HER-story:

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

Sunday, March 31

when you remember

on the beach with sunlight shining down on me
blessing me with warmth

"Sir, have you forgotten the promise you made in your mother's womb, to die before you die?

When will you remember what you intended?

Don't let your donkey wander loose! It will stray into your neighbor's saffron garden. Think of the damage it might do, and the punishment!

Who then will carry you naked to your own death?"

- Lalla (1320-1392)

Saturday, March 30

garden of my agony


"Nadie comprendía el perfume
de la oscura magnolia de tu vientre.
Nadie sabía que martirizabas
un colibrí de amor entre los dientes.
Mil caballitos persas se dormían
en la plaza con luna de tu frente,
mientras que yo enlazaba cuatro noches
tu cintura, enemiga de la nieve.
Entre yeso y jazmines, tu mirada
era un pálido ramo de simientes.
Yo busqué, para darte, por mi pecho
las letras de marfil que dicen siempre,
siempre, siempre: jardin de mi agonia,
tu cuerpo fugitivo para siempre,
la sangre de tus venas en mi boca,
tu boca ya sin luz para mi muerte."
- Federico Garcia Lorca

"Nobody understood the perfume
of the dark magnolia of your belly.
Nobody knew how you martyred
the hummingbird of love between your teeth.
A thousand tiny Persian horses slept
in the plaza in the light of your forehead’s moon
while I for four nights laced myself
to your waist, the enemy of snow.
Between plaster and jasmine, your gaze
is a pale and seeding branch.
I searched through my chest to give to you
the ivory letters that say forever,
forever, forever: Garden of my agony,
your body fleeing from me forever,
the blood of your veins now in my mouth,
your mouth already lightless for my death."
- translation by Niina Pollari

2006 or 2007 carved wood block 

Friday, March 29

stolen kisses


"What large, dark hands are those at the window
Lifted, grasping the golden light
Which weaves its way through the creeper leaves
       To my heart's delight?

Ah, only the leaves! But in the west,
In the west I see a redness come
Over the evening's burning breast —
       — 'Tis the wound of love goes home!

The woodbine creeps abroad
Calling low to her lover:
The sun-lit flirt who all the day
Has poised above her lips in play
And stolen kisses, shallow and gay
Of pollen, now has gone away
— She woos the moth with her sweet, low word,
And when above her his broad wings hover
Then her bright breast she will uncover
And yield her honey-drop to her lover.

Into the yellow, evening glow
Saunters a man from the farm below,
Leans, and looks in at the low-built shed
Where hangs the swallow's marriage bed.
The bird lies warm against the wall.
She glances quick her startled eyes
Towards him, then she turns away
Her small head, making warm display
Of red upon the throat. His terrors sway
Her out of the nest's warm, busy ball,
Whose plaintive cry is heard as she flies
In one blue stoop from out the sties
Into the evening's empty hall.

Oh, water-hen, beside the rushes
Hide your quaint, unfading blushes,
Still your quick tail, and lie as dead,
Till the distance folds over his ominous tread.

The rabbit presses back her ears,
Turns back her liquid, anguished eyes
And crouches low: then with wild spring
Spurts from the terror of his oncoming
To be choked back, the wire ring
Her frantic effort throttling:
Piteous brown ball of quivering fears!

Ah soon in his large, hard hands she dies,
And swings all loose to the swing of his walk.
Yet calm and kindly are his eyes
And ready to open in brown surprise
Should I not answer to his talk
Or should he my tears surmise.

I hear his hand on the latch, and rise from my chair
Watching the door open: he flashes bare
His strong teeth in a smile, and flashes his eyes
In a smile like triumph upon me; then careless-wise
He flings the rabbit soft on the table board
And comes towards me: ah, the uplifted sword
Of his hand against my bosom, and oh, the broad
Blade of his hand that raises my face to applaud
His coming: he raises up my face to him
And caresses my mouth with his fingers, which still smell grim
Of the rabbit's fur! God, I am caught in a snare!
I know not what fine wire is round my throat,
I only know I let him finger there
My pulse of life, letting him nose like a stoat
Who sniffs with joy before he drinks the blood:
And down his mouth comes to my mouth, and down
His dark bright eyes descend like a fiery hood
Upon my mind: his mouth meets mine, and a flood
Of sweet fire sweeps across me, so I drown
Within him, die, and find death good."

- D. H. Lawrence 

detail from mixed media on canvas, 2017

Thursday, March 28

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


Wednesday, March 27

I just want to be with you...


