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A Quest For Real Mail

I have to stay vigilant. My mail lady arrives at different times each day. Usually between 11:30 and 1:30 but this can be altered in an instant. Like the other day when I finally ventured out to pick up a prescription at Walgreens at 10:30 thinking it was safe to do so. But no! she is already on the main highway down the road from my street.

A dilemma faces me. Should I speed to Walgreens and hope there isn’t a long line at the pharmacy or should I go back home and wait on my front porch? I decide to turn around and follow her to my street’s row of roadside mailboxes. This way I can find out how much mail other people are getting. How long does she stop at each mailbox? Are people getting lots of packages? I have become a calculating stalker in my mostly ‘stay-at-home’ solitude. Mail is my new lifeline to the outer world. I crave anything showing up in my mailbox: the Advertiser with supermarket inserts, hearing aid ads, real estate ads, gutter-cleaning ads, pest control ads, junk mail for people who lived at my address a decade ago. I cherish them all.

I order things on Amazon almost every day just to have packages delivered on a regular basis to my mailbox or doorstep. I am highly disappointed when items are bundled together for easier delivery. I don’t want easier delivery! I want individual packages day after day after day.

Today was a bonus day. The item I had ordered was broken inside the box.  Yay!  I have to package it back up, have it picked up by UPS tomorrow and then reorder the item to be delivered next week. Three transactions with a live person for one item ordered – heavenly…

So, while emails and text messages and Facetime are sweet at this time of social separation, I want Real Mail. Solid pieces of paper and cardboard. I want to feel the paper and cardboard – after wiping them down with Clorox of course, smell the paper and cardboard – after the Clorox dries of course, examine the artwork of the stamps and savor the card or letter or even the ad/flyer whether intended for me or ‘current occupant.’

Art in the Age of Corona (continued)

May 2020

Spring is finally becoming a reality out here at the lake.

I have had a series of feathered friends flying into the

windows of my front porch. First a female cardinal flew

against the window as her male companion looked on.

After she left, a male robin repeatedly collided with the glass.

When he finally left 3 weeks later, I breathed a sigh of relief,

but this  morning a little sparrow took his place.

Even my cats staring at them isn’t enough to scare them away…

So, of course, I thought about how these actions relate to

what is happening in the world right now.  An unprecedented

event in my lifetime anyway. Are we all just beating our heads

against the wall trying to return to a normal that no longer

exists and should not be returned to anyway? Spirit is calling

to us to change our habits and ways of life that no longer serve

us or the planet.  Will we listen?

Over the past few months several Goddesses/Angels have

come to me in dreams and visions, all of whom I have

painted as directed by them.

This first week of May which is celebrated by many cultures

as Beltane, a time for planting seeds and the ripening of

trees and flowers, brought forth Gaia to me. She symbolizes

Mother Earth and brings forth abundance in nature. We must

take care of our planet and honor Gaia and all the wonderful

things she freely gives us.

 

 

 

 

Art in the Age of Corona, April 20, 2020

Each week, as I sit staring at a blank canvas wondering what to paint next,

the face of another Goddess/Angel starts to take form.

I am realizing more and more that the image is already on the canvas

waiting for me to acknowledge her. Her timing is always perfect.

Zanna,  pictured here,  proclaims: ‘You are protected

from all types of harm. The worst is now behind you.

I ask you to relax and feel safe.’

The worst may be behind us, but that does not mean

we are to rush back into our old lives. I believe we are to take

this ‘time between’ what was before and what will be

in a week or a month or even a year from now

and find our place in this new paradigm we are

being invited into by Spirit.

 

 

 

 

I am also striving each day to create something new

in my art journal. Much easier to do something small

and easily completed in an hour or 2. I usually ‘sploot’

several colors of acrylic paint on a page, fold it over

and press to create swirls and patterns that suggest

something to me. Like the images in clouds, pictured here

from a photo I took in Florida in March, suggest angels,

animals, or waves on a shore, my blots of paint suggest

images to me.

 

 

 

Sometimes it takes a day of walking past the journal

lying open on my kitchen peninsula before I have an

‘aha!’ moment and wings and the outline of a face

and hands holding a sacred object start to appear.

The picture is from a Susan Boulet calendar I have had

for years and the my painting above mirrors her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art in the Age of Corona 2020 continued (4/12/2020)

Today is Easter. It is a holiday/festival/ritual celebrated by many cultures around the globe.

