Friday, April 26, 2019

Closing Exhibit of Masks of the Goddess, and New Revised "Masks of the Goddess" Book




In May I will be concluding the 20 year MASKS OF THE GODDESS PROJECT, which began as an Invocation to the Goddess at Reclaiming's 20th Annual Spiral Dance in San Francisco in 1999.  I have been so privileged to collaborate with Priestesses, Playwrights, Dancers, Ritualists, Community Organizers, Photographers, Artists, Photographers, Choreographers, Writers, Singers, and Psychologists in sharing the stories and  "Faces of the Goddess".  So many from around the country participated in the Project - please know that your spirit and contribution will be there, in every mask and photograph.   

The Opening will be May 5th, and I'll give a small slide presentation, and afterwards I'm delighted that there will several performances, including Evelie Delfino Sales Posch to sing her beautiful songs, and mask wearers Drissana and Vibra to invoke the Goddesses.  Perhaps we'll see you there!

I have also just revised and added a great deal of new material to my book 
"The Masks of the Goddess", which is available at  Blurb.com.
 You can turn pages in a "Preview" at this link:
 http://www.blurb.com/b/9380795-the-masks-of-the-goddess

Thank you once again for sharing your creativity and love of the Goddess with so many, and especially, with me.  May the Masks  continue their work. 

Lauren 
www.masksofthegoddess.com
www.laurenraine.com

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Everything is Alive"........























I  woke up recently with the phrase "everything is alive" in my mind.  To muse on that "threshold voice", I wanted to explore what "everything is alive" might mean, and this story from Alice Walker came to mind.  

Catherine Keeler  asked "How would we live if we saw the world with a 'webbed vision', meaning how would we live if we saw ourselves within a community, visible and invisible, of relationships with all kinds of living, responsive beings, including the food we eat, perhaps even the things we use and take for granted.  As if it was all a kind of "great conversation", and creating "good relationship" was a primary concern.   We would live so very differently...........


When did the world cease to be alive, and become a "thing"?  When did plants, animals, and people become "things" or "resources" or "commodities" ?   And how much of the conversation goes on without us realizing it, in spite of our objectification and de-humanization,  all the time anyway?

I reflect on a little story of my own.  At Christmas time a few years ago, because they were on sale, I bought a turkey and baked it. I felt rather silly, as I had no one to share this dinner with, being alone that Christmas day.   I remember feeling rather sad about being alone, on Christmas day,  with a baked turkey.   I realized I had cranberry sauce, but no gravy, and so I decided to try to find some at the local Walgreens,  the only place I knew would be open.  As I went into the store, sitting on the sidewalk was a young man with a bottle of  Windex offering to clean my windshield for some change.

Normally I'd provide some coins and move on, but the sight of this homeless young man, sitting there in the cold on Christmas Day, was just too much.  I got to talking with him, and finding him intelligent, I asked him if he'd like some turkey, and we ended up sitting on the porch eating that turkey dinner together.  I later paid him to do some odd jobs for me before he disappeared from that area, and I hope he found his way off the streets.   Apparently, I didn't buy that turkey just for myself, although I thought I did.  The universe responds.



The Universe Responds

by Alice Walker

A few years ago I wrote an essay called "Everything is a Human Being", which explores to some extent the Native American view that all of creation is of one substance and therefore deserving of the same respect. In it I described the death of a snake that I caused, and wrote of my remorse.

That summer "my " land in the country crawled with snakes. There was always the large resident snake, whom my mother named "Susie", crawling about in the area that marks the entrance to my studio. But there were also lots of others wherever we looked. A black-and-white king snake appeared underneath the shower stall in the garden. A striped red-and-black one, very pretty, appeared near the pond. It now revealed the little hole in the ground in which it lived by lying half in and half out of it as it basked in the sun. Garden snakes crawled up and down the roads and paths. One day leaving my house with a box of books in his arms, my companion literally tripped over one of these.

We spoke to all of these snakes in friendly voices. They went their way, we went ours. After about a two week bloom of snakes, we seemed to have our usual number: just Susie and a couple of her children.

A few years later, I wrote an essay about a horse called Blue. It was about how humans treat horses and other animals; how hard it is for us to see them as the suffering, fully conscious, enslaved beings they are. After reading this essay in public only once, this is what happened. A white horse came and settled herself on the land. (Her owner, a neighbor, soon came to move her.) The two horses on the ranch across the road began to run up to their fence whenever I passed, leaning over it and making what sounded like joyful noises. They had never done this before (I checked with the human beings I lived with to be sure of this), and after a few more times of greeting me as if I'd done something especially nice for them, they stopped. Now, when I pass they look at me with the same reserve they did before. But there is still a spark of recognition.

