HER-story:

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

Monday, February 29

dwell on positive thoughts


"Thoughts are like drops of water. When I think the same thoughts over and over again, I am creating this incredible body of water. First, I have a little puddle, then I may get a pond, and as I continue to think the same thoughts over and over and over again, I have a lake, and finally an ocean. If my thoughts are negative, I can drown in a sea of my own negativity. If my thoughts are positive, I can float on the ocean of life. I dwell on positive thoughts."

- Louise L. Hay 

snapshot from an impromptu picnic play date 



Sunday, February 28

nowhere to hide


"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 


Saturday, February 27

union and generation


"Everything in the universe is made of union and generation - by the coming together of elements that seek out one another, melt together two by two, and are born again in a third."

- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


she has her own sensual language

she speaks without saying a word

mother earth

our mother

are we listening to her song? 

excerpt from my journals


Friday, February 26

tigers and strawberries

- mixed media on paper from my journals -

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” 
 Pema Chödrön


tigers and strawberries my dear...

mixed media on paper



Thursday, February 25

wonder


what makes you FEEL WONDER?










snapshots from a WONDERful afternoon 












Wednesday, February 24

a longing


"Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.

There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.

All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came to my house.

His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.

My family says: 
Don't ever see him again!
And they imply things in a low voice.

But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules, and know whose they are.

I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.

Mira says:
Without the energy that lifts mountain s, how am I to live?"

- Mirabai (15th century)

Tutankamun and rose petals 


Tuesday, February 23

you are the last name on my very short list


"When I meet you and you meet me I do not know if you are the last name on the List of Loves, or if you are to be nobody to me, or if you are just another name on this long list...

...When you are the last name on the List your name will be held close, and the List will be tossed: it will serve as kindling in our fireplace in our hearth.

You and I have not yet realized that we are the two human beings who will enjoy saying nothing together, being apart from one another together, having too many breakfasts together, drinking one too many drinks together, going horseback riding together, doing laundry together, doing parties together, raising children together, composting neurosis for awake together.

We do not either of us know who our best friend in this world in this life will be...yet: it is me and it is you..."

- Waylon H. Lewis

snapshot - a selfie taken just now

 

Monday, February 22

ay mi luna llena esperando amores


"Mi luna
ha visto tanto
que cuando le canto su plata me acuna 
como a los santos 
y los prisioneros, los amantes 
los locos errantes y los pordioseros 
que amamantamos tu luz. 

Cuando no hay amigos, pan ni dinero 
solo la poesía que flota en el aire sincero 
y en las bancas solas 
que hay en los parques 
que mueren de frío 
esperando amores amanezqueros. 

Ay mi luna llena, escucha la pena 
cuando un hombre canta 
al amor que espera 
Ay mi luna llena, escucha la pena 
cuando un hombre canta 
al amor que quiere 
Ay mi luna llena, escucha la pena 
cuando un hombre canta 
al amor que muere 
Ay mi luna llena."

- Salvador Cardenal & Katia Cardenal -

 Dúo Guardabarranco


Sunday, February 21

it is time to speak your truth


"Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know our garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel like they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off toward the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

See who is there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves! For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lonely wolf is over. Gather yourselves!

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we have been waiting for."

The Elders,
Oraibi, Arizona
Hopi Nation

Saturday, February 20

my love will find you


"I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.

It's high as you wish it.
It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow it...it stretches itself!

So climb any mountain...
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!

Make a big splash!
Go out on a limb!
My love will find you.
My love can swim!

It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...
if you're working...
or playing...
or sitting with friends.

You can dance 'til you're dizzy...
paint 'til you're blue...
There's no place, not one, that my love can't find you.

And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you've been bad...
just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair. That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass...
in the smell of the sea...
in the clouds floating by...
at the top of a tree...
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day...

'You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,' they all say.

My love is so high, and so wide and so deep, it's always right there, even when you're asleep.

So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.

If you're still my smal babe or you're all the way grown, my promise to you is you're never alone.

You are my angel, my darling, my star...and my love will find you, wherever you are.

You are loved."

- Nancy Tillman


snapshots from a truly magical day




 

Friday, February 19

a wolf visited my dreams


"A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet separation from the wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghosty, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to give chase, to birth, to create a life. When women's lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge; it is time for the creating function of the psyche to flood the delta...It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can."

- Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

...a beautiful, wild wolf visited my dreams last night and encouraged me to continue on my path...and then I stumbled upon these words of wisdom...coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence...


Thursday, February 18

still though, we should dance


the book practically fell upon my lap when I asked for a sign from you my dear...

"A thousand times I have ascertained and found it to be true:

The affairs of this world are really nothing into nothing.

Still though, we should dance."

- my beloved HAFIZ


Wednesday, February 17

La Salvadora


...it was all about the necklace. The necklace had been created for a high priestess and possessed magic and mystery which only a high priestess would understand...

excerpt from a short story written years ago which is now included in a series about our relationships to jewels

Tuesday, February 16

para los chismosos


I asked for wisdom and my beloved HAFIZ answered:

"One of the dumbest things you can do is backbite an animal or a human being. 

