Tuesday, October 31, 2006
This picture looks like any busy street corner in just about any small town in the US as we are approaching the mid term election. Notice anything strange? Let's take a little closer look, shall we? Yes, you are reading this right. A campaign style sign for Jesus in the mix. Being trained in advertising, I know the use of these signs for political candidates can be very effective, but why would someone do this to advertise Jesus, who contrary to some popular belief is not a candidate in Texas this election? I'll tell you why...because the effectiveness of these signs are subliminal, visual repetition works on memory. What galls me to my very toes is that this advertisement is a not-so-subtle reminder to those that consider themselves Christians to vote their religious beliefs into office and not focus on their actual political concerns. This tactic is insidious, absolutely wretched. Especially when you consider Jesus never ran for public office himself, he was too busy chasing money lenders from the temple and administering to the poor and weak among us. I saw this sign, and was offended for real Christians, the ones who believe and keep their own counsel by judging themselves and their own actions first, and do not cram their views down anyone's throat in an effort to influence an election.
Yes, after this photo was taken I ripped this damn sign right out of the ground with a great flourish and deposited in the nearest dumpster. I am sure three more will spring up by nightfall. But as Bill Moyer said on his program this week, "If we are truly the best and greatest country on the planet we best start acting like it." And to me a good start would be to develop tolerance for people with differing religious beliefs and keep specific religious affiliation and government separate.
Monday, October 30, 2006
So I am trying it again today, and if they disappear again I will step away from the delete button and live with imperfection. (LOL) Another day, another lesson.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
You can't visit Waxahachie, Texas without bumping into the Ellis County Courthouse. A massive structure, built when cotton was king and this little city was the center of the cotton universe. Upon close inspection of this building, there are a series of intricately carved stone faces on each of the four porch capitals, ranging from the sublime to the grotesque. Legend has it that German itinerant stone carver Harry Herley fell in love with the local girl Mabel Frame, whose grandmother operated the boarding house where he resided while sculpting all the courthouse's exterior ornamentation. Herley loved Mabel Frame dearly, as goes the myth, but she did not return his love. The beautiful likenesses of Mabel portrayed on the stone porticoes soon turned into demons. Time and the dwindling love affair are portrayed as one walks around the courthouse. It is also said poor Herley went crazy from too many nights of carving these, and eventually went mad and died in 1899. Supposedly his spirit resides in the clock tower and wanders around banging up there at night. If he does I can assure you I won't be up there after to dark to disturb him.
Another day roaming around an old cemetery looking at tombstones and searching for angels. Not many angels found today, but plenty of old markers with carved "clasped hands." Generally clasped hands represent farewell to an old friend or the bonds of marriage when found on a grave markers from the turn of the century. The cemetery today had many more than I am used to seeing, so I took a few pictures for my collection. Interesting to me because hands figure so prominately as symbol in my compositions.
The "Urn on Draped Column" was spectacular, beautifully carved and so high it was hard to take a good picture of it. I think at one time this cemetery had lots of carved items on columns, but somewhere along the line they were looted or defaced. When I go in antique stores and find old religious carvings I always feel sad, wondering how they found themselves there. Old personal items with religious meanings are one thing, but stealing grave pieces to sell seems to be very bad karma to me. For the buyer as well as the seller.
I have been in a very visual space for the last few days, and seem to be fascinated with all types of arts using natural materials. ice, sand, etc. What this has to do with the big idea I'm working on I couldn't say, but I do know from experience that I must let my creative eye have it's fill of stuff while I'm in this phase. I've also been looking at religious whirling dervishes, 40's Pin up girls, and Hindu Advertising Art. Creating imagery is sometimes like the pictures that come in dreams, they don't always have to make conscious sense. I've just learned to feed my eyes and head whatever they want when working, trusting my intuition to take over and use it where it is needed.
As you can see, I'm a little "out there "right now, but don't have me carted off just yet. At least let me get my work done first (LOL)
Friday, October 27, 2006
I am happy to report 72 Days since I quit for those counting. I'm down to 6 Nicotene tabs a day now, well on my way to letting go of this addiction for good. No cough, and having a functional nose again is wonderful. I will never do this (smoke) again.
