HER-story:

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

Sunday, July 31

messages




the skies opened up and revealed everything you refuse to say and feel...

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

snapshots from this afternoon 




Saturday, July 30

love of books


"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." - Jacqueline Kennedy

in our home we treasure books

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." - Roald Dahl 
a few months ago, we actually DID remove a large television set and got rid of cable


my son reads to his baby sister each morning...I love to witness these moments 

snapshots: my children enjoying a lovely book given to them by a lovely aunt

Friday, July 29

the embassy on ellicott


My son loves visiting museums. One of his favorites is the National Museum of Natural History. We almost always visit the bird exhibit first. He adores the winged creatures.

For some reason, or perhaps many, this permanent exhibition fills me with sweet nostalgia. I remember my beloved grandparents and their magical home on Ellicott Street. Childhood memories begin to bloom around these silently still feathered friends behind glass.

I am receiving a crystal clear message and I am finally free to listen and respond...

snapshot from this afternoon 



Thursday, July 28

everything happens simultaneously



“At times I feel as if I had lived all this before and that I have already written these very words, but I know it was not I: it was another woman, who kept her notebooks so that one day I could use them. I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously. ... That's why my Grandmother Clara wrote in her notebooks, in order to see things in their true dimension and to defy her own poor memory.” 


- Isabel Allende



Wednesday, July 27

karmic muck


"I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm.
And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold.
My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones.
It keeps my veins hot, the fire's found a home in me.
I move through town, I’m quiet like a fight.
And my necklace is of rope, I tie it and untie.

And now people talk to me, but nothing ever hits home.
People talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes.
I’m done with it.

This is the start of how it all ends.
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it.
I’m speeding up and this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart.
We're at the start, the colors disappear.
I never watch the stars, there’s so much down here.
So I just try to keep up with the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart.

I dream all year, but they’re not the sweet kinds.
And the shivers move down my shoulder blades in double time.

And now people talk to me, I’m slipping out of reach now.
People talk to me, and all their faces blur.
But I got my fingers laced together and I made a little prison, and I’m locking up everyone who ever laid a finger on me.
I’m done with it." - LORDE

They have revealed their true colors. Now it is up to me to walk away...

the energy around them is a knotted spider web of lies...

I have neither the time nor the energy for such nonsense...

life is too precious to stay in the dark depths of karmic muck and fake smiles...



Tuesday, July 26

our inexplicable ways


"On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God -

a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside

this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe."

- Mary Oliver

self portrait


Sunday, July 24

tu risa resbalada


"I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratúe."
- Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Tapscott

"Tengo hambre de tu boca, de tu voz, de tu pelo
y por las calles voy sin nutrirme, callado,
no me sostiene el pan, el alba me desquicia,
busco el sonido líquido de tus pies en el día.
Estoy hambriento de tu risa resbalada,
de tus manos color de furioso granero,
tengo hambre de la pálida piedra de tus uñas,
quiero comer tu piel como una intacta almendra.
Quiero comer el rayo quemado en tu hermosura,
la nariz soberana del arrogante rostro,
quiero comer la sombra fugaz de tus pestañas
y hambriento vengo y voy olfateando el crepúsculo
buscándote, buscando tu corazón caliente
como un puma en la soledad de Quitratúe."
- Pablo Neruda

detail from mixed media on paper

Saturday, July 23

rare souls


"The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them."
- Charles Bukowski

playing with new ideas 




Friday, July 22

restrained emotion


"...Intention I feel inventive,


Gonna make you, make you, make you notice -


Got motion restrained emotion...


No reason just seems so pleasing,

Gonna make you, make you, make you notice -

Gonna use my arms,


Gonna use my legs,

Gonna use my style,

Gonna use my sidestep,

Gonna use my fingers,

Gonna use my, my, my imagination -

'Cause I gonna make you see,


There's nobody else here,

No one like me,

I'm special so special,

I gotta have some of your attention give it to me -

Got rhythm I can't miss a beat...


Got something I'm winking at you,

Gonna make you, make you, make you notice...Give it to me..."

- The Pretenders

in an 80s mood




Thursday, July 21

the imagination in me


"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...


