It’s so different to capture real life, rather than real life remembered.
I’ve been so full of living this past month that there wasn’t any of me left to make more than mental notes; cosmic scraps of paper that all just seem to say “best day ever”.
Let me try to catch up a bit.
snip of a photo by Kyle Cassidy, Pope and Kate
What a whirl it’s been. The party is over, the gowns are back on their racks. The tent stands folded, quiet yet somehow still quivering, in the Barbie Coach. I’ve been to St. Louis, been back home, and I think winter must be over here, because Orangelina woke up two days ago, two months earlier than usual.
I am so happy to see her, of course. She’ll be orange and gold again soon. And yeah, it’s really easy to be sure it’s her; she has a scar on her side from where she battled a space dragon. That’s my explanation, anyway. Look at that sweet little smile.
I went and got her some worms, but she’s still waking up, I think. Not quite ready for breakfast.
I am presuming that she woke up because winter is over, but it’s possible that she just felt the thrill in the air. Every thing that happened during party week is still rippling out through our bodies and minds. Yet it also seems to be far away; another time, another place.
All the things I carry with me
And all the things I left behind
And all the things that wait to meet me
Hover in the air tonight
We had an astonishing time this year. Kyle Cassidy came out from Philadelphia to work his usual magic. Events, weather, and lovely people conspired to create a beautiful experience.
His portraits shone.
AJ Reardon, in front of Mark and Marcia’s pretty Airstream.
Below, Doriot Lair.
I’ll have a full gallery to show soon. I’ve been working on quite a few photosets in background, it’s shocking really how many. They seem to be very important to me lately, photographs, and they take a lot of time to keep sorted. Heck, I’m still working on the NYC photo album from last summer… it’s nuts.
I’m not concerned about what happens when, though. This is new for me.
I’ve really been behaving differently since I finished the last book, doing the things I want to do and when I want to do them, living only on the income from book sales, trying to pay attention to the moments flying by. It’s kind of amazing.
I feel lucky, and I feel free at last.
I am moving at my own pace in every way (and it’s slower than I expected it would be); thinking, feeling, training hard, writing, working on learning what painting is; what images are made of. So far, I’m still digital, but I find that it’s a perfect medium for me to learn how few or how many lines define a moment, a scene, capture a tumble of hair.
My friend Gail said an interesting thing a few months ago, that she’s been holding back as a human being, as an artist. I feel the same. We’ve been doing what needs to be done, and keeping ourselves in check for the benefit of our children, our image, society, our comfort zones…whatever. She’s right, of course. And it gets tiring, holding back. I just can’t bear it anymore.
It’s possible anyway that it’s no longer necessary; our children have grown, our people love us, and people can take us or leave us. I don’t want to be around the incurious, the cruel; I want to be with the people who feel responsible for the quality and breadth of their own lives.
I feel comfortable enough being judged by the company I keep. It’s a self-regulating mechanism, because if I am not doing my best work, then the quality of my associations will suffer. People with some fucking standards appreciate people with some fucking standards. And that’s really a deep sort of truth.
a cherished association, my friend Kim Van Antwerp, helping me decorate the mailbox for our long-time carrier Mike’s retirement.
I really feel like my work as a writer or an artist is just one set of reflections, a sort of waterfall out the other side of my real life. People ask me, “what do you write”, and it’s a question that is always odd to me, because I just write what is happening, which is connecting with people, moving upward and onward and forward and through. I may be on a topic of anything (metals, beads, travel, love) but the process is the same: live life, notice the things that other people are skipping over, write.
In a way, I am like the water that flows between the stones, or the dendrites that connect information in the brain, or the plasma, the conducting fluid. I stretch myself between people or ideas, and try to hold a bridge long enough for a flow; if the things I am bridging are meant to connect, they will.
The night of the main party was a perfect night, with a huge moon and a million stars. There was both a gentleness and wildness in our hearts, and connection was easy.
Rivkah Raven Wood, in the Barbie Coach during the party
Kate Stern, photo Kyle Cassidy, beadwork Daria Tittenberger
Kellner flew home to Tucson from Crete, and Michael Pope flew out from Brooklyn.
Kellner and Pope, photo by Robin Douglas
Kyle had flown home by the time the above photo was snapped (as had Doriot) as Kellner missed the actual party, and arrived the day after. The night after, actually; he walked out of the darkness, and discovered me about to fall asleep in the outdoor bed, with Pope hovering around, chatting me up, trying to keep me awake; he was in on the surprise.
The intensity of our times together always leave the sensitive among us in a state of both grace and unrest. I spend a good amount of myself in the weeks after the events catching; people often feel overloaded, or kind of lost, because the experience can be so intense, so beautiful, that it can be a bit disconcerting. I try not to fall into atoms myself until everyone else is caught, is safe, until the last of the first ripples of effect have faded.
Things are settling in now, but I wouldn’t say settled. We are all still sparking; and some of us are making life changes. Some of us are coming together to do new work; more on this as it turns real.
But I think I’m going to stick around in Tucson for a while… see what happens.
How soon we fool ourselves
How slow we tread
Astral planes, collide head on
And on and on we glide
As if forever
There is so much more to say, but time has passed, or it’s too intense, or the things I might say belong to others, to say instead.
I am filled with love, feeling fierce, and absolutely wild, like an animal.