I received a late birthday gift today, and WOW they were so cool I had to share them. I have always liked "Floaty" pens, the ones you found as souvenirs at various vacation spots, with little scenes that changed when tilted. But for my birthday I got special subjects, all my favorite girlies: Frida Kahlo, "Anima Sola" (Hispanic Soul in Purgatory), and the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi (Of Wealth and Fortune). I sure hope I can find refills for these, and I am sure they will be getting a lot of use. Thanks LY! :)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
When people start taking their animals door to door "Trick or Treating" for dog yummies I think we're gonna hafta admit our society as a whole has gone a little over the deep end here folks. These so remind me of the stuffed dressed frogs sold as souvenirs in Mexico in the 60's and 70's, and I guess I should be grateful these animals were allowed to live through this experience.
I must admit, I am giggling here in spite of myself. We're all doomed. (LOL)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Big thoughts in my head now, lots of activity and a new (but old) project idea dropped into my lap out of the blue. I knew that big desk cleaning and clearing was for something :) So I will update as I can, and will look for fun stuff to upload for entertainment in the meantime. Just consider it kinda like elevator music until we reach the next floor.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I must be one of the luckiest women on the planet to have such great friends, and one who dearly loves throwing a good party. I have a cook book collection, work hard at table decor and themes, and generally enjoy entertaining (yes, I am a rather odd lesbian.) So imagine my glee when I received the new book " I Like You- Hospitality under the Influence" by comedian Amy Sedaris today as a birthday gift. Oh, it is about as amazing as any entertaining cookbook can be. Kinda Retro, with bizarre entertaining tips...a really really funny book. As I flipped through it, I laughed out loud at 50's party recognition and from my own "arty party" experience. The perfect hostess book and a real delight. Thanks RC!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
She leans back against the wall and she watches tugging her collar like it might be a noose.
And everyones tied to their thing
To their past or their drink or the date that they bring
I just get tired all of sudden taking it in.
And I want to lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of changes, strangers, illusion, confusion,
I speak from my heart but im not really sure if its true.
I wanna lay my head down on you.
Oh they say dont waste too much time planning
Or you'll get rug ripped out
And the only way you'll be satisfied
Is learning to live with out.
But some plan for the kingdom of heaven
And some take their chances and bet lucky seven
I don't know what to believe I just show up and breathe anymore.
And I wanna lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of dressers, professors, lookers, hookers
If I don't get out I'll do something I don't wanna do.
And I wanna lay my head down on you.
Was it so long ago
That we sat and talked in your car
Your things were all packed
And the place you were headed not really that far
Years later I think
That I would have been much more alive
To have taken you up on your offer and taken that drive
Well everything that's come before us leads us to where we are now
And thats simple, I know so why cant I let go of the feeling
That im lost somehow
I'm just a ghost looking in
Out of my own life just visiting
In search of a body to have and to hold and to keep and to sleep.
I wanna lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of missed chance, slow dance, cold fate heartache
I showed up for a party and saw my life story full view
And I wanna lay my head down on you.
Emily Saliers * Indigo Girls * "Despite Our Differences"
Still the soundtrack of my life.
Ritual can be very complex, such as the ritual I observed in preparation for my birthday transition this year, or very small and mundane...like using a special lucky coin for Texas lottery scratch offs. I think rituals are imperative for focus and clarity of intent personally. But in looking at the above definition I would say I more often use ritual to enhance social bonds and to make special connections with the spirit of my family and friends. We are all nudged to be responsible, work-focused adults in this life, with the unfortunate effect of loosing the ability to be grateful, humble, and inspired for where we are in life that sometimes the focus of ritual restores. I do feel a person that does not believe in something bigger than themselves, something majestic and unknowable in life is not really present and awake in the living of it. This does not necessarily mean a belief in God, though some choose that way to acknowledge this. No surprise there are so many rituals observed in religion, it is a natural way of acknowledging the divine spirit. But it is not always necessary ... just go outside, really observe life, really closely listen to people and you will find many things and situations that cannot be explained by science alone.
