HER-story:

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

Thursday, December 31

releasing 2015 with gratitude


"So, what's up for your New Year?

I think of every new year as a new power grid that I am about to plug into. That also means I unplug from all systems and things in 2015 that I have no intention of taking along with me.

Obviously, I've given this a great deal of thought, as selecting what goes and what stays with me is serious business.

I spend time reflecting on what supports my health and well being and what diminishes it; what supports my creativity and what drains it; what enhances my sense of life and what makes me unhappy.

These are great, big, huge choices, especially as I have gotten older. 

These are the choices that matter to me more than they did in earlier times. 

And speaking of "time" - time itself has become more precious to me. I am becoming very selfish about my time now. It is my most precious commodity - that which none of us can replace.

So let me inspire you to think about next year as a power grid.

Don't take anything into 2016 that drains you.

Let go of issues that made you angry and irritated. That was a 2015 "thing". 

Don't bring that stuff with you. 

Start fresh. 

Reboot. 

Visualize your 2016 power grid lighting up with health, friendship, networks of loving connections, opportunities to do good things, and grace pouring in from all over the place. 

Begin your year in an atmosphere of prayer and blessings where all things are possible through Divine intervention."

- Caroline Myss
12.31.2015

This year swept me off my feet into wild dances leading to profound lessons about impermanence, forgiveness, faith and healing.

I am grateful for all of the blessings, especially those which may still be disguised. 

I release the year with love and open my heart, body, mind and soul to the NEW YEAR which I welcome with curiosity...


Wednesday, December 30

keeping my distance


Book of Secrets:

"There are only three kinds of people in your life: those who leave you alone, those who help you, and those who hurt you. People who leave you alone are dealing with your suffering as a nuisance or inconvenience - they prefer to keep their distance in order to feel better about themselves. Those who help you have the strength and awareness to do more with your suffering than you are able to do by yourself. Those who hurt you want the situation to stay the same because they do not have your well-being at heart. Honestly count how many people in each category you have in your life. This isn't the same as counting friends and family members. Assess others solely as they relate to your difficulties. Having made a realistic count, take the following attitude:

- I will no longer bring my problems to anyone who wants to leave me alone. It's not good for them or me. They don't want to help, so I will not ask them.

- I will share my problems with those who want to help me. I will not reject genuine offers of assistance out of pride, insecurity, or doubt. I will ask these people to join me in my healing and make them a bigger part of my life.

- I will put a distance between myself and those who want to hurt me. I do not have to confront them, guilt-trip them, or make them the cause of my self-pity. But I cannot afford to absorb their toxic effect on me, and if that means keeping my distance, I will."
- Deepak Chopra


I must keep a distance between myself and anyone who does not genuinely have my well-being at heart...

I will not absorb toxic judgements...

I will not have my sacred joy contaminated...


mixed media on paper from a favorite series



Tuesday, December 29

realize the mission of woman's body and the holiness of all its parts


"The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of that soul will have become the movement of the body. The dancer will not belong to a nation but to all humanity. She will dance not in the form of a nymph, nor fairy, nor coquette but in the form of a woman in its greatest and purest expression. She will realize the mission of woman's body and the holiness of all its parts. She will dance the changing life of nature, showing how each part is transformed into the other. From all parts of her body shall shine radiant intelligence, bringing to the world the message of the thoughts and aspirations of thousands of women. She shall dance the freedom of women ..."
- Isadora Duncan (1877 – 1927)

mixed media on paper


Monday, December 28

grateful for the queer divine dissatisfaction and blessed unrest


"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 it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open...No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others..."
- Martha Graham

mixed media on paper



Sunday, December 27

te voy a contar un cuento...


"Women tell stories to each other. We sit or walk close together, telling stories of our lives, loves, discoveries, challenges, pains, and dreams.

Stories pass through us like streams...

We can talk on the phone for hours about nothing in particular.

Stories are our way to illuminate the path and find common ground. Our illusions of separation disappear when we hear stories of another's struggles or discoveries. We hear ourselves say, "I can relate to that!"

In our stories are seeds of our deepest longings and wishes. Through story, creative buds can burst into life.

Books are collections of stories for everyone to read and find their own meaning in. My books tell stories of my life and process. I believe these stories assist people in their creative growth, especially women.

A story can travel without you and inside many...whatever inspires you will inspire others! We are richly connected by our stories. 

Telling stories through letters, journals, books, by computers or on the phone are all ways to connect with other creative souls. 

Don't forget your dream life! 

