light shimmers, exchanging waves between lake and sky
sky dances and calls spirit into the circle
the circle regulates the transforming rhythm of life
life gathers, flowing freely to reveal the truth
truth speaks clearly, stripping away the layered lies
lies pollute the conduits of reciprocity, erode trust
trust opens the way and brings people together
together magnifies all voices, singing them into light
“Be content with what you have.”–Kim Farnell
“You foster trust, and make mutual enrichment possible, by opening up your inner space to exchange.”–Hilary Barrett
“Spread the word, express the spirit in the human community.”–motheringchange.com
“Realize that you do not need to, and indeed cannot, improve on creation.”–Frits Blok
The quotes are from different commentaries on this hexagram.
The poem is once again in the bagua form: 8 lines with 8 words in each line.
The baby deer skull is done. This was a unique find by my friend Neil aka Nature Boy: it had its lower jaw attached and top and bottom teeth. I’m going to give it back to him.
I added to my working space in the living room. I am quite pleased with having more area. Who says living rooms can’t be art studios?
A couple started. I counted my paintings on black paper: 48. I picked out four to frame. I just ordered more black paper from Etsy so I guess I’m not done with these yet.
Sunday’s New York Times had this as its front and back cover. An unmitigated disaster.
Husband update: recovering from surgery, it went well, we just keep trying to be upbeat. He is a real trooper and I’m grateful that he’s like this and not like me, a crybaby who overreacts to everything.
Have a good week! Nina
or angel? winged
and naked child—are you
blessing us or bringing us love?
of the sacred and the profane–
you accompany both
The original cherubim in the Bible were fearsome creatures, with two pairs of wings, four faces–lion, ox, human, eagle–and the hooves of a bull.
During the Renaissance cherubs became associated with both putto and Cupid–small naked children with wings. That’s what most of us think of when we hear the word cherub today.
You can’t see the cherubs on this second door from the front–but look carefully at both the inside and the outside of the surround.
I did a double take when I noticed that.
All the details of this door are beautiful.
The poem is a butterfly cinquain for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt.
And as always find more Thursday Doors here.
some artistic thoughts about the circus…
The last edition of The Kick-About marked our second birthday and two year’s of fortnightly creative challenges encouraging artists of all stripes to make new work in a short time. As such, it was something of a three-ringed circus, an eclectic, celebratory showcase with a little bit of something for everyone. How appropriate then our first prompt of the new Kick-About year should focus our attention on the circus paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec. ‘Roll up, roll up!’
“I was instantly drawn to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s line drawings that he produced much earlier in his career, and felt perhaps there was a way to capture the immediacy, simplicity and instinctiveness of those sketches with the modern digital tools I typically use. Channelling the spirit of an earlier Kick-About, Herzog’s Dancing Chicken, which also evoked manic movement and energy, I just applied the same techniques but attempted to reduce it…
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My husband’s bout with Covid 19 has been documented here since January.
He will be going back to the hospital this week. He developed a problem which requires surgery.
The silver lining is that he has a great medical team: infectious disease, pulmonology, urology, hematology, surgical: he has seen all of these doctors.
I did this piece for his protection. I’m applying for Family Leave; my manager encouraged this as I’ve been shaky at work and prone to bursting into tears.
The surgery is scheduled for Friday. Please send good vibes to the universe and I will keep you posted.
the spirits of the places
I move through
appear as birds–
residents of sidewalks,
street trees, roofs, parks–
the spirits of the places
stopping me, waiting for me
to acknowledge them as
I move through
thinking of someone I’ve lost–
as if they had suddenly
appeared as a bird
It would be very unusual to spot a tiger shrike in New York City, as they reside in wooded habitats in eastern Asia, and are quite shy. But if you did, that would be the male with the mask. The female has more more subtle coloring, which makes the eye appear larger.
Like all shrikes, they used their sharp hooked beaks to impale their prey–insects, small birds, lizards, rodents. They are not considered threatened, although populations are declining.
My cascade is a (belated) response to Brendan’s discussion at earthweal about spirits of place. I’ve felt spirits in certain of my residences, although I haven’t stayed in many places long enough to establish a relationship. But everywhere I go in the city I find birds.
