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I recently had the imperative urge to make a wreath. I don’t know why. I’ve never made a wreath before. In fact, my lifestyle up to this point has been unconducive to entertaining whatever hidden forces compel people to adorning thresholds with festooned circles. I have owned exactly two wreaths my whole adult life – both were of the Christmas variety. Both were gifts. I have rarely managed to get them on the doors or take them off the doors during the proper seasons. When October swept in along came the need to stick a bunch of stuff in a circle. It was confusing to say the least.

But mine is not to reason why…I am a mere foot soldier in The War of Art.

When the battle horn sounded, the command rang out:

 "Forward the Brigade! 
Charge the Salvation Army!"
Thus, into the Valley of Forsaken Things I blundered,
Running with scissors and waving glue gun, 
While all the world held its breath and wondered, 
'How dare this warrior woman fight so hard to have fun?'

COVID to the right of me!
COVID to the left of me! 
COVID in front of me! 

A cough and splutter
...eyes sealed and breath held tight against the potentially virulent cough cloud...
...and there...there in the distance 
...buried in obscurity, came the small cry of a weak voice: 

And I rescued the scarecrow from his Circle of Doom. May his golden years be spent in the garden watching the peas grow and giving the crows and hawk something to laugh about.

The circle was then restructured as such:

Keep fighting the good fight,
Sweet Brigade of Light.

Hello again People of the Internet!

I have resurfaced from the deep.

It seems mushrooms have become all the rage around here. I blame Merlin Sheldrake for my fungi obsession. Somewhere mid-summer, I burrowed into the underland to explore the unmakers of the world through his brilliant book Entangled Life. I would review it, but I think it’s better to let the author speak for himself…and eat his own words…


It was from this book I first learned about zombie ants and the mad sorcerer fungus that animates them to achieve its nefarious goals. True story: There’s a type of parasitic fungus (Ophiocordyceps) whose spores shower down on carpenter ants as they go about their ant business. The fungus penetrates the ant’s exoskeleton, then chemically hijacks the ant’s central nervous system, forcing it to do things it wouldn’t normally do. Specifically, the fungus makes the ant climb up on vegetation, and lock its jaws on a vein of a leaf. The fungus continues to grows inside the ant’s body, and out through the ant’s feet, which it ties down to the plant’s leaf with threads of itself. Then it sprouts a mushroom out the creature’s dead body so its reign of spore terror can continue on to infect other unsuspecting carpenter ants. I drew this picture just for you because I thought you might want a visual:

Hey, what do you call a fungi that makes music?

A decomposer.

Waka waka waka!

Be good so you don’t get in truffle!

Sorry my mushroom puns are in spore taste.

I woke up this morning “full of awesome” with my new tiara!

“If you can’t find the sunshine be the sunshine,” the optimists say. I’m here to tell you, being the sunshine is a lot of work…and considerably messier than one might think, actually. The present state of at least three rooms in my house could best be described as, “there was an explosion at the rhinestone factory.” The shimmering mess of it all extends beyond my home even; yesterday, as I was going about my mundane rounds someone plucked a errant sequin off me. That reminds me of this time I went to the doctor because I was positive I would soon die from the reaction I was having to poison ivy and the physician squinted at me and said, “I think you have glitter in your hair,” before stammering, “Oh, no…I’m sorry… I see now that’s intentional.” (It was gold hair tinsel. I was feeling festive). I responded that it was totally ok and that I actually get that squinty look a lot. I went on to explain that I work with children and I just have live with the possibility that I could be covered in unintentional glitter at any point in a given day, so I just chose to embrace the sparkle. My filter kicked in before I got to the part about belly dancing, so the rest of the transaction unfolded according to the normal rules of social conduct.

But let’s get back to my tiara. I made it for under $6 from an ugly headband, plastic zip ties, fabric glue, and rhinestone adhesive sticker sheets…and maybe like three prayers and possibly a curse or at least a cuss word. Ok, maybe two.

Here’s its “before” picture:

I may add something else to it to give it a little more pizzazz before it makes its big film debut tomorrow. We’ll see.

You’ll figure it out.

Make-it month continues.

I decided to channel my all my emo and mopey-ness into further development of the raven choreography.

I can’t remember what came first, the wings or the song.  Both appeared in my life around the same time about a year ago.  The wings I purchased from Polish artist Dorota D.’s Etsy store Pracownia Dor. She hand-paints these gorgeous silk wings.

