A "Book Of Life"
My life in years one day at a time:

First Recollection - July, 2004, edited later in December 2009
"46"
November 10 2004 - November 9, 2005

The natal year began with celebrating new strengths, but then sadness followed, echoing the previous year.

November 11, 2004
excerpts

One of the birthday wishes I received said, "Happy Be-lated Birthday my dear! One more year of knowledge under the belt!" I thanked 'Fuguee' and then said that was a good way to put it, one more year of knowledge. It is particularily apt now than I am on the third read through of a particular text, and it seems as though I am a different self than the selves which read it the earlier times. I am still finding things I didn't see before, and am understanding familiar passages with a different perspective.

KNOWLEDGE, it's a wonderful thing. It is the beginning of the path to both power and wisdom. May power and wisdom always be wed together!

Observations...

November 24, 2004
excerpts

...I checked the lists.

A fellow groupmember is dealing with death at this time, two loved ones died. I sent my sympathies. Processing the grief is one of the hardest things a person can do. I still remember the desperate feelings I had when Laura died and for many months afterwards. I'm a lot stronger now, but I still miss her. As we were in the new Lane Bryant, I spotted a red silky nightgown in a style Laura would have loved. I 'told' Laura, "You shouldn't have died, now look what you are missing." Yeah, she'd have wanted that red nightgown with the low V neck and the high split in the front, and the high bodice just encapsulating the tits just right. Yeah, she'd of loved that nightgown.

Marking the holiday...

November 25, 2004
excerpts

Whew! I just ordered Mom's Xmas presents. One fleece vest, like the ones I've been enjoying and a button front v neck sweater. The berry color should please her as it's cool, muted tones, as bright as it can be within that 'season'. The vest is of the green I have...

After watching the odd movie Sideways, and an 'on the street' interview by a TV reporter (in which Julia was quite articulate, but I was not), we went to Yuma Landing and had delicious barbecued ribs. Then we rushed home to watch the news. My mother must be out for Thanksgiving, as she did not answer her phone. I hope she is having a good time tonight...

My hopes were not to be...

November 26, 2004
"My Mother Is Dead!"

Oh my god, I can't believe it. While I was at work, my half brother Dan called. He never calls, so when Julia told me he called, I knew it had to be bad. But I thought, "Let's not panic and make assumptions," all the while my hands are shaking. So I called my mother's house first, however the phone ringing had an empty sound.

Then I called my brother. Thursday, he'd called Mother at noon to make plans to pick her up for Thanksgiving. Mom said she didn't feel well, and wasn't up to going. Then at 3:30pm he got a call from my mother's neighbor. She found my mother fallen on the ground at the foot of the steps to her back door. It was snowy, and maybe she slipped. Or maybe she had the stroke first and then fell.

The next part is unclear. Anyway, my Mother ended up at Loyola Hospital, and they spent the rest of Thanksgiving and this morning with her. But the doctors could do nothing for her. She died at noon today, which would have been 11:00am our time.

I feel so bad. I was going to go visit her this summer. I was determined. I'd already bought her Christmas presents. One vest, like the ones I've been enjoying and a button front vee neck sweater. The berry color would have pleased her as would have the green of the vest, the same as the one I have. Now her skinny little body has no need of warmth ensuring garments. She was so skinny. She was trying hard to get some pounds on her, but I don't know if she got past 100 pounds.

I feel so bad. I feel so stinking bad. We just talked so recently, and she sounded fine. She had the same ol' aggravations like car troubles and what not. But she sounded healthy, she sounded fine. I feel so bad. I wish I'd have gone with my original plans last summer, to go to San Franscisco and then to Chicago. But travel was scary, and so I just did the one set of planes. I wish she'd have hung on one more year. I'd have made it up there, I would have. I feel so bad.

I took this picture of Mom when I came home for Dad's funeral in 1993

November 27, 2004
"Coming to Terms"

Last night was spent dealing with the shock. I'd felt as if my head had been physically injured. Now my head is clear, and doesn't feel 'injured', but I feel sick and shivery all over. My throat hurts. I hope I don't get sick.

Today, my brother will call regarding the funeral plans.

All sorts of memories are coming to me. The difficult ones, too. The ones of the divorce and a wailing Mother, and . . .
and . . . She'd say sometimes if she knew then what she knows now, she'd have done so many things different. Of course she would have. Of course we all would have. I'd just like to know what a future Self would be telling me about NOW, the best way to handle it.

Future Self, current Self?
Where are you?

Eclipse all,
the consuming grief.
Fireflies fly
over the death,
gathering gloom
weaving it into brilliant tapestries.
Why?
Because it is their nature.
Death can be transformed,
transforming.
She will journey on.

But will her journey be easier in the future?  

That is for her to decide.

Will she?
I'd like for her to be happy.

