I remember my first gemstone. I bought it when I was probably seventeen at a little place on Kings Highway in Fairfield, CT called "The Wizard". I always felt so strange in there, surrounded by candles and statues and so many little bowls of stones. I felt like the owners could see right through me.
I still have that Tigers Eye among the countless others I have collected since then. I don't even know all of their names but they have traveled with me up and down the east coast and my latest addition was the one I got at the flea market, that I previously wrote about.
As I empty the storage unit in Fairfield, I am finding my papers and pens and paints. I am aware of my massive amounts of pages and journals and books being the largest part of the bulk and I have been missing my paintbrushes and parchments as well as my canvases, slates and Moon Jars. I think of them all often as I struggle to create a new schedule for this new home and everything else that must be done. I get overwhelmed really easily and have to talk myself down off my creative ledge quite frequently because once I get up there, time does not exist. Suddenly the sun is setting and I have a piece of work in front of me that I could sit with for hours and hours until it is complete. Except I can't because we have to eat and clean and play and read and write. We have to get aggravated and anxious and overburdened...don't we?
If you know anything about me, you know that I write and paint, draw and create. If you are a fan, you know about my parchment art collections and other such pieces of work. Last year I learned how to create digital downloads so that I could sell them on Etsy and on this site as well. Soon after I figured that out, we decided that we were going to start clearing out the house to get ready to start the process of putting it up for sale. It felt like just as I was gaining some sort of progress and momentum with that part of my world, suddenly I was on a slide covered in butter - fast track right back to attention deficit obsessive complusive over functioning under achieving blender type mentality.
Recently I started a new painting with that new stone in mind, Celestite. When I first picked it up I had no idea what it was or what is was for. When I came home and read about it, I was happy to find that it is a stone that connects one to the angelic realm and is a great stone to meditate with so that you can connect to higher frequencies and feel the comfort and calm radiate from the pale blue stones.
As I have created many pieces of work based on the properties and associations of many things, crystals and gemstones being one of these things, I set out to use a different technique just to get started again and be excited about a new method. I wanted to paint "Celestite" - an angelic being who could radiate with the energy and meaning of the stone. But as I went on, I kept hearing Amethyst and Ametrine. Both light purple quartz like stones. So, I just assumed that was what wanted to come through. I kept painting and adding and wondering if I was going to be able to do a Celestite page and let the other painting just be what it wanted to be.
Today, as I was re-reading the entry for Celestite in one of my books, I saw that it said there was a light purple specimen...and I as blown away. I feel like that was an amazing manifestation that came through and it was beyond me why I could not put that purple paint away.
So, that was an amazing discovery for me. All morning I struggled with the old way that I used to create pages and art for the Book of Shadows collection that I am well known for. I had it down to a science, I had a certain formula to follow to avoid certain issues with paper, pen, ink, smudging, muddying of ink and paint, etc. Today I just couldn't get it. I sat with Celestite some more. I tried three different kinds of papers. Six or seven kinds of wet paint and ink media. I took that photo of my own personal piece of Celestite in the birds nest that I got for the garden, also from that flea market. It made me grateful to have a great prop to use. On the way back into the house, I got stung by a bee on the foot...
I struggled some more. I decided to take a break and be close to the boys in the pool and think more about what I wanted to try to do differently. I get OCD about my art and how its done and when etc. What it means to me, the first piece in the new home and all that. I can get a little ridiculous. Then it was time for dinner and I moved my pads and paints and pens to my desk again. I happened to put one upside down and as I went to put it right side up, I noticed a blue face staring at me from a back page...and guess who it is now?
Celestite, in blue.
So stay tuned for the reveal of the new work!
Check my Etsy shop for a portion of the existing art
And thank you for reading my rambling connecting the dots of my haphazard labyrinth of thoughts.
Until next Monday
What is that they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, the road to my blog last night was paved with requests for me to "lay down with me so I can sleep in my new room". Which almost always ends with me falling asleep before he does. No large iced coffee nor glowing computer screen from across the room on the dimly lit new writing desk could pull me back to it, and the blog I had started writing was something I was sure wasn't going to be a quality entry. So rather than throwing up some conjunctive piece of shit just to say that I kept the promise on time again, I felt that my intentions were askew and that there was no doubt about it, I would write a considerable blog in the morning...this morning...and here it is.
