Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

A few weeks ago I had a bad migraine and here I am again............Thoughts are rattling around in my head, and in what might seem like a futile effort to relieve the pressure and pain, building in my head, I am putting these words down. 

Of late, I have been grappling with what seems to be, and what is. The proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing, the great and mighty, powerful all knowing Oz, who is, in reality, a mere flawed mortal behind a curtain, misrepresenting himself as someone other than that.

During my last migraine bout, I experienced the ecstasy of tasting what I thought was a ripe, sweet, juicy cherry, from my very own fruit tree. In reality, I realized, it turned out to be a sour plum, masquerading as a cherry. Yet for that moment, it became a cherry for me, because I needed it to be. I truly believed in it, so it was my reality. Truth be told, I do not like plums.

There have been people in my life, who I have been seeing lately, shedding their outer curtain in front of my eyes. In my former eyes, they were beloved friends, who spoke to me with deep love and kindness, deep caring and concern. I believed that there was a deep connection, that became so important and meaningful to me, and a foundation of my existence and basis for my self-worth. I felt so lucky to have them in my life, and felt richer for knowing them. The sweetness was almost too good to be true.

In times of need, and during times of great accomplishment, celebration and joy, I have reached out to share this with the ones who I though held a place of great meaning in my life, by their own choice and mine. Suddenly I realized that they were no longer there. I pulled back the curtain, and they were gone. They had looked the other way when I reached out. They turned a deaf ear when I rejoiced or cried. The huge sense of disillusionment has been such an encumbering, painful weight. 

The apathy was palpable. The sweet was sour. The small glistening cherry, was not at all what it appeared to be.

Now I am at a place of simplifying. Clearing space. Reflecting on the Detritus our ending exhibit, my sculpture Veil of Indifference, and all that it is and has meant to me. I sit looking at the former cherry tree. It has revealed it's truth to me. Actually, it has alway been a plum tree, I just could not see that. The tree was picked clean by the crows in the course of a few days, and remains barren as it has always been, before I discovered the first fruit. The burgundy leaves still glisten in the sunlight. Their beauty is not diminished in the least, for having been revealed as a different kind of tree. I just will see it differently, from now on.

I will no longer pick it's fruit, because I do not like to eat plums. I will leave it for the crow, who love to eagerly feast on them. I will seek out my own sweet fruit, that suits me better. How much fruit do I actually need anyway? 

Now to lay down in the quiet, and rest, with the hopes that the pain of the headache, along with the thoughts that I have been weighted down by, will gradually begin to float up to the cloudless blue sky, and leave me that much lighter for having let them go.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

To Dance With Nature

                            "A Broken Heart Is Heavy and Hard To Carry"
 ~ Jo Grishman

When we enter into any relationship, we usually believe and expect that it will be a forever one.  Two people move forward with the hopes and expectations, that being together, whether in friend, love or working relationship, it will grow stronger and long lasting. Like in nature, nothing is static, change is inevitable. We hopefully grow as people, and that being in relationship as an “us”, will make us a better “me”. It is actually unrealistic to think that we will never change, yet we always hope that if we do, we will remain on the same path as the other. Sometimes this path intersects like a DNA molecule, always coming back to itself. Sometimes it waxes and wanes, reaches a place of stasis, and then if we are lucky, a place of shared stability. This is not always the case. Often though, through the growth process, the relationship does not look the way we might have seen it, in our mind’s eye.  Plants reach toward the light of the sun, soaking it in to thrive. The branches of a tree, beginning from a place of sameness, start growing apart. This separation, this individuation, is necessary to thrive. We look toward the changing seasons of nature, for guidance in our own lives. 

Last June, I participated in a profoundly moving dance retreat. We danced in and with nature, amongst the trees and rocks, as though there was no separation between the self and the forest. During this experience, we each chose a rock and stick to bring inside, to join us in the dance. At the conclusion, I admittedly had “rock envy”. I gazed longingly from across the room, wanting to be in relationship with a rock that was in the arms of another. I asked the proud partner of her wonderful heart shaped rock, if she intended to take it home with her. She responded, that “the rock was broken and rather heavy to carry”, and that I was welcome to have it. I accepted this wonderful gift with feelings of hope and potential. Yes, yes indeed, a broken heart is heavy and hard to carry. I delighted in the prospect of collaborating with this rock, to create a sculpture. I have just completed it, in the midst of some relationships in my life, that are in a state of flux, seeking balance amidst the turbulent storm. By co-creating with this rock, some of the experiences I brought home from the retreat, as well as with life itself unfolding, I am trying to process with a guarded optimism, the new relationships that I am being challenged with. It is a dance unto itself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Art Life Video Blog

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jacob Wolff. He is an energetic artist, photographer and journalist who documents all the creative energy Portland has to offer. I was honored to be the 122nd artist in his series The Art Life Video. You can see the two part interview that took place in Basic Space Gallery, where I am part of a three person exhibit. It was exciting, exhilarating and a bit frightening, but fun and wonderful none the less.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

If Life Hands You a Bowl of Cherries......

Growing up in NYC, the furthest thing from my mind was having a fruit tree. I love the farmers market and fresh fruits and veggies. I am blessed with ten creative working fingers that love to manipulate and give life to clay, but I do not have green thumbs. 

As I sat in solitude today, nursing a migraine, I listened to the loud cacophony of crows, and shrill of the eagles hovering over the lake, which by the way was music to my ears now that the fireworks of the fourth of July have passed. I spotted a glistening red orb in the morning sun. 

City kid that I am, I have watched the cherry tree flower for four seasons, never thinking that flowers could mean fruit. I love the deep burgundy of the leaves, almost as much as the hummingbirds do. This year's early hot summer, brought early pink blossoms, that came and went with the first breezy day. Upon closer examination I saw that there were many, many beautiful, ripe, red, bursting, cherries, dangling from the tree. 

Like a little kid, who has made a great discovery, I couldn't finish my breakfast fast enough and run for my camera to capture these little gems. I wiggled in my seat in anticipation of reaching for the first sweet cherry from MY VERY OWN CHERRY TREE and tasting it! I cherished the moment as if it was a first date, wanting it to last, from the moment I plucked the first berry from the branch, until I bit into the firm, crisp, juicy, morsel. It tasted delicious!!!! Although it was a bit tart, and I do not like tart, my mind read it as the sweetest thing ever. Funny how we can see something as sweet, even if it isn't, if we want to.

I was going to climb and pick only five considering how headachy I was feeling, but was actually able to reach quite a bit from the ground. I did climb the ladder to reach just one for the fun of it, held by my beloved who is always supporting me in my antics. Anything to put a smile on my face when I have pain.

I now cherish this lovely bowl of cherries, that I will savor later. It brightened up, what started out as an otherwise dark day, although the sky is a majestic blue, made more so by the contrast of the burgundy cherries against it. I am cherishing the solitude, cherishing my family, cherishing my art opening last week, thinking about the synchronicity of the fact that today of all days would be the day that I would notice and "cherish the cherries". Through the pain, I can still choose to cherish my life.