Sunday, August 10, 2014

Prayers for the Dying

"Form Is Empty" (2009)
    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft star-shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,

    I am not there; I did not die.
    Ann Frye

In 2008 my brother suffered a brain stem stroke.  Because he did not have a living will, since then he has been on complete life support.  In 2009 he was pronounced brain dead.  My other brother has finally agreed to allow me to withdraw life support for Glenn, which we will do on the 15th of this month.  

 "We have been raised to think that our body ended here, with this bag of skin, or with our possessions or education or house.  Now we begin to realize that our body is the World."  ...... Joanna Macy

"Form Is Empty" is one of the sculptures I made for Glenn, honoring his long interest in Buddhism. All of them have tiles with words and phrases pressed into the clay, symbols and antique designs, all of them, like pottery shards, broken, disordered, "de-constructing".  In this realm of being, words and symbols are what we construct our ideas of life from, the "shells" we create our identities from.  In  "Form is Empty" I saw the hand of the dying reaching through the shattering of form toward the offering hand of the Divine, the greater Self. 

"The Heart Sutra" (2009)

 In the 2nd piece, "The Heart Sutra",  I used the hand of a 90 year old woman and a 9 year old child.  The Heart is what lies between.

"Holy Mother Take Me Home" (2009)

"Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. "
Norman MacLean, "A River Runs Through It"

The last piece, "Holy Mother Take Me Home",   is a prayer to the Goddess, the Source.  I used a child's hand again, and the broken shards, with all the words, float down the river of light.  We're all children, really, all children.  She reaches out Her hand to take us Home.  It doesn't matter what you've done, where you've been, what kind of life you think you've led or not led.  She waits.  

It's been a long journey Glenn.  Be at peace. 

Descanso for Glenn

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New Mosaic - "Our Lady of the Summer Garden"

My exploration of mosaic work continues.............I like that they're kind of irregular, vaguely Byzentine looking and hopefully, suggesting a little bit a long-ago time.

Friday, May 2, 2014

New Mosaic - "Our Lady of the Waters"

"Our Lady of the Waters" (2014)
 I've been experimenting with clay and my collection of Afghani fabric presses.  There is something so wonderful about putting these antique presses, all cut by hand, to use again - they have so much spirit or mana in them.  This piece is dedicated to WATER, which is so important here in the desert.  Without the blessings of the Lady of the Waters, there is no life.
Lady of the Desert Spring

Nuestra Senora de las Aguas,

Our lady of the Arroyo,

Come quietly to us,

Come to us, and hear our prayers,

For  those who suffer thirst,

Spread your mantle of green and turquoise

 Among the red, parched lands

Bright artery of life

Nuestra SeƱora de las Aguas

Mother of the cottonwoods, the Palos verdes,

Snake and mallow, coyote and child

Hear our prayers

O desert spring,
Our lady of the  waters.
Tile made from antique Afghani fabric press (2014)
The Song of the Dry River

Dry.  All you hear
 is the litany of traffic,

a dusty haze obscuring the distance.
Nothing sounds now
where once water  sang
among the stones,
voices of the living
where once a river ran
a river, once, here

before  cattle came,
 the cars
the mines
living as if the waters
would always flow
to green the red and barren lands

as if the breast would never run dry.

As if  there none yet unborn
Who must know  thirst.

Are there only stones
And pottery shards
Left to remember me?
I sing to their  ghosts now,
I sing
where once a river ran .