HER-story:

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

Saturday, December 31

2016


This year swept me off my feet into wild dances that brought me to my knees in sacred surrender.

I have savored the sweetest moments of motherhood this year which shall remain engraved in my soul.

I carried and birthed a blessed daughter who is already teaching me so much. She is a JOY.

My beloved, angelic children empowered me with the courage to face and slash demons...

Too many "friends" and family members have been absent from my life this past year. I am grateful for their indifference for it has shown me some true colors I have been unwilling to see. I am grateful for the opportunity to practice the art of forgiveness.

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

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

excerpt from my journal



Friday, December 30

the truth is, my sweetheart


"Nothing can shatter this love. For even if you took another into your arms, the truth is, my sweetheart, you would still be kissing me." - my beloved HAFIZ




Thursday, December 29

the last new moon of 2016


we prayed and set seeds of intention amidst healing sounds, fire, crystals, dance and more...



Wednesday, December 28

Tuesday, December 27

8 months


my darling daughter is eight months old today...

she says "DADA" and simply adores her father...

she loves bananas and sweet potatoes and her new high chair...

she has two bottom teeth that show when she laughs and sings opera...

she devours books, quite literally...

she knows what she wants...

she has the most wonderful wild hair and she leaves her bows on...

she makes me laugh every single day...

she is in love with her older brother...

she is fiercely feminine...

my blessed baby girl...

excerpt from my journal 




Monday, December 26

his gifts


"Are your pants from outer space?
Cuz your butt is out of this world..."

xo xo xo




Sunday, December 25

my elf


a merry little christmas, indeed...

baby's first...


Saturday, 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

Friday, December 23

my lips next to your cheek

- 2013 watercolor from the series titled "A Thousand Kisses Deep" -

"I saw you last night at the gathering,

but could not take you openly in my arms,

so I put my lips next to your cheek,

pretending to talk privately." - RUMI


Thursday, December 22

remembering 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...




Wednesday, December 21

guides from beyond on the winter solstice


"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

Tuesday, December 20

without apology



"This is your time. Your time to say what you have kept silent. Your time to ask your big questions without apology. Your time to shine like a blazing comet, whether they like it or not. Your time to believe what your heart tells you: that this world could be very different. Your time to live by your rhythms, and teach them to the world. Your time to nurture your village back to health. Your time to show the world what it has been missing. Your time to show the world the other side of itself."
- T.S. Mohr




Monday, December 19

my name doesn't fill your mouth



"I am haunted by the things I miss and the times my name doesn't fill your mouth. I need a word for the way that feels, for all the letters don't seem to say it properly."

- Tyler Knott Gregson


Sunday, December 18

strength laughter endurance


"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

Saturday, December 17

milk and honey


"Casimira de Mi Vida,
You are my milk and honey.
You are the nourishment and sweetness of my life."

- Luis J. Checa Pallais
(a.k.a. my Latin Lover)



Friday, December 16

someone somewhere thinks too much...


"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 


Thursday, December 15

sacred sweat

- detail from watercolor on paper -
how do you pray?

when do you pray?

do you pray?

Although I encounter moments of reverence throughout mass, my soul's prayers - my connection with the Divine - are more purely and more intensely felt elsewhere:

In nature.
In silence.
In dance.
In painting.
In yoga.
In sculpting.
In lovemaking.
In compassion.
In laughter.
In salty tears.
In long embraces.

Today I sweat my prayers...

"To sweat is to pray, to make an offering of your innermost self.  Sweat is holy water, prayer beads, pearls of liquid that release your past.  Sweat is an ancient and universal form of self healing, whether done in the gym, the sauna, or the sweat lodge.  I do it on the dance floor.  The more you dance, the more you sweat.  The more you sweat, the more you pray.  The more you pray, the closer you come to ecstasy." - Gabrielle Roth




Wednesday, December 14

craving saltwater


"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...




Tuesday, December 13

universality and cyclicity


"Arianrhod is a matriarchal Welsh triple moon goddess, both virgin and mother. Famed for her beauty...she has a special love, concern, and responsibility for all life, especially for the green growing things of the earth. One derivation of her name is 'high fruitful mother who turns the wheel of the heavens;' the other is 'silver wheel.' Her name tells us of her role as keeper of the heavens and of the cycles and changes of time. She lives in a castle in the Corona Borealis, where she watches over souls in a purgatory filled with beings awaiting rebirth. 

Arianrhod, keeper of time, giver and nurturer of life, shows us the universality and cyclicity of our lives; she is there to nurture us through the dark night of our soul changes."
- Michael Babcock

image: my journal with a Susan Eleanor Boulet goddess card, a crystal and flowers from a workshop 

Monday, December 12

esa puerta que me dabas para entrar a tu mundo


"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, December 11

you have been the one



"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 


so many dreams...
direct messages...




Saturday, December 10

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, December 9

honor dreams


"She shows up just when you need her. She always gives you the support and counsel you need, and never judges you.

She is an amazing psychic advisor: she knows what the future holds for you, and she can tell you what to do and what not to do to avoid something bad or find the right job, or the right home, or the right partner.

She is a...healer who can help you to fix your body before you get sick, and who has the right medicine and nurturing to speed you into healing and recovery...She makes house calls at any time, and she never charges you a cent.

She's fabulous fun and a great traveling companion. She makes you want to get up and dance, and sing, and play. She loves to fly off to exotic places...

She has wonderful energy. An hour in her company gives you a boost for a whole week.

She'll mother you when you, and your beautiful inner child self, need mothering, hold you when you need holding, and give you a shove when you need to jump through a hole in the world.

