Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tattooed and Haunted

There is a man in my life..well, there was a man. Although gone for years, he haunts me daily. I have given him up in my heart and mind, over and over, but it seems my soul and his are connected through some ethereal thread of impossible strength. He is a gossamer Shade, a diaphanous umbra shadowing my every moment. I never expect to see him again, and there is a howling pain from the Alpha female within me whenever I acknowledge the truth of that finality. Our time together, our shared passions..they're tattooed on my soul forever.

If I live every moment, won't change any moment,
There's still a part of me in you
I will never regret you, still the memory of you
Marks everything I do.

Don't look back got a new direction
I loved you once, needed protection
You're still a part of everything I do
You're on my heart just like a tattoo

Just like a tattoo, I'll always have you
I'll always have you, I'll always have you

From 'Tattoo" as sung by Jordin Sparks

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The view

If you want to see the whole thing, click on the photo to be taken to the webpage.
Having just shipped the order of miniatures on Friday, a steady rain all day and my newly rebuilt playlist spurred me to pick up my office/studio space. I didn't SAY "clean," I said "pick up." I know how fascinated I am to see how others organise and use their studio space, so it's been a quiet little goal of mine for awhile to post some photos of my sanctum sanctorum.

So here you go...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dreams of Bernie Mac

I dreamed of Bernie Mac last night. This is - was - a man who changed my understanding of men, of what it is to BE a "man."

What a fortunate woman

I watched an interview with Mr. Mac during the falderol leading up to the release of 2007's "Pride," a poorly directed film of a inspirational story taken from real-life. The (vacuous? bored?) interviewer asked Mr. Mac "Why no Speedos for you?" Now I was annoyed by the interviewer, and I seemed to see a flicker of annoyance cross Bernie Mac's face, too, but he didn't miss a beat. He leaned forward, looked the woman dead in the eye and said "You're dealing with a man here, understand? Not a boy, a man" then he leaned back, rolled his cigar, and said "No. No Speedo."

I can't explain it, but his words were like a spear, a laser to the most intensely female part of my being. Beyond being rocked by the sheer Lionesque intensity of the man, with those few words he opened my eyes to the emotional depth of what a real MAN, and correspondingly, a real WOMAN is all about. About how it's about taking responsibility for yourself and for others, maintaining an integrity of person based on a set of values and principles that are borne of experience and careful judgement.

I loved watching Bernie Mac. He was brilliant (and underrated) as the Store Security Chief in Bad Santa, terrific but underused in the Tour d'Force Oceans 11, 12, and 13 movies, amazing in his reinvention of iconic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Guess Who, the entire reason for seeing The Kings of Comedy, and ground-breaking in The Bernie Mac Show. But he had me from the day of the Pride interview forward...I simply swooned whenever I heard his name, and I cried when I heard this MAN was gone from my world. Bernie Mac was a Force of Nature, and he made the world a much better place for having been here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

REALLY, this is right outside my window!

Had this beautiful visitor yesterday afternoon on the bench 25 feet from where I sit, typing this.

After some research and consultation with other birders, I have concluded he was an immature Cooper's Hawk, drawn to the flocks of finches and sparrows at my feeder. A lot of people are mad for eagles and owls, but Hawk is the raptor for me. Always has been.

When I was barely 2, living in a pretty little clapboard house on Lake White, Ohio, my parents frequently left me in the yard in my playpen while they worked outside. One such day, a hawk decided to fly down and examine me, perching on the rail and cocking his head. I (barely) remember being delighted, but my mother always remembered being terrified and certain that the bird was "after your bright little eyes." Knowing what I do now of Hawk and his prominent place in my life, I don't believe my eyes were in jeopardy for a moment.

Over the past 50+ years, I have had many, MANY experiences with Hawk, most of them out of what most people would call "the ordinary." No matter where I go, I am greeted by Hawk. The first day I drove into this town, considering it as my next stop in life, I was greeted, DOWNTOWN, by a Hawk gliding not five feet overhead, a rat hanging from its talons. I have not seen another hawk downtown since moving here, but have been directly greeted in this house by many.

Hawk is my companion, as is Crow/Raven, as Fox was the first three decades of my life, as Hummingbird suddenly has become the last 5 years.

Magic is all around you, all the time. You have but to open your eyes and soul and SEE. The Sufi poet and theologist Rumi had it right:

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you;
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want;
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.”
- Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkh, aka Rumi 1207/17 - 1273

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Downhill to Autumn

The Fall rains have begun, it's grey and green outside, the birds have begun to gather in flocks to fly south, the apples are turning red and the blackberries are ripe enough to eat. Where did summer go?

Such a difference, living back here after decades in Austin, Texas. I used to dread the oncoming summer and celebrate the first cold front, now I wonder if I'll ever be truly warm again.

