Weekly Photography Challenge: Wish

Share a wish…I could have found more iterations of this wish for peace love and empathy, but three seems like enough for now. The yellow background piece is a page from an artist scrapbook I made some years ago – lots of bits of junk and scraps of paper went into it, and it was great fun to make. You can see it here.

The rocks I collected over a period of time – “freedom” and “rock’n’roll” are in there too, and I wish I had more of both.

The last image was done digitally, using an art programme the kids had. It was fun, but frustrating trying to draw with the mouse. Much more sophisticated versions are available now, and that programme is well and truly out of date now, but I’m glad I thought to print this one off to keep.

I’ve found a rock with “Love” carved into it since taking the first photo, so that’s at least one wish fulfilled. I also wish someone would come and do my dusting…IMG_1227edit

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Vale

a-pencil-portraitHey Kurt,
today was your birthday.
You would have, should have, been 50 today. But you are forever 27, a magic age, neither boy nor man, suspended there forever.
No grey hairs or paunch for you: the girls will always think you’re cute – girls who weren’t born when you died declare their undying love for you. If only you could have known, would you have felt validated by that?
I kind of doubt it. I remember seeing a video of Courtney telling you she thought you were “really cute”, and the doubt in your face. You really believed you were ugly, didn’t you?
People believe strange things, like the conspiracy theorists who insist you were murdered. It might be comforting, I suppose, to think that a clever criminal did it, and not you, despite your reckless drug use and suicidal ideation that pointed to a deep and corrosive despair at your core.
Lets not dwell on the bitter end, not today. Let’s remember you as caring, generous and sweet, a bright and beautiful young man loved by your friends, and by the punk rock community that took you in and released you into the unsuspecting world, adored now by fans the whole world over; a world the breadth of which that boy from Aberdeen Wa could not imagine…
Peace Love Empathy
lets remember and cling to them.
The world needs them more now than ever.
Rest easy, sweet Kurt,
wherever you are.you-could-do-anything

Weekly Photography Challenge:Path +Poem

The week between Christmas and New Year is always rather strange – days seem to stretch and contract in the wake of the rush leading up to the holiday for some reason. We’ve also had some days of tropical heat and humidity, which are difficult to deal with in a normally Mediterranean climate…So it’s Friday already, and my path has at last reached WordPress for the Weekly Photography Challenge.july-aug-2011-584-large

This path is in the Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon, which we visited in 2011, and hope to see again some day. That’s a physical path. This poem travels a path too, and I took another path through my photos, looking for some to illuminate the poem.

I walked out the gate
And saw a rainbow
(Symbol of peace and hope)
My heart
(Symbol of love and passion)
Leapt up
sending the blood
(Symbol of empathy and life)
Coursing through my veins.

I couldn’t find an image of an actual rainbow, but I love prisms in the windows and the rainbows they cast around the room on sunny days. Tran(s)cendence (oops) is an image taken when I had a film camera and had to wait to have my pictures developed to find out how they turned out. It became part of a series of “Sukie’s Original Covers” – handmade CD covers using my work that I thought looked like “Cover Art”, inspired in no small way by Pixies “Dolittle”with Simon Larbalestier’s amazing photography in the inlay booklet.

Sukie’s Original became the name I use for all my artwork, and the Trancendence image is now printed on beautiful scarves by Vida. That’s a path I never expected to travel, but I’m happy that I did.scarf

Weekly Photography Challenge: Happy Place

This week the challenge is to show “where you go to get your groove back”, and I think I need to go there right now, because I’m having trouble coming up with an idea of what my Happy Place looks like. It’s more a state of mind, I think, than a physical location for me, although the garden, or my studio would be obvious choices. I’ve been away fromhome for over three weeks, so the garden needs weeding, and my studio is a muddle of things that need sorting, so…not so restful at present! Instead, I’m going with the crystals and rainbows in a sunny window of the study – the room I escape to to write blog posts, amongst other things…

 

And of course, there’s music, which has “charms to soothe a savage breast”* (and is the “brandy of the damned”, according to G.B. Shaw). Listening to Nirvana, fittingly, is a sure way to my Happy Place.

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*William Congreve.

Creativity: Escape XXVII

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I have come to the last few pages of my altered book, “Escape” – next week I’ll have to find something new to share! On this page, I simply crossed out most of the text with a medium-tip sharpie, and painted it out with watercolours. I’ve stuck on the frame from a sheet of postage stamps, then filled the spaces in various ways – redacting words from the original text in some of them, and stamps and a sticker for others.