"If you, if you could return -
Don't let it burn -
Don't let it fade -
I'm sure I'm not being rude -
But it's just your attitude -
It's tearing me apart -
It's ruining every day -
For me -
I swore I would be true -
And fellow, so did you -
So why were you holding her hand?
Is that the way we stand?
Were you lying all the time?
Was it just a game to you?
But I'm in so deep -
You know I'm such a fool for you -
You've got me wrapped around your finger -
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do have to let it linger?
Oh, I thought the world of you -
I thought nothing could go wrong -
But I was wrong, I was wrong -
If you, if you could get by -
Trying not to lie -
Things wouldn't be so confused -
And I wouldn't feel so used -
But you always really knew -
I just want to be with you..."

- The Cranberries, circa 1993


Tuesday, March 26

love bites


Last night I dreamed a dog was biting me...

snapshot of a playful snapchat moment with my pups


Monday, March 25

despeinada




"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 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


Sunday, March 24

gloriousness and wretchedness


"Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together."

- Pema Chodron 



Saturday, March 23

dance with me


"The first layer of consciousness is inertia. It is a level of non-movement: it is a level in which your energy, whether on the dance floor or in your psyche, is simply stuck.

Everybody experiences inertia. It is the groggy, barely conscious state when you first wake up in the morning. Or when you return to work from vacation. Or when you are in momentary insecurity about something or other. It is the state of despairing inaction when you've locked into the same routine day after day. The drugged passivity of TV watching. The stoned immobility of drug-taking, drinking. The moral and intellectual laziness of just getting by.

The only question is whether you choose to live in inertia or pass through it in the flow of your life - day to day, year to year, cycle to cycle. Inertia is seductive. It has characteristics of the ecstasy we're seeking and knew in the womb. It's natural, effortless, totally accommodating. But we're made to move, to become, to grow, to change, to create, and the true paradise of ecstasy lies not in inaction but in action that is so totally absorbing it seems like no work at all. Quickly the false ecstasy of lazing around, indulgence, and passivity takes its toll in the self-destructive effects of imploded energy...

...As a temporary resistance to the demands of life, inertia is simply a place from which to start. As you recognize its grip on you, you can confront it with movement and vitalize your being with the energy of change. You can summon the dancer within, the part of you that instinctively knows how to explore the full range of the body's rhythms. It is natural for the body to move, and the simplest way out of inertia is to start moving it. Stretch, lean, shuffle, swirl, with or without music, alone or with others. The easiest way is just to ease into flowing movements that will gradually seduce the body into the other rhythms. Dance is always available no matter where you are and is a ready catalyst to get your energy moving.

If you live in inertia - "waking sleep," Gurdjieff called it - as your basic energy level, as most of us do, your reality is comprised of a structure of unquestioned beliefs and frozen attitudes that are a bulwark against change. Movement and change are feared as painful and disruptive. The status quo seems to offer a haven of security. Truthfully, you are a wallflower at the dance of life, refusing every offer to move, out of fear of the unknown or of making a fool of yourself; you don't make the effort. But this holding back - hanging on tight to everything, especially your body, which becomes the repository of all your repressed feelings, thoughts, and action - used up all your physical, emotional, and mental energy. And you have nothing to show for this use of energy but the same old patterns and a deteriorating body and spirit. Because you don't dare to breathe life in and let it out, you live on a very restricted energy supply.

At bottom, inertia is the level of being unconscious, the home of the victim, the place where life just happens to you and you're unaware of your responsibility to create your own reality. It's the level of the pregnant woman who obviously chainsmokes, the macho laborer who stupefies himself every night with a six-pack, the high-powered executive who's married to his job and measures everything and everyone, including himself, by company standards, or the actor who has nothing to say without a script.

In inertia we want our life and friends to be stable, predictable, homogenized. It's so much easier to be in control when things around us don't change and we have the security of the known. We stay in an unhappy marriage or job or situation for years and years rather than risk the uncertainty, the adventure, the pain of venturing forth. In fact, all our "adventure" is planned and prepackaged, innocuous and ultimately dissatisfying - we buy the hype of cruises, cars, beer, movies, to sate our frustrated desire for true novelty and authentic experience. 

Often we turn around and watch even our children lock themselves into routines and perspectives that suffocate them, choke their growth and spontaneity, and snuff out the sparks we saw burning in them when they first entered the world. It hurts as we watch them lock into the vicious spiral of victimization, resentment, isolation. Or of flattery, melancholy, and self-importance. We know all the dances all too well. We taught them the steps. We reinforce these patterns rather than acknowledging our children's pain and guiding them to face the challenges that will nurture their growth. Because we are not bold, not warriors, we don't empower our children - to their lifelong detriment. Seeing their weakness, cowardice, and compromising is to watch parts of ourselves die, the parts that are young and fresh and full of promise.

Listen to the voices of inertia: Don't rock the boat. You're making a big mistake. Don't act impulsively. You've got to plan ahead. Be careful. Be prepared. But think of your family. Think of your friends. But if you do that... Don't burn your bridges. You'll regret it. You'll be sorry."
- Gabrielle Roth

so, my dear I invite you to step onto the dance floor with me...it is time to seduce the body into other rhythms...

