Keirartworks's Blog

hmmm. hmmm? Observations, actions and connection points through art.


Leave a comment

Cabin stories 6: learning human

There is not a tree here the species books would call perfect. They are bent and twisted, storm-broken and shallow-rooted. They share a mere skiff of soil, what sunlight they can reach and make the best of what they have. Ironwood, cedar, birch are the oldest. Sapling maple and ash have found space too, and tall twisting rowan that drop bright orange berries in the fall.

Birch is the tallest, and shortest-lived – they fall first, in piles where green moss and mushroom speed the process of rot. Seeds from any species take root there; everywhere I look death feeds life.

cedarhugsironwood

Here companionship is visible – a staying with, through weather and change. All around I see slow and deliberate acts of steady-ing and support. These beings share their vulnerabilities – a trunk too thin to support straight growth will lean on another, older and stronger. They live this way, making room, sharing strength, all their lives. They stretch their roots beneath the skiff of soil, to connect with their own mycelial network. This community  of flora and fauna knows who among them is weak, starved or injured – and they send nourishment or honour death, if death it must be.

leaningcedar

This morning’s brief scan from my tiny access point into the world-wide-web offers me news from Rebecca Solnit (a major hub of the human mycelial network ), who scans today’s news and puts all in context of sanity, who treks through the away-ness of Tibet, brings solar lights, medical teams and menstrual kits with her for giveaway.

I see elsewhere that Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman: 1984 team has partnered with the Anti-recidivism Coalition (ARC) in California to raise awareness and funds in support of formerly incarcerated men and women.

Also a broad spectrum of successful Go Fund Me campaigns (Thank you Amanda Palmer), Avaaz squaring up against Monsanto, great new restaurant downtown, free umbrellas if you need ’em, looking for recommendations….

joined trees

These trees teach me to reclaim my love for humans. Contrary to what we hear or read in the news, we do help one another, genuinely and reliably. We do what we can to keep ourselves and each other laughing-strong so we can withstand together the ever more serious blights that threaten the world. We Stay with the Trouble, we collaborate across knowledge fields to study the warm data that inter-connects systems, we learn, we notice, we support, we link arms as companions, we resist the fear that would divide us.

Universal companionship requires a proactive sensing of signals that is not possessive, but compassionate. For me, this is a learned practise that extends beyond simple emotional sensitivity.

My humanness requires a conscious determination to crack the carapace of whatever restricts my self-awareness, to reveal the vulnerability that connects me with all vulnerable selves. To honour and sing with the voice only I have, to speak my claimed insight – gently, firmly, assertively, especially if it goes against the well-promoted grain. To pay attention, through my uniquely human skin, to the other species around me.

To see and understand pain, for what it is.

IMG_1307

Nora Bateson:

The revolution, the evolution is not going to be found in conference centers or seminars in 5 star hotels. It won’t be definable in righteousness or sanctimony.

The resonances will be and are where the pain has been–where there was no choice but to become unbreakable.

Where the scars are generations deep and sculpt into raw, sassy, funny, sexy, harsh, confusing.

IMG_1316

Nobody’s ever ready for real change. The tree snaps in the wind, the hurricane rips through an island, a city. The bullet misses, or finds its mark, your heart breaks, suddenly and without warning, in a new place. The army invades and you become a refugee, the American Government takes your child from your arms, someone who has been raped himself, rapes her. A diagnosis, a move, a new job, you fall into swooning, impossible love….

Not one of us is ever ready. But if we are human, if we allow us to fill with compassion and laughter we can claim our pain and learn how to keep growing; life from death.

We can choose to play our pathway out of trouble, learn to think differently, to haltingly, hilariously, try out a new language.

IMG_1300

Unconditional:

  1. without limits
  2. unrestricted by definition, requirement, or compulsion


Leave a comment

Colour Pages #3: inside blue

Blue is internal.

BookreadingRoofShadow

It’s the other side of sunlight, where solitude lives.

Demons also live there.  If you don’t make friends with the demons and fully acknowledge their right to live in the shadows, they grow malevolent.  Eventually, inevitably the malevolence comes to find you in the dark, biting.

East_KitchenBottlesWide

East

This is an excellent method for self-administered shock therapy, though it can be very dangerous.  The fallout is messy, often requiring years of clean-up.

Surrender

If you can imagine the colours of this painting inversed,  then you get a window into what was happening in my world while I painted it- some very serious shock-therapy at the time (two years ago now, and the cleanup is progressing nicely, thank you).

RoundTwo_Surrender_Inverted

A blue story might happen in the shadows under an overpass and never be told.  In a rich dream barely remembered in the morning, blue would be the awareness of vulnerability.  Blue is a difficult question left unasked, a knot of trauma buried in your body and waiting to be acknowledged.

It’s slippery and changeable, the blue of shadow, of vulnerable.  It beckons….what IS that in the corner?  under the bed, in the basement, in the closet…

from #Selfie (2014). inverse image of me on white indian cotton.

from #Selfie (2014). inverse image of me on white indian cotton.

But if you turn on the light, blue is gone.  It does not survive glare.

So, gentle blue.  Patient, kind, tender.  Blue of sadness just before sleep, when a small thing is remembered from the day and filed in a dream.  Blue of rich and enduring peace, as deep and calm as the ocean floor.  Restful blue, healing blue.

TotemFinal

The blue of silent, joyful, floating surrender, unwitnessed by anyone but yourself.   This is the blue that connects you in the most profoundly human way to everything else in the ecosystem you are an integral part of.


1 Comment

#Selfie 6: Mask

April 15, after sleepless night because of lunar eclipse 3:42-ish am.  And it snowed...

April 15, after sleepless night because of lunar eclipse 3:42-ish am. And it snowed…

I’ve begun to think of my face as a mask, in all this clicking, writing, posting and painting of it.   It’s a mask that I make and change according to what parts of myself I wish to present.  Actually, that’s not even completely honest – sometimes I use parts of other people in my own face, to top off the presentation.  This is stealing, but also a form of flattery…

Half-face (my left side, which is your right)

Half-face (my left side, which is your right)

 

I chose parts for my mask based on what kind of response I’d like to receive, and from whom.  My dad once asked me why I wear makeup (I was 17 I think).  I said:  “Oh, habit”.  But really it was a mask.

My right, your left.

My right, your left.

I’ve been receiving lots and lots of feedback from people reading this Selfie Post blog.  Many many takes on Selfie, on social media, on self-awareness, sharing energies, non-verbal communication, and also several from men (or women?  not clear) who would like to get to know me better, maybe we could get a drink sometime, can I have your phone number.  All of it is fascinating, some of it VERY articulate and informative, and the latter…  well.

Interesting to me that in the five years I’ve been writing this blog, nobody’s responded until now by asking me out for a drink while referencing the size of their sex organ.  Selfie power indeed, James Franco.

Good reference photo for painting.  Also part of the mask?

Good reference photo for painting. Also part of the mask?

Is there an implied intimacy in these photographs I’ve taken & posted of my face?  There must be.  I am the person behind the mask after all, taking pictures of the mask. I gaze with trust back at myself.

I’ve come to think we are all of us starved for intimacy, on some level.  Intimacy requires vulnerability, which when shared requires trust – of both self and other.  In this fear-based world of ‘what if?’ insurance payments, trust is … all too rare.