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Drawing Table

drawing table s

everything
has to be somewhere–
(organized
to surprise)–
chance determines connections
that cross mind to hand

Jane Dougherty’s prompt to photo and versify our workspaces offered a good opportunity for me to think about the way I work.

 

Sunriseset

sunrise set comp4b

grey suddenly blue
I walk circles with the light
returning to stars

sunrise set comp s

“On the Road” has a haiku prompt this week that considers the life and work of Kikusha-Ni, a Buddhist nun, poet, artist, and wanderer.

sunrise set comp3

I used two sky photos I took at the beach and did some quick watercolors on rice paper, combining the elements in a few different ways.

sunrise set comp2

The haiku evolved along with my photoshop manipulations.

dawning grey to blue
the sun wears orange this evening
returning to black

Window

table is empty s

Table in the sun
still holding its vacancy—
the cat is not there.

Rose of Sharon flowering
through light of summer’s return.

Lillian at dVerse proposed we take a photo through one of our windows and respond in poetry.  The words I’ve read have been really evocative, and of course, there’s the chance to look into another’s intimate space.

This was taken from my kitchen.  For most of the time I’ve lived here, I would look out and see my neighbor’s cats, who spent many of their days lounging in what passes for my back yard, often on this table. We got to know each other well, and I still look for them, even though all of them are gone now.

Her current cats prefer to stay indoors.

Surprise

met light 3s

Shapes appear
reflected, freshly
pressed—falling
into place
like the Fool’s card—zero played
openly, surprised.

met light 4s

I’ve been neglecting the Secret Keeper’s prompts the past few weeks for lack of time, not interest.    They are always like a puzzle for me, coming together in unexpected ways when I start to write.  The appearance of the Fool, after a few drafts of ideas, was definitely a surprise.  But serendipity is always part of the work I do.  The end is never where I thought I was going.

lunatic s

I took the photos of Japanese ceramics with the beautiful window light reflected on the glass display cases at the Metropolitan Museum last spring.  I was reminded of them by Marcy Erb’s post a few weeks back of a photo with reflected light on a Buddha, and I think they fit with this poem.

met light 2s

And I’ve resurrected a few Fools from past posts.  The Fool (Zero in the Tarot) represents for me a capacity to be surprised and delighted, to leave an empty space to be filled by life.  Wonder is everywhere; we just need make some room for it occasionally.

joker s

 

Today NYC

im-with-her-s

look-behind-s

 

look-ahead-s

“This is what Democracy looks like.”

we-will-fight-s

 

Beach I Ching 14

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#21 Shih Ho    Justice

Justice
the search for truth
insisting on fairness
develop balance in all things
order

Balance
in proportion
everything connected
conscious awareness in circles
center

Essence
fundamental
cutting out illusions
exposing the center of truth
the heart

Aware
alert mindful
truth and integrity
actions lead to consequences
insight

Insight
looking deeply
wisdom decides action
everything is connected
vision

Lucent
thunder lightning
destruction and cleansing
rise up and cast out negatives
blazing

Alive
breathing growing
keep making connections
use power for the good of all
kinship

Honest
the quest for truth
stop speaking and listen
light revealing unobstructed
open

The truth
integrity
eyes open light shining
seeing through illusion and lies
exposed

I’ve been considering this hexagram since August.  The classical name for it is “Biting Through”, and the classical interpretations are all about punishment.  But the words “justice” and “truth” kept popping up as I searched through different translations and commentaries, and I think those words are closer to the spirit of the lines.

“The Quotable I Ching” actually called it Justice in one of its posts, suggesting that a look at the tarot card Justice would also provide insight.  And it did.

The cinquain cycle is a compilation of ideas from the various commentaries on Shih Ho that I read though and thought about as I looked at the hexagram.  As seems to be always the case, its wisdom is needed in the time and place the world is inhabiting right now.

You can see all the Beach I Chings I’ve done so far here.

15 years

light-words-1s-new

My brother wanted to go to the 9/11 Museum.

We paid our money and waited in a long line of tourists for our timed entry to the steel and concrete underground crypt, complete with a gift shop (which we steered well clear of) and endless tape loops replaying the day’s events.

light-1as

The new glass and steel monuments to commerce surrounding the plaza, with its beautiful pools, enclosed the space above the museum.

freedom-tower-ad-s

I found this ad  from the NY Times of May 29, 2015, when I was cleaning a few weeks ago.  I must have saved it, intending to do a headline haiku, but it got lost in the shuffle.  Having visited the site, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

tickets-s

There is nothing “free” about the Freedom Tower, or the museum.  Is this the best way to remember this day and those who died?

time
it lingers
in the dazzling morning sky
cloudless
voices
like air
surround this opening

remember to breathe

pool-1s

Let there be light, and air, and songs, and sky, and running water, and the living earth and new growing things.  That’s what I think.

Words courtesy of the Magnetic Poetry oracle, for the Elusive Trope’s Magnetic Poetry Saturday Challenge.

Monday Memories

A classmate of mine put together a video of my class (Eastside High School, Paterson, NJ) which I got a real kick out of. Oh, some of those hairdos! As one classmate put it “the world is like a teen age hairdo–a blown up mess”. The world was a lot simpler then. No technology and the only girls’ sport was bowling. Still, we learned a lot and all got along well. Here’s my yearbook photo. 

Hope/#PoetsForPeace

rose of sharon 3s

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
–Lady Bird Johnson

rose of sharon 1s

“If you could
have three wishes, what?”
Number one–
always “peace.”
I’ve been repeating that word
since I was a child.

What is peace?
Easy to say what
it is not–
not guns, not
bombs, not hate or violence.
Not this destruction.

There are seeds
but they need sunlight–
fertile soil
to nourish
growth, to send roots; open space
to reach for the sky.

This is not
complicated.  This
happens if
we let it–
the Earth can teach us if we
can’t find our way home.

rose of sharon 2s

Despite the way we mistreat it, the Earth still shares with us its bounty.  As it does each summer, the Rose of Sharon tree is blooming, surrounded by concrete and the sorrows of our world.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge Theme-“Hope” #WQWWC

Join in with your poem here.

Degas: A Strange Beauty Indeed

ballerina close up s

My dentist’s office is just a few blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, so after my appointment yesterday I spent some time there before I went home.  I wanted to see the Dada exhibit, and it was fun, but the Degas exhibit overshadowed and overwhelmed it.

monotype comp 1

The exhibit explored Degas’ process, starting with his extensive use of monotype printing.  He was able to get quite a lot of detail using copper plates.

monoprint celluloid s

He also did some prints using celluloid, the photography film of the day.

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But then he started adding color to his monoprints with both pastel and watercolor.  Wow!  It’s impossible to fully control this type of printing, so maybe that’s the secret to the other-worldliness of so many of his pastel works.

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The exhibit then went on to talking about how all this work influenced his drawing and painting.  This is a good lesson for all of us perfectionists.

sketchbook s

A page from a sketchbook shows Degas exploring.

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And here’s a look at how a sketch became a painting.

monotype landscape color oil s

My favorite part of this show was the room of landscapes though.  Here Degas used oil paints when printing, in colors this time.

landscape w pastel comp

He used pastels over the printing on some of these as well.

accident comp

The labeling for this exhibit was also excellent.  It’s only there a few more weeks, but if you happen to be in NYC…be prepared for the crowds, but highly recommended.

degas quote