Friday, March 22

ancestral wisdom


One of my earliest memories is that of sitting on the majestic throne-like lap of beloved Grand Mother and kissing the Pre-Colombian eagle goddess pendant suspended from a long gold chain reaching her solar plexus. The shiny hammered talisman glowed in the sunlight, becoming warm in my hand, silently transferring ancestral wisdom.

from my journals 


Thursday, March 21

rhino skin and elephant balls


"You need rhino skin
If you're gonna begin
To walk
Through this world
You need elephant balls
If you don't want to crawl
On your hands
Through this world

Oh my love if I reveal
Every secret I've concealed
How many thoughts would you steal
How much of my pain would you feel

You need eagles wings
To get over things
That make no sense
In this world

You need rhino skin
If you're gonna pretend
You're not hurt by this world

If you listen long enough
You can hear my skin grow tough
Love is painful to the touch
Must be made of stronger stuff

You need rhino skin
To get to the end
Of the maze through this world

You need rhino skin
Or you're gonna give in
To the needles and pins
The arrows of sin
The evils of men
You need rhino skin..."

- Tom Petty



Wednesday, March 20

Equinox Blessings


spring blessings...

this image of my beloved little fairy goddess was originally captured on Snapchat by my sister, Christine Sacasa and was then playfully filtered on a smartphone 

it may become part of a little book I am working on...


Tuesday, March 19

dharma


"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 


Monday, March 18

dancing saints


"There is no spot on earth that ever became sacred until something danced there; maybe it was just an atom or two.

Strange now the seriousness I see around the shrines of perfect saints whose feet were once wept ecstatic tears as they moved upon the sun they saw beneath our every step.

There is no place in existence that ever became sacred until something sang there, even be it just a molecule. That is enough. I hear they croon all the time."

- my beloved HAFIZ

detail from a 2013 watercolor on paper in a private collection 



Sunday, March 17

si tus ojos me miraran todavía

- mixed media on paper -
"Como a todas las muchachas del mundo,
también a Ella,
tejiéronla
con sus sueños,
los hombres que la amaban.

Y yo la amaba.

Pudo ser para otros un rostro
que el Viento del Olvido 
borra a cada instante.
Pudo ser,
pero yo la amaba.

Yo veía las cosas más sencillas
volverse misteriosas
cuando Ella las tocaba.
Porque las estrellas de la noche
¡Ella con su mano las sembraba!

Los días de esmeralda,
los pájaros tranquilos,
los rocíos azules,
¡Ella los creaba!

Yo me emocionaba
con sólo verla pisar la hierba.

¡Ah si tus ojos me miraran todavía!

Esta noche no tendría tanta noche.
Esta noche la lluvia caería sin mojarme.

Porque la lluvia no empapa
a los que se pierden 
en el bosque de sus sueños relucientes,
y sus días no terminan
y son sus noches transparentes.

¿Dónde estás ahora?
¿En qué ciudad,
en qué penumbra,
en cuál bosque
te desconocen las luciérnagas?

Tal vez mientras escribo,
estás en un suburbio,
sola, inerme, abandonada...

¡Abandonada, no!

En tu ausencia
mi corazón todas las tardes muere."


- Manuel Scorza (1928-1983)



Saturday, March 16

snake medicine


There were a lot of reptiles, some quite beautiful. The snakes revealed messages I have been receiving through dreams.

"You are about to go through some significant personal changes, so intense and dramatic that an old self will metaphorically die as a new self emerges.

You're going to feel a surge of energy that will sharpen your senses, alert your mental faculties, and open up new channels of awareness.

You're about to resolve a long-standing issue, one that has required a great deal of your attention, by seeing things in a new light.

It would be a good time for you to start doing either tantric or kundalini yoga.

You'll experience a dramatic and unexpected physical or emotional healing very soon, coming from an unexpected source.

...There's an area in your life where you're feeling suffocated, and it's up to you to break out of it.

You're going through a major transformative process, one that will result in the next evolution of who you are.

You're about to shed something that has outgrown its usefulness and purpose."

- Dr. Steven Farmer




Friday, March 15

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







Thursday, March 14

the red blouse


the red blouse

I wore when I felt my anger rise

the red blouse

volcano 

the red blouse 

I wore when my face blushed with rage 

the red blouse 

scandal

the red blouse 

I wore when she wore grey

the red blouse

envy

the red blouse 

I wore when he looked my way

the red blouse 

passion

the red blouse 

I wore when I faked a smile

the red blouse

survival

the red blouse

I wore when I was still bleeding 

the red blouse 

memory 


excerpt from my journals 



Wednesday, March 13

you are the last name on the 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

Tuesday, March 12

mal de amores


"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




Monday, March 11

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