Tell more stories! Your stories can teach, uplift, remind, give permission, reassure, inspire, give strength, allow humor. The tiniest story in your life can deeply touch another. You cannot know the effect your story might have. Please let your stories be heard." - SARK

a direct message from the Divine, from the Universe, from my Angels and Ancestors...encouraging me to continue writing my stories, my dreams, my prayers...my books...

Saturday, December 26

someone thinks instead of feels - a side effect of mindfulness


"Somewhere
someone
thinks they love
someone else
exactly like
I
love you.
Somewhere
someone shakes
from the ripple
of a thousand butterflies
inside a
single stomach.
Somewhere
someone
is packing their
bags
to see the world
with someone
else.
Somewhere
someone
is reaching through
the most
terrifying few
feet of space
to hold the
hand
of someone
else.
Somewhere
someone
is watching
someone else’s
chest
rise and fall
with the 
breath
of slumber.
Somewhere
someone 
is pouring
ink like blood
onto pages
fighting
to say the truth
that has
no words.
Somewhere
someone
is waiting
patient
but exhausted
to just
be
with someone
else.
Somewhere
someone
is opening
their eyes
to a sunrise
in someplace
they have never
seen.
Somewhere
someone
is pulling out 
the petals
twisting the
apple stem
picking up
the heads up penny
rubbing the
rabbits foot
knocking on
wood
throwing
coins into
fountains
hunting for
the only clover
with only 4 leaves
skipping over
the cracks
snapping the 
wishbone
crossing their
fingers
blowing out
the candles
sending dandelion
seeds into the
air
ushering eyelashes
off their thumbs
finding the first
star
and waiting for
11:11 on
their clock
to spend their 
wishes
on someone
else.
Somewhere
someone
is saying
goodbye
but somewhere
someone else
is saying
hello.
Somewhere
someone
is sharing their first
or their last
kiss
with their
or no longer their
someone
else.
Somewhere
someone
is wondering
if how they feel
is how the other
they
feels about them
and if both theys
could ever become
a they
together.
Somewhere
someone
is the decoder ring
to all of 
the great mysteries
of life
for someone
else.
Somewhere
someone
is the treasure map.
Somewhere
someone
thinks they love
someone else
exactly like
love you.
Somewhere
someone
is wrong."
- Tyler Knott Gregson

snapshot: shoulder selfie 


Friday, December 25

latin lover and goddess of life


loving words, heartfelt sentiments and gold-tipped feathers...


life is an exquisite poem...


Merry Christmas and blessings of peace, love and wonder...every single day...





Thursday, December 24

Noche Buena

- vintage snapshot of my grandparents' home -

Tonight families gather to celebrate each other and to honor Christ’s birth.

Those who are far away are missed more than ever.

Those who have passed away are always remembered.

A feast is prepared and enjoyed amidst laughter and song.

At midnight, bells ring to announce La Misa del Gallo, midnight mass with choir and candlelight.
Esta noche es Noche-Buena
Y no es noche de dormir.
– old Spanish verse

Wednesday, December 23

my wish list

a feather
-
a stone
-

a crystal
-
a kiss
-
a poem
-
a photograph
-
a drawing
-
a whisper
-
a smile
-
a prayer
-
a seashell
-
a moment
-
a breath
-
a memory

"Remember this December,
That love weighs more than gold!"
- Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

A piece of paper with LOVE scribbled on it is more valuable than any other gift, even gold.

A relaxed and peaceful state of being is more appreciated than a tired, stressed out state.

Take a nap instead of wrapping those last gifts...

Sip a cup of tea and contemplate the true meaning of the season...



Tuesday, December 22

remembering beloved Gurudev

Sri Gurudev playing with me, circa 1973-1974
His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda was born on December 22nd in 1914.  I celebrate beloved Gurudev, today and always...OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti...




Monday, December 21

Mother Night births The Sun - Winter Solstice


"Circle round, and I'll tell you a story about when the sun was born again...

It was the middle of winter, and the sun had grown very old.  All year long the sun had worked very hard, rising and setting day after day.  All year long the sun had fed everybody on earth, shining and shining, giving energy to the trees and the flowers and the grasses so they could grow and feed the animals and birds and insects and people...

Night felt sorry for the sun.

"Come to my arms and rest, child." she said. "After all, I am your mother.  You were born out of darkness, billions of years ago, and you will return to me when all things end.  Let me cradle you now, as I shelter every galaxy and star in the universe."

So Night wrapped her great arms around the sun, and the night was very long indeed...

Every time a child said thank you, the sun began to feel a little warmer, a little brighter.  Wrapped safely in the arms of Night, the sun grew younger and younger...For in the long night the sun had rested well and grown young from the songs and the thanks of the children, young as a brand-new baby, born out of Night once more.