Reason is: Besides the fact that an animal who is feeling grouchy that day might bite you back...

Whenever you speak ill of any living creature something of their shadow might fall on you.

Some unwanted impressions of theirs could spill on your floor, 

and I imagine you are busy enough trying to keep things tidy."
- HAFIZ

snapshot - endless pearls with vintage silks and signature bronze sculpture




Monday, February 15

hello, is it me you're looking for?


"I've been alone with you
Inside my mind
And in my dreams I've kissed your lips
A thousand times
I sometimes see you
Pass outside my door
Hello!
Is it me you're looking for?
I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You're all I've ever wanted
And my arms are open wide
'cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much
I love you


I long to see the sunlight in your hair
And tell you time and time again
How much I care
Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow
Hello!
I've just got to let you know
'cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely?
Or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying I love you

Hello!
Is it me you're looking for?
'cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely?
Or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying I love you."
- Lionel Ritchie 

I had not heard this song in ages and tonight, during the Grammy Awards it brought back memories from the 80s.

was not even a teenager and I was listening to dramatic love songs...

When I read the lyrics now, I realize it seems just as silly and cheesy as Valentine's Day...

snapshot: being silly, cheesy and dramatically playful yesterday




Sunday, February 14

the secret to Valentine's Day


I have always dismissed Valentine's Day as a commercialized "Hallmark" holiday. I have often wondered why couples would elect February 14th to become engaged or to get married, but that is JUST ME.

I personally don't find the romance in a day dedicated to hearts, chocolate and red roses...

I recently had a revelation. In order FOR ME to enjoy this silly, cheesy day, I need to access and celebrate my inner child...the little girl in me who loves to play and laugh...the "tween" in me who finds romance everywhere...

...and for those dear ones who have become engaged or married today, Happy Anniversary...


snapshots: a little Valentine's Day altar at home and silly paper hearts created at a fun-filled play date with my son and his cousins yesterday




Saturday, February 13

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




Friday, February 12

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...

...Women must remember the sacred nature of our Goddess self, the call to glory inherent in human incarnation.  We are daughters of history and mothers to a new world.  This is not the time to throw away our power.  It is time to claim it, in the name of love."

- Marianne Williamson

snapshot - generations 


Thursday, February 11

parasite disguised as flower


"Despite the meager soil, the world's largest flower has found a way to survive. The Rafflesia is no ordinary flower...it has neither roots, leaves, nor stems, but instead lives as a parasite inserting strings of tissue into a vine, absorbing all the nutrients it needs from it's host...once they bloom their leathery petals unfurl for just a few days. Locally it's known as the Corpse Flower, not only because of its peculiar resemblance to a putrefying piece of meat, but because it also gives off the stench of rotting flesh. This smell, wafting through the still air, attracts carrion flies, which act as polinators. After just four days of flowering, the huge petals wither and die." 
- Wildest Indochina: Malaysia

excerpt from a documentary my son was watching...

the description of this so-called "flower" has me contemplate relationships between a host and a hungry parasite...






Wednesday, February 10

boundaries


"I should like to erase the fixed boundaries that we self-assured humans like to draw around anything we can achieve."
- Hannah Höch (1889-1978)

What do we wish to achieve in this lifetime?

What limiting boundaries have we placed upon ourselves?

What boundaries do we need to create in order to achieve our soul's longing?

mixed media on canvas 

Tuesday, February 9

all other men seemed pale beside him


"Her heart sank into her shoes as she realized at last how much she wanted him. No matter what his past was, no matter what he had done. Which was not to say that she would ever let him know, but only that he moved her chemically more than anyone she had ever met, that all other men seemed pale beside him." 
- F. Scott Fitzgerald 

snapshot: Roman Imperial Rosso AnticoTorso, circa 1st century A.D.





Monday, February 8

walk away my dear, recognize the red flags


"We have all had moments when we felt uncertain about our next move - wondered if we should make one at all. Do I stay in this relationship or leave it behind? Do I stick with this job or look for  another? Am I really happy living in this city, or would I be happier somewhere else? While these decisions can feel daunting, the RED FLAGS that tell you it may be time to walk away are easy to recognize:

1. You feel like you are fighting an uphill battle. None of us should expect to tiptoe through tulips all day long, but if you spend most of your time trying to fix, alter, or cope with a situation, there is a good chance it's not the right one for you. Joy is a natural outcome of being where you should be. So if you're constantly struggling to feel good, it's probably time for a change.

2. You feel obligated, not excited, to stay. Relationships based on obligation rarely last long, because they always - always - lead to resentment and bitterness. Having a must hanging over your head limits your ability to choose, and because choice is power, lack of choice will make you feel powerless. Staying because you think you have to isn't doing anyone any favors: If you don't want to be there, you won't be able to give yourself in any way that is meaningful.