I remember moving to Houston from Seattle, and how I felt really warm enough, clear through, for the first time in ages. I was SO happy to be warm enough at last. I loved Texas entirely. The people..those who grew up there, are the kindest, most generous souls I have ever encountered.

Unfortunately, Texas is known more for people who have moved there and draped themselves in the Big Texas Myth. Shrub and his daddy, better known as the Bush Presidents, are both Yankees. They are NOT Texans, in fact. In 1991 Big George spent three nights in a Houston hotel so he could claim Texas residency!

Little George has a little too much beer in Bejing (note his daughter's countenance to his immediate left)

Little George is still the perfect Frat boy, publicly acting out with a spoiled-brat ego and little else. The ONLY reason he became Prez is because he had the lesser record of bad deeds amongst the four brothers. Yes, I said "four." You know about former Florida Gov. Jeb and Neil, of course, but did you know there was another Bush brother people seldom see? The youngest of the crew, his name is Marvin, and according to the Wiki entry, he is "a Venture Capitalist." Amazingly, even the Bush Family Skeletons website doesn't even MENTION him. He is married, with two adopted children. Hmmmm.... Clearly, there is a smoking gun there somewhere.

I actually feel sorry for Little George. I don't believe he ever wanted to be President, but was pressed into service by his VERY scary dad. GW wanted to be Baseball Commissioner, and a dandy one he would have made, too. Poor George, to paraphrase Ann Richards, he was born into a crappy legacy.

Here's a riddle for you: How many Secret Service Agents does it take to hold up a drunken president?

But I have strayed from the subject of Autumnal Angst. Or have I? Just think, NEXT week we get to watch the clown car that is the Democrat Convention in Denver run around and maybe explode! And THEN the Republicans get their chance to thump their chests and be loud and boring. The only thing I can think is, that this time next year, we won't have Little George to kick around any more.

And poof! There goes my angst...and the sun just broke through the clouds outside!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm a Whore...

for the Olympics, that is. Especially all those pretty boys in their second-skin suits and those oh-so-delicious underwater shots! Yum! LOVE to watch that bubble action! Ah to be one of those sleak, shimmering creatures streaking through the water as though some exquisite hybrid of dolphin and human... Annie Leibowitz had the vision...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Amerika

Eugene Robinson's most recent column for the Washington Post is "Obama Faces The Smear Machine," and I highly recommend it to you. I was moved enough to write him a note of appreciation, and rather than restate what I wrote, please allow me to simply quote my own letter here:

Mr. Robinson,

Thank you for writing your piece on Jerome Corsi and his ugly way of feeding people's fears. I am glad to hear that the unfortunate lessons learned during Mr. Kerry's campaign are being readily applied in the rebuttal of Corsi and his ilk's bullying tactics.

Although I'm not as wild about Mr. Obama as most of my friends, I appreciate he and his team's continued efforts to maintain a positive approach to this campaign, and it is the highest likelihood that he will garner my vote in November. Too long have the people who both understand how, and are willing to manipulate the System to control people's hearts and minds for personal gain been in control of this country. As Frank Herbert said in Dune, "Fear is the mind killer." Indeed.

I believe that Barrack Obama scares a lot of Americans (especially White Americans) because of the suspicion (fear) that he has some hidden agenda borne of racial divisiveness. Rubbish. I honestly don't believe he wishes to visit some pogrom on our heads. Where would be the value, especially to a President in doing such a thing? I am far more fearful FOR Mr. Obama than OF him, given the self-empowered mad dogs in our current society.

Apply Occam's Razor to Mr. Obama and you get an obvious answer; he's an idealist with energy and vision enough to (hopefully) stay the course and make some real differences for the good in our country. Oh right, and he happens to be Black, too.

Although no one could quarrel that race is a decided factor in this election (and pervasive throughout our day to day lives), I continue to witness McCain's camp "play the race card" with just enough subtlety to slide past most peoples' notice. I haven't seen nearly as much evidence of Obama playing that card, though certainly it crops up there, too. The problem is, race is an issue for almost everyone in this country.

I am a middle-aged White woman who has lived all over the world. I was married to a Chinese man, and have been girlfriend to Black and Brown men. I don't consider myself a racist, per se, but I certainly recognise that I have erroneous stereotypes and ideas that affect my thinking.

Race is a political and social construct, and doesn't exist, biologically. I've researched my genealogy fairly thoroughly, and although I appear very White (blond with green eyes and pale skin), I am actually an lovely blend of Native American, Northern and Southern European, Black African, and Russian. If I receive blood from a "Black" person, what visible (or invisible, for that matter) difference has it made in me? The truth is that race was invented, and originally organised by the Catholic Church, for the purpose of giving power to white people, thus legitimizing the dominance of white people over non-white people.

Don't believe me, though. Use that grey matter and do your own research! I recommend a terrific paper written by the Western States Center on this subject.