I have painted this depiction of Ostara the Celtic Fertility Goddess from whose name the word

Easter is derived. She heralds Springtime, the time when our sun returns from the darkness of

the Winter months. She also welcomes the seeds and plants to rejuvenate and resurrect themselves

from the cold earth. The birds are returning from their hiatus south and the butterflies and

dragonflies will soon follow. The world around us is fairly bursting with life.

Easter is a time for rejoicing. In these troubled and uncertain times we can turn to Nature to

see how the cycle of life continues ever onward despite extenuating circumstances.

Let Ostara be our guide and mentor as she reminds us this is an opportune time to make

life changes and prepare for new ventures.

 

 

 

This picture is a recent page from my ongoing art journal. Even though Jesus is depicted as a baby in

his mother’s arms, isn’t this where we all begin and end?

Jesus called out for his mother at the end of his life…

Michaelangelo’s famous sculpture Pieta portrays Jesus once again

cradled by his loving mother.

Art in the Age of Corona 2020

These are strange times indeed. My emotions swing all over the place day by day but my artwork has given me a focus and direction for these emotions and I have found my Muses, be they Goddesses, Angels or my Spirit Guides, have been coming through to me in dreams and visions. I am eager each morning to put brush to canvas and see who emerges over the days as they come clear to me.

 

Here are a few of the Goddesses who have come forth as I contemplated my empty canvases:

 

I painted Bridget a couple of months ago and just wasn’t satisfied with her facial features so

I ‘Gessoed’ over her  nose and mouth Tuesday and did not realize until I stepped back what

I had painted – a face mask!  Was this a sub-conscious thought or feeling coming through?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Bridget, re-imagined as of yesterday…a pleasant, warm smile on her face,

apparently Coronavirus-free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also decided to participate in the #518rainbowhunt phenomenon taking over my area and

perhaps the whole country by now?  I wanted to paint something eye-catching and fun. So,

while getting out of my car Wednesday, I spotted this angel which was originally all white and waiting

patiently in my herb garden for me to notice her potential as a Rainbow of Hope.

 

 

Treasure Island, Florida 2020

I traveled to Florida from February 28th to March 12th. Luckily was able to enjoy the sun, sand, water and sea breezes before the spread of the coronavirus cancelled or delayed events and flights, etc. I enjoyed many walks along the Gulf beach. Found many treasures washed ashore and stood one early morning between the full moon setting and the fierce sun rising.

This photo is of the page I created in my journal of treasures that washed up on shore one morning.

 

waves crashing on sand

slip back into ocean’s fold

leaving sea treasures

 

 

 

 

Busy little birds along the shore at sunset.

 

sandpipers scuttle

surveying sand for supper

spy savory snails

 

 

 

 

Another day in paradise winds down…

 

magic hour at dusk

lone bird flies across the sun

accent mark on sky

 

 

 

More short writing pieces

When I facilitated a writing class at the Roarke Center in downtown Troy I posed the question: ‘How would it feel to be young again?’

Here is my answer.

It depends upon how young? I always say I would never want to be in my 20’s again even though my health was the best then and I was fearless and inquisitive and knew everything about life there was to know. The downside was the uncertainty of where my life was headed, the heartaches over devastating breakups, the worry about how I dressed, talked, wore my hair. I was always worried about what others thought of me – ugh!

My childhood was pretty great. It was fun growing up on a farm with animals, a pond with a raft on it, the woods to play in. We all had chores to do but when they were done life was carefree.

As I grow older I look back with fondness on days gone by.

I think with nostalgia of being 60 again.

 

Another short fiction topic we wrote about was: ‘Who was Dorian Gray?’

My answer:

Dorian Gray was the penultimate ‘bad boy.’ He cared naught but for the pursuit of his own pleasure. It was an exciting, fun-filled life, in the beginning at least. With no purpose to his existence other than seeking what pleased him in the moment, Dorian’s life was losing its ‘punch.’

He had to keep seeking new ways to feel excited: drugs, alcohol, visiting brothels, dating stage actresses with questionable reputations and finally having his portrait painted by a famous artist so he could stare lovingly at his young, handsome countenance.

But, as inevitably happens, life caught up with Dorian. He aged. The young starlets no longer found him handsome and alluring. The drugs and alcohol ravaged  his face and body and finally his very soul. Even his painted self gazed back at him with dark circles under his eyes and sunken cheeks.