That is for her to decide.
Meanwhile stands now
a gate and a gate.
Mind ye which ones you take.
The others may be too late.
Saved remembrance
is saved treasure.
Gather what you can,
apply it to your world.
Save the treasures,
discard the rest.
Set your mother free.
Let her roam her new path.
All you can do is say goodbye.

JAL, 11-27-04

November 28, 2004
"Coming to Joliet"

Well, I'm all packed and I think I haven't forgotten anything. All our coats were too heavy to haul around. Some were also too big. I won't be borrowing Julia's coat, even though she kindly offered it. So I went to Sears and invested in the coat version of the fleece vest. It, doubled with the vest, should be quite warm, and it rolls up nicely into the carry on bag. A few months ago, I got a nice Eddie Bauer bag, with zillions of compartments. It is so much nicer than that big yellow boxy thing I hauled around in S.F.

I've spoken with Dan and Cathy, and they know I'm coming and when and where to meet up. With all this done, and me freshly bathed, I feel much better. During the day Tuesday, we will be going to Mother's house and going through stuff. This is good, for I very much want to do this. How strange and empty that house will be! I will be saying goodbye to it, as well.

Well, growth is a process, and this will be a process. I will be meeting myself, too, in odd corners I hadn't expected. I will be meeting old versions of myself, ghost like apparitions of selves that used to be. In all of this, much dust, I expect. I need to do this, I know. And knowledge of that need, and means to accomplish it will make this all come into being.

Forth into the unknown, forth into the known, forth into what has been and what will be, and I am on the threshold of it all. I will bid my mother a good journey into her dark unknowns.

November 29, 2004
"Coming to Joliet"

I'm dressed, my bags are packed, I shall be leaving soon on the mechanical winged bird. I shall return again with new tales. Until then, take care, stay well, and may peace, wisdom and strength be yours.

"Oh majesty of SET, hear me, look upon me and go with me upon this journey!"
PLEASE?

December 1, 2004
"Home!"

9:57pm
I've been back a few hours. Julia cooked peas and made me a grilled cheese sandwich. I was quite hungry as there was no time between planes to eat. What a mad dash I had after I realized that plane 1 arrived just when plane 2 was loading. But fortunately, there was a slight delay and I had a chance to catch my breath.

So glad to be back. I did need to be there on so many levels, but now it's good to be back home...

December 2, 2004
excerpts

4:55am
I lay awake, remembering scenes from Joliet. In particular, my mother in the casket, looking as natural as a dead person can. They made her red and bony hands look even toned and not so bony. They made all of her look not so bony. She never had sizeable breasts in life, but they gave 'em to her in death. The pink sweater that was chosen became her well.

The preacher asked me what my mother was like, and I had hopes he would use the information in his address to the loved ones. He didn't. But I told him about how my mother was always so fiercely inquisitive about everything, always reading books to learn new things, constantly seeking the mysteries on both the physical and metaphysical planes. Indeed, in her house, I found many tall towers of books stacked up...

6:50am
Oddly, I feel more like the mythic vampire, who watches all the mortals he has loved die, while he remains. This sorrow will always be a part of life. This bitter sadness, always. But as time goes by, I'll find more of the sweet. I know from past loss, this is so.

For right now, I'll just trust that memory.

December 3, 2004
excerpts

5:59am
I awaken with busy thoughts on a wide variety of topics. Part of them were of my Mother. I will always have a Mother-shaped hole in my heart. I will always have a Laura shaped hole. This is just the way it is. I wouldn't want to not have this reaction to the death of someone I love. To love deeply is part of life's richest treasures. I have a vast heart and there is plenty of room for those 'holes'. There's lots more in there besides 'holes' and all of it makes the complete picture.


The inner door of my mother's house.

December 4, 2004
excerpts

11:53am
My mother was so pretty in this picture:

This is how I shall remember her.

December 4, 2004
"Dark Eternal Prince"

On this night most cold,
inside me I am needing the Heat.
Dance with me, Dark Eternal Prince.
Let within me the Flame rise!
All around me, mediocracy and complacency.
Rise within me, the Flame!

If I am sad,
let it not be a weak sadness.
Dance with me, Dark Eternal Prince!
If I am an orphan,
Nuit is still my mother -
Dance with me, Dark Eternal Prince!

JAL, 12 - 4 - 04


Set, the One with 'the Ears'!

December 9, 2004
"excerpts"

5:28am
I feel lighter and happier than I've been. It is a good sign. I think the cathartic work I did yesterday in the journal helped greatly with my understanding...

It was the private journalling that was so greatly helpful. I wrote many things I would not want for public eyes, but that were necessary for me to process. The sense of hurt and anger gave way to understanding and a sort of acceptance.

