HER-story:

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

Saturday, April 30

tempted

- "Pomegranate Kiss" mixed media on paper circa 2007 -

Eve had the infamous apple

Persephone her pomegranate

...what is your fruit?

your temptation and pleasure?

"I said to my reflection,
let's get out of this place
...memories of it still
keep calling and calling
but forget  it all
I know I will
tempted by the fruit of another
tempted but the truth is discovered
what's been going on
now that you have gone
there's no other...
your body gets much closer
I fumble for the clock
alarmed by the seduction
I wish that it would stop
I bought a novel, some perfume
a fortune all for you
but it's not my conscience
that hates to be untrue
I asked my reflection
tell me what is there to do?
tempted by the fruit of another..." 
- Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford


Friday, April 29

through desires


"You meet another person and there are qualities in that personality which offend you and there are qualities which attract you - some qualities seduce you - some qualities repel you - some qualities sexually excite you - some qualities revolt you - some qualities interest you - some qualities fascinate you - some qualities bore you. It's only when you can see through all that veil...through all your own desires... Beyond Sita walking in the path that you can see beyond all that to where the other being is." - Ram Dass


Thursday, April 28

transformations

- 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



Wednesday, April 27

life's longing through me


"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."

- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Tuesday, April 26

waiting


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

- RUMI


Monday, April 25

sacred


"Now is the time to know that all you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider a lasting truce with yourself and God?

Now is the time to understand that all your ideas of right and wrong were just a child's training wheels, to be laid aside when you could finally live with veracity and courage.

Hafiz is a divine envoy whom the Beloved has written a holy message upon.

My dear, please tell me, why do you still throw sticks at your heart and Him?

What is it in that sweet voice inside that incites you to fear?

Now is the time for the world to know that every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time for you to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but Grace.

Now is the season to know that everything we do...is sacred."

- my beloved HAFIZ

snapshot - one of my home altars 




Sunday, April 24

celestial message from an archangel


"Orbs are balls of energy that can't usually be seen with the naked eye - they are best seen through infrared monitors or captured on digital pictures. Orbs are thought to be the spirit of people who have passed on - it is a method of transport for the soul to travel without a physical body...It is thought that archangels also travel sometimes as orbs. The larger and denser the orb, the more likely it is to be an archangel..."

- Karina Collins 


unedited, unfiltered snapshot taken with my cellphone camera on this lovely afternoon...

Saturday, April 23

sweat, tears and the sea


sabe a besos salados...

el calor me sofoca como un amante cansado, me provoca...

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." 
- Isak Dinesen

sacred, healing sweat...

intense, purifying heat...

snapshot - a corner of my temple, my home 


Friday, April 22

mother earth


"...I knew this was the final phase of my resurrection. For nine months I was in a spell...I entered a state of sweet surrender, in the thrall of a force so much bigger than me I could barely comprehend it, much less control it. Instead, I just went with it, in awe at my changing body. My belly got so big I couldn't see my feet, yet I never stopped dancing. Dancing pregnant was a whole new experience. Heavy as I was, I felt translucent, like a flower hungry only for light. In this luminous space, I discovered another rhythm, the rhythm of lyrical. It was a state of being entranced and I knew it was deeply connected to the soul. For someone who had spent her entire life starving for spirit, what an irony to find new levels of awakening with this big belly..."

- Gabrielle Roth

snapshot from my altar





Thursday, April 21

nothing compares to you on this full moon


"It's been seven hours and fifteen days,
Since you took your love away.

I go out every night and sleep all day,
Since you took your love away.

Since you been gone I can do whatever I want.

I can see whomever I choose.

I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant.

But nothing - I said nothing can take away these blues.

'Cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you.

It's been so lonely without you here,
Like a bird without a song.

Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling,

Tell me baby where did I go wrong?

I could put my arms around every boy I see, but they'd only remind me of you.

I went to the doctor guess what he told me? Guess what he told me? He said girl you better try to have fun no matter what you do, but he's a fool.

'Cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you.

All the flowers that you planted Mama, in the back yard, all died when you went away.

I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard, but I'm willing to give it another try.

Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you..."

- Prince (1958 - 2016)


Wednesday, April 20

the people who drive us crazy



"If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher." 

— Pema Chödrön


how is everyone a mirror?

how are disowned parts of ourselves attempting to be healed and integrated?


mixed media on paper, circa 2005




Tuesday, April 19

amazing grace


"Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher. Each day is a test. And each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: GRACE.

Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence, and the list goes on.

It's something money can't buy and credentials rarely produce. Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest, or even the poorest, can't help. Being a humble person can and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude."

- PHILOSOPHY

snapshot - detail from an altar at home with a magic golden branch and amethyst healing crystals...the flowers were a surprise gift from someone today, the watercolor was created by my beloved 7-year-old...



