July 21, 2009

Tarot: 7 of Earth - Teachings flaring to life in me

"Tiger Tiger burning bright in the forest of the night - what immortal hand or eye can frame thy fearful symmetry?” Or something like that. Poetry was never my calling. Am I a chosen one? Has God chosen me or am I called? What is the difference? Called to what? If God sent out a calling what would be my answer? Surely I am to be an artist - it is all I ever wanted to be.

In class Mr H gave us an assignment - write about what makes you special. I immediately thought of art. I described loving to "destroy the whiteness of the page" as part of the start of my creative process. He thought the phrase was powerful. At the time I was reading Alan Watts. He was Buddhist just like my teacher. Mr H gave me a book to read "The Moon and Sixpence " by Somerset Maugham all about the artist Gauguin. It was a snow day that Monday so I was able to finish the book. I was inspired. This little suggestion referring me to this book started a fire within me - a fire of the beauty and wonder of books. Up until then I had only read a few books. Something in the magic of Maughams writing excited me greatly. I went to extra help with Mr H that Saturday. In his classroom there was an Asian scroll of a man meditating. You see him in his house. And you see him floating off into the distance over fog filled mountains.

I was interested in the power of the word, which is ironic for I used words so limitedly. Holed up in my room I would draw a multitude of monsters and superherose. Painfully shy I rarely said “Hello” if at all. I would have loved it if I could hide away in a mountain cave like St. Benedict.

The word held specific power for me. Books on Voodoo and Santeria began filling my shelves. The magic of the word became my passion and obsession. If I said the right words could I change reality? The thought intrigued me greatly.

In the basement I created a studio - the heat above was oppressive - only a little cooler in the basement. There I embarked the world of fantasy letting my mind and intuition take me to new and greater heights. Excitement filled the air. I drew a vast landscape and in the foreground a man took root - literally grew into the landscape. The drawing was never finished and will fade into obscurity like I know I will. Perhaps I will fall through the cracks. Little did I know that 4 years later I would lose my mind.

July 14, 2009

Tarot: Mother Water - Entering cosmological love

Talking with a flower. This is my earliest memory. Twirling on the swing - dizzy and fun. My friend Deb and I would race all the time. She was always the fastest.

The day Te-Bo came into our lives there was great excitement. Te-Bo - master of all dogs - wondrous tennis ball retriever. Hitting the ball deep into the woods Te-Bo would always bring it back. He was intensely afraid of loud noises, which made the 4th of July nightmarish for him. We let him run free at night: hearing him bark - who would let him in?

Eddie, the boy next door, and I were buds. He had a Matchbox car collection that I greatly envied. His father had even made a wooden cabinet to store them, all neat and organized. Out in the back yard Eddie’s father built him a tree house - again I was envious. All along his fence his father had painted superheroes - Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman.

Eddie’s Father hated Te-Bo. He thought Te-Bo was getting into their garbage at night.

Their above ground pool became our summertime play land. Eddie had a cousin, Normy, who had a big crush on my sister Anne and would always try and catch her in the pool. Anne dreaded Normy.

Te-Bo lay on my bed at night. He was getting old and it became more and more difficult for him to get on my bed. I loved the solace and warm feeling of Te-Bo laying next to me. He started losing his hair. He would gnaw at his coat. It was tragically funny - he would raise his leg to pee and then fall over. My brother Steve cried the day we had to put him down. We all cried. No dog will ever compare with Te-Bo. He was legendary.

I used to love soccer practice. Riding in the car with Mom I thanked God for soccer. Danbury Storm. We traveled all throughout New England playing in tournaments.

I loved to run. Mat was the fastest on the team - he played center forward while I played right halfback. I would kick the ball as far as I could to Mat, leading him to the goal. We would go into the housing projects to pick up Mat for practice. Mat told us stories of white kids coming to the projects to buy drugs. He said a carload of white kids got beat up. Lisa also lived in the housing projects. She was my first love. I invited her to Playland to roller skate. We held hands during the couples skate. Our hands got sweaty. Lisa would tell me about the kids who got naked and played with one another in the woods. I wanted to kiss her but I don't think I ever did.

Mat came over one day after school. We surprised my Mom. Mat always liked my Mom. Years later I ran into Mat at the mall. I couldn't place his name at first. He was dressed in a colorful suit and his buddy was dressed the same. "Is this your girl?" Mat asked referring to my sister Anne. "Mat - its me Mat," he said. I remembered. "Tell your Mother hello," he said smiling. "I hope you’re still playing soccer," I said. He nodded.

Years later my Mom showed me the police blotter "Mat B. arrested with possession with intent to sell." We came from different worlds - I will never understand what it is like to be Mat B.

July 1, 2009

Tarot: 2 of Fire - Transformation

I see a wall of flame but I am not burned: the flame is blue I think it is an ocean. I dive in and the flames envelope me.

I burst into a thousand shards of light floating around the world just as a flock of birds floats gently though the air. Collecting myself as a single being I turn into a rock - a sturdy ageless rock. I live for eternity but this is something I cannot comprehend.

I have gone too far: I must burst again into a thousand shards of life and flame. But now I turn and collapse into a hole in the earth. Time stops and then time reverses and then I am above ground again only there is no civilization now. There are only plants and animals - humans do not exist.

I soak up the freshness of the air. I am free. The mountains are pure and purple the sky is golden blue. Gently flowing with the breeze all is calm all is peaceful. I could live here forever. The birds caress my branches and monkeys jump around me. Ants trample my bark. Serenity.