Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hats, Bunnies and Obligations

Happily, I've managed, if nothing else this week, to make a dent in the mountain of things needing to be done. The enormous pile of obligations and tasks have kept growing especially during those days I can do little more than flounder. By flounder, I mean that motionless lying down, immobilised except for the one eye kept on goings on, as best you can with a ragng headache, and no energy whatever. Some of the stress of having to fight for the barest of existence has let up a little lately. I can now afford to eat twice a day at least, and it is making some difference.

On a really good day, I think I might even get better one day. Polly-Anna optimism or knee-deep in denial, can't tell you which. I've learned to make a point of doing some actual living each and every day. It is very important to experience moments of joy, even if otherwise existence is painful or just plain dull. The human spirit craves experience and moments of feeling good about being alive can go a long way to bringing pain levels down and the spirit more willing to work up the desire to fight on and wake up the next day and the next.

In that spirit, other than getting caught up on some basic housekeeping and reading correspondence, I've managed to spend some time with my sister and with her little 3 year old daughter played with hats in a local boutique while my sister was trying on some clothes. I forgot what fun that can be, just the dressing up and playing it out depending on the hat you are wearing. I even laughed out loud with her. One hat she could not bear to part with and she was given that hat from the both of us. I should have brought a camera, darn. My sister bought me a rather extravagant pin for my bunny coat.

What is a bunny coat, well, political correctness aside for the moment, it is a coat made of the hides of wee bunnies. I bet they were tasty too. No, I'm not even a little vegan, though I was raised as one when I was a child. Broke nearly every bone in my body by age 16, started eating meat, not in great amounts but here and there, and haven't broken a bone since. I don't think that says anything about either life style but it does say a little something about fanaticism.

I came by the bunny coat via my daughter who presented me with it a couple of winters ago. she knows how miserably cold I get, and there is nothing warmer in the entire world than and animal pelt. Sorry folks but synthetics don't cut it even a little. Maybe that's why so many older women cling to their minks not wanting to give them up. Purely from a touchy feely perspective there are some animals I think are wrong to wear. The more sentient the animal the less I want to wear them, that incudes wolves, foxes and certainly cats and endangered species. Mind you mink is nothing more than a weasel (I can just hear ferret owners seething). Pet chinchillas are adorable but if I'm going to freeze to death or wear their pelts guess what, touchy feely don't keep you warm. I've had several pet bunnies and I was incredibly fond of all of them, and I loved each and every chicken my grandmother had running round in her back yard when I was little. It took a little getting used to you favourite hen becoming soup for the weekend.

The coat had previously been owned by another lady and was inherited by my daughter, I honour both her memory and that of the little bunnies whose pelts keep me so warm. I don't see a need in owning a second fur coat of any kind, it really is just terribly nice to be so warm for a change. I can't think it would honour the furry animals to be unappreciated. We do no favours to animal kind and the ecosystem by manufacturing synthetics either, never mind they are never going to be as warm and light. Manufacturing uses vile sludges of chemistry with effluent that is disposed of in some cases fairly indiscriminately here, but most especially in the third world where ethics and well-intended "rules" simply do not apply. So I'm fine and happy with the bunny coat.

Feeling better but not motivated to paint or be terribly creative I've spent more time crocheting hats than sketching, painting of sculpting. Rapid robot movement keeps my hands warm and does not require much thought, the brain needs some rest. This afternoon I was playing with two of my recently crocheted hats (both done in the last 48 hours) and my camera and put together the animated picture below. The backgrounds are from other photos taken other days, and I did not leave my chair to take any of them. Just a little fun with hats, and you can se the bunny coat and if you look the green coloured extravagant pin.

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The pile of things undone is getting smaller day by day, as long as this level of functioning holds I just might be able to see over the top of it soon. I can make more hats, paint some, sculpt some and write a few stories..

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Koschey Ready for the Masque Ball

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Koschey knows I hate clowns with a passion. So, of course, the wretch has insisted upon coming as a clown to the Masque Ball. Well you won't get me anywhere near him and I'd advise the rest of you to avoid him and that Party Punch he is in the habit of distributing all over the world. No wonder everyone is suffering from increased anxiety.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Green Chinese Dresser (a performance)

I hope you will enjoy this performance, and my costume. I am a bit early, but this is the only night I shall be in town...