He killed the artist thinking it was he who made him look ugly. He killed the actress who no longer found him handsome. With each murder he became less and less human and more crazy.

Finally, he sought to end his anguished, downward slide by plunging a knife into the offending portrait thinking he would then return to his youthful self. However, the knife struck the solid steel frame, flipped end over end and stuck into his own chest.

As he lay dying in a puddle of melting ice cream he hit on his way down to the floor, his portrait-self wagged a finger at him and admonished:

‘Bad boy. You got your just desserts.’

 

Flash Fiction

In July 2019 I attended a Women’s Writing Retreat at Pyramid Life Center for a few serene, pristine, delightfully free-ing days in the Adirondacks.

A group of women writers, singers, performers, playwrights, educators, yoga and Tai Chi instructors, gathered together to share experiences and learn new ‘techniques of the trade’ in whatever form that took during the week. We shared our stories and songs and poetry each evening.

I took two classes: Art Journaling and learning to write Flash Fiction. The journaling class helped me unleash my creative side in words and form while Flash Fiction was a new genre for me.The idea was to write a complete story including plot, character development, scenes and resolution in 200 words or less! We began by just writing what came into our heads on a subject then spent the rest of the session editing it down and down again.

Following is a short story (although not under 200 words!) and collage I created during the week.

‘Fugue’

She sits at the piano letting her fingers flicker over the keys of ebony and ivory the word pianoforte coming into her mind. A few of the notes combine to sound like something she almost remembers..but no, the Cs,Ds and F sharps float away, unrecognizable, into space.

Her gaze shifts down to her clothes. Pink satin robe cinched tightly over a corset. She hates pink – or thinks she does. As she twirls on the little piano stool she catches sight of a face in the wavy glass of the floor-to-ceiling window. She feels suddenly dizzy and fizzy and is frightened by the image of the auburn-haired woman she does not recognize peering back at her. As she slows her panicky breathing and racing heart the questions come flooding in: ‘Where am I?’ which leads to ‘Who am I?’ which, because of the strangeness of her surroundings, inevitably leads to ‘When am I?’

As these thoughts race and tumble one upon another a young man steps through another floor-to-ceiling window and cries: ‘There you are! I was so worried when you did not return from your walk into town.’

She whispers back, not trusting what her voice will sound like: ‘I lost track of the time and am just recently returned.’

To herself she thinks: Hah! I have lost track of everything – time, place, names – except for Victor here. Ah! his name is Victor!

She does not know who she is to him. Sister, wife, lover? so she treads lightly with her next question. ‘Victor do we have plans this evening?’

‘Oh Emily, my sweet, lovely, disappearing sister, how can you have forgotten we dine with Alistair and Mims at 8?’

Emily gives her head a shake trying to clear her brain of the fuzziness she feels. Who are Alistair and Mims?

Looking around again at the room which is decorated in heavy fabrics and huge gilded picture frames, and at the clothing she and Victor are wearing, she surmises she has awoken from her 2019 stupefying sleep into the world of Edith Wharton.

What was it her 20th century psychiatrist called this ‘time traveling’ she keeps obsessing about each session?

A Fugue state brought on by a traumatic, heart-wrenching event she does not want to remember.

Better to live in the past, in someone else’s present time. Emily’s time.

She rises from the stool and gives safe, reliable Victor her hand.

 

 

Haikus

sunlight through window
dawn is the rise of morning
a cat shivers by

dandelion blossom
beneath the stand of birches
summer weed harvest

yellow moon dog
barking beneath our window
walks between my dreams

fish listen to the wind
spring laughs when winter leaves
I dream of thunder

a small child is crying
her wet eyes windows of rain
a song for evening

journey to mushroom fields
a walk through green shore grasses
I stand in the wild

listen to the wind
howling through snowfield
cold spring shivers

purple clouds above
black night falling up through light
thunder whispers beneath

shell woman walks wild
her wet skin shivering ice
owls cry up in a tree

concrete road beneath
I sleepwalk through a morning dream
cold raindrops whisper

yellow housecat howls
cold autumn evening has come
harvest moon above

happy garden water
trickling beneath plant and grass
a song of summer

an early spring snow
falling on small green blossoms
freeze the weeds

she whispers a song
the wind investigates her sound
laughing at this moon

a dandelion dream
standing by a garden stream
wild flowers bloom green