"The sun has returned!  The sun is reborn!" the people cried.  And they danced and sang to celebrate the birth of a new day..." - STARHAWK


Sunday, December 20

on the eve of winter solstice


"You, darkness, that I come from 
I love you more than all the fires 
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone 
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! 
powers and people

and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

snapshot from my evening stroll 

Saturday, December 19

power to conceive from the invisible world of the dreamtime and co-create with the universe


"Aborigines believe that two separate realities exist: that of everyday life, and that of the dreamtime, the timeless realm from which energy beings (the gods) first sung the world into existence. The dreamtime is the domain of song and poetry, of symbols and archetypes; the shamans believe that it's the more important of the two realities, for it births, shapes, and forms the physical world. They'd probably agree with Einstein, who said, 'Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.'

In our own culture, we've come to value our waking reality so much that we've forgotten our power to conceive from the invisible world of the dreamtime and co-create with the universe."
- Alberto Villoldo

from childhood I learned that I could receive messages through dreams...

ideas for my artwork and poetry often originate in vivid, detailed dreams...

Friday, December 18

authentic power


"A queen is wise.  She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passed her tests.  She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it.  She has proven she can hold her kingdom together. She has become its vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself.  She rules with authentic power.

Our kingdom is our life, and our life is our kingdom.  We are all meant to rule from a glorious place."
-Marianne Williamson



Thursday, December 17

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




Wednesday, December 16

recordando a Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa


mi bello "Popo" de colonias y cuentos,


Popo quien me enseño a dibujar,
a jugar con palabras,
a platicar con seguridad,


a ser una verdadera pavo-real-la,
de plumas blancas y plateadas como las de las hadas,


Popo, siempre impecable y notable,
un genio genial y jovial,
de medallas y honores,
Popo de mis amores,


siento su mirada noche y día,
escucho sus consejos,
segura que nos encontramos en mis sueños..

remembering my beloved grandfather, truly a Grand Father

Tuesday, December 15

miedo de buscarte y de encontrarte

- mixed media on paper in a private collection -

"Ya me canso de llorar y no amanece -
Ya no sé si maldecirte o por ti rezar -
Tengo miedo de buscarte y de encontrarte -
Donde me aseguran mis amigos que te vas -
Hay momentos en que quisiera mejor rajarme -
Y arrancarme ya los clavos de mi penar -
Pero mis ojos se mueren sin mirar tus ojos -
Y mi cariño con la aurora te vuelve a esperar -

Y agarraste por tu cuenta la parranda -
Paloma negra, paloma negra ¿dónde, dónde andarás?
Ya no jueges con mi honra parrandera -
Si tus caricias han de ser mías, de nadie más -
Y aunque te amo con locura ya no vuelva -
Paloma negra eres la reja de un penar -
Quiero ser libre vivir mi vida con quien yo quiera -
Díos dame fuerza que me estoy muriendo,
por irla a buscar..."


- as sung by Chavela Vargas



Monday, December 14

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul...


"No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:

te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras, secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores, y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde, te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:

así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera, sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres, tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía, tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño."

- Pablo Neruda

***

"I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; 

so I love you because I know no other way than this:  

where "I" does not exist, nor "you,"
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep."

- Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Tapscott

snapshot - bronze sculpture suspended by endless unconventional pearls and vintage silks 



Sunday, December 13

winged or chained?

- from my journals -
"...It's hard to say.  
Separate or combine, I ask you one last time:
Did I hold you too tight?
Did I not let enough light in?

If a feeling appears, if your mind should sway,
It's not a secret you should keep,
I won't let you slip away.

We used to be closer than this...
We used to be closer than this...
Is it something you miss?

Winged or chained,
I ask you,
Would you have stayed?" - XX



Saturday, December 12

Mama Linda

my son and his great-grandmother's Madre Maria

he calls her "Mama Linda" - "Beautiful Mother"

how do we reach out to the Mother within every woman?

how do we surrender to the wisdom of Mother Earth?

how do we embrace the Goddess within every woman?


Friday, December 11

did I disappoint you?


"Is it getting better? Or do you feel the same? Will it make it easier on you now? You got someone to blame.

You say: one love, only life, when it's one need in the night...

Did I disappoint you? Or leave a bad taste in your mouth? 

You act like you've never had love and now you want me to go without.

Well, it's too late tonight to drag the past out into the light. We're one, but we're not the same...

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead? 

...Did I ask too much? More than a lot?