Yesterday I had a visitor to the new home and was given a special set of gifts, one of which is one of my totems, the Bee. I tend to have them tattooed on me (my animal spirit guides) and when I was thinking about first publishing "Whispers of the Goddess" I had gotten my Carpe Diem tattoo that I had designed with a Queen Bee right in the middle. Complete with crest and crown, this tattoo was my first large tattoo that was enlarged because the text "Carpe Diem" was going to need to be at least that large so that over time it would hold up. It made me a nervous wreck until I told myself that it was for the love of the book, for the love of the written word and for the love of all that I create, including the design for the work itself.
I have loved bees for a long time, even if the first memory of bees were the ones that I had accidentally disturbed in a hive under a porch where I had followed a neighborhood cat and then had the whole swarm follow me home only to sting me as I tried to escape into the house but the screen door stuck and caused the incident to be a permanent painful memory, even now, decades later. At that moment, I would have never seen myself being tattooed regularly, or even thinking about such a thing. Tattoos were a rare sight in the time of my life I am speaking about.
As the person who gifted me this special new addition that graces my current desk items knows, learning about the power of a creature helps us to recognize what its importance in our lives it has come for. In the above picture, there are, of course, three bees. One on my arm, one on the key, and one of the card that I pulled with my eyes closed this morning from my Druid Animal Oracle deck. I had been waiting to get that box here, and opened, the one with all my tarot and oracle cards in it. But as my husband has mentioned, the boxes all over the place are causing an ill effect and he is correct. When I look over in the corner I see them lingering, open and not being unpacked. It is a feeling of perplexion that I don't feel the need to deal with anymore. One by one, those frigging boxes can go down into a dark basement room and wait for me as I unravel my current intentions which have a better chance of becoming realized without all that excess in the way.
I have set the intention of changing on the wings of a dead butterfly, a scorpion, and countless creatures in my life. Just yesterday, we walked the dog down a different path. In the crosswalk was a tiny dead garden snake being eaten by ants. This morning I was making coffee and saw tiny black ants walking along the edge of a cabinet. The ant could make it into my collection because not only were they there, they were crawling across the window in front of my computer when I sat down to write this. As I write this, at this very moment, I look at the tiny books I have chosen to sit on my desk only because they are small and they are ones that I reference often. I decide I need to know about ant, as well... and what do I find... in the picture below:
Ant, following immediately by Bee. Double messages today. Industriousness, creativity, pursue your work for the common good. Oh, and is that Chapter THREE? Lol. Of course it is. Which will cause my seemingly micromanaging thought process to lead me to the third creature...which I want to hope is going to be a butterfly and not a big huge spider...as I wrote that, a crow glided past my window and is sitting on the wire outside.
I suspect the whole day will be like this. I think it started yesterday when one of the two TOADS we have left performed a Lazarus type move. Which I had to Google just now and you know what it says? Lazarus experienced THREE BIRTHS. Which is what this toad (we have been calling them frogs, but they never were frogs) has just experienced because yesterday morning we found him belly up floating in the water dish. When we took the dog for a walk I wondered where I was going to bury him. When we returned from the walk, there was no toad in the dish. I thought maybe somehow the dog got him or who knows what. Then I saw him staring at me from the corner of the dish. Fully alive and well, just as he is right now. His three births? Tadpole, toad, and reborn toad. His name is officially Lazarus. He will be a year old soon, as will his last brother in there. I appreciate the cycle and lives of these little guys, they have taught us many valuable lessons and on my desk is YES a black toad who is perched on a leaf that my son made with the first sparrow feather I found last week on the new lawn. Toad is a newer totem, but a totem nonetheless.
So where do I start with all these intentions that I have? How do I align with them and figure out which are priorities and which are not? Getting those boxes out of my face will help. Being organically inspired helps. Being able to sit and listen in meditation helps, and it has been hard to get that time recently. It is the key that unlocks that door that I shut myself. I cannot align with my intentions if I shut the door on them by cluttering all this other stuff in the way. I can't see them or hear them and it is the presence of the animals and creatures that have been a powerful intervention for me. I value and revere the presence of the animals and creatures, no matter how small like the black dots of ants and the dead cricket in the corner of the porch. All of them have a message and they, in their own simple and natural way, inspire the biggest and best changes possible.