Birds are considered in many cultures to be a bridge between the human and spirit worlds. I know I’m not the only person who has wondered if someone I’m missing sometimes visits me in the form of a bird.
gan in friendship,
narrowing the spaces between
in methodic madness–
shared creations expanding from
working in parallel–
threaded layered multiplied back
more to explore–
branching like trees and scattering
to inspire each
other, to our surprise
we found ourselves weaving a web–
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”
(this quote is the first thing I posted)
Nina and I began our blog on May 6, 2014, as a way to show each other the art we were doing. We had both let our creativity languish and were hoping to inspire each other to produce more. We made the above two combined logos–the top one merging art from each of us in the center, and our avatar which contained a drawing each of us had done of the other from the 1970s, when we met, working as designers in a textile company.
the news is full of sorrow
not should have been–two years
On May 7, I received my firsts “likes” for the above post. I didn’t have a clue…where did that come from? When Nina told me we had acquired followers I was mystified. Two of those first likes came from blogs I still interact with–Robert Okaji, and Outside Authority.
In the beginning I mostly posted drawings and old art, with the occasional 17 syllable poem. I got my first comment from someone other than Nina on May 30, for my first Beach I Ching post. I started writing more poetry in 2016. For the first few years Nina and I posted almost every day, and we did a number of collaborations.
Above is one of our collaborations with the Oracle.
Life has tossed us around a bit in the past few years. I’m posting less and doing some of my art/poetry at Kblog now, but you can still find me here for my monthly circle/grid, Draw a Bird Day, and Thursday Doors, with The Kick-About, and a few other things thrown in from time to time. Nina and I hope to get back to collaborations too.
I would not be doing the art or writing I’m doing today without this community. I’ve learned and been given so much–thank you, thank you, thank you! for your continued support .
Kerfe and I became friends in the 1970’s. We were both living in the city, me in Chelsea and Kerfe on the Upper West Side. We were both working for Fairtex Mills, a textile company that did patterned polyester and striped knits. I was a colorist, doing different color ways on, say, a floral fabric destined to be a dress. Kerfe was a stripe and various graphed design (think Fairisle) genius. We hit it off, having things in common such as going to University of Cincinnati and loving art and design. Fun fact: I ate my first sushi with Kerfe in 1974 or so.
We intermittently stayed in touch. After 9/11 we reconnected more strongly. Kerfe thought blogging our art could get us going again. Kerfe is a lot more productive than I am-that’s not hyping her up, it’s just the truth. I’m a lazy and tired poster; when I look back and see what K. created, both volume and quality, I see that her idea worked. And I have done a considerable amount of art work over the four years.
Three of the many pandemic paintings and a very old sketch of my mother. The blog has given me the opportunity to keep a record of what I’m doing. Corny and kind of pretentious to say that art is my truth.
Of course I have to post my rocks; they kept me sane during the pandemic. There are still some around the neighborhood. That was a lot of fun.
Lest I ramble on too long, I’d really like to thank everyone in the community. Your support during these trying months of my husband’s illness has meant so much to me. You know who you are. And my dear friend Kerfe, with whom I’ve grown elderly, thanks for your idea. You’ve always been an advanced thinker. Hats off to us both and to a great eight years!
between, doors open
play of pink
mixed with marigold—thresholds
inviting blue skies
A shadorma for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Color Poetry writing prompt and Dan Antion’s Thursday Doors 2022 Writing Challenge. For today, I’ve chosen these colorful doors from Susan Kelly. You can see photos of all the doors available to write about here.
Here’s some colorful doors I saw recently at PS 84, on West 92nd Street.
And some blossoms in Riverside Park.
we mark time
with numbers, naming
and then divided—each month
we begin again,
of days in
in fact they overlap—clouds,
sun, showers, flowers
A small shadorma chain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme of beginnings and endings, picked by Yvette M. Calleiro. I meant to do something completely different with the circles of flowers I cut out, and perhaps I’ll explore that idea later. I got distracted with layering them in different ways.
When I was out walking yesterday I discovered a community garden on West 90th Street–full of tulips. I’ll be visiting it again, to see what’s in bloom in the coming months.