Company of Roses

photo

Today I wheeled downtown and found a small and fragrant, shaded spot to watch.

I chose it for the ease of being in proximity to the passing show but not of it.

It smelled of roses and passing women with shining, newly shampooed hair.

Urgent teenagers motored by.

They were so cool with pomaded hair and restraint

When all they really wanted was speed

And a girl up against their Levied thigh.

Middle-aged men with white, exposed skin

Revved their Harleys just for the thrill

Of giving voice to the shiny metal between their legs.

Once or twice an aged and compromised adoring couple

Would walk by me and greet me with a knowing hello;

Those with knowledge of a life in a compromised body

Tend to salute one another

Like veterans who know war well.

In between each noticing

Were the roses, still.

A young couple parallel parked in front of me.

He did a fine 8 point turn and shut off the motor.

A weary looking woman opened the passenger car door and proceeded to change her baby’s diaper on the back seat.

The wearier-looking man got out to retrieve the stroller.

Thick veins pulsed on his frustrated, pink forehead.

“It gets so sticky, doesn’t it, honey?” she says.

He is silent but performs well.

A young couple on a date pass me.

She wears her brand new, black fringed shoulder-baring midriff-baring top.

So lovely in her dewy youth.

I stay very, very still

In the company of roses.

I want for nothing.

The movie today is especially fine.

God Is Bored

birds
“FLY GIRL”, 14x14x4″, shell,bone,gravel,dirt

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GOD IS BORED

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I think God is bored.
Suppose we were to be the main event;
The entertainment if you will?
Sorrow and fighting
And lock-down minds
So sure and garish in false glitter
Meant to impress.
God is bored, I tell you.

The food God likes to eat is us;
Supple with eyes slightly wet
From hearts so over-filled
They have to spill over
And drip down wrinkled cheeks
To fall on the head
Of a newborn at the breast
Which is God’s breast.

I have friends.
They shine brightly
And always carry a lamp
When they visit me
So I may keep walking
Down my road
Which gets dark and scary
And lonely at times.
I hug the wall
And they don’t let me.
They are God
Masquerading as my dance partners.

God likes the Rolling Stones.
Keith Richards in particular.
The music they make
Is God’s voice
But so is Hitler’s
And that thought
Is anything but boring.
So I guess duality
Certainly was a good creation
On God’s part.

Thinking of God being bored
Makes me want to hurry up
And do something
Entertaining.
Like dance
In my wheelchair
Limbs all akimbo
To The Rolling Stones;
Let it rip.
Shyness R.I.P.
I open myself to pray.
Give God
A damn good show.

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CA-2015

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Territory

impermanence

Dogs are so insistent on marking territory. Lift a leg and be done with it.

Some men and women are like that too.

When I was married I mistakenly moved into my husband’s beloved self-designed home.

It was gorgeous with an expansive garden and borderlands of wildness.

We had a ceremony with friends to ease what everyone knew was a challenging transition for my independent self; saying yes to a co-mingled life.

After a few years I began to itch for a space I felt was my own in the house. It was clearly HIS house and I was hankering after a she-cave of sorts; just a tiny bit of real estate inside our beautiful home.

I asked him if he’d be ok if I put a chair in the gorgeous corner window of our large bedroom. The chair would face out into the treed wilderness and I’d sit and muse.

He said: “No. I just don’t want to walk into our bedroom and see the back of a chair.”

Now- you might be thinking what a controlling SOB but don’t forget that it was me ASKING..BEGGING really for this great and normal need of mine.

This is not the behavior of a secure and grounded woman.

Fast forward to today and I am a very different girl but as RAM DASS has infamously said: “In my entire life after all the work I have done on myself not a single neurosis has disappeared. Gotten smaller perhaps, but never disappeared altogether.”

The cultivation of personal sacred territory is still something I have attention on.