You gave me nothing. 
Now it's all I got.

We're one, but we're not the same. 
Well, we hurt each other and then we do it again. 

You say love is a temple, love the higher law. You ask me to enter, but then you make me crawl. 

And I can't be holding on to what you got, when all you got is hurt.

One love.
One blood.
One life.
You got to do what you should.
One life, with each other.
Sisters, brothers, one life.

But we're not the same,
we get to carry each other..."
- U2

snapshot: a corner of my home featuring a mixed media on canvas 

Thursday, December 10

life's cycles


"My life is fruitful and abundant. Just as the earth has its cycles and seasons, so, too, our own lives have times of planting, times of growth and times of harvest."


"So much of my frustration comes from my refusal to accept life's seasons as they come to me."


"An adolescent child enters a period of rebellion. This is necessary to full maturation. A project at the midpoint is sprawling and unwieldy. This, too, is necessary. A marriage enters a time of solo growth and trajectories as each partner pursues independent interests. However unsettling, this, too, is healthy."


"Not all seasons lie serene in the sun, yet each has its place. As I ask to be attuned to life's cycles, I feel my anxiety slipping away. I rest in the faith that all is unfolding according to right timing. I am where I should be when I should be. I am alert to the good of every moment."
- Julia Cameron

images: mixed media on paper from a series of work in progress





Wednesday, December 9

in the root bed of fertility


"When a woman feels alone, when the room is full of daemons,” the Nootka tribe tells us, "The Old Woman will be there.” She has come to me over three thousand miles and what does she have to tell me, troubled "by phantoms in the night”? 

Is she really here? 
What is the saving word from so deep in the past. 
From as deep as the ancient root of the redwood, from as deep as the primal bed of the ocean, from as deep as a woman’s heart sprung open again through a hard birth or a hard death? 
Here under the shock of love, I am open to you, Primal Spirit, one with rock and wave, one with survivors of flood and fire, who have rebuilt their homes a million times, who have lost their children and borne them again. 
The words I hear are strength, laughter, endurance. 
Old Woman I meet you deep inside myself. There in the root bed of fertility, world without end, as the legend tells it. 
Under the words you are my silence."
- May Sarton

snapshot of bronze sculpture suspended by pearls

Tuesday, December 8

Rumi's guest house


"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."
- RUMI

snapshot: my son holding one of my sculptures 



Monday, December 7

he calls me his goddess


"There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats."
- Pablo Picasso



Sunday, December 6

do you know how to draw the moon?


she was an amazon

an ebony goddess
a statue carved from luminous flesh dark as night

she leaned over
and in slow whispering song asked

Do you know how to draw the moon ?

excerpt from “The Goddess Speaks” a manuscript in progress
originally published in April 2007

it has been polished and extended since then...and I have learned to draw more and more moonlight into my life...

Saturday, December 5

confront difficulties


"I see simplicity in the complicated. 

I do great things while they are small.

I can get anywhere from here.


63rd Verse:

Practice nonaction.

Work without doing.

Taste the tasteless.

Magnify the small, increase the few.

Reward the bitterness with care.

See simplicity in the complicated.

Achieve greatness in little things.

Take on difficulties while the are still easy; do great things while they are still small.

The sage does not attempt anything very big, and thus achieves greatness.

If you agree too easily, you will be little trusted; because the sage always confronts difficulties, s(he) never experiences them."

- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Living Wisdom of the Tao


Original Photo Credits: Catalina Checa

I have enjoyed playing with these images of myself and the ocean...I am craving saltwater once again...




Friday, December 4

wise women of the dreamtime


Who are the wise women in your life?  When do you seek their counsel?

The wise women speak to me through dreams and symbols.

There are no coincidences...I am being guided, moment by moment.

"In the ancient way of being, the earth not only creates, feels, and protects life, but like a mother, whispers through natural signs and images the secret knowledge of how body, mind, emotions and spirit work upon each other in an intricate, invisible weaving."
- Johanna Lambert from "Wise Women of the Dreamtime"


Thursday, December 3

grateful for the wonder


playful mixed media from one of my older journals...

"Sex is the consolation you have when you can't have love...

Don't let yourself die without knowing the wonder of  f*cking  with love..."

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I am truly grateful for the wonder...intercourse as consolation seems sad, empty, cold, soul-less and unfulfilling...simply not for me...






Wednesday, December 2

where does the dance begin, where does it end?


"Don't call this world adorable, or useful, that's not it.
It's frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.

But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn't the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven't the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?

Don't call this world an explanation, or even an education.

When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking

to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,

as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?"

- Mary Oliver