Friday, February 06, 2009

SACRED SHARDS: Body Wisdom Displayed

My first ever torso sculpture, "Body Wisdom" above, was fired in the first load in my new kiln.

Last Saturday morning I put "Body Wisdom" into the Hygienic Art Gallery's thirtieth annual Salon des Independants Show.  This is a sort of art free-for-all whose motto is "No Judge, No Jury, No Fees, No Censorship."  What better place to break some rules and break new artistic ground for myself.

It was the first time I'd shown my work simply to make a statement, as opposed to displaying work with potential customers in mind.
I designed a display card using Photoshop to place with the sculpture.

The display card repeats the words encircling the top and bottom of the vessel.  Between these it adds words taken from my song "El Dia de los Muertos" for a reflection on the relationship between body and spirit.

Beneath the title the card reads:


Doctors diagnose
with speculum and stethoscope
take blood in vials
make patient files
Look within!
I'm more than these.


"El Dia de los Muertos" was written several years ago, but I feel the linking of its sentiments to an earthen vessel made by hand just a few months ago to be grounding, healing, hopeful.  The words in bold type stand guard between my own physical vessel of Self and the practiced guesswork of MDs.

Other elements of the display are equally emblematic.

The pink scarf is wrapped around the display box as an expression of solidarity with women engaged in the fight against breast cancer.  By extension, it is also symbolic of the power of a caring embrace to ease human physical suffering.

[Lest some worry about my health, let me say that I'm generally in good repair.]

The brown wooden box the sculpture rests upon represents the sturdy structure of medical knowledge, a structure left empty inside to reflect the medical community's traditional neglect of the things beyond the physical.

We are not simply body or spirit.  We are both.  We are an integrated whole.

Health and illness are equally mysterious.

I am more than these.
We each are.
Look within!

(c)2009 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

INTENTION: Mid-Winter Stirrings

The snow is falling outside today.

Inside I've taking steps to plant the things I'd like to see begin to grow this Spring.  Nothing particularly exciting, really.  Like the first unseen stirrings of seeds and sap beneath the frozen earth, the actions I've taken are mundane though crucial to what I hope will follow.

Yesterday, I installed Adobe Photoshop 7.0 on my iMac--my primary computer now--and began doing graphics work there instead of on my old Mac laptop.  

The addition of a title image (header) at the top of this blog is one result.  The other is a similar new header on my Sound Krayons Music blog.  

[In the past, I've only had an early version of Photoshop installed on my old Mac laptop.  It was cumbersome to edit images there then move them over to the new Mac for use on the web and in documents.  This upgrade opens up new creative and business possibilities, things I've been hoping to do for a long time.  The old Mac is too old to connect easily with the internet.]

Then today, I successfully transferred a song file for the first time from MOTU Performer on my old Mac to Digital Performer (DP) on my iMac.

[Again, I'd done all my MIDI work in the past on the old Mac without the benefit of digital audio available in DP.  After some trial and error, I was able to move the files from the old Mac by doing a "Save As" MIDI to a flash drive first, then opening in DP on the iMac and doing a "Save As" a DP file to the desktop did the trick.]

Blah, blah, blah technical stuff...

Like the big bale of seed starting mix I bought yesterday and hauled from the car to barn this morning, now I'll need to move all my old graphics and Performer files from one computer to another before I can use them in this new environment.

This sort of thing--to my mind--is the dry, lifeless part of the creative process.

I get discouraged because this part of the process seems to come so slowly.  I thought to myself, yesterday, as I scooped buckets of compressed potting soil from the bale and dumped them into an empty trash can: 

Are this year's flower and vegetable seeds planted and growing yet?  No.  

Are the recycled pots from last year cleaned and ready to set in the sunny spot?  No.  

Do I have everything I need to get things going?  No.

But today I have made one very small dent in a very long process.

One small bucketful at a time.  Peat moss fibers flying in the air landing on my skin, smelling fresh earth for the first time since last fall.  These are the tangible promises of things to come.

No guarantee that weather or pests or health will cooperate in the months ahead, but on this one day for this short time I've done my part.

Similarly, there is no guarantee that I'll reach my distant creative goals, but on this one day for this short time I've done my part.

With these small, unglamorous efforts--work on my computers solving one small problem at a time, repetitive work to prepare for planting--the things I visualize creating and sharing will have some chance to flourish.

One small bucketful at a time.

(c)2009 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day (aka St. Bridget's Day or Imbolc)

In honor of Groundhog Day--the day midway between the first day of Winter and the first day of Spring--I visited the garden center and purchased a bale of seed starting mix (special potting soil) along with a bunch of peat pots.  

Then I went out to the barn, brought in all the plastic pots and aluminum trays I'd saved from past years, and took them down to the basement until they can be washed and sanitized for reuse.

I've already moved furniture to clear a sunny spot indoors for starting the seasons first seeds.

Winter cannot last forever.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Can spring be far behind?

There's snow on the ground and temperatures rarely rise above freezing, but yesterday I saw a lone robin rooting around in a barren flower bed and a newly hung sign in town announcing little league sign-ups.