Going on vacation and numerous repercussions.

Santa Fe street art August 2017

Becoming an avid traveler, going places I once only dreamed of, and doing it alone, has taught me many valuable things about myself but one stands out larger than all the others: I do best as a creature of habit.  I am all out-of-sorts and finding it difficult to get back into a writing routine. What to do? Oh! what to do?   

Well, two new excursions are booked. Oh bother! This is one lesson not learned very well but the excitement of driving 1000 miles one way to see my daughter in Boston (Scituate MA) is, well, all worth it.  So I wait diligently for autumn colors and the wind in my hair!  

As for writing, perhaps a few days will warrant something of value. If not, I am cool with that just as long as the view before me keeps on changing.   Next up, U2 in Indianapolis.  

Desert dream, August 2017

i think i know why (now)

I really knew before I came for the first time last year that Santa Fe is magical.  So magical that many eventually return and adopt and settle in a place that once was set apart for leisure.  I am soaking it all up in 12 days.  And twelve days seems long to be alive in Santa Fe but really not enough time… but it will do.

Yesterday was a walk along Canyon Road and to see it properly would take at least two days.  The galleries are absolutely amazing.  My favorite I saw yesterday was Gregory Lomayesva  a Hopi/Hispanic painter and folk artist.  His works have been at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C and Heard Museum in Phoenix as well as displayed in over 30 other countries (and may very well be there today).

I am now a proud owner of a piece of his folk art which is lovingly packaged in bubble wrap for safe travels so I will post a picture at a later date.  Here are a few other pieces I did not purchase but would certainly love to give a home.

Hopi Princess

 

Roots (confession)

Church is poetry. Poetry is life. A life well-lived.

Christ before Pilate, David Aronson, 1949, Art Institute Chicago
(I think.)  We all like to believe we are the be-all to end-all solution to the adverse we face.  Complex problems are produced by simple acts gone awry.  Well meaning people get tangled in their desires that eventually overtake all soundness of mind.  We become corrupt in thought not out of kindness but selfishness.  I think I stand in such a bubble.

My bubble bumps my neighbor’s bubble and on and on the bubbles bump.  In time the bubbles burst and the earth is covered in a sticky film that does not wash away easily. It takes effort to see clearly.

The reflection that digs into my soul has both a hatchet and a pick.  A hatchet to chop off major faults and a pick to clear the crevices.  What is left of a person who undergoes such surgery?

Many find religion compensates for the faults of man. Those who object I ask, would you die for another? Most likely yes. Would you die for a stranger? Possibly. For evil of others? Probably not.

What drives a person to hang for wrong deeds that are not their own? Was Jesus a narcissist? A delusional lunatic? In the minds of some yes. So those who have faith, the affect of such love, to believe they are forgiven, not forsaken to their own hands, rest easy. You too may be ridiculed, beaten in the market of ideas but steadfastness is a peculiar trait.

“Well, then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I myself have founded great empires; but on what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions would die for Him.”
— Napoleon Bonoparte

World leaders such as Bonoparte are frowned upon in the “modern” age. Jesus is too. Or anyone who subscribes to such a philosophy.  So the world waits until every knee surrenders to what? If not Napoleon or Jesus, who?

Look around. Is this world any more peaceful. Do platitudes of “Be happy” make us so? Will we follow anyone who promises peace? Are we really still so gullible?

1 Thessalonians 5:3 “While people are saying, ‘Peace and security,’ destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

What of the little wars within ourselves? Are these not battles we should wage? I profess they are worthy! Inner battles given to circumspect.

Those who choose to end their inner battle we fight for their freedom to end life? Why is life not respected? Is pain only fought with the sword? Where are we in their hour of need?

“It is a higher glory still to stay war itself with a word, than to slay men with the sword,” –St Augustine

To be continued…

Roots (conversations)

Henri Matisse, The Conversation, 1910-1912

Her laughter
shatters the lake,
words fall like ice chips.

His finger-tapping
A rat-a-tat drumming
Covering and uncovering
A tent with an open door

Her demeanor
unbecoming
the conversation to settle a score.

His words carefully crafted
Yet erratic and confusing
She sits enamored
Albeit a bit amusing.

Showing her rage
the hardly recognized behavior
he studies her all night long.

His pursuit to answer
Raked in the rape
Only to find her disappeared
In a conversation of rapport.

(The picture has nothing to do with the meeting described but I loved the colors and simplicity Matisse painted of him and his wife.)

 

Moving parts

‘Job’ 1949 Karl Zerbe

without telling
the shame shone
rocks rattling his cage

I remember seeing this artwork at the Boston Fine Arts Museum in 2015 and it struck a cord. A cord being the rope which moved parts of me for years. 

Looking behind, I lift the rope, retrace my steps to see what has kept me alive.  It led to this day and I am happy I followed.  Courage says “I am in charge now.” 

virgina woolf

I have sat with virginia woolf, on occasion, to muse my way through her words.  They ride stunningly, i immersed beneath her rougher sea, see-sawing back-n-forth, her waves treacherous to travel.  At times I am overwhelmed with meaning… actually what is she trying to confer? (see below.)

