The Power and Beauty of Belly Dacning

June 26th, 2017

Belly Dancers at the Masonic Hall last night

I felt my eyes start to tear up.

It was Saturday night and Jon and I were sitting in the Masonic Hall in Bennington Vermont, at a Meals on Wheels benefit, watching a Belly Dancing performance.

I  know what it is that makes me cry watching them.  It’s the same thing that held my joyful attention for the two hours they danced.

It’s the strength, beauty, pleasure, and confidence the dancing women exude.  It’s the seemingly easy connection between them which is visible in their movements and felt in their energy.  It’s the obvious pleasure they take in their bodies, without shame or doubt.

It doesn’t matter that they may not fit into societies “standard of beauty”.  They  are gorgeous, their bodies are beautiful and powerful and they know it.

Women dressed in flowing skirts, beaded bras, bangles, flowers and tassels.  Or with skin tight skirts like a  snake’s skin, making their movements look even more fluid.

There is something so primal, so sensual in the way they move.   It looks like it feels good.  Better than good, it looks like the kind of movement the body was meant to make.  Organic and flowing, grounded and joyous.  As if the whole body is delighting.

Oh, how I want to do it.  And how I know that I have no sense of rhythm, can hardly clap to a beat.  How even in the slow movement of yoga class I have to think which is my left and which my right.

I try to mimic the bodies of the dancers when I’m alone in my studio where I don’t have to follow someones lead. Where  I don’t have to do it right.  I just move, remembering what I saw, what I felt watching them.  I’m a snake, a deep rooted tree with my branches catching the winds.  I try to feel the fluid sensuality in my hips and groin as I circle them around, the strength in my legs, the rhythm in my feet.

These women own their bodies, they are in charge.  And me in the audience, watch in joyous wonder and awe as their moving bodies conjure up something ancient, something the Goddesses knew about the power and beauty of a woman’s body, before we were taught it was something to be ashamed of.

 

Lulu and Gus, Getting to Know Each Other (Monday Morning Video Part II)

June 26th, 2017

After Lulu charged at Gus, this morning,  I held Gus so Lulu could sniff him.

Donkeys are guard animals and when there’s something new in their territory, they try to chase it away.   We introduced the donkeys to Gus when he first came.  They sniff him and get to know him that way.   He’s also come into the  pasture with us for the past two days and none of the animals showed any interest in him.

But this morning Lulu looked at him like she’s never seen him before.  So we’ll just keep at it, getting them used to each other.  Eventually they’ll figure it out.

On another note, I had an allergic reaction to pomegranate juice yesterday and along with bad stomach cramps for a few hours,  my eye swelled up making it look like I’ve been in a fight.  So if my face looks a little weird in this video, that’s why.

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 6/26/17 Part I

June 26th, 2017

We’ve been taking Gus into the pasture with us in the morning and afternoon.  He sticks pretty close to us and it seems like he’s getting used to it.

Until today, the other animals didn’t show any interest in him.  Yesterday I held him so the donkeys could get a good sniff of him, but this morning it seemed Lulu wasn’t sure what he was and she slowly started to come after him with her head down, as the donkeys do when they want to chase an animal away.

That’s when I dropped filming to scoop up Gus.  As you can see we keep a close eye on him.

Jon took a video (which I’ll post)  as I held Gus and Lulu sniffed at him and they got to know each other a little better.

Eventually they’ll figure it out.

Jon and Gus. Big Men and Little Dogs….

June 25th, 2017

“The Fabric of my Healing Life”

June 25th, 2017

After India

Elizabeth, like my friend Mandy, is a healer.  Except I’ve never met Elizabeth, we’ve gotten to know each other online, she lives on the West Coast.

Elizabeth does long distance energetic healing work.  So athough she has a healing space that she works out of, her clients never see it.

When she saw the first quilt I made after coming back from India she knew she had to have it.  Some of it was personal, her own connections to India.  Some of it was in the design of the quilt.  She immediately saw a “doorway” in it that resonated with her work.

