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Friday, February 25, 2011

Mimi Spirit Being and a Fish

Block prints:

Mimi Double print

Anthropomorphic figures representing Mimi spirit beings

I found this book in a used bookstore in  Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia.  So glad I picked it up, it has taught me plenty!

From Wikipedia: "Mimis are fairy-like beings of Arnhem Land in the folklore of the Indigenous Australians of northern Australia. They are described as having extremely thin and elongated bodies, so thin as to be in danger of breaking in case of a high wind. To avoid this, they usually spend most of their time living in rock crevices. They are said to have taught the Aborigines of Australia how to hunt, prepare kangaroo meat and use fire. They are like humans but they live in a different dimension. They were depicted during the freshwater period (1200 kya)."

From Aboriginal Australia (1981): " Mimi spirits are trickster spirits, sometimes cannibalistic.  Where they disappear into rock walls of caves and shelters, they sometimes leave their shadows behind, which appear as paintings on the rock surfaces."


Monday, February 21, 2011

Ben (Benjamin) Black Elk

I have often thought of the day I had my picture taken with Native American Indian, Ben Black Elk,  at Mt. Rushmore.  In my memory the stunningly beautiful visual impression of Ben Black Elk dimmed the impact of the president's faces carved in stone.  There was a cost for the photo, some small fee, but it was out of character for my parents to pay for something like that.  I remember their reluctance and caught a sense that their reluctance wasn't about money.  At the time it seemed strange to me that someone would pose for pictures, all across America my family had taken pictures- but we had stood in front of objects or nature, not people.  I knew something was unusual about this situation.

My father recently sent me some old pictures; and here is the picture from that day at Mt. Rushmore. Seeing it again I remember how hot it was, how unhappy I felt, and why my parents paid for me to have this picture taken.  It was to make me feel better- looking back I think it made me feel sad,  like it does now.  Even then I knew there was something in history very deep to grieve.

Known to many as the "Fifth Face on the Mountain," Ben Black Elk spent more than 20 years posing for tourists at the base of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from the late 1940s to the 1960s.

Artifacts of a Organized Work Space

I wish I had taken a "before" picture of my workspace- take my word for it,  it was a disaster.  What a difference a day makes.  Here are a few of the newly rediscovered artifacts of my recent past.

Power Puff Girl flashlight projector -so freaking cool!

A beautiful poppy messenger bag my sister Gail made me for Christmas. Sweet! Her blog is here.

I've been planning a trip to Tibet for the last 20 years....someday soon I hope.

A post card I sent myself this summer from the Louvre.

A little ethnocentric, no...oui?

Having a bad day? Might I suggest carrying your burden in this lovely orange bag made by my sister Nancy.  Oh happiness- you can find more sweetness on her blog here.

Could it be that orange is a theme with me?  Hell yes!  Bring it... These darling clementines boxes helped me organize, not sure exactly what goes in the hedgehog box...

Later alligator.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

When I am

On days like today when I am,
time floats along and stops long enough for me to jump off.

I don’t worry about it slipping away,
it waits.

No counting down, keeping the beat steady
we embrace again like old friends.

When I am lost from time, my thoughts thinking
does time think of me then?

Orderly Chaos

He runs through the lists of things he is better at than others.  This exercise keeps him well enough to do the functions of daily life which attest to others that he is alive. When his tasks are completed each day, there is a freedom which enters into his being - a release from the oppression of reality and a wondrous slipping into his constructed domain, his domicile of bliss.  Made up for each approaching moment, none the same as the last, holding there, until the pleasure of it emerges. And when pleasurable, an engagement begins with an initiating core thought and is spun through to every branch and bud related to the core until all the potential pleasure is sucked out, like marrow of a bone.

Then on to another theme and again this process that never tires.  Never tires of him or him of it.  Control and release is a beautiful marriage when arranged around a structured daily life.  It is when the usual schedule of tasks shifts from balance, moves out beyond the normal band of elasticity, when it does not or cannot spring back to the familiar that the disruption of reality begins to bleed the pleasure core.  Just as a river flows from the mountain creek to fill a lake, same flows pleasure to fill the emptiness of reality.  Upon realization of a leak and pouring out of contents, the flowing out of soul and purpose, an entering into reality of non-reality begins. This exposure to others of the secret contents, this is the mouth of madness.  A closing down unfolds.  Because there is where others look in to see those things not real, - those qualities understood as divergent from normal.  And to which labels are rapidly attached.  This is the external societal process designed to gain order and control and to delineate what is real from what is not real.  Orderly chaos redirected from madness.  We know what is real by describing that which isn’t.  He knows reality only through that description.

From the upcoming Seven Magnificent Mercies

If I Must Wear Clothes

Let them be these:

Anna Sui

House of Holland


Louise Gray