Two years later
The Camp Fire of 2018 cut a mountainous chasm between what-was and what-is. At first I thought of it as an event in itself, but it was simply the beginning of a struggle, fraught with obstacles, reevaluations and restarts. The vision of what-was fades now, the detail indistinct and the lines blurred. A longing to bridge that gap – to retrieve that rhythm in the bones that calls the body to dance a familiar dance of well-being – is replaced with an acceptance of going through the motions of the day. And yet, it does not stop me from looking up at the sky with hope that one day my heart will resonate with that rhythm once again – that I will one day feel at home.
La Chispa – the spark
Your weary spirit knows the great effort it takes to breathe energy into a new path. You might have thought it was your turn to rest, to relax and let the world unfold as it may. You might chalk your weariness up to getting older and letting go of the drives of youth.
But something has alighted in your consciousness and for reasons you cannot quite explain you feel a spark of inspiration – as if a tiny life beats in your hands – fragile, vulnerable, ready to live. But, if you let it, if you will it, it could disappear like smoke from a dream and no one, but you, would be the wiser.
This is not the business of youth that charges forth to make it happen. In this new phase of life your rhythm attunes with an easy breathing slower pace. It is a time to let go of strict expectations and paces. At this level, rigidity and resistance naturally fall away from your light.
After the Camp Fire Art – Starting Over and Reinventing
Amidst the loss and sorrow, a sense of freedom bubbles in the bare bones of the survivor. She is shocked by this and burrows deep into the marrow of her soul to find her truth. The facades that adorned her other life drift away like smoke from a dream. She sees herself now in a full circle – people touching people in kinship and genuine love.
I'm OK… Are You OK
I was reading that book you gave me, the one about the great wind that blew flames across the land. I cried for the lost ones whose hopes and dreams had been nestled around stone fireplaces, snuggled deep into overstuffed chairs, anticipating that first sip of hot chocolate.
I cried mostly for the entwined fingertips of friendship, pulled apart like fodder shot from big cannons. A lost seed, each one, falling hard onto unfamiliar soil and taking root as required. I can hear their voices now calling to each other on the wind, I’m OK… Are you OK? … as if the thread never broke and the sky never faltered,
7" x 12" wall hanging
This one started with a cardboard box, scrap fabric and lace edging and a candle holder that survived the fire. The planter is made from a metal survivor piece. The rest is polymer clay. The book's title is Paradise Lost.
What We Keep
It's not a pretty sight, sifting through the rubble of her old life. The sharp edges and rusty metal, making a harsh statement to life's fragility and impermanence. She finally stands upright, reluctantly, as if something magical might bring it all back. Taking stock of the small dirty ruins held like found treasure in her hands, a simple thought occurs through the knot of unshed tears… Make a new picture.
This is the first piece I made after the fire. It is composed of pieces retrieved from the ashes; layers of slumped and shattered glass fused by extreme heat. MetaL pieces, brittle and rusted, blackened coins from the change jar. The face flowers and leaves are new material. The ladder came from a metal sculpture, The Fishing Pier, my dad had made back in the day.
13" x 16" wall hanging
Possum Story: A possum dies and her shell lies in the darkness of a crawl space for years-on-end. The ancient carcass is discovered, by Good Repairman Sam, and he presents it to his wife as a gift. He used to give her pretty jewelry, but over the years he knows a little more of her soul. Being a lover of old bones and their stories, she gratefully accepts his gift, as if a jewel and carcass are of equal value. With respect and reverence she cleans the bones of old Ms Possum, all the time asking for the gift of story.
Once the bones are clean, it is re-assemblage time. This is a tricky endeavor – the artist’s critical mind and preconceived ideas must stand out of the way and allow the new form and the story to emerge.
Boneyard Girl is not what I’d expected or intended to create, but now I see her as an embodiment of a woman in charge of her life and her small garden. She speaks of a strength that comes of rising from the ashes of a destroyed life and of the sheer willpower it takes to gather oneself together and stand up each and every day.
A white bat, her “familiar,” symbolic of knowing without seeing – helps her to find her way in the dark.
Boneyard Girl – Reassembled
She awakes on the third day after the Initiation by fire. Stripped naked by the forces, she observes her fragmented-self strewn about on unfamiliar soil. Putting aside a deep ache for the supple coat that once graced her shoulders, she gathers to her, each precious, surviving fragment and begins to weave the bare bones back together. On shaky limbs she rises up, faces forward –not as the woman she once was, not the one she might become– she is the Boneyard Girl – Reassembled.
Stands 17" high. Materials include possum bones, shell fragments, polymer clay and driftwood.
The Earth rumbles. Sleepers awake. Gateways open. Paths are illuminated.
The forces of Hekate have come into play and it is time for action, time to move forward with a plan. Infused with the power of Hekate the path becomes more clear with each step.
May Hakate dance and shed light on your path
23" high. Materials include driftwood from a Mendocino beach, polymer clay, beads and jewelry donated to me by generous friends Studio 395 and Grace Sandlin who drove the 500 miles to deliver them.
My ol' buddy Mickey Fernandez shared a collection of turquoise, Swarovski crystals and other semi-precious stones with me.
Speaking in Frog - Retrieving her sense of wonder
When an elf has wandered far, and has lost her awestruck wonder of youth, it is said that speaking to Frog will relax her furrowed brow and cast a light onto the pathway home.
24" high including stand
Gifted to a fellow traveler from the Elfin Kingdom