Sunday, September 30, 2007

Making Cob

I spent today recovering from yesterday. On Saturday we congregated with the Tumbleweeds to make cob, stomping and mixing wet soil, straw and sand into wonderful muck and building a bench out of it. At least the solid beginnings of a bench. It takes a lot of work to make a batch of cob and a lot of cob to make a bench. It was exhaustingly fun working in a big group and seeing it methodically take shape. Though our sculptural creation is a seat in Dave and Annalies' garden, it feels like all of ours. Some photos of our endeavor here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Post Party Post

India celebrated her 18th birthday on Saturday with a big dance bash. It culminated in super fun despite some initial toil and strife. We spent days wrangling the house into shape and stringing up pretties. Then the rain decided to make an unwelcome appearance late in the game so we got a nice gloss of wet and stress over our well laid plans. Nevertheless, with our appreciative friends, yummy nibbles, music and dancing there was no escaping a good time. I worked hard putting together a photo time line of India and hung it up along the hallway. It was amazing and poignant for me to take a long look at who she's been and become. My serious sweethearted imp has steadily grown into a young woman. Generous. Loyal. Fair. A good friend. A wild tender spirit. Creative. Loving. Intuitive. Poet. Face painter. Artist with her own voice. Unafraid of judgment. A good cook. Her own sense of style. Unique. These are all words people used to describe her that night, written on red paper hearts and pinned up. Yes, she embodies "unique" and all that implies. She has no plans of going anywhere far anytime soon (like me, she's a bit of a slow bloomer) but 18 is big. Adult. I feel so lucky that we have the love and space to hold her and that all our dear peeps see her clearly and appreciate who she is. Happy Birthday, Ia.

Photo: Ia Altar. A portrait of India in her Elven cloak around age 7 done by my Grandpa Albert Scott. Also, an inked print of her wee foot done at about 1 week of age.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Reverse Graffiti

This I like. A graffiti artist who actually cleans up the place as he's making art, not to mention making a pointed jab at the whole concept of graffiti as vandalism. This is the handiwork of one Paul Curtis aka "Moose" who works in the Leeds and London areas of the UK. You can read more about this new urban art form and artists Curtis and Brazilian Alexandre Orion at Inhabitat or Alexandre in action here. Way cool.

Photo from Inhabitat.

Great Unexpectations

Strange how I slip into a slump just when all my outside markers are pointing to "should be happy". The weather's been beautiful, I have time on my hands , the garden is burgeoning, our domestic scene is more ship shape than usual with chores getting done and sit down dinners, my dad's healing fast, we are about to expand the card line and I sold a major painting! So why so glum? Mystery. I feel like I'm just not getting anything done. Well, at least what I think matters. My perfectionist aspirations tangling up the works again. Multiple worthy irons in the fire but no blaze. Again and again I have this experience of too many creative ideas but no wherewithal. Like suffocating in a windstorm. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels or caught in a vortex. No direction. When I'm like this I just try to steer my boat along the strongest current no matter how small. Just get me out of here. What holds the most juice at any given moment. Interesting to observe. Playing guitar. Writing songs. Poetry. Painting thank yous. Researching. Dancing. Just being. Turning off the mind and getting still. So that's what I've been doing. On the road to nowhere.

Detail of Illumination, acrylic painting on canvas. Now part of the Palmieri personal collection. Thanx, Phyllis!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Premonition Recollection

Another September 11th. A Tuesday. Six years since those fallen towers triggered a tsunami of terror. A slow motion savage ravaging. Weary, swamped and threadbare now. Stewed in quagmire. What a mess. Every year I adjust my stance to the changing significance of that event and remember my own personal premonition. A vivid dream in February 2001:

I am standing with my family inside the Trans-America building looking out of the big windows facing a clear view of the San Francisco bay. Beloved city. The sense of peacefulness is shaken suddenly. An earthquake? I look out the huge windows and down toward the foundation to see that the sidewalks below are ruptured as if the building has twisted on it's axis. Before I can register amazement I become aware of a deep subterranean rumbling. As the sensation builds, all of us (my family) press up against the glass to see just what is happening. I sense that not only we but everyone in the entire city is clamoring to look. Our eyes seem to be drawn out to the waters of the bay. Alcatraz Island is somehow not out there but that spot draws every eye as the surface of the water begins to roil. Something is rising up out of the turbulence. An enormous piece of obsidian begins to jut slowly upward. Absolutely huge. As big as an island, tall, black and shining, somewhat reminiscent of the monolith in the film 2001
though roughly irregular. There is a heavy feeling of expectancy in the atmosphere. We are all waiting for something to happen. One smooth wide flank of the stone's black surface seems almost like a screen. We are expecting some kind of transmission. Collectively, we all look outward, open to receiving this message. A murky image begins to waver into view on this screen. It resolves into focus. An image of the Earth as seen from space. A small blue ball, white swirled, hanging in deep space. That is what we all see but the feeling that erupts is profound astonishment and recognition. As if we each had glimpsed a reflection of our own face in that surface. Then I'm struck with a deep knowing that something BIG is imminent. Sweeping in fast and furious, there is no stopping it. A tidal wave. Out at sea but pushing inland. My immediate fear is quickly replaced by resolve to model strength for my kids. I gather them in a huddle hug and excitedly tell them to hang on because something powerful will be crashing over us soon but that we will be OK. I'm fearless, brimming with the confidence of a woman who's given birth and knows intimately the relentless power of that creative force. To survive you have to ground yourself and yet give up to the momentum. Get out of the way. No resistance. Deep breath...

...I wake up.

Still riding out the chaos, walking that fine line between breakdown and breakthrough. Dreaming the future...bridging the abyss.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Small Revolution

What a change. Home from Not Back To School Camp looking taller, slimmer, more thoughtful, composed, happily tired, creatively inspired, challenged and fulfilled. This morning, the coup: removal of braces. Just in time for her eighteenth birthday at the Autumn Equinox. After two long years of difficult orthodontics, enduring invasive oral surgery, implants and multiple gingivectomies to correct a bad open bite, the battle is won. I am counting on this being the last vestige of what I've called her Dental Karma, burning away. A quintessential chameleon, she shape shifts through the years. Cherub, chubby elf, whimsical imp, tomboy, wild child, spooky girl, shy misfit, awkward tag along, mother hen, intrepid soul, humble mentor, artist, budding poet. No knowing quite where she's going though it's bound to be a road less traveled. Just where a pretty smile might open doors ...and the wheel turns.