She knows you better than you know yourself, in your everyday mind. When she holds up a mirror in front of you, you don't notice the blemishes. You see a being of radiant power and possibility, your ancient and shining self. And in that moment of recognition, you begin to remember and live from your soul's purpose, the sacred contract you signed before you came into your present body.

...and you never say thank you, or remember her birthday. You ignore her advice more often than not...You forget the songs you sang together, and those nights of love and beauty...If you find the moon through the smog and city lights, you do not recollect that she flew you there...

If she were a regular friend, she might dump you as a miserable ingrate. This friend is beyond the ordinary, and she has the patience of an angel - but even the patience of angels is not endless. So if you won't take her advice, she might make less of an effort to warn you...Then the magic begins to flicker in your world, and you are more alone than you ever need or want to be.

...dreams require action. We must take action to honor the friend who visits and advises and travels with us in our dreams, but the most important is the one we find in the mirror - when our sight is clear: the ancient and shining self. 

Taking the right action to honor dreams is practical magic of a high order. Real magic is the art of reaching into a deeper reality and bringing gifts from it into the physical world. This is what we do when we honor dreams, and the powers that speak through dreams."
- Robert Moss


Thursday, December 8

temple of my adult aloneness


THE HOUSE OF BELONGING by David Whyte

"I awoke
this morning

in the gold light
turning this way
and that

thinking for
a moment
it was one
day
like any other.

But
the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
and
I thought

it must have been the quiet
candlelight
that filled my room,

it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,

it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

And
I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next

and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging."
- David Whyte

I woke up thinking of this poem...


Wednesday, December 7

now I shout for more

- 2013 mixed media -
"I used to be shy.
You made me sing.

I used to refuse things at the table.
Now I shout for more wine.

In somber dignity, I used to sit on my mat and pray.

Now children run through and make faces at me."
 - RUMI

Tuesday, December 6

few know

- mixed media on paper -
"I take pleasure in my transformations.
I look quiet and consistent,
but few know how many women there are in me."
- Anais Nin


the little girl full of wonder

the adolescent ready to rebel

the shy young woman waiting patiently

the lover free of any inhibition

the silent and committed wife

the nurturing mother giver of life

the storyteller

the dancing warrior of light

the high priestess

the healer

the shaman

the goddess

the channel

the alchemist

the crone

the artist


from my journals



Monday, December 5

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







Sunday, December 4

wrapped in moonlight


"He returned to her and his lips awakened every atom in her body. His love exhausted her stars, she could not help it! She stumbled and lost her balance, wrapped herself in his moonlight and forever she seasoned his love." 
- R.M.Drake


Saturday, December 3

the world


"Do not promise her the stars if you cannot see them yourself and never tell her you love her if love does not mean the world to you." - Robert M. Drake 





Friday, December 2

waiting


"I will be waiting here...
For your silence to break,
For your soul to shake,
For your love to wake!"
- RUMI





Thursday, December 1

more than gold


Remember this December,

That love weighs more than gold!

- Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon


Wednesday, November 30

my first love story


“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They are in each other all along.” – RUMI

he kissed me (my first kiss)
22 years ago
today

he married me
14 years ago
today

his kiss still makes me blush...




Tuesday, November 29

no se atrevía a acercársele


“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.” 



“Le parecía tan bella, tan seductora, tan distinta de la gente común, que no entendía por qué nadie se trastornaba como él con las castañuelas de sus tacones en los adoquines de la calle, ni se le desordenaba el corazón con el aire de los suspiros de sus volantes, ni se volvía loco de amor todo el mundo con los vientos de su trenza, el vuelo de sus manos, el oro de su risa. No había perdido un gesto suyo, ni un indicio de su carácter, pero no se atrevía a acercársele por el temor de malograr el encanto."

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014)

Monday, November 28

goddess gifts


I was walking barefoot on the cobblestone streets, heading towards the colonial cathedral. 

The goddess appeared with specific messages and gifts:

a golden pen to write

a blue feather to fly

corals, crystals and minerals to sculpt

excerpt from my dreams 


Sunday, November 27

seven months


my sweet baby is seven months on my beloved grandmother's birthday...

Uca would have been in love with her great-grandaughter who may have inherited some of her sweetness and beauty...




Saturday, November 26

ahí como si nada

- 2013 mixed media -

"Te conseguí la luz del sol a medianoche
Y el número después del infinito,
E instalé la Osa Mayor en tu diadema
Y tú seguías ahí como si nada;

Endulcé el agua del mar para tu sed,
Te alquilé un cuarto menguante de la luna,
Y como buen perdedor busqué en la cama
Las cosas que el amor no resolvía.

Y cómo duele que estés tan lejos
Durmiendo aqui en la misma cama;
Cómo duele tanta distancia,
Aunque te escucho respirar
Y estás a cientos de kilómetros

Y duele quererte tanto,
Fingir que todo está perfecto
Mientras duele gastar la vida
Tratando de localizar
Lo que hace tiempo se perdió...

Acabé con los jardines por tus flores,
Inventé la alquimia contra la utopía,
Y he llegado a confundir con la ternura
La lástima con que a veces me miras;

Que triste es asumir el sufrimiento,
patético es creer que una mentira
convoque a los duendes del milagro,
que te hagan despertar enamorada.


Por qué nos duele tanta distancia,
Fingir que todo está perfecto
Mientras sientes que te duele
gastar la vida durmiendo aquí en la misma cama...

Cómo duele..."
- Ricardo Arjona