Today, propped near a chair, scattered here and there, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, Waves, Mrs. Dalloway Reader, A Writer’s Diary, A Room of One’s Own.  In each I grasp snippets, enough to digest in one sitting.  During and after, I find myself scouring to see what others spy, hidden between her time.  On top of everything sits Bloomsbury Group, Charleston, Monk’s House and the myriad of ideas of what it meant (or not) to be in Victorian time.  She was rather a rebel.

vanessa bell
Virginia Woolf at Charleston
Reading, I steal a glance Ms. Woolf’s way, capture her very essence creeping from between two worlds…hers and mine.   The practice of mindfulness ensues as I look out my window to watch; waves stand still and move away and come back to me in a different way.
So at this moment (10:04 ET, U.S.) while reading…
ORLANDO, I find a book chock full of descriptive encounters. I am enamored.  In the course of a few pages

  1. a strand or two of course, dry hair, like the hair on a cocoanut.
  2. When he put his hand on the windowsill to push the window open, it was instantly coloured red, blue, and yellow like a butterfly’s wing.

And then the musing of what color green and the scattering love of passion and need.  So what is Orlando’s story:  a diary of days, a love letter to the world, a shattering of emotion?  All three?

I like Woolf’s fluid style of writing. Feelings pour over me but I am amiss in the meaning. Must it take pages to enter Orlando’s world? Do i hold back in fear I will be engulfed, losing myself? I slowly immerse, the water icy… I see texture and color but what is the plot? Shouldn’t I be privy to the plot?

Street life

img_9958img_9959

If you are ever in the River West neighborhood visit Windy City Cafe at the corner of Milwaukee Ave and May Street.  The food is absolutely phenomenal.  Their biscuits and gravy with fried chicken, fruit plate and banana nut bread french toast….oh my.  I am positive anything on their menu is worth trying.  Happy travels, J

The Letter

The Letter

No longer
do I sit at my desk
ponder
what he is thinking of me.
The coffee cold
I put away the linen paper
with gold border
just my initials
scrawled at the bottom.
He will know
who I am
yet I search
for the girl inside,
my desires for a man
I cannot have.

I am
nothing
but the stars
in his eyes
the ocean of my heart.
Does she know
my secret
as I sweep past her
in the kitchen
where we meet?
He sees me
and only I
can wish
to see him
again.

The whispered winds
scent of pine trees
the hands of the clock
draw sands of time
blur the image
left behind.

 

 

Prometheus

People have reached a pinnacle of arrogance which threatens autonomy. J

I am easily misunderstood by the faith community.  I believe enough to question God in a healthy way.  I do not disbelieve by any means.  History, myth and fable shed truth.  We are either bound or set free; chastised or rewarded.

The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.  –Paul Kurtz

The dark night of a soul is a journey I endure.   I found a matter of time becomes minutes to hours and hours unable to be contained by days.  The stories of Prometheus and God understand our need for security and pass their shadows over us.  Knowledge and wisdom our fortitude, Prometheus and God bestow a gift of hope for the future in the destruction of evil and the promise of rebirth.

The bearing of fire, warmth and light, endures for eternity.  The next generation will need storied thought and soulful belief.  Belief in fire guides and water purity.  We best learn to discover while we live.  So then I follow my thoughts…

prometheus   prometheus-eagle-eating-liver1

Why is Prometheus tormented by an eagle while the Prophet Elijah is fed by a raven?

elijah fed by raven
Caspar de Crayer, The prophet Elijah fed by a raven, 1619-1630

Jeremiah 15:3  “I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the LORD: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.

The Story of Prometheus tells his gift of fire (light, warmth) to man and hence stricken by Zeus for his audacity to befriend humanity while the Prophet Elijah, who ran from doing right, was given a second chance, sustained by God.  How many chances does it take us to do right by humanity?  Does God’s sovereignty over all the Greek gods deem Prometheus’s fire not pure and hence retribution for bringing wisdom, all that was hidden from our eyes?  Is Zeus a metaphor for God?  Is Prometheus, as a god, subject to judgment as man?  There are a few verses in the Bible that fascinate:

1 Kings 18:24  “Then you call on the name of your god,
and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers
by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, “That is a good idea.”

1 Kings 18:38  Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed
the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust,
and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Psalm 50:3 Our God comes and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.

In studying Greeks myths side-by-side with the Word of God, I discover the similarities and differences.   There are many questions, more than answers, hence my quest.  I wonder about the stories woven throughout time and how we can utilize them as a map for the future.  Has our ability to let go of myth and story led us down a path of annihilation of ourselves and the world?  Our map of the world burnt?  Perhaps a post for another time…

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”  Joseph Campbell

Personally I do not consider myself to be an answer at all.  I see myself as an enigma, as my husband calls me.  Enigma: a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.  I suppose in a way I am not willing to follow the crowd and people cannot understand autonomy.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”  This is a Joseph Campbell quote I believe.

Then, Roxanne Meshar, M.Div., in her book “God is not Zeus”, contends we want God to be Zeus but says He is not, no matter what we desire.  I counter does God not say He is He?  I am the I am?  Metaphorically Zeus?   We desire to be saved and seek someone or something stronger than ourselves.  We want God to be Zeus.

So how can any of this post help if someone believes metaphors are lies?  Does not an atheist contend and promote skepticism, blaming religion for all problems.  Is religion the scapegoat while dismissing the nature of hearts?  Can any of us say we have never committed a transgression against another?  Are we free of needing forgiveness?  Is it humanity, in all its foibles, that rules the world?  Or is there justice by a higher authority and who might that be?  Why, we ask, is God silent if He sees and knows all?  Why is the I am not walking the earth with us battling evil?  Or can we save ourselves by believing and finding the power within?

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell

Happy thinking, J