Raven

The song I’m working with was originally a poem set to music in the 1700s by Swedish composer Carl Michael Bellman (Fredman’s Epistles, No. 81). I’m using the Mediæval Babes’ version of this work, Märk Hur Vår Skugga (Behold Our Shadow), which you can listen to in the video below.  The lyrics set a scene in which two fellows are graveside with the deceased: a wayward, trouble-making woman. As the two men reflect on their own mortality and stare into the abyss, one wonders, ‘Who will now command the bottle? Thirsty was she, thirsty am I, we are all very thirsty.’

I also revisited Poe’s poem The Raven for a bit of Nevermore inspiration and read up on raven symbolism in Viking mythology.  I played with wing configurations, geometry, and whirling. I experimented with wing and wind, shutter and flutter. I perched and sat in an attempt to capture the ghastly, grim, and ancient in movement and stillness. Then when things got too morbid and ridiculous, I squawked and flapped my wings and flew the coop.

I’ll be honest, today was exhausting. It’s almost 11 p.m. and I’ve only been home for about an hour. As I sat down to consider what I might throw together to fulfill my goal of making something everyday, I realized I just didn’t have it in me to make another papery mess to have to clean up. Then I starting thinking back over this forever long day to see if I could mine any of my regularly scheduled programming for acts of creativity to share. It seemed like cheating, but then again, maybe the writing itself could serve as the medium in a creative non-fiction sort of way. And that’s when I had the terrible idea to entitle this post, “Today I Made a Difference!” and to tell you about my heroic feats in the trenches with today’s youth. I decided to spare us all from that narrative. You’re welcome.

The next bad idea I had was that I could post another video of somebody else’s creativity. Again. I made several videos today of other people doing awesome things.  I nixed that idea too.

Finally, I decided to draw you a picture. When I picked up my journal — not the Ukrainian journal, but the dot journal (it’s a new thing I’m trying, roll with it) I discovered two stupid pictures I drew of myself the other day when I stayed in bed sick and then went to the Little Clinic.  I didn’t remember drawing this until I saw it and it made me laugh.

Sick Me

That’s what you’re getting today. And since I have a couple minutes to spare, here’s the some of the “difference” I made at work with today’s youth…

Comic Strip Conversations

 

My Magical Make-It Month continues and today I’ve made a fantastic mess.  Nobody said this would be easy or tidy.

Mess

But hey, at least I managed to get the cover picture right side up and on the front of the journal!

Last night as we were turning in, he pulled some sort of journal-making flotsam or jetsam of mine out from deep beneath the covers and asked, “What is this?!”

 Mwahahah! I wonder what he’ll find in bed tonight…

(I suppose there is a good reason Pressfield entitled his awesome book The War of Art. Think about it.)

 

Only three days in and my magical make-it month is starting to stress me out. I wish I was kidding.

Inspired by old family photographs that I confiscated from my dad and by the journals my sister makes, I started creating a Ukrainian-themed journal earlier this year.

Last night I worked on the inside cover (i.e., the gluey mess I alluded to in my last post) and my sister bound it for me. Today I set to work on the front cover. I decided to use the wedding photograph of my great-great grandparents…and…voila!
Ukrainian cover

…when I finished cutting and inking and gluing and tweaking, I went to show it off, so very proud of myself….and that’s when I realized I had put it all on the back cover

upside down.

To cut myself some slack, I am going to blame it on the fact that I’m running a fever and there are 4 medications running through my system today.  Back to the drawing board tomorrow.

If you’d like to see an fabulous example of a “junk journal” check out my sister’s page: RecycledbySkattur

 

 

Barista Princess: That will be $7.40 – Oh! You have glitter in your hair!

Me: I do!  Well…it’s tinsel.

Barista Princess: That’s so cool!

Me: You have a tiara!

Barista Princess: I do! (smugly) So I win.

~~*~~

Barista Princess: 1

Me:0


Hawaii Feet April 17, 2019

Wherelings, whenlings

(daughters of if-but, offspring of hope-fear, sons of unless and children of almost),

never shall guess the dimensions of him

whose each foot likes the here of this earth

whose both eyes love this now of the sky.

endlings of isn’t shall never begin

to begin to imagine how

Him whose each foot likes the here of this earth

Him whose both eyes love this now of the sky.

(only are shall be were

Dawn dark rain snow rainbow

and a moon ‘ s whisper in sunset

Thrushes toward dusk among whippoorwills

or

tree field rock hollyhock forest brook

Chickadee

Mountain. Mountain)

Why-coloured worlds of because

Do not stand against yes

Which is built by forever and sunsmell.

(sometimes a wonder of wild roses sometimes)

with north

over

the barn.

 

e.e. cummings

20/50

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