I didn’t do this all at once, coming back and adding more from time to time. I generally work over several pages (at least) at any one time. This tends to unify the whole book, I think, since colours, stamps and styles of doodles etc are repeated through it.DSCF9445

I like what happens when a macro shot of a detail blows it up so much bigger than the original, and tiny details become visible.DSCF9446

This page was a simple matter of the Kikki-K sticker, lots of colour and a reminder of what I love to do – Create! Plus a butterfly, which, although I used black ink, has gained colour from the paint underneath.DSCF9447

This is the second last page of the book. Most of it is covered with a big yellow sticker. My late father-in-law loved garage sales, and buying all sorts of (potentially) useful things, and I think that’s where the multiple sheets of yellow stickers (various sizes) came from. The key – a jewelry charm – is held in place with a piece of wire. You can see the ends twisted and stuck down with tape next to “create” in the previous image. The music notes suggest joyful freedom to me.DSCF9448

Last of all, the inside back cover. Out of a  stack of maybe 15 pages, I cut an arch-shaped hole, working through several at a time, after which the whole stack was glued together, to create a niche. It so happened that the old novel had a character called “Kurt”, which I didn’t know when I bought it in a junk shop for it’s cover (50cents, if I remember lately). The name appears from an accidental tear beside the niche, so the last page went from there. The image glued into the niche is printed on a paper made from a mineral rather than tree pulp, which has a pleasing matte finish. I coloured it in with felt-tip pens. The arrangement of seven hearts, drawn in a continuous line and rainbow coloured, is a symbol I have been using for years for Peace (the rainbow) Love (the hearts) Empathy (the blood drops). I left the last sentence on the page, because it fit with the drawing of Kurt Cobain.DSCF9450

 

Friday Poem: Life

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A lot of terrible things seem to have happened lately, the earthquake in Nepal being the biggest. There is no one to blame in the case of such natural disasters, and it is natural to feel helpless in the face of it – especially watching it on a screen from far away…

Life is suffering –
Empathy is painful
Love is hard
Peace  is impossible.

Once you’ve understood
all that
Dearest Chela
The rest is easy.IMG_4306 (Large)

If you didn’t know, “Chela’ is a student of a spiritual teacher.

If you can, you could make a donation to Oxfam, UNHCR or one of the other charities working to assist the thousands made homeless and without access to clean water and food in Nepal.

Or one of the other places on our shared earth where suffering is sharper than for many of us…

Every little bit helps.IMG_4216 (Large)

Friday Poem: Question Everything

The poem came first. Then somehow I had some Time Alone this week, with pen and paper, and thinking of the poem and all that has been going on in the world of late (what’s new?), I wrote a little rant…question everything

Nothing is certain,
Not even this:
I don’t want to be certain-
I want to wonder
And to exercise curiosity.

I don’t want to be
Like a man who is sure what is true;
Such men are dangerous
For sure.
There have been a few.

Let me instead
Always question everything,
And keep ‘if’ and ‘maybe’
Firmly in my vocabulary.question everything 2

I don’t like Dominator Culture, however it is expressed. But, because we are immersed in it, it can be difficult to see – but once one is aware, it’s everywhere. Misogyny, abuse of children, spousal violence, unequal pay scales for men and women, cheap, illegal Mexican labour used for dirty, dangerous and underpaid work, 1% of the world’s population “owning” as much as the other 99% put together, violent struggles for control, whether for families, neighbourhoods or whole countries or religions. Keeping up with the Joneses and other extringent goals, playground bullies trying to assuage their own miserable self-worth by destroying someone else’s….Dominator Culture surrounds us every day, in ways both large and small, with the seemingly insignificant feeding on and into the blindingly obvious.

No one can beat Dominator Culture, because beating is joining it…So how to counter it?

Mohondas Gandhi taught non-violent non-cooperation, and one form of non-violent non-cooperation that anybody can participate in is to ask questions, maintain curiosity and to live an actively creative life. To be widely read, and go into the wild without wanting to tame it, to regard all persons as the equal of oneself (am I sounding like Walt Whitman? Don’t mind if I do…). To draw in the margins, and colour outside the lines. To love one another, and cultivate compassion, even towards those who seem to be the very worst…All this is deeply radical behavior,
and utterly contrary to Dominator Culture.question everything 3