Aligning with the intention of listening to the signs and omens, the energy of it and its frequency...connecting those dots.
Until next week...
Monday mornings are the ones that people like to say they hate. As a waitress, I love Monday mornings. It means that everyone goes back to their regular 9 -5 or so and I get to get back on some kind of track. Which is always going to be writing, teaching, creating. To start out this process of switching tracks there are several things to be done and one of them is choosing what kind of music I am going to listen to and start aligning with the thoughts that I will be writing on both on my blog and in my personal journal. Sometime I think I don't need it, but then I sit and stare at blank pages and remember that yes, yes I do.
I get intuitive nudges about what I want to write and what I should not write. Sometimes those things that I should not write become the most spontaneous and combustible things that I must write. My shifts in perception have come in such gossamer sheets that I am very grateful because they are allowing me to catch up and see what I need to still focus on and the things that are breaking my heart are dealt with on a slower level.
(...that I know you can't afford like that tattoo on your shoulder...)
I've been listening to audible books that have been helping me restructure some of the limiting thoughts that I have been harboring for years, possibly my entire life, about the things that I am capable of. With the passing of the full Strawberry Moon and watching the lives of those around me, both slowing down and speeding up with alarming tenacity, I get flashes of the shortness of it all. I get premonitions of wasted time being so much more than just an idle threat. They are full throttle glances at the inevitability of the end of everything. The rise and fall of emotion and the highs that you thought could be only achieved through circumstances you tried to control, that you thought you could manifest for yourself. The time passes, you are happy. Then you find yourself in an impossibly depressing situation that explodes in your face unexpectedly. Then you are contemplating what to do now. What is the right answer? Do you think you have it? Would it be to make the best of the time you have and be grateful as often as you can? To be the best version of yourself while you are still here? Because you know when you are not doing that. You know because you feel like it is all a waste of time. Situations pile up and build up and stack against your happy canvas in your head. Someone keeps walking by with a bucket of black paint and splattering it across the face of your masterpiece.
So what do you do then? It's dripping down over the piece you have worked months on, maybe even a year or two. What do you do about the person? What do you do about your reaction? What do you decide is the reason for this blasphemous desecration? Do you decide that it is probably your fault, that you had it coming for some unrealized ream of actions that finally needed to be brought to light?
So you get in your car and drive away somewhere you have never been, walk among the streets where no one knows anything about you. No one knows your name and you walk under a series of street lamps that make you highly appreciative of their light and shape. The way they are strategically placed along the paved walks. You decide that somewhere along the way, yes, you did bring this on yourself and that it is playing out exactly the way it is supposed to. Your painting is destroyed and you can throw it away now because it can't be saved. You cannot save that old persona. Nor should you want to. It is all your fault. Take it's hand and walk with it so it can show you why.
The images and the speed and the glow of the street lights illuminate things in the darkness. Shadows of the old patterns still hovering over you, by and large, asking you questions that you believe you have already answered. The problem is, you answered incorrectly at that time. You feel that frustration rise up and ask you once again, "The Question" and you say, "I Don't Know." Then you find it on the table in a flea market, a glittering stone, a piece of pale blue quartz like specimen that they are asking $10 for. You pull out your last $10 bill and hold that stone. You have no idea why it feels like an angel in your palm, but you know it makes you feel like silence and prayer. It is the simplest and quietest answer. It is the answer you have already answered and the one that you have been looking for, and all the words in between. It is planted in the dirt of your father's dead rose bush. It is planted in the one you will find to replace it and the bone meal you will drop down in the hole while mourning the passing of a seventeen year old plant. The plant you dug out of the yard where he last was, and you bought because when you were a little girl, you knew how important that rose bush was to him. Or maybe it was important to you. The whole composition of such a plant with its beauty and thorns.
(...so fuck your dreams...don't you pull at our seams...)
The point of all this writing and creating is supposed to be helping and healing me. And it is. And it is what I hope that helps you, too, because I cringe at the thought of all this working and all this moving and all this thinking and getting it down not being carefully perused and inspiring in some way. Of not being helpful or hopeful or dreadful enough to be of some better purpose than to be eroding the inside of my skin with nothing to grow new out of it.
Which is where I will end for now.
Until Next Monday.
