Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Portland CIty Hall to exhibit Project Rubia Quilt in November!

I am delighted to report that I have finally received permission to have the Rubia Quilt "Women Helping Women Stitch By Stitch" quilt that includes both artist quilt blocks from women around the United States, as well as women from Afghanistan, to be brought to Portland to be exhibited in City Hall for the month of November! I am absolutely thrill that after contacting dozens of organization, the woman in charge of exhibits in City Hall saw the importance of exhibiting the quilt in Portland. This will be the first exhibit of the project quilt on the West Coast! I will send updates and invitations to announce the exact dates of the exhibition as they unfold!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Art In The Pearl

Labor Day weekend once again was the time, The Pearl District was the place for the annual showing of Art In The Pearl. This was my first year exhibiting as a part of the Pacific NW Sculptors Guild. I exhibited one of my interactive ceramic books "The Process of Remembering to Forget". As usual, the turnout was wonderful as art lovers danced between raindrops!

Falling Into Ecstacy

As I roll over in bed unfolding into the morning, a smile becomes me. The expectancy of Sunday morning, has quickly become the most anticipated part of my week, filling a place deep within my being that not only did I not know existed, but never realized needed to be filled. As I dress, I begin layering many of my cherished items of clothing that lay neglected and stagnant in my closet, only to have their fabric caressed longingly by me over the years. I long to wear flowing clothes that feel like free wings, as I spin around dancing later this morning. These garments stand in my closet as overlooked facades of a me that long to be. I ask myself why I neglect this place within the core of my being? The transformation begins as I swiftly but lightly gallop to the streetcar that will take me to the Conduit Dance Studio.
"Conduit...a channel for conveying water or other fluid, Latin for bringing together." How perfect; to float in on the music into a sense of abandon, of peace, of self truth; into a sense of belonging to a community that I have never before experience. To become....To become the vessel, the vehicle. I put on my dance shoes, and suddenly the transformation begins as though I were Cinderella, finally slipping into the shoes that truly fit, that make her into her true self.
The music begins to flow like a rushing river of blood bringing life into my being, pulsing, vital, alive. How strange it is that I have never known how it feels to come into myself, to come home to myself. How ironic that the totally unfamiliar, feels so comfortable; like a place I somehow always knew, a place I have always belonged, but never knew how to find. To arrive home to myself brings an indescribable feeling of joy and wholeness that I never knew existed.
I begin to move, stretch and expand like a newly born faun feeling her legs and her world for the first time. The music begins to fill me more, and more, as it crescendos through my muscles to the tips of my fingers and toes. My body yawns, stretches, expands, unfolds, begins to become. I close my eyes and I am alone with the music, yet I am acutely aware of the presence of the other awakening bodies and spirits around me. I feel like a weed that is a flower who has yet to discover its beauty. I am surrounded by a field of colorful flowers that have come into their own, each as unique as snowflakes swaying and expanding around me, as the music builds and the sweat and energy of the room becomes palpable. My fear and self-consciousness begin to flow off of my body along with the sweat that erupts from my pores.
Slowly my mind begins to quiet; a feeling totally foreign to me. Where is the judge and jury that I have become so accustom to in my life? Where is that inner critic who is my constant chaperone, always reminding me that, "I am doing it wrong." What would people say if they saw me moving and expanding in the room to fill my entitled space? I am no longer obliged to have to cower in the corner, so no one will notice what a fool I am making of myself. There is no judge or judged. I am free
I have a place, I belong, my body flows. The music is inside me coexisting with my blood and sweat flow, becoming a life force that rushes throughout my entire mind and body. The judge occasionally rears its oh so familiar dark head, and I let him slide off my wet body along with the sweat that holds within it the memories of childhood dance classes. The classes that I was dismissed from because, "I did not fit in", "I was not doing it right", "I did not belong". The dancer has laid dormant within my body and soul for over forty years. The false sense of comfort, disguising itself as the tightness that has learned to inhabit my body, is at last finding a space to release into.
Through support comes release. There is room....I am learning to accept and allow that I am deserving of this space. The permission has been given to move, to gyrate, to feel my body, to feel my sexuality, my soul; to do anything that feels right and most importantly to be able to identify what feels good, feels right, feels natural. I still hear the voices, and try to allow them to float in and float out, without giving them credence. I trust that they will soon get the hint and take flight. My body was meant to move, expand, express.
How long I have lived not knowing I had permission to do this. That the longer I wait, the tighter I become in my body and in my mind; the more elusive the freedom "to be" becomes. I had no idea I could feel this way, this full, this happy, this alive, this free! I had no idea that I was allowed to move this way, to feel this way, to feel free from my mind and free within my body.
Occasionally, another body brushes past mine and there is slightest almost imperceptible touch. A connection of like minded spirits, joining together for a few moments of contact; the human connection we all crave. Somehow we are all somewhat deprived of, or are depriving ourselves of this connection, in the smallness of the world we create for ourselves. I withdraw momentarily, not quite understanding how I should feel, how I should react. Should I allow another person to enter my space and touch my life? Is it safe? I step outside myself and witness my body creating a shell around it, to protect it, to sequester itself. I see this field emanating from my body sending off vibrations like an invisible fence. Like a fragile, vulnerable newborn who is in actuality more resilient than she knows.
She longs to expand her world, to invite the dance, to allow others in, but she has just entered this new world of wonder. She must learn to become comfortable inside her own new skin, new body, new mind, before she can feel safe enough to open a small portal and allow others to enter, without the fear of being judged, laughed at, rejected, hurt. If this vulnerable baby dancer allowed others to enter this new world and she was hurt, she is afraid she could never dance again. It is so much easier to dance alone, to take no risks. The dance itself is risky enough.
When she is ready to invite the momentary partners into the dance, it will be time. It cannot be rushed or forced. Then the spontaneity that naturally arises from her center will make the dance authentic. It is worth the wait, whether it comes now or in a year. Still the "dance of one" must be danced. It is just as important and valid. It is a vital life force that has now awakened after a long sleep, like Snow White, blossoming and expanding into life.
It is said, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". I trust that more that ever now. With much gratitude, I eagerly await the metamorphosis that I will continue to experience, as I keep falling into the ecstasy of conscious dance.