Monday, April 18

waiting for a gift


"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

snapshot of my son before sunset

Sunday, April 17

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 


Saturday, April 16

in sacred manner and in celebration


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

mixed media on paper, 2007


Friday, April 15

soy la reina de tus caprichos


she dedicates this song to him
dancing barefoot on the beach
singing to the moon and sun...

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


Thursday, April 14

wake up


"Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually THE PATH itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up. We can use everything that occurs - whether it's our conflicting emotions and thoughts or our seemingly outer situation - to show us where we are asleep and how we can wake up completely, utterly, without reservations."

- Pema Chodron



Wednesday, April 13

el árbol de dolores


" I think that I shall never see -
A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest -
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;


A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;


Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.


Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."
- Joyce Kilmer




snapshots of an inspirational, magical tree on Dolores Street...


Tuesday, April 12

wild wisdom


Wisdom found me this morning during sunrise meditation and yoga:

"Under the tutelage of Wild Woman we reclaim the ancient, the intuitive, and the passionate. When our lives reflect hers, we act cohesively. We carry through, or learn to if we don't already know how. We take the steps to make our ideas manifest in the world. We regain focus when we lose it, attend to personal rhythms, draw closer to friends and mates who are in accord with wildish and integral rhythms. We choose relationships that nurture our creative and instinctive lives. We reach our to nurture others. And we are willing to teach receptive mates about wildish rhythms if need be.

But there is another aspect to mastery, and that is dealing with what can only be called women's rage. The release of that rage is required. Once women remember the origins of their rage, they feel they may never stop grinding their teeth. Ironically, we also feel very anxious to disperse our rage, for it feels distressing and noxious. We wish to hurry up and do away with it.

But repressing it will not work. It is like trying to put fire into a burlap bag. Neither is it good to scald ourselves or someone else with it. So there we are holding a powerful emotion that we feel came upon us unbidden. It is a little like toxic waste; there it is, no one wants it, but there are few disposal areas for it. One has to travel far in order to find a burial ground...

...All emotion, even rage, carries knowledge, insight, what some call enlightenment. Our rage can, for a time, become teacher...a thing not to be rid of so fast, but rather something to climb the mountain for, something to personify via various images in order to learn from, deal with internally, then shape into something useful in the world as a result, or else let it go back down to dust. In a cohesive life, rage is not a stand-alone item. It is a substance waiting for our transformative efforts. The cycle of rage is like any other cycle; it rises, falls, dies and is released as new energy. Attention to the matter of rage begins the process of transformation.

Allowing oneself to be taught by one's rage, thereby transforming it, disperses it. One's energy returns to use in other areas, especially the area of creativity. Although some people claim they can create out of their chronic rage, the problem is that rage confines access to the collective unconscious - that infinite reservoir of imaginal images and thoughts - so that a person creating out of rage tends to create the same thing over and over again, with nothing new coming through. Untransformed rage can become a constant mantra about how oppressed, hurt and tortured we were...

...Rage corrodes our trust that anything good can occur. Something has happened to hope. And behind the loss of hope is usually anger; behind anger, pain; behind pain, usually torture of one sort or another, sometimes recent, but more often from long ago.

In physical post-trauma work, we know that the sooner injury is dealt with, the less its effect spread or worsen. Also the more quickly a trauma is contained and dealt with, the faster the recovery time. This is true for psychological trauma as well. What condition would we be in if we'd broken a leg as a child, and thirty years later it still had not been properly set?

...There is a life beyond thoughtless rage...it takes a conscious practice to contain and heal such. But we can do it. It truly takes only climbing through one step at a time.

So rather than trying to "behave" and not feel our rage or rather than using it to burn down every living thing in a hundred-mile radius, it is better to first ask rage to take a seat with us, have some tea, talk a while so we can find out what summoned this visitor. At first rage...it doesn't want to talk, it doesn't want to eat, just wants to sit there and stare, or rail, or be left alone. It is this critical point that we call the healer, our wisest self, our best resources for seeing beyond ego irritation and aggravation. The healer is always the "far-seer." She is the one who can tell us what good can come from exploring this emotive surge."
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D



Monday, April 11

a very large love


"My life so far
Has been like
Trying to put a very large love
Through a pinhole.

I have tried to make myself
Small enough to fit into this world.

But finally the shell has rent in two,
And the shrine of my being has emerged.


We are guided home on an invisible thread -- One day the distance between ourselves and the hole simply disappears.

And then the love fits perfectly.


There is so much work to do in this world  --

When we could simply choose

To be estastically happy.

To take rocks and driftwood and build an altar 

To all that is good inside us,

And to set our one shining life

On fire."

