needs for identity, for self-esteem, for achievement and finally for expression of her unique human individuality are not recognized by herself or others in our culture, she is forced to seek identity and self-esteem in the only channels open to her; the pursuit of sexual fulfillment, motherhood, and the possession of material things.  And chained to these pursuits, she is stunted at a lower level of living, blocked from the realization of her higher human needs."
- Betty Friedan

Tuesday, September 2

finally finding all of my courage to let it all go

- a little sketch from today -

"I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are 
All I can feel

Remembering
You standing quiet in the rain
As I ran to your heart to be near
And we kissed as the sky fell in
Holding you close
How I always held close in your fear

Remembering
You running soft through the night
You were bigger and brighter and whiter than snow
And screamed at the make-believe
Screamed at the sky
And you finally found all your courage
To let it all go

Remembering
You fallen into my arms
Crying for the death of your heart
You were stone white
So delicate
Lost in the cold
You were always so lost in the dark

Remembering
You how you used to be
Slow drowned
You were angels
So much more than everything
Hold for the last time then slip away quietly
Open my eyes
But I never see anything

If only I'd thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I'd thought of the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart
All my pictures of you

Looking so long at these pictures of you
But I never hold on to your heart
Looking so long for the words to be true
But always just breaking apart
My pictures of you

There was nothing in the world
That I ever wanted more
Than to feel you deep in my heart

There was nothing in the world
That I ever wanted more
Than to never feel the breaking apart
All my pictures of you" - THE CURE

I am finally finding all of my courage to let it all go...



Monday, September 1

September 1st - HIS birthday

- mixed media self-portrait from a series I began in 2007 -
It was a lazy Sunday morning. Tumbling out of bed, I made my way to the grocery store in search of tulips and mangos. The sun was gloriously hot – summer was near.

While contemplating what color of tulips to get, red, pink, white, maybe striped...I suddenly sensed something and looked up. Clad in vintage aviator Ray-Bans, a mane of luscious locks swept back – it was him – HIM...

Ducking behind the roses, my heart and mind began a marathon. Why could I not take 5 minutes to shower...2 minutes to comb my hair...had I even brushed my teeth...PANIC. Could HE see me? Why had I not followed my parents’ cardinal rule:  be ready to see anyone and be ready to be seen at all times.

He looked freshly showered, impeccable as always, but still maintaining the signature rugged manly appeal for which he was famous. I was dressed in yoga gear – tight, black cotton lycra – UGH. Lip gloss was the extent of my morning beauty routine.

Snatching a bunch of tulips, I took advantage of the fact that he was selecting organic tomatoes. I seized my mangos and sprinted to the check-out...

from my journals, originally published in 2007 and yes I had brushed my teeth