Living in the head
I think my mind is me
but all the heads,
Like Easter Island
enlargements of a self
from a deforested land
largelips curled over words of the wind
blow back into flattened features.
We are erected by the culture
long lost to us
the history of DNA carved into stone
We think we are alone.
The eyes cannot turn
to see others
All Head-On Erections
lining our peripheries.
We are ungrounded of the ground.
The questions of Why, by whom and how
Are not asked nor resolved.
So much of my life has been a life of mind. Either living in my mind or in fear or mentally tumbling into the future. Like cleaning the next room and not the one I am in. Living with lists moving from item to item feeling only good when something is crossed off. For that thirty seconds there is relief until the flood of anxiety, fear and fury return to spur me on to do more. Each item on the list lifted up and off the agenda but the next floods in to take its place.
My eye travelling across the landscape of vision seeks imperfections. Weeds here, dust motes there, a picture not aligned, a splotch of sandwich on the corner of a mouth, a part in the hair which has departed from the line, one toenail longer than the rest, fluff on the inside of a sweater.
Like a spider, I move out into my day from morning’s support on one side to evening’s cessation on the other to weave busy lines and fill them in. If anything tears or destroys my vision, I will repair it after a period of grief, illness, sulking or laying in the dark cave of recovery.
It is a curse and a cure. It has kept me alive and almost killed me. It has kept me passionate and exhausted. It has created attention and deprived me of friendship. It has incited admiration, adulation, fear and envy in others.
Perhaps the best thing I have heard of late, while exploring the idea of metta sutta or loving kindness even unto self, is to realize that the self has a balance of cycles. It is just important to stand back far enough to see it.
Life might not be balanced hour unto the hour. The balance may be over a week or a month or a year. There is a pattern.
All each of us can do is gently try to teach outself, entice ourselves, reward ourselves to move from the place of compulsion into a place of compassion. Oh, and let the weeds growing under the flowers be. There are part of the landscape. Enjoy the shimmer of the rain on all of the leaves.
Tomorrow I take the pictures down to Summerland to hang in the one woman show. Opening reception is September 28th from 7 until 9 pm. The Arts Council is doing a great deal of the work and I am very appreciative. Getting the Bean Scene North show hung, preparing for both Summerland and for Art Walk in Winfield has been very “crowded” in my day.
I hope a lot of people come out to see the new work in Summerland. I have been preparing for six months to have the images the way I imagined them.
He is now taking on wood working projects and installing IT
He has finished his journeyman papers and is a full flying Electrician
He continues to take gigs.
among others have his bass playing on their forth coming CD’s
He will be playing for the Viva Opening.
Check out his link on http://www.cheriehanson.com for images and news.
The Bean Scene North Exhibition on Ellis St.
Cherie Hanson’s Photography and digitally treated photography.
The show is changing every few days…. because pieces are selling.
Stop by to view the works from opening -5 until the end of August
One Experiment, One Earth
Woman Made Gallery
685 N Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, Il 60642
Juried by Lynda Cole and Leslie Sobel
September 5-October 2, 2008
Cherie’s work: Contrust/Destruct
Cherie’s Exhibit: Images from Europe
Winfield Amazing Exhibition
10 to 5 pm
Lake Country Complex
Come join us for fun
The Hidden Poet – A Joyous Sound
Mondays Sep. – Dec. 1 7 – 9 p.m.
$295 + GST
Find your groove and express yourself with an exciting adventure
into the eclectic world of poetry. Frolic with imagery, paint with
words and dance with sounds. Different styles of poetry will be
explored by using our senses, interpreting imagery and using
objects for inspiration. Participants will receive an anthology of
poems at the end of the course.
|Classes offered through the Vernon Community Arts Centre.
For on line galleries
I have hung my photographic work at the Bean Scene North on Ellis Street. When one work depicting Florence sold, I put another image of an old fence with lichen on it. The larger photos for Art Walk in Winfield have come out beautifully on the canvas. As soon as Cameron gets time, I can put up one of those in the Bean Scene.
The one woman show in Summerland and the Art Walk exhibition are the two large collections that I need to complete. …
The piece for Woman Made Gallery has still to be stretched.
So many things to do, to complete. As I was mowing the lawn, the heliopsis were spectacular in the last light. They seemed to burn with a vibrating energy from within. Funny, I was thinking just two days ago of shearing them down… too floppy. But tonight as I moved around them in a circle with the push mower, they were like candles of color. Brave. Brilliant.
There is so much impacting in my life. Tasks, objects that I have collected, ambitions, old habits of drama that I wish were old habits of Dharma practice. After another visit to emergency and a night with pain killers dripping into my veins after four tries to insert the IV, I am again in recovery mode.
The residual scaring from my cancer surgery seems to be the cause. Just as it is the residual scarring from my childhood that leaves me feeling alone, embattled, frantic and constantly trying to control life. What a futile and pathetic waste of energy. The ability to begin with self and give oneself a strong physical basis for all action, is a spiritual practice.
