Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rain is a Blessing

Hawai'i definitely left an impression on me, emotionally and spiritually. On the last day there, in Hilo,we were walking down the road when it started to rain. Rain in Hilo is as common as the sky is blue..it rains a lot on that side of the island. Just ahead of us was a young Hawai'ian family; a mother, father and a toddler. 

When the first drops of rain started, the little toddler said, with palpable fear , "oh no, it's raining." His mother held up an umbrella, and the father gently  told his child, echoing thousands of years of Kahuna wisdom ,"The rain is a blessing."

a big Banyan tree in Hilo, HI, in the rain!
That really touched me, seeing young native Hawai'ians embracing their birthright by remembering it to their children.

I suppose what also touched me was how it was said. It wasn't preachy, or "new agey", it was just said as a gentle fact. 

 The rain is a blessing.
video
Here's a tiny video I took of the park behind our hostel, in Hilo... it's raining!

"In Hawaii, a rainy day is a thing of poetry. The Hawaiian language has more than 100 words for "rain," which describe the location, volume and intensity of the shower. 'Awa refers to a fine rain or mist, and kawa is for when it's raining heavily. If a storm is unexpected, it's called ililani. If the rain is at a slant, it's called ua hikiki 'i. So much for "cloudy" and "sunny." gohawaii.com" (http://www.islands.com/article/Hawaii-Rain-by-Any-Other-Name)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All About Edward Gorey!



“A is for Amy who fell down the stairs," "B is for Basil, assaulted by bears," (from The gashlycrumb tinies, by Edward Gorey)
I love the art of Edward Gorey, and it seems that the man behind the art was just as impressive as his ink-sketch drawings were.
Here are some fun facts I’ve gleaned about Gorey.
1.     He was not British. This came as a total shock to me. “Because of the settings and style of Gorey's work, many people have assumed he was British; in fact, he only left the U.S. once, for a visit to the Scottish Hebrides.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gorey)

2.     He loved cats! " (he) lived in Cape Code, Massachusetts, where he was surrounded by the cats that he so loved." (http://voices.yahoo.com/edward-gorey-biography-late-gothic-writer-615010.html)

3.     He loved TV, especially Batman. “He was an unabashed television junkie, watching everything from soap operas to dramas, with an especially big love of Batman: The Animated Series.” (http://www.squidoo.com/edward-gorey)

4.     He enjoyed publishing under pseudonyms  which were all anagrams: “Ogdred Weary was one of them as was Mrs. Regera Dowdy, Dogear Wryde, Wardore Edgy, E. G. Deadworry and D. Awdrey-Gore.”(http://voices.yahoo.com/edward-gorey-biography-late-gothic-writer-615010.html)

5.     He liked the ballet... a lot “One thing that Edward Gorey was decidedly fond of was ballet. He spent 30 years attending very nearly every performance by the New York City Ballet, and called the Russian choreographer Balanchine a god.(http://voices.yahoo.com/edward-gorey-biography-late-gothic-writer-615010.html) this quote is gold!

6.     He studied French at Harvard! "By the age of 20, Edward Gorey was studying as a French Literature major at Harvard where he was befriended by future poet Frank O'Hara. A fellow student at Harvard remembers Gorey as "the oddest person I've ever seen. He was very tall, with his hair plastered down across the front like bangs, like a Roman emperor." (http://voices.yahoo.com/edward-gorey-biography-late-gothic-writer-615010.html)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time Warp



 I wrote this last year, and never posted it, but I like it, so it's finally getting posted. ( written: Wed/thur april 13-14 2011)
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So, I've been tweeting, or is it twitting? Either way, it sounds weird and I have been taking part..sort of, mainly in order to get my petitions out to wider audiences. Almost overnight, I had 11 followers, and then, like a negative ion reaction, 4 have just as quickly vanished, but fort how long...?

Meh. It was weird and truly, who has that much to say..about usually nothing, but has the time to connect a link to each tweet.


What a weird world.


I just finished watching Trembling Before G-D. I know, I'm about 11 years too late for the conversation, but, seeing as this is more times than not a conversation of one, I shall proceed.


I get it; needing to belong to a larger group, community, what-have-you. I even can try to sort of understand the sycophantic neediness of the religious. Ok, they dig having ritual, customs, traditions ,and lest we forget, holy writ that bind them. However, those same traditions and writ also end up binding them to the point of suffocation.

Shit.

Negotiating your own sexual space is a challenge, period. Add any form of religious dogma to the mix, and things become pretty hate-based.


I'm queer. Years ago I came out to my family. It wasn’t easy for me. My mother was supportive. Though, when I brought my first girlfriend home, I felt very isolated and hurt. Actions and words don’t always match.
My grandmother who was( how strange and sad to write about her now in the past...) fairly liberal in many ways, was also a devout Catholic.. I did; however, bring my first girlfriend home to meet the-whole family.  Everyone at the table, presumably excluding my grandparents either knew what the deal was or quickly cottoned on, and were cool.
Some months later, on Valentine’s Day, I went over to my grandparent’s to bring my Nonna flowers, to celebrate the day. Without skipping a beat, my Nonna asked if I had called my girlfriend who had since gone back  to Italy. I froze momentarily, because I couldn’t believe what my very Catholic grandmother was asking. I quickly wondered why she hadn’t asked me if I had called any of my other friends. Then it dawned on me that perhaps my super- devout Nonna was hipper than I imagined, and so, I told her that, yes, I had called her.
Each time I reflect on that moment- my Nonna boldly, and yet , super casually asking, me if I had called my girlfriend, on Valentine’s, no less; the girlfriend who had been introduced to my Nonna as nothing more than a friend,always floors me completely!
It was at that moment when I realized that my Nonna sees me.
So, certainly I do get it that queer Hasidic people need and want to be seen and accepted by their families which seems to also include their rabbis, but what I don’t get is hiding who they are.
When my relationship with that girlfriend ended, about a year later, I was devastated, and my outlet was my art. I secretly thanked her for having hurt me so much, so that I could cathartically release on canvass, which also motivated me to organize my first art show. On the day of the show, my whole family and I were at my grandparent’s having lunch. The topic of my show came up. My Nonna heard, and was upset at having not been invited right away. I didn’t know what to do. If she hadn’t known I was queer then, she would for certain that night at the show.
Nothing was going to stop her, and proudly she showed up. I remember standing in front of my panting of a large nude, female in the style of Modigliani, which had been modeled after the now ex-girlfriend, and was called simply, Reclining Nude. A woman who was standing looking at it turned to me and asked the price. I hadn’t even considered putting price tags on anything. My Nonna, who was also standing near me, turned to me and the woman and gently chided me for not having any price tags on my work.
Once again, I was shown that not only did my grandmother see me, but she was also very proud of me, and my ability to be myself. It meant a lot.
These people who feel bound to the idea of being humbled and scared in the presence of their idea of whatever divine means, have lost the point. I think religion is idiotic to begin with, but to then choose to continue to ascribe to a set of rules that  not only has no place for you but actively hate you, why stay?