I enjoy connecting deeply with people so much that I tend to allow my boundaries to blur to the point where I must retreat fully and repair the gaping holes in the dike.

My intent is to remain porous in connection with others while retaining my hard earned sense of Self.

A recent practice has been to imagine my precious spirit wrapped in jewel-toned velvets, silks and tiny lights. Sort of swaddling myself in everything I love and that which comforts me.

This really helps me stay healthily contained and available as well as avoiding the full-on leaden wall syndrome which I can tend toward when I feel my energetic reserves dwindling toward empty..

Bedlam

black hole
ceramic, D-16×14″
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So- this new bed is BAD.

It smells of smoke from some other weary Medicaid-ed soul. The mattress has no structure and my butt carves a deep pocket in the tired foam which I fight to extricate myself from. I must stay in one position all night as I can’t claw my way out of the booty depression.

(I am kvetching because it is too grey and rainy outside and I just can’t help myself..).

This morning I love money. Money says one can Google adjustable beds and find the best looking one (clearly a priority), pick a bed wide enough to change position in, be assured the damn thing hasn’t been lived in by another human so the energy is absolutely neutral when it arrives and glory in the anticipated ok-ness one click on a computer can provide.

The company dispensing such beds as the one I now see and narrow my brow toward will pick it up Monday and I will up the ante in my physical therapy regime to allow myself the strength to continue resting in my sweet-smelling bed of old…

So! It’s all good, right? Bad experience gets Cathy’s butt in gear to keep the strength she has instead of caving to encroaching muscle loss…

Yes! This is how I keep myself running electric life in my blood instead of sluggish clay: look at a situation and live inside it watching for the German Chocolate Cake-part so I don’t stay in the occasional fetidness of this dense human vulnerability we call a body.

My own personal money in the bank is my resilience, fortitude, spirit, faith, trust, creativity and sense of humor when I can find her.

My bank account smells like lilacs and Chanel #5.

Dear God,

Thank you for these gifts.

DSC00126

Cathy needs a drink

bed

Do you remember those ads for CRAFTMATIC adjustable beds on TV years ago?

Back then it sounded pretty luxurious and I wanted one.

Now I have one out of need and I’m not sure….

I mean- I have the need as my torso muscles are weak which makes it a challenge to lift myself from true horizontal.

Two brawny guys brought my new bed yesterday and I wasn’t quite prepared;

A twin semi-automatic bed (no- SMALLER) seems to say:

1. No more sex or men in bed with you EVER AGAIN. (not that I’ve been hankering in this direction but DON’t TELL ME WHAT I CAN’t HAVE says Cathy’s inner 5 year old).

2. You have a fuckin’ HOSPITAL BED in your otherwise lovely home!!!!!

3. You are infirm! Broken! Not whole anymore! And here’s PROOF! (I go through this with every new piece of hardware I get…. walker, wheelchair,brace).

OK…reality check: I am really pretty fine, considering. I am blessed to have insurance which covers these various aids at no cost. Pushing a button to elevate my legs feels amazingly good. Pushing another button to rise and watch SCANDAL on TV feels even better. I can get into and out of bed easier. There is still room for a dog should one arrive. A man worth his salt would never let space stand in the way of “whatever.”

My go-to mantra for times like these when new and ego-antagonizing stuff is happening goes like this:

“Cathy, do you deserve support?”

“Well..yeah.”

“OK then. Just enjoy and get on with it.”

Next…..

Mother’s Day


“TREE OF LIFE”, ceramic
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I did not have children and it was pretty much the best choice I ever made.

Was never drawn to the progeny experience.

Having a man in one’s life you’d like to disappear boundaries with in the heat of love is an element which seems to help usher in baby souls waiting in line for the grand slide into existence.

Lacking that element and the general impetus to give birth physically allowed me the space to do what I feel I was meant to do: use this time to re-acquaint myself with my original intelligence; the one that gets plastered over with the heroin of cultural norms.

