May 26, 2009

Tarot: Water Father - The Essence of My Heart's Desire

That year will live in my memory as the greatest. After that year everything went away - got lost. Going overseas without knowing anyone was a big risk. I'd been miserable - so instead of being miserable in Pittsburgh I could be miserable in Rome. A change in environment would do me good.

My memory is clouded yet seems so clear. It doesn't make sense. Little does. There were times when I felt life so awesomely - so grandly that I could not put words to describe those times. Ineffable. I was on a mission: Stromboli.

My sister Katie flew in for spring break and we rented a car and decided to drive down to Sicily. Such freedom, such powerful experiences. We bought blood oranges and I played my tape of the Indigo Girls over and over again. That album lives in my memory - each time I hear it I am transported back to that miraculous time.

We came to a small town - along the road was a funeral procession - it looked nightmarish yet full of grace. All people in black, moving slowly. In the next town we saw another funeral coming out of a local church. I sat and looked on in reverence.

Next we came to some Roman ruins atop a hill over looking the ocean. The light was so wondrous - I was in a dream - a fantasmagorical dream. Life was one big adventure. Recently Michele and I were in the hot tub witnessing the sunset. "Do you feel it Michele? Do you feel how wondrous everything is?" Michele nodded. "This is how it was every second of every day in Italy - every thing was grand and full of life. Imagine feeling this way all the time." We sat in the hot tub soaking in the intensity. Maybe I am romanticizing that year - but it does not mater - I love it.

Katie and I made it to Sicily and decided to take a boat out to Stromboli - a small volcanic island nearby. Arriving at the dock the locals met us with offers of places to stay. We were approached by a small man with a huge smile. "Rooms?" We followed him up the road to a charming villa. “Breakfast is at 8:30" said the small man as if he were some sort of Italian leprechaun.

We set out to explore the island. "Wasn't there a movie called Stromboli?" we wondered. Immediately an idea arose in my mind - an idea that would obsess me for the next few months. LAVA. I decided I was on a mission to see lava.

That night we ate pizza at a small restaurant ordering another glass of beer. That year was the beginning of my romance with alcohol. Katie said how odd it was to consider getting drunk with her younger brother. After dinner it was twilight and that wondrous feeling came again as it did every day - I was on an adventure! Full of Life! Full of love for the blessings of my existence. I smiled. I was happy.

The next day my obsession with lava intensified. We started on a trail where at the top they said you could look down into the crater. We only made it a short way for Katie had not brought the right shoes and was tired. Down we went - my dream of lava would have to wait.

Next there was the beach, all black sand. I found a small plastic horse. That year I started collecting small objects which would periodically in some way or other make it into my artwork. The horse was missing a few legs – they’d been worn away by the ocean. Years later that horse made it into a series of prints I called "Unknown Fetishes.”

Looking into the ocean we lay on the rocks. The feeling swept through me again - Yes - I was home - home on planet earth - what wonders there are to behold! Alive.

That summer I traveled back to Stromboli. My mission: see lava. The trains were a great part of the adventure. I remember sticking my head out the window of the train - feeling the wind - looking at the ocean, the mountains and towns. Yes! That feeling again. Back in Stromboli I was determined to climb to the summit and look in to find lava. Crestfallen at the top, the only thing I saw was clouds of sulfur. It was late in the afternoon. With clouds all around I descended and came across a view that blew my mind. Emerging from that bank of clouds I saw the sun set as I never had before. Yes! That feeling once again.

May 16, 2009

Tarot: 7 of Fire - Being Totally Alive & Awake

I see the monkeys on the roof. The stories about where I was born are burned into my memory.

I must awaken from the dreams of the past - so much hurt - so much pain. I was small - easy to lose track of - the marriage was long gone - I remember him cracking ice for his gin and tonic - I was knee high - I remember looking up to the counter. They all laughed at me as I sat on my own dinner plate after changing the channel. As the youngest I was designated official channel changer. Natalie was there - I love Natalie - I wish I had not abused our love in visiting from Rome. I was young - I drank too much.

When they told me I did not understand - I thought it was a game, a fun thing - but no - soon he moved away something that a divorced father should never do. So I understand it today. Should I live in those memories? NO emphatically not.

There is only now - what am I doing now? I must let my spark explode into a million wondrous crystal cells. I will break up into a million pieces and fly into the sun. I will circle the earth looking lovingly down at all the wonders and horrors that are there. Live in the moment - easier said than done. Be open to joy and love. If I think it - It will come true. I do believe we make up our own universes - I can choose to live in the hurtful past or I can choose to live in the awe inspiring, wondrous and phantasmagorical universe of potential and life.

May 6, 2009

Tarot: 3 of Water

I am a cup - fill me with your grace. Wine is fine but water will fill me with possibility. Which cup am I? Am I red or green or blue? The sky is dark; water will soon spill onto the beautiful horrific world we live in.

I await the abundance. My crops need water. I will grow all that I can, living in the moment. I have roots. What will I grow into? Slowly I gain strength and soon I will burst into the glorious sunlight. My leaves - deep green and my flowers red, purple, blue and yellow. I am a glorious plant radiant in the warm sun.

Soon the water comes again to quench my thirst. Then the night comes, the mysterious moon reflects down to me. I am calm cool and content. But what is growing inside me? It hurts at first but soon I realize it must be a pearl, a golden pearl. The divers in the sky search me out - they want the golden pearl. They prey on me.

All is glorious but there comes a time when danger alerts. I must retreat into the ocean via the three cups. The water fills me from the golden sources. I pull back and realize the cyclic nature. Soon I will be the water that is filling me now - all will merge. The great oneness of being will show itself. But also from anywhere the divers cause pain and suffering - yet soon all will be growth. I too am a diver: the suffering comes from myself but all will be transformed into beauty love pills. When you take the pills the divers scatter for another day. Perfect Peace Profound.