What I have always been interested in is rituals that develop naturally in people or groups over a period of time. Everyone has food rituals they may not even be aware of (example: eating one bite of each different entree on a plate clockwise, finishing all at the same time. Or eating one entree at a time, or eating the thing you most dislike first and finishing with what you like best.) Watch your friends or loved ones eat sometime, then ask them why they do it that way. Most don't even realize they do it.
Some of my own rituals:
* I have an artist's alter of intention. It actually helps me visually focus on what is most important to me in my life and remind me of lessons learned. Most people have these areas naturally in their homes, though they don't perceive them consciously. An example would be a collection of old jars, seashells, or small stones on a kitchen windowsill over the sink. Unless a decorator did it for effect, there is meaning there.
* I am a big believer in random acts of kindness, small things that make another person's life better or helps them know someone else on the planet is connected to them. I try to do at least one everyday. The best of these are anonymous, but I do them with people I care about as well. From my own experience, small stones cast sometimes cause great ripples in someone else's life. Your influence is wider than you can imagine, and kindness sometimes increases exponentially.
* Before a big creative project, I generally do a clearing and cleaning ritual. I have done this so long it is almost unconscious. I organize, clean, and clear my desk top. When I start doing this (I am in the middle of one of these now) I know something is coming or some work is percolating, even if I'm not sure what it will be. The longer and more involved the process, the bigger the project has been my experience. I have LOTS of studio rituals, I could so write a book.
So these are a few of the things I do as ritual I can think of offhand. I do others involving recognizing holidays, seasons, the passage of time as well. And like everyone else, I do have small "creature" comfort rituals (favorite glass for iced tea, favorite mug) and of course food rituals. Take me to dinner and I'll show you. >>wink<<
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
While I was in Galveston I found this gravestone angel for my image collection. She actually survived the hurricane of 1900 and was moved to a cemetery on higher ground of the island. Before the storm hit, Galveston was actually bigger than Houston, and a much more prosperous sea port so there were many beautiful antiquities found there.
For you triva buffs, days after the hurricane, Thomas Edison arrived and shot several silent movie reels of the devastation of the island to try out his new "motion picture camera." At the time there were only five cameras in existence worldwide, and this disaster was the first people actually "saw" by movie reel instead of still photography.
Monday, October 16, 2006
This is one of my tragically
funny birthday gifts, and it has made me laugh for days. I am sure my new "Looking Good for Jesus Fix-it-Kit" is offensive to someone, but thinking about the state of our country and the rise of the Christian Reich it does strike me as funny. One of those gifts you giggle at even though you suspect each and every giggle is paving the road to Hell. I think God does have a sense of humor though, or I certainly would have been struck down by a bolt of lightening years ago.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Received this picture of Maryssa going to homecoming with her boyfriend days before my birthday, and wanted to share it with all you that know of or have met her. Finally the braces are off, and she is taller than Patty and Tom. The very best part is she is really a kind and compassionate person as well as this beautiful. Still planning on being a Veterinarian. Thanks for indulging me in a little "Aunt" pride this afternoon :)
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
This house belonged to the Cherry sisters, Ida and Ruby. Two maiden sisters, never married, who had very odd habits and taught me deportment three times a month in the summer. Also very good friends with my great aunt, they were in their eighties during the 60's. Their table settings were amazingly gothic and intricate, and I remember being strangely impressed with the way they set their table for the next meal after finishing one. This was my great aunt's house until the beginning of 1970, when she decided it was too big and old for her to navigate at her advanced age. I spent many a night on that balcony gazing at the constellations with a star chart.
My great aunt's apartment building from 1970 on. She lived in the top left apartment, and rented out the other three. It had a smaller yard than her house, and was within blocks of downtown. A painter, her landscape and still life paintings were superb, but oh what a scandal she caused with the nudes she hung in her foyer. :)
This giant crab has been on the top of Gaidos Restaurant for as long as I can remember, even when I was a child. I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but for years I thought this was actually a giant crab pulled out of Galveston Bay, the shell preserved for advertisement. But I was a child, and no one corrected me. (LOL) OK, who am I kidding? I actually thought this until I was almost 20. When they "repainted" it and put on a new coat of polyurethane I did get a clue.