I never felt like people looked at me as weird or other for my childlessness. Pity, perhaps at times.

I was the wilt-on-the-vine product of a mother who couldn’t.

My 3 siblings all pulled up their bootstraps and created miraculously healthy and shining families. Truly a miracle in my book.

I chose art and collecting mothers.

The women I found (and still find) to mother away the gaping turbulence of the black holes left in the wake of her absence

Are the folks I celebrate today.

I still feel her loss in the deep of my garden of a belly that never grew what it was created to grow.

But I have loved, I tell you.

No woman is more than me for having been blessed with the love of a child born of her womb.

I have loved.

I LOVE.

There are two abortions in my past and I wonder…

And then I feel my love; for self, Mother Earth, family, chosen family, the little plants I placed in a pot this morning, a dog, every darn one of my multitude of creations, all the choices and experiences which got me to Here. The ALLOWANCE to choose.

I love how I love.

Catching Beauty

empath

I think that I will call my new life purpose BEAUTY CATCHER.

How fun is that??

I thought of this wheeling back from town just now following a visit to Starbucks.

In line before me stood a blonde woman with a brand new pedicure (black and actually fab) wearing sexy but comfortable black sandals that looked new as well.

Having only one pair of shoes myself that fit over my brace

And toes far from well groomed

I oogled her achievement;

I said to her: “I love your pedicure and sexy sandals. So great!”

She says: “I just got these sandals at the store up the street (with excitement) and they were expensive but so worth it because they don’t actually look comfortable but they ARE!! (more excitement). Do you live here? You should get over to that store! (more excitement..not at all weird..just happy to tell her story.)”

She ordered her drink and handed me this Starbucks giftcard!! (me=excited now!)

She says to the cashier: “This lovely woman commented on my toes and I am giving her this card!”

She walked away.

We both had this great sista’ bonding moment over toes and shoes.

I left realizing that she had expended the effort into presenting herself a particular way in the world. I noticed and took pleasure myself.

The thing that made the real difference was the fact I told her I SAW her. I did not hoard the pleasure for myself. I bounced it back to her.

What I am seeing is that if I am affected by another’s courage or effort or kindness however small…

Really- if someone elses beingness enhances my life in the slightest

Telling them so changes everything.

My own CATCH and RELEASE.

Remembering Myself

16_Renissance
“RENAISSANCE”, 10’x3′,earth,MDF waterproof
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I have been slipping into forgetting

The me I once was..

The one crawling over my studio table wearing a gas mask to protect me from fumes

And the woman journeying hours in her truck

Clad in overly worn sleeveless denim (still liked my arms then) tied at the waist

And shit-kicker boots

to collect something-or-other

To make this-thing-or-that.

Today, I wheeled over to the Santa Fe Convention Center to visit my sculpture resting there in the outdoor courtyard.

When I created this 10′ tall behemoth it was deep winter.

My home studio wasn’t big enough to construct it so I rented a storage unit.

That winter was way beyond cold. I could work for no more than an hour and a half before my fingers said no.

I was having fun but it was stressful because there were variables like the cold and I didn’t know if the materials I was using would set properly in such temperatures and this piece would be living outdoors eventually.

As an artist you just have to do it and pray.

All the years (6) this piece has been standing where it does have only added to its beauty.

I sat there today and marveled at the fact it held together perfectly and the plants surrounding it have taken to creeping up and around its girth.

It feels solid, content, noble.

I love it.

I love that old me.

But She is no better than the Me now.

Very, very different however.

I am glad to be aware of my inner and outer landscape shifting and shaping itself into other.

It was so rich to witness that old “me” today and remember all the skills she made use of

And my new life-tool kit is weirdly just as interesting.

There was that giant sculpture I created back in 2008 in a frigid storage unit wondering if it would hold

And here I am now sitting here in this wheelchair witnessing the work; satisfied I still have what it takes.

Seems like just a minute ago.