3. You're not valued. Nothing is more damaging than to know you are disposable. When you give your all to someone or something but can see plain as day how little it matters to whoever is on the receiving end, it's time to go. Don't allow yourself to be compared with others, don't allow yourself to be put down more often than you're lifted up, and do not, under any circumstances, accept less than you deserve. Those are clear exit signs.

4. Fear is holding you back. When you stay only because of the scary things that might or might not happen if you go, you make a conscious decision not to grow. And living in a way that stunts your growth always has a price. Staying merely out of habit or comfort costs you more opportunities than you know.

5. You're compromising yourself. Integrity is the internal mechanism that encourages us to do what's right for us even when others disagree. When you ignore that mechanism - whether to make someone else feel better or to save yourself the difficulty of doing right - you wind up causing yourself a lot of heartache. The misery of feeling bad about who you are or how you're accommodating everyone except yourself will eventually pollute the very situation you're trying to preserve. Don't let that happen. Steel your courage, face the truth, and get moving."
- Iyanla Vanzant 

Sunday, February 7

new moon, new year


the year of the fire monkey begins with a dark, new moon...

snapshot of a beloved little blue monkey that belonged to my grandmother and then to my godmother and now to my son...

Chinese New Year Blessings 

Saturday, February 6

family secrets


"Buried in the recesses of your family's history you may find secrets. Due to cultural and societal prohibitions, these facts about the family typically remain repressed, as are the strong feelings associated with these secrets. There's considerable shame that prevents these secrets from being acknowledged and dealt with, so they become toxic to other family members.

...these repressed feelings and behaviors get projected onto others in the family, who then act out these toxic feelings without being aware of their original source...

Sometimes the secrets are so huge that discovering the truth behind them changes someone's life around 180 degrees. 

...When these secrets remain buried, they end up being projected onto other people or passed along through the generations...The poisonous influence of family secrets can remain in the lineage for several generations, often enacted by one or more family members until there is active healing.

There are a number of resources for healing this ancestral karma, and it's often though the healing journey that someone finds out about these secrets. Once the secrets are brought out into the open, there's opportunity to release their hold on the family members, and subsequent generations will no longer have to carry them...

...Being secrets, they are often submerged under layers of guilt and shame yet are often acted out or projected onto others...

...The secrets, as well as the act of keeping secrets, continue to be forwarded until someone in the lineage is willing to tackle these issues and seek healing for the damage done."

- Dr. Steven D. Farmer

detail from a recent mixed media on paper 






Friday, February 5

my hair is being pulled by the stars again


"I'm awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I'm restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again."
- Anais Nin

a playful moment captured by my Latin Lover...my impromptu pillow is a mixed media on canvas...


Thursday, February 4

in touch with bliss


"You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen...

...We are having experiences all the time which may on occasion render some sense of this, a little intuition of where your bliss is. Grab it. No one can tell you what it is going to be. You have to learn to recognize your own depth...

...Poets are simply those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss...

...If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be...

...The adventure is its own reward — but it’s necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond control. We are following our own way, not our daddy’s or our mother’s way… Life can dry up because you’re not off on your own adventure...

...There’s something inside you that knows when you’re in the center, that knows when you’re on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you’ve lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don’t get any money, you still have your bliss."

- Joseph Campbell


Wednesday, February 3

original self



"Both the yogi and the shaman do away with their past and the ties that keep them bound to their karmic and family histories. They also learn to break free of time to taste infinity; and in doing so, reach an unconditioned, natural state where they recover their original Self."

- Alberto Villoldo






Tuesday, February 2

motherworld


I am on this earth to mother: to nurture, to birth, to heal, to create, to mourn, to play...to dance the sacred, wild dance of motherhood, remembering HERstory...

"Avalon is psychologically a motherworld. It is the shadow of patriarchal consciousness, repressed and thus feared and distorted, as are any contents of the personal or collective unconscious that are denied. It is also the world of the Mother we once lived in if we were cherished in infancy; in growing up, we left this behind. This mother-world is personally prehistoric, before our own specific memories, as matriarchal history is also. Avalon as mother-world also continues to exist, side by side with rational consciousness, to be entered only when we alter consciousness by falling asleep and dreaming, fall in love, or are in a situation in which the veils between the worlds are thinner and we cross over.

...A model for the existence of motherworld and fatherworld exists as right and left brain psychology, in which the dominant left brain is rational, verbal, and linear, while the right brain is nonverbal, nonrational, nonlinear. The function of the right brain is less appreciated but has to do with images, emotional coloration of experiences, and song (if words at all); the right brain is open to alternative realities.

To cross to Avalon is to remember the archetypal Mother, the Goddess in her several forms and many names, to rediscover the feminine mysteries and the sacred in embodied experiences. Avalon exists where divinity dwells in nature and quickens in the pilgrim. Where there is feminine divinity, there is access to Avalon..."
- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.

a favorite snapshot from a series 


Monday, February 1

el gran romance de mis abuelos


My grandparents continue to be pillars of strength and wisdom in my life, in my world.... 

mixed media on paper