Green Chinese Dresser

In the middle of the night I stretch my arm
up to the top of the green Chinese dresser.
It’s too tall for a bedside table,
but I wanted it close.
My fingers skim the gouge in the smooth lacquer,
one in a list of crimes for which
my ex-husband
was held accountable
in the spring of 1993.
This chest used to hold
silken scarves and gloves,
fancy linens and tiny crystal perfume ampules,
boxes of fine gold jewelry.
My grandmother’s "special-occasion wear"
was perfect for my everyday visits.
After forty years, this dresser is used to me
and my no-longer-small fingers
as I pull the drawer open with a
silken sigh.
But it has changed.
The enigmatic coquette
holding a lotus blossom
has become a marketplace auntie,
holding a basket of bread and fruit.
Glamorous silks and kid gloves
gave way to everyday ephemera.
In these fragrant drawers
my grandmother’s scent lingers,
along with
a diaphragm, pantyhose,
wrinkled photos, receipts,
love letters, scotch tape,
spare buttons, sewing thread,
tiny scissors, nail clippers,
my favorite lotion,
pens, spare beads, warm socks,
and even, once,
a vibrator.
I feel around in the bottom drawer
pull out fuzzy socks.
Slipping them on my feet,
I curl into my warm bed
knowing that the green Chinese dresser
stands tall
close by in the dark.

A Masque Ball in the Boudoir

Baba has been thinking and when Baba thinks anything is likely to happen. She has been wary of all these artistic types who have descended upon her and has decided to test them a little. She is planning to have a Masque Ball in her Boudoir. Everyone is expected to come in full costume, make a grand entrance and amuse Baba with a short act. Is that a distant cackle I hear or that old rooster crowing joyfully?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Life Drawings - Baba Yaga

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usA lovely way to spend a Sunday. In partial sun life drawing one of the more interesting subjects I have had of late. She stood with gentle timeless curves deep in thought. Perhaps it was those thoughts that transformed her in my eyes from one drawing to the next. The image was not of one woman but all the women she had been during various parts of her life. Not just the more elderly woman who stands before me here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI saw in her also the young woman full of promise, not yet worn out by life's obstacles. She was soft and gentle and danced in moonbeams and in front of delighted audiences, the young gypsy dancer. In her own right she was a draw at any box office in the Northern towns where she toured. Not perhaps the first string of dancers, but assuredly the second. She worked hard and was given respect and an income. Who could want more.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usShe had kept on dancing no doubt, past where she was really up to years of one night stands, at times mounting a production all by herself, making her opportunities where they did not just simply present themselves to Baba Yaga. To get a few extra gigs here and there she danced under various names and each of her performing persona took on solo performances. It is a wonder she could even keep her bookings straight. Then I could see slowly life wearing her down. It was no longer about dancing but in surviving what very often were some very unpleasant realities. Still she could muster a straight, strong back to face the next day, and the next.

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At other times of desperation made her so tired she could not even stand up. Life is hard for someone living by heir wits. Talent does not always happily meet up with opportunities to put them to use. That is the very sad thing that by now those days are gone, and the great talent has been betrayed by a body that just simply can no longer keep up with the demands of just talent. Never having reached the stature of "star" performer no allowances would be made to help her earn a living through dance anymore. so she was back, just a gypsy doing gypsy trades, as her mother and grandmother had also done before her.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLife is etched on our faces by the time we are fifty, our bodies are no different. Aside from the lines of time and trouble many women, and Baba among them, have a poetic elegance that though changed by time still is a thing of beauty. I could not help adding this portrait as she sat deep in thought. Not just the sum of her years, but the sum of every emotion, experience and inherited trait. Each of us are precisely so unique not just because of out DNA but the life we live.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Baba's Biographer

Baba's Biographer is at the market providing some insight into this fascinating woman. She writes that "The story of Baba Yaga is prime among many images of the Black Goddess. The Black Goddess is at the heart of all creative processes and cannot be so easily viewed. Men and women rarely approach her, except in fear. Women are learning of her through the strength and boldness of elder women who are not afraid to unveil her many faces.Sofia as wisdom lies waiting to be discovered within the Black Goddess who is her mirror image. Knowing that, until we make that important recognition, we are going to have to face the hidden and rejected images of ourselves again and again.

Read about Baba Yaga
and let her be your guide during the coming weeks.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Myth of the Goddess - Goddess Book Talk

"A Website for Recognition of the Soul"
This site is from one of the authors of
Myth of the Goddess. Details can be found
using the link.
Very helpful and thought I'd pass it on.
Great site with lots in interesting material.
Imogen Crest - Hermitage.