What to make of this? 

But what I'm also sharing with you is this thought: The Universe responds. What you ask of it, it gives.............I remember when I used to dismiss the bumper sticker "Pray for Peace". I realize now that I did not understand it, since I also did not understand prayer; which I know now to be the active affirmation in the physical world of our inseparableness from the divine; and everything, especially the physical world, is divine."**



** (From: "The Universe Responds: Or, How I learned We Can Have Peace on Earth", 
Living by the Word, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, N.Y., N.Y., 1988.)

Friday, April 5, 2019

ANGELS IN NEBRASKA and Other Stories in a Talking World



In an article from his webzine "Warrior of the Light", Paolo Coelho wrote:

"I let my life be guided by a strange language that I call “signs”. I know that the world is talking to me, I need to listen to it, and if I do so I shall always be guided towards what is most intense, passionate and beautiful. Of course, it is not always easy."

I have also often  found myself engaged in a "Great Conversation" that seems to be going on all around me, and occasionally I’m stunned to realize I wasn’t listening.  Lately, grounded with so many duties and laundry lists, I feel like a virtual deaf mute.  

The conversation seems to become most lively when I'm in movement. Between destinations lies a mythic land of flight and migration, a free range  in the "Bardo" of transit, where I occasionally meet Angels of the Flux pointing the way.  I'm getting ready to hit the road to go to California briefly, and already feel the longing to just be in motion........ and perhaps, those Angels, will speak to me again. 

I've shared this story before,  and today seems like a good day to share it again.  The photos above I took in 2005.

JOURNAL ENTRY, September 3, 2005.

Stopped in Cozad, Nebraska, home of the Robert Henri Museum.

When I was getting my MFA, I had to study, among others, the work of Robert Henri and the "Ash Can School" of painting, which he founded.  It was called the "Ash Can School" because Henri and collegues were tired of the romanticized,  dreamy landscapes  of their time, and instead took to painting realistic scenes of urban life in New York and elsewhere, which was a great innovation. 

The  Cozad Museum has some beautiful paintings of the tall grass prairies of Nebraska by a local artist, and a few reproductions of Henri's "Ash Can School" paintings. They don't have any of the originals. Henri's father, it seems, actually was the founder of  Cozad, but it appears that he  had to leave rather suddenly with his sons and wife when he "accidentally" shot a man in a heated argument.  He took his family  to New York, changed his name, started the first casino in Atlantic City, and his talented son went on to study art and become famous. The boy never returned to Nebraska, although he did go on to live and work in Ireland, New York, and Paris. Cozad is proud of him anyway.

I continue to fret about my commitment to art. My life seems like a tapestry, on my good days, the threads finally woven with some skill into a colorful tapestry, I see that I have achieved some small bit of mastery. And then there are days when so much precious life seems wasted, lost, too many disappointments and wrong decisions and wrong turns. Those are days that are about emptying out, discovering things that once seemed so opaque are now, well, transparent. Unimportant. What really matters?  What am I supposed to do now?

So here I sit, with a very nice cup of coffee and a sandwich at the Busy Bee Diner, where I have a front row center seat for the First Bank and Trust Company of Cozad.

That got my attention.





TUCSON SCULPTURE FESTIVAL! I'll be there!



I'm looking forward to participating in this fabulous Show in April, and will bring my recent bas relief clay mosaics, "Our Lady of the Shards"Maybe I'll see you there!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS 
FOR THE LARGEST OUTDOOR SCULPTURE SHOW
IN ARIZONA!

Featuring over 60 local, regional and national sculptors, the 

SculptureTucson Festival Show & Sale is

April 5, 6 and 7 

at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park in Tucson, AZ

In addition to a chance to see and buy art, collectors and the art-loving community will enjoy free artists talks & demonstrations, live dance & musical performances, food trucks and more! 
VISIT OUR WEBSITE
The Festival is FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC:

Saturday, April 6th 
9:30am to 6pm
and 
Sunday, April 7th
9:30am to 4:30pm 


For more festival info: www.SculptureTucson.org 
The opening night reception, PATRON'S EVENT on Friday, April 5th from 5pm to 9pm is a chance to preview and purchase art before the festival opens to the public. Join us for a wonderful evening of sculpture, live music, and gourmet hors-d'oeuvres & cocktails catered by Hacienda del Sol.
Tickets to the PATRON'S EVENT are $50. Purchase tickets: 

https://youtu.be/lbjDTBLnTjY