- Tracey Schmidt


detail from mixed media on paper, circa 2007

Sunday, April 10

moving along


"If you meet someone whose soul is not aligned with yours, send them love and move along. I align myself with people who support my growth."
- Louise L. Hay

During the past few months I have been granted the gift of seeing people's true colors...


Saturday, April 9

truly present


"We do not interact at random. We are in each other's lives for spiritual reasons. We have "business" with one another. By consciously choosing to focus on why I have met someone, on how I can best serve and expand another, I bring to each encounter a heightened awareness. As I ask to love all and serve all, I bring forward my spiritual gifts and call forward the gifts of others. Grace fills every moment when we are truly present. Sometimes we transit each other's lives like benevolent planets."
- Julia Cameron

PHOTOGRAPH: 2011, my son and Doña Petronila holding one of my pieces


Friday, April 8

twenty forty


"When a woman is twenty, a child deforms her; when she is thirty, he preserves her; and when forty, he makes her young again."
- Leon Blum

at a routine visit today, my doctor congratulated me and told me I had the health and body of a twenty-year-old...

motherhood is making me young again...

motherhood is my fountain of youth...


snapshot - recent selfie with my son




Thursday, April 7

howling in darkness of the new moon


"We have come together to fall apart 

The queen of chaos straddles 
our corpora callosa

Reins of raw silk weaving our wills 
into the corners of the collective mind

There's more to chaos than meets the mind 

dialoguing with demons, goddesses
and gods

Wings lying unconscious at our sides
rise and shudder

If chaos were only chaos
we wouldn't sit in the darkness
of new moons choking back howls

If chaos were only chaos
this edge would rise up razor sharp
and take off our heads

Off with our heads!

We'd eat our cake and dance on the crumbs

Oh, God!

If chaos were only chaos
she'd take her spiked heel
and pierce our throats

Ripe verbs would do us all night

Words would fly from our lips like birds
in a formation never seen by humans

If chaos were only chaos
the words wouldn't matter
and the poem would always be there

Always be there

Be there

Be there

We have come together here

We have come together

We have come together to fall apart."

- Jewel Mathieson



the warrior in me has awakened

decapitating demons

slashing fears
through tears

crushing judgements
while dancing and dreaming

the warrior in me

the blessed spiritual warrior in me
manifesting peace



Wednesday, April 6

your mouth


"...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


Tuesday, April 5

the lover who restored you


"But can you love me in the deep? In the dark? In the thick of it?

Can you love me when I drink from the wrong bottle and slip through the crack in the floorboard?

Can you love me when I’m bigger than you, when my presence blazes like the sun does, when it hurts to look directly at me?

Can you love me then too?

Can you love me under the starry sky, shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight?

Can you love me when I am howling and furry, standing on my haunches, my lower lip stained with the blood of my last kill?

When I call down the lightning, when the sidewalks are singed by the soles of my feet, can you still love me then?

What happens when I freeze the land, and cause the dirt to harden over all the pomegranate seeds we’ve planted?

Will you trust that Spring will return?

Will you still believe me when I tell you I will become a raging river, and spill myself upon your dreams and call them to the surface of your life?

Can you trust me, even though you cannot tame me?

Can you love me, even though I am all that you fear and admire?

Will you fear my shifting shape?

Does it frighten you, when my eyes flash like your camera does?

Do you fear they will capture your soul?

Are you afraid to step into me?

The meat-eating plants and flowers armed with poisonous darts are not in my jungle to stop you from coming. Not you.

So do not worry. They belong to me, and I have invited you here.

Stay to the path revealed in the moonlight and arrive safely to the hut of Baba Yaga: the wild old wise one… she will not lead you astray if you are pure of heart.

You cannot be with the wild one if you fear the rumbling of the ground, the roar of a cascading river, the startling clap of thunder in the sky.

If you want to be safe, go back to your tiny room — the night sky is not for you.

If you want to be torn apart, come in. Be broken open and devoured. Be set ablaze in my fire.

I will not leave you as you have come: well dressed, in finely-threaded sweaters that keep out the cold.

I will leave you naked and biting. Leave you clawing at the sheets. Leave you surrounded by owls and hawks and flowers that only bloom when no one is watching.

So, come to me, and be healed in the unbearable lightness and darkness of all that you are.

There is nothing in you that can scare me. Nothing in you I will not use to make you great.

A wild woman is not a girlfriend. She is a relationship with nature. She is the source of all your primal desires, and she is the wild whipping wind that uproots the poisonous corn stalks on your neatly tilled farm.

She will plant pear trees in the wake of your disaster.

She will see to it that you shall rise again.

She is the lover who restored you to your own wild nature."

- Alison Nappi


snapshot of my eye