Wednesday, July 20

outrageous


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



Tuesday, July 19

19 de julio - llega el momento


Salutación Del Optimista: 

"Inclitas razas ubérrimas, sangre de Hispania fecunda, espíritus fraternos, luminosas almas, salve! Porque llega el momento en que habrán de cantar nuevos himnos lenguas de gloria..." 
- Rubén Darío


my father played his guitar

serenading his beloved motherland

Nicaragua

under a powerful full moon

my youngest brother

turned 22 today


snapshot of my beloved son


Monday, July 18

a gallant spirit


"For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat."


- Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor (1896-1986)



A gallant spirit...I love the sound of that...



Sunday, July 17

all that can be done with the overflow is to create


"Creativity is a shapechanger. One moment it takes this form, the next that. It is like a dazzling spirit who appears to us all, yet is hard to describe for no one agrees on what they saw in that brilliant flash...Some say the creative life is in ideas, some say it is in doing. It seems in most instances to be a simple being. It is not virtuosity, although that is very fine in itself. It is the love of something, having so much love for something - whether a person, a word, an image, an idea, the land, or humanity --- that all that can be done with the overflow is to create. It is not a matter of wanting to, not a singular act of will; one solely must."
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes

excerpt from journals

snapshot: detail from one of my silks, circa 2005 

Saturday, July 16

the fool's journey


A strange day, stranger than most perhaps. I woke up before sunrise. I prayed. I meditated. I stretched. I breathed. 

She saw him from a distance. She saw him for a moment and sensed the blue melancholy of his soul in anguish, tormented.

A strange day, stranger than most perhaps.

She received a message from him. Impersonal. Brief. Cold. Sterile. Dry. Mechanical. Alien. Bland. Forced. She understood it was not actually from him...

A strange day, stranger than most perhaps. I asked for insight:

"The Fool. Orpheus emerges unsuccessful and howling from the Underworld. A new journey of immense significance and success is about to begin, though he does not know this yet. Orpheus' trip to and from the Underworld - and beyond - is the Fool's journey. Life itself is the Fool's journey as we, like Orpheus, choose and lose, risk and gain, guess and fail, try and succeed. We take risks so we can truly live. Orpheus demonstrates living with a genuine love and intensity for life - regardless of the result.

Idealism. Wisdom and absurdity. Bravery and folly. Mania and caution. Futility and reward. Paradox."

- J.D. Hildegard Hinkel


living with a genuine love and intensity for life regardless of the result...yes...

SNAPSHOT - a corner of my desk 


Friday, July 15

obey the muse


Ya no estas mas a mi lado, corazón
En el alma sólo tengo soledad
Y si ya no puedo verte 
Por qué Dios me hizo quererte
Para hacerme sufrir mas
Siempre fuiste la razón de mi existir
Adorarte para mi fue religión
En tus besos yo encontraba
El calor que me brindaba
El amor y la pasión
Es la historia de un amor
Como no hay otro igual
Que me hizo comprender
Todo el bien, todo el mal
Que le dio luz a mi vida
Apagándola después
Ay que vida tan oscura
Sin tu amor no viviré...
- Carlos Eleta Almaran
I have been playing with new ideas lately and have felt hesitant about beginning a new project with a new baby at home. Yet, I must obey the muse... 
Unconsciously he hums old Spanish love songs and sweet melodies from his childhood, memories waiting to be awakened and unraveled...




Thursday, July 14

my story

- mid-1970s - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware -

The beach holds memories of sand castles and salty smiles. It is where I need to begin telling my story, telling her story...with Father Sun and Mother Moon...

excerpt from my journals

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you beyond words!


Wednesday, July 13

reality is merely an illusion


"The Australian 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...

Tuesday, July 12

spare me your hand tonight


"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 

Monday, July 11

bésame mucho


With sparkling blue eyes and an unforgettable voice Antioco plays his guitar and serenades beautiful Maruca...remembering my beloved grandparents, truly Grand Parents on their wedding anniversary...


Bésame, bésame mucho,
Como si fuera esta noche
La última vez.

Bésame, bésame mucho,
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después.

Quiero tenerte muy cerca,
Mirarme en tus ojos,
Y estar junto a tí.

Piensa que tal vez mañana,
Estaré muy lejos,
Muy lejos de aquí.

Bésame, bésame mucho,
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después.

- original lyrics by Consuelo Velázquez (1917- 2005)


Sunday, July 10

chaos


What is our response to chaos?

Can we manage to view chaos as something positive?

"Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news." 
- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche 

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
- Friedrich Nietzsche 

"In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." 
- Carl Jung

"Chaos is a friend of mine." 
- Bob Dylan



Saturday, July 9

lovers leave their reputations


"When the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon,
she left behind her kingdom and her wealth,
the same way lovers leave their reputations."

- RUMI

mixed media on paper from a series


Friday, July 8

arrogance and intercourse


"There is no way you can live a creative life until you tap into the arrogance of belonging...
Let us all find our authentic, creative legs to stand on. Roots deep in the ground and not to be blown about by criticism (our own or others). It is our divine innermost conversation that matters. The intercourse with creator and willing mind where works of art come to life."

- Kat Hurley


Thursday, July 7

a litany for survival - Audré Lorde


"For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother's milk for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion

when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish

when we are alone we are afraid love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard

nor welcomed
but when we are silent we are still afraid

So it is better to speak remembering
we were never meant to survive."

-  Audré Lorde (1934-1992)

mixed media on paper



Wednesday, July 6

un amor que te acompañe en tu vuelo y que no le asuste caer


"Mereces un amor que te quiera despeinada, con todo y las razones que te levantan de prisa, con todo y los demonios que no te dejan dormir. 

Mereces un amor que te haga sentir segura, que pueda comerse al mundo si camina de tu mano, que sienta que tus abrazos van perfectos con su piel. 

Mereces un amor que quiera bailar contigo, que visite el paraíso cada vez que mira tus ojos, y que no se aburra nunca de leer tus expresiones. 

Mereces un amor que te escuche cuando cantas, que te apoye en tus ridículos, que respete que eres libre, que te acompañe en tu vuelo, que no le asuste caer. 

Mereces un amor que se lleve las mentiras, que te traiga la ilusión, el café y la poesía."

- Frida Kahlo


Tuesday, July 5

she has mined the gold that was deep inside


"...but even so, just as he starts to leave, when he notices a bit of dirt under his thumbnail, he stops to scrub it out. Although she has never complained at all about his grubby appearance whenever he came in tired from the digs and sat drinking with her, she might feel differently now that she is going to take him upstairs.

He is glad to see the show again because it gives him time to anticipate and dream, to build up to a private finale. Though he doesn't fool himself. She has to have known for a while how much he thinks of her, and yet, kind as she always was when he told her all his troubles, he knows she has another regular man, more sophisticated, more of her world. As one more time he watches the extraordinary grace with which she dances, all that gauzy fabric whirling around her, his longing has a different quality now that he knows his desire will soon be met...

...But it is not just the mechanics of what she does that impressed him. He has all he longed for now, even what he never quite understood before that he wanted. It is not just that she had made him happy. He is laughing to find himself lighter than air. And she has given him a deeper pleasure, too; as if reaching into the center of who he is, she has mined the gold that was deep inside."
- Susan Griffin

Monday, July 4

how do you express and celebrate independence?




a series of selfies in bed with baby who is two months old and completely dependent on me...

"Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth."
- George Bernard Shaw

who or what are you dependent on?

how do you express and celebrate your independence?

"Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?"
- Gabrielle Roth

BLESSINGS on this NEW MOON ushering in NEW BEGINNINGS





Sunday, July 3

you have become the poem that needs to be written


"Lady, i will touch you with my mind.

Touch you and touch you and touch

until you give

me suddenly, a smile, shyly obscene 



(lady i will

touch you with my mind.) Touch

you, that is all,



lightly and you utterly will become

with infinite ease



the poem which i do not write."

- e.e. cummings (1894-1962)


no, those are not typos you see above, but Edward Estlin Cummings' innovative and unconventional writing style in lowercase letters 

snapshot - cover of the book he gave me

 

Saturday, July 2

una rosa es una rosa


"Es por culpa de una hembra 
que me estoy volviendo loco.
No puedo vivir sin ella,
pero con ella tampoco.


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


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

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


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


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

- J.M. Cano



snapshot of the roses that bloomed seven days by the sea, opening up and absorbing everything




Friday, July 1

stillness speaks


"There is something that matters more than any of those things and that is finding the essence of who you are beyond that short-lived entity, that short-lived personalized sense of self. You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level..."
- Eckhart Tolle

snapshot - I began reading excerpts from "Stillness Speaks" to baby during our days by the sea because I forgot to bring any of her books...