Elizabeth sent me an email a few days ago telling me how she’s using the quilt in her work.  This is what she wrote:

Loving my quilt in my healing room. Because I’m only working remote, I get to work with it on my table so it is literally the fabric of my healing life.  I’ve always had this sense of a “door” in that quilt and I think it helps my clients open their own doors.
Since I do my healing work by phone, I place the person on my table energetically so their solar plexus chakra is on the golden door.  It has some magic juju!!

“Gorges Unexplored” In Its New Home

June 25th, 2017

Gorges Unexplored hanging over Mandy’s bed.  That’s a pillow I made for her years ago, on the elephant spread.

Thank you for your medicinal work” Mandy texted me with a picture of my wall hanging “Gorges Unexplored” that she bought from me.

Jon and I went to Mandy’s yesterday.  We brought Gus for a visit and I helped Mandy hang the wall hanging over her bed.

She wanted the wall hanging since she saw the elephant.  And as I worked on it, it seemed to become more and more hers.  I was unconsciously using images,  like the crows and snake and tree  that are important symbols to her.

Someone else had written to me asking about “Gorges Unexplored” and when I told Mandy she thought maybe it belonged to this other person.  From the beginning Mandy saw the wall hanging as a kind of “medicine” and wanted it to do its work where it belonged.

Being that Mandy’s a healer and that we’re good friends, I trusted the process.  So I offered it to the other woman, but it was bad timing for her to buy it.  When I told Mandy, she accepted the “medicine” of the piece as hers.

As the artist, it feels really good to see how much  “Gorges Unexplored”  means to Mandy, how much she loves having it in her home.  If I ever needed inspiration to continue working, this is just the kind of thing that would do it.

Gus and the Apple

June 23rd, 2017

 

Gus’ First Day

June 23rd, 2017

We picked Gus up this morning and went right to see Connie at Battenkill Books, visited the Round House Cafe and ended the morning at The Mansion.

Once home we took him and Red and Fate outside so they could get to know each other.  Red, of course, had no interest in Gus at all.  Fate was afraid at first, hiding under Jon’s legs.   But she eventually got comfortable with him.  She kept an eye on Gus and his toys, trying to find an opportunity to steal them.

So far, it’s been a good first day.

Jon, My Scepter, Fanny And Lulu. A Polaroid

June 22nd, 2017

I took this picture of the Polaroid on the grass in front of the gate where I took the Polaroid.  I didn’t notice the fly on the edge of the Polaroid until I saw it on my computer.

Dream Scepter

June 22nd, 2017

The Tin Man, Jon and my double faced Scepter

“Stop asking me questions about it,” I snapped at Jon,” I don’t know. ”

But he’s intrigued, trying to figure it out, so that’s good.

I saw the Scepter when I was falling asleep.  Then it came back to me again when I was having a massage and energy work by my friend Mandy.  I told Mandy I wanted the massage to focus on being a threshold for me getting back to work.

That was yesterday morning.

The scepter isn’t exactly what I saw in my mind.  My work never seems to translate so directly from what I see and how it actually manifests in the real world. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m just not that good an artist or if it’s because my mind and the real world are two different realities that can’t overlap in that way.  I prefer to believe the second option and have also come to embrace it, most of the time.

I still don’t know what this is all about, or what it’s called or have answers for most of the other questions Jon has about it. (I have to admit I have my questions too and some thoughts).  But for now I’ve decided to just let her live in the world, to have some fun and see what happens.

Jon seemed to take to her right away.  When I asked him to hold her so I could see what she looked like from a distance he held her up as if she was an extension of him.

When I wanted to take a picture he went right to the Tin Man so the three of them could pose together.  Then he took her to visit the donkeys.

Now I’m thinking of taking her to lunch with me, Mandy and Athena at the Round House.  She’s a little awkward to carry around, but as Jon suggested, I can get her, her own chair.