Jon and I are going to Blue Star today. I’ll be staying for a couple of days to be with Pamela and the family of Blue Star and to help with the horses. Jon will be going back and forth to teach his class and take care of things on the farm. I’ll be back on Monday.
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Our dear friend Paul Moshimer, Pamela’s husband, from Blue Star Eqiculture died today. Peace and love to you Paul.
Today was one of those days where everything I tried to do just didn’t work. My potholders turned to mud and the quilt I started turned to mush.
But yesterday, it all went right. The I’m Alive Goddess wanted to be remembered. Without losing any of her power, she got a sense of humor. And each time I stitched another one, I wanted to do more. I made nine in all. They’re all at Kim’s right now being made into potholders. Daily reminders of our strength and the primal beauty and sensuality that is in each of us.
Here’s a couple more….
I’ve been collecting pictures of ancient goddesses on Pinterest for a while. If you want to see some of them, surely an influence, you can click here. I’ll be selling these for $22 each + shipping. When they’re done I’ll post all nine of them.
When I showed Jon this piece yesterday, he asked me what made me think to make it. I told him I didn’t think, I just made it. This piece came from a part of me that I didn’t know existed. It’s like she was buried alive and has been slowly clawing her way back into existence and yesterday, she broke through the final layer like a whale breaching for air. Her big eyes, wide open like they can finally see again. All those eyes, wide open.
At some point in elementary school I had a dream. And that dream evolved into fantasies that would last until I was in my forties. I don’t want to get into the details of it, but yesterday, talking to Jon, I finally understood what they were all about. That they were a way for me to try and understand the abuse that happened to me. An abuse of shame and humiliation, that I replayed in my mind again and again for over 30 years. I had mostly forgotten about the fantasies, they ended years ago, when I got divorced and changed my life. But for a few different reasons, they came to mind again yesterday morning. And suddenly, understanding, I couldn’t keep my secret any more. I had to say the words out loud. And Jon was there to lovingly hear me.
It’s that thing about shame, it can’t thrive once it’s shared.
I needed to process what I had experienced, so I went to my studio and lit some candles and incense. I still don’t know why I did it, but I opened the tin with Frieda’s ashes and suddenly, seeing them in the plastic bag seemed wrong. So I opened the bag and emptied it into the tin. Then I took some of the ashes and rubbed them into my hands. I had never before thought to do such a thing, and if someone told me they did that, I’d find it really strange. And right now some (or all) of you may be thinking the same or worse. But at them moment, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to do. And I’m not ashamed of it, (a bit nervous to be writing it maybe) because something powerful was happening, I know I was tapping into something ancient even if I don’t know what it is.
Then I sat at my machine and started to “draw”, as I told Jon, without thinking. And the first thing I saw was those big wide open eyes. I put the egg from my alter in the palm of her hand then I took some of Chloe’s mane, that was hanging outside for the birds to use in their nests, and stitched it into the piece. I had no idea at the time why I wrote the words I’m Alive, in yellow, or why I used yellow beads for her nipples. But now I see they both speak of life.
Now, I feel lighter. Like a part of me that was kept down, is able to live again. And I feel like I like myself a little more. And I can see the beauty in not only my body, but other people bodies too. Something I knew intellectually, but never embodied. And I’m still feeling some of the shame, but I can see where it comes from and that it’s not my fault. That I haven’t done anything to be ashamed of. And that I don’t have to feel guilty about living my life the way I choose.
That Goddess Woman, who made herself visible to me in this piece, is not ashamed of her body or her sexuality, ever. She lives inside all of us, whether we know she’s there or not.
I’m Alive is sold.
I find it fascinating to watch Minnie and Flo get to know Fate. At first Minnie ran and hid in the barn, which she does when ever anyone comes into the yard. A couple of days later, Minnie was in the house when we got home from a walk. Moments after coming in I heard one of those strange cat sounds coming from the kitchen. Minnie was on the windowsill in the kitchen, a place she’s never sat before, hiding behind the curtain. Fate was already gone, but I know she’s what made Minnie hide.
Later that same day, Minnie held her ground. She sat on the dog bed in the living room and Fate slowly walked up to her in a crouch. She stopped two feet away. Then, the stare down. It didn’t take long before Fate backed up and left the room.
What took Minnie five days to do, Flo did the first time she saw Fate. It was basically the same stand off scene. I think it’s a look that passes between them and makes Fate back off. I can feel the charged space between them. They’re both so still, frozen in the moment before fight or flight. Something primal is occurring right in my living room, right in front of me. And it’s kind of thrilling to watch.
After the stand off things changed between Fate and the cats. Now Flo struts around Fate like the queen and if Fate gets to close, she just hisses at her. It’s all very calm and cool.
And I can see, once they get used to each other and Fate calms down, that she and Minnie will be cuddling together as Minnie tries to do with all the other animals. I have a feeling Fate will like that. Today she fell asleep next to Red for the first time. Her legs resting on his.
Seeing one of my animals natural instincts come up is always fascinating to me. It’s the part of them I don’t really know. And when they interact in that way together, without any human interruption, I feel like I’m watching two animals in the wild. I remember when the sheep were pregnant, there was a communication that passed between them that I have never seen so clearly before. The way they looked at each other, how a ewe would wander off alone and the others watched her, but kept their distance. What happens between them is palpable. I can feel it, like somewhere inside of me I once had knowledge of their way of communicating. Instead of feeling a human animal connection as we usually do, it’s more like animal to animal. Like just watching them awakens some animal part of me.
Fate was way ahead of me on the path before she turned around to look for me. It was our first walk alone in the woods together and she had stayed close until now. I called come come come in my up puppy voice, but she just stood there looking at me. So I crouched down and held out my arm and called again. Still she just stood there.
The way she looked at me and didn’t move, reminded me of yesterday when I was hanging clothes on the line. Fate grabbed a sock out of the basket and started running around the yard with it. I foolishly tried calling her then too. Needless to say, she didn’t come. As I walked towards her she ran away. Then I stopped myself, knowing I’d only be making a new really fun game for her. ( Fate steals the sock(or whatever) and Maria chases her around.) So instead, I got an empty plastic water bottle and threw it towards her. She dropped the sock, picked up the bottle and started playing with it.
I don’t know if Fate learned anything from yesterdays, sock and bottle episode, but I did. There was something about the way she stood looking at me that made me think this was an important moment in our walk. I decided I wasn’t going to move until she came to me. And I let her know this by sitting down and relaxing, getting ready to wait as long as I had to. After a few moments I tried it again, come come come I called arms out. This time, when she didn’t come, I put my arms down and thought about how I could sit there the rest of the day. It didn’t take long after that for her to start moving towards me. Once again I called her and this time she came running into my arms. I praised her and rubbed her belly and we had a splendid reunion.
Success, I though smiling. But it wasn’t about one of us winning and one of us losing. It was about how when something like this happens, it makes it better for both of us. It helps make for a good walk in the woods.
I was sewing up some potholders that I got back from Kim this morning and Fate found her way under my desk. It was pretty sweet, me sewing and her chewing on a rawhide. Just what I imagined.
When she was all done, she started doing that puppy thing and jumping up on the window sill and looking for something else to chew. That’s when I opened the door and let her out into the dog run. What a blessing that is.