Today’s the day. It has been a long time coming, yet in some ways it seems like yesterday. Time is a strange entity impossible to wrap your arms around. What’s that old saying, that time isn’t linear but forever present? Maybe the linear sense we attribute to it allows us to be able to hold experience in our memory. At any rate, I’m leaving this evening for la bella Roma, where there is an atrocious heat wave, though it’s expected to break by the weekend.
My friend Pino, who will pick me up at the airport, bless his heart, thought it auspicious when I told him I was bringing the good weather since the Reiki I sent him for major surgery he had last year went well. Let’s hope it’s true.
Since there’s no phone line where I’ll be staying in Roma and in Ischia I'll be too busy, I’ve decided to leave my computer behind, so I’ll write only from internet cafe’s. I’ve also decided to leave my computer behind because I’m too dependent on it, and although it’s more of a blessing than a curse I think it’s a good idea to break habits so that something new can come in. Also, my time in Italy will be more social than reflective. Besides teaching the workshop in Ischia I will spend time in Roma and in Tuscany, visiting friends. I will bring along my hard cover journal, so maybe my handwriting, which I used to love and was once quite good, will improve.
You can still write to me; I'll respond when I'm able.
After have lived in a place for many years it would seem that returning would not illicit that much excitement as an initial voyage. However, in preparation for my trip to Italy, the cells of my body feel alive with that same kind of joyful anticipation. Perhaps it is because Roma was for me like a first love that somehow can’t be replaced, and only grows more beautiful with the years. Or, that I have needed to mythologize it, to hold it sacred, to hold a place for myself there as sacred.
One of the big questions for me has been, where is home? I’ve come to know others with the same question, especially those, like myself who have lived abroad. The sense of isolation that I have felt many times in my life, which this too I’ve discovered that other’s share, I’ve also felt while living in my beloved Roma. I believe that this is an existential human condition that resides below the surface of all circumstances, yet feeling connected to another(s) is also like a beautiful memory that has its own meaning and reality.
I remember Riane Eisler saying to me that she found home when she met her husband, David Loye. And I understand what she meant because I have felt this sense of home when I have been in love or when I am in the midst of creating inspired work. Or when a place like Roma calls to you and says, Welcome Home.
The Magdalene Sisters
This is a film not to be missed, though not to be seen when feeling vulnerable. It takes place in the 1960’s, in Ireland, and is based on a true story about what happened to young woman, who became pregnant out of wedlock. But not only to them, as even orphans and victims of rape were captured and sent away to these convents/laundries, that were more like prisons than places of worship. In fact, I doubt if any form of god or goddess would inhabit such a place. These unfortunate women were forced to work in laundries, in silence, beaten and humiliated under the rule of cruel and hardened nuns. Some never escaped.
I went to the film with Carol Schaefer, my former sister in law, dear friend for many years. She is an expert on this subject, and I highly recommend her book, The Other Mother, which tells her own very moving story about her child she was forced to give up for adoption, and her eventual search to find him.
It amazed me to think that this kind of treatment of women was still happening in the 60’s, however, from what we’ve seen from the Taliban, and in many parts of the world, it is clear that the battle for women’s rights still goes on today.
Here is a painting, entitled, “No to the Taliban”
The exhibition went very well. It was jammed-packed with people. I even sold a piece. Many of my friends came and afterwards 9 of us went out to celebrate, which felt more like a birthday party rather than an art opening. But it was me giving the gifts: to two amazing and lovely women, my aunt Peri and dear friend, Patricia, whose birthday’s are today and tomorrow.
You never know how it’s going to work when you mix your friends, who come from different times and parts of one’s life, together. I wanted them all to feel joyful, or at least at ease, and I think they did. It moved me that they were all there, with their support, love and encouragement for my work. That in itself helps the work to find its place out in the world.
Life, at this moment feels open and full of possibilities. Perhaps they are always there, but we are not always open to them. Looking back on the winter, for example I remember another feeling, which mirrored the harsh winter, with the tendency toward hibernation.
Quite simply, in this state of openness I feel so much gratitude and love for everyone in my life who is willing and able to show up, in whatever way they can.
Here's "The Homeless # 1"
I’ve been in the midst of a very difficult situation and I didn’t want it to infiltrate into my public journal, so I haven’t written in awhile. Recently, I’ve asked myself about how much I care to reveal in this journal page and who reads it anyway? There are so many out there that who has the time to be reading about what someone ate for lunch. Even words of wisdom, given like a dose of medicine have side effects.
Everyone is begging to be seen and heard, and to find a place in the world. I can’t say that I’m exempt from this. I’ve been asking myself how I can best serve for years. I wrongly assumed that I could fulfill this quest easier in the States than in Italy, which was one of the reasons I returned here, seven years ago. But in my twelve-year absence this country had changed, and finding an open door wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
Even so, I am grateful for everything. All situations, encounters and events offer an opportunity for self-inquiry, to go deeper within and to discover resources within oneself that you didn’t know existed, or that were sensed, but you were unable to access before.
What you find is often not what was imagined. Nor does success correspond to societies idea of it. I once heard an interview on the radio with the composer, Phillip Glass. The interviewer asked him, “Well, Phillip, what did you think before you were successful?” He responded by saying “No, no, my work has always been successful.” Since hearing this, I have held this idea like a higher truth.
Despite dealing with difficulties, I have been inspired. Artists know, though others may not, that inspiration is not a given you can count on to work with on a daily basis. It can’t be forced and comes of its own accord. More than anything, for me, it is a wonderful feeling, because in this state the clock has no hands, and even insomnia is a welcomed invitation to return to my work.
The following collages are some of what I have done in these last few days. They are entitled, “Prescienza 6 & 8”