XO C 333
I have been noticing so many things now that I am in a new place surrounded by no one familiar, except the girl at Dunkin Donuts who now smiles at me every time she sees me. I notice people drive the speed limit and no one is texting and driving. I mean NO. ONE. Strangers keep smiling at me and I must look ridiculous trying to smile back because its out of the ordinary for me to see so many people doing that all the time.
I have been watching that street light and still don't have the hang of its pattern. I like watching it spontaneously go off and on while I am drop dead exhausted trying not to use the television to push me to sleep. This whole event of cleaning and purging and packing a house full of things from myself, my sons, my husband and things that dearly departed have also left behind has proven to be quite a challenging string of decisions and responsibilities that I needed to and still need to weigh against each other. Too many things to be properly preserved. Too many things sliding into an avalanche of memorabilia. Too many boxes left to be unpacked and its too soon to worry about all of that because my creative complexion is slapping me around inside my head. It says, Sit and Write. Draw. Paint. OR ELSE.
I don't know how many people will understand the sheer raw frustration that stems from the blasting wound of not creating for a long period of time because there are other things that must be done. That have to be done. That take precedence, are higher priority because of one important reason or another.
But then I sit here and say "It's Monday night again. Does it matter if I write this blog or not? What is the point and does anyone care?" Now I know there are people who do. I know. I also know that I have been thinking a lot of the way people have been coming to the ends of their lives without seeming to have gotten a chance to burn as bright as they possibly could have...or maybe they did. Maybe they got to such a point of achievement that was not necessarily the best at all times. That was not necessarily happy or gratifying or pleasurable. Maybe they did it all to bring joy to other people and suffered through many hours feeling as if some karmic clock was ticking and they felt they had done their time.
I used to think that those things that were traumatic and painful and awkward and embarrassing would somehow, could somehow, mercifully fade into the gray horizon that is called The Past. That moving away from the associations and places and signposts could further push them away. But that is not true and my mind is finding ways to envelope those things even more now that I am away from them, as if escaping were ever an option. This is how I know that I will write them out. I will paint them out and I will create avenues of expression through my words and art. I will only purge them one by one like going through these hundred boxes of "things" and "stuff". I will sift through them and choose what will stay and find a place and what I no longer need. This is how the process of writing and creating saves me because just as I am about to go insane with the melancholy of it all, I push those things that others want me to see as priority out of the way and make sure that my creative veins get tapped. I don't like myself much when I am not creating. It feels as close to crawling out of my skin as I can describe.
Sometimes I feel that the fleetingness of life and the speeding of time going by doesn't support the massive amount of potential that a human has the ability to access and embrace. I feel that sometimes we are tired or uninspired and feel like saying, "I don't want to improve. It takes too much time and energy and I'm not sure it matters to anyone like it matters to me." It could be me being overwhelmed with expectation and responsibility and adjustment because I just can't leave well enough alone. I can't forget all those hours of sitting crosslegged on a broken bed for years, writing, crying, wishing, coughing for three months straight, wondering about when it was all going to end, and if it ever would.
Now it has. Now the full moon of June is coming on the 9th. The Strawberry Moon...and in the yard I see strawberry blossoms beginning to pop up. There is a hideous strawberry and random leaf and berry wallpaper covering the entire kitchen. There is a single red rose bud on a frail plant outside. There is that streetlight, flickering off and on like my sleep patterns. Just about two weeks until Summer starts and it still feels like Fall. There are my very addictive thoughts about sources of sugar and caffeine that keep swarming around my brain because it will take three people to maneuver my elliptical machine down a flight of stairs and I have wicked cravings for all things salty and sugary in the meantime.
As the Full Moon comes to remind me, the cycles are short. Time is short, and we do not have all the time in the world to make that dent we wish to make. We do not have time to be tired of ourselves and our pasts and failures and embarrassments because we are able to make a ripple effect that can and will matter for the future. Energy flows where attention grows. We don't need to be superstars but I think we do need to keep our promises to at least ourselves. What ever comes along with them is what should be. I know. I know what my promises to myself are, and when that Full Moon of June rides high in the sky, I will see her face through the trees just over that mountain ridge and I'll seal the deal that I have been scribbling about for so long. One big deal at a time so that it can have the impact I have hoped for. Then I can come back around to the ones that wait for my attention but know how important this One Big One is.
The Forest Labyrinth.
The distance has been made.
The decision has been met.
Full Moon of June.
xox C 333