I keep likening my body to a horse. “I want to get it under me,” I sob into the felted paper tray I am given in the hospital to vomit into for five hours, ” I want to ride with my body in ease.” But I keep returning to debilitating states of exhaustion and recovery.
As I was pruning back the stubborn thorn tree that I mistakenly thought was a good idea because it presented itself as a rose bush, I reflected on the process. I tried to dig it out but the roots were too wide and deep. Lacking the physical strength and the place to stand to leverage the amazingly lethal plant out of my garden, I have adapted the strategy of pruning. First I prune for others. I cut back the razor thorned branches where they will tear at strollers and senior citizens walking past my fence. Next I prune for the other roses. I cut back where a more benigh, less exotic rose bush was planted.
As it loses strength, I am now able to prune it back for me. Cutting the weakening branches in this third year of work, I can begin to see that there is space to plant the giant Lupines that I love. The deep blues and purples harken back to another, gentler time when tall stems of flowers stood in an English garden or Victorian settings. It is a time and a style that holds my heart.
So like the rose bush, I have to learn to be patient with myself and my habits. Congratulating myself for every minor pruning for every small change.
This morning, I was victorious. Insteady of cleaning the house and weeding the spam of 50 chances to gamble from the comments on my web site, I drug my screaming ego out the door and went for a walk. Only 30 minutes, I promised the ego that clung to the threshold of the doorway. I dug my fingers off of the molding and out I went.
The trees in the early morning light were luminous and transformed my spirit. I met a silly cat that followed my progress up “her” alley by sticking her head through the square holes in the lattice spaces one after another monitoring my walk. An old dog, blind in one eye was glad to see me… however he saw me.
Then when I got home, I pruned that gothic rose bush, weeded my web site and fed my blog.
I am so grateful that the media carries columns by Ross Freake and Stan Chung. These two spiritual practitioners provide the public with a gentle call. The chance to awaken and observe self is now in the popular media. It is a sign.
Always, the exploration of art leads inward to an exploration of self. The interaction of the exterior field of action, technique and externalizing vision makes the “statement” of perceived reality. The magic of art is that it is not discrete. It contains so many elements that the artist who gets very quiet at the centre, comes to see. Music, dance, kinesthetics and aesthetics do, indeed, become one form.
The process of creating visual art has been a path of self-discovery. One can liken it almost to archeology or the uncovering of the bones of self with brushes. Removing that which one does not identify as part of the central form leaves a true definition.
It is with this “archeological exploration” in mind that I suddenly had an epiphany. My work has always had a movement across the surface and a shifting of planes. Movement transforms the background, mid ground and foreground as they exchange dominance on different areas of the canvas.
I assumed that this was from my history as a dancer and choreographer. However, when someone asked me, “How do you get these vision?” I found myself understanding. “When I was very young, I began to see visions of colored shapes dancing whenever I heard music. Now, as a sixty year old, I have been able to reproduce the synergy of art, music, dance that I saw behind my eyes all of my life.”
Not unlike the process itself, I discovered the answer to what drives my work by turning off the rational mind and simply answering the question.
As in physics, all forms partake of all other forms. The flow of language, the clarity of visual impressions, the dynamics of music are all one. It is only someone who cannot “speak” the language of another manifestation of aesthetic, who places one form above others. They are all the soul’s work.
Today I will go over to hang a show at the Bean Scene North on Ellis Street before the Open Studios event from 4 until 7.
Cameron has gone off to do some electrical work. Our schedules rev right back up over the next month.
Looks like the show in Vienna is a “go” and Matthias (see links to his site) has sent through some pictures of the ultra-modern gallery he has selected in which to hold the exhibit.
Interestingly, Robert Genn’s newsletter quotes Leonard Cohen in today’s mail out. Robert addresses the interface between the various art forms. Music, visual art, spacial art such as sculptor and dance are so often considered as separate and discrete.
My belief that it is much like a waterfall. The soul’s song or vision is water and configures to the surface that it flows upon. In some it is a soft, airy spray. In others it is a turbulent pounding upon the rocks. But the spring it flows from is the same. The necessity to objectify and publish a sense of self in the context of physicality is what drives all of us. Whatever the aesthetic or material, we are both expressing and changing who and what we are. The artists.
Why is it that we “love” people when they do what we wish them to do? For a short while, we are satisfied. But ultimately, what we are practicing is feeding the ego. The other person in the relationship begins to take on the aspects that we project.
Recently, my family visited and it was very interesting the observe the dynamic. There is somewhere, a self that stands alone and apart from the perception, the demands that are made by oneself and by others to “be” what it is that is expected.
Turning the mirror, as I always do, back on me. I wonder how much of what I have done in my life is to “earn” the right to be loved, to fit the mold that others have created for me.
How does a person remain true to self and truly loving?
This is the challenge.