December 9, 2004
"Farewell"

Seeking the Depth Within, I sat down with paper and pencils. My mother's recent death is reflected here, as her spirit ascends skyward. I stand on the shore and wave goodbye, as does Seti. I'd originally meant to draw his forked tail, but it looks like he's waving goodbye, as well.

December 9, 2004
"excerpts"

1:38pm
must say I am feeling much better now...
being creative does that for me...
Yeah, maybe I'm growing through this process after all...

December 9, 2004
"excerpts"

8:34pm
Dan and I talked and I am to get the big box of Mom's ashes. I just thought the sorry thought, I only visit when shes dies, and she only visits when she dies. Lame, huh?

The next piece was a real stretch for me. The goal was to come up with an invocation that is usable in a group setting. It was quite scary, and I didn't have much confidence in myself. But I managed a first draft. With a little judicious editing, it became a workable piece.

So I am proud of this effort:

December 18, 2004
"Invocation"

INVOCATION

Be still, the noisy places of our minds!
Quietly, we enter the sacred space and in so doing,  
declare ourselves full ready.

Come, then, arise sweet perfection of Mystery,
Allure us with your hidden secrets,
Nuit, you are
Mother of the Gods.

You are the diamond studded sky,
your arms extended wide,
embracing the stars therein

Thus, we are enfolded in Darkness.
In Darkness, our brilliance shines.
Everything begins in Darkness.

Set, Son of Nuit,
who tore your being from your Mother's womb,
We call to you this night.

You, 'Before Whom the Sky Shakes',
dazzling with power,
Who is within us tonight.

See through our eyes
Move within us,
No stranger to us
Strength personified and magnified.

You lit within the divine spark,
You exalt with us the Will to Come Into Being,
and exult our Pride
as we do yours.

Together, shall our glory be known,
and we declare our Will.
We declare the Design.
Pattern and Power
and then Creation!
Xepera Xeper Xeperu!

JAL, with some good editing help from BN....

A conclusion I reached in this 'examined life':

December 20, 2004
"Excerpts"

From a post to the local pagan group:
Does it seem in looking back at meditations and workings I return to old themes, old issues, old thorns in the flesh? Ah, but it the path ever spiralling upwards and for each return to a theme, I find an increased ease of understanding and skill concerning it. I am at once the same as I was many years ago and yet very different for such increase. All the seeds of what I will become are contained within me now. Nuturing healthy self development, these seeds spring forth from the hidden depths to emerge into new growth and creativity. These are the joys, sometimes difficult, but always rewarding for those of us who awaken to our potential.

December 25, 2004
"Excerpts"

The movie we watched this afternoon was satifying. I was fearful Jim Carrey would mess up his role of Count Orloff with his manic behavior, but he kept it restrained to the role. The Lemony Snickets movie is delightfully gothic. I loved the scene of baby Sunny playing with the big, huge but harmless snake.

The meal we ate later was satisfying. I've never seen the Mandarin Palace so packed. The traditional foods of roast beef and turkey were fresh and tasty. The pumpkin pie didn't look appealing, but I had a generous portion of chocolate pudding.

But after we got home, I felt awful blue. A sort of let down infused me. I wanted to call my Mother and tell her about our delightful day. And then the weepies began. After indulging them for awhile, I decided the best thing would be to get out of the house for a walk in Smucker's Park.

The first sight and sound that greeted us was a drummer drumming on top of a ramada table. He wasn't a little drummer boy for Christmas, but he was a drummer, and we enjoyed his music:

By the time we walked by the drummer again, still steady with his beat, I felt in much better cheer.

December 26, 2004
"Excerpts"

I can never be the true 'orphan', for love has found me, as I am and taken me in.

Even though I am now without a mother, I am not a true 'orphan', for I remember that she did love me. She used to say that her two kids were the best things in her life. Her life might not have gone the way she wanted it to. She often struggled with sadness, and yet she rejoiced in being parent to two children and all the promise of our lives. Yes, I carry her love with me, I do.

And I carry Laura's love with me, always, as well. She communicated it to me often: "I can never, if I lived to be a thousand years old, tell you enough about how special I know you to be." I carry her love with me in my heart, and thus it cannot be lost.

And I have Julia along beside me, now. Her present love is precious. We have a good life together.

With these treasures of the heart, I am among the wealthiest indeed.

December 28, 2004
"Excerpts"

I can't imagine the great devastion from the earthquake and tsunami that has claimed more than 25,000 dead, and which may claim that many more due to complications from the aftermath. Coastlines were swallowed all the way from Indonesia to Africa. "Images from around the region presented a tableau of unrelenting grief. Fathers and mothers wailed over drowned children." One third of the victims are children. It's hard to wrap my mind around that much death. I know what it is to lose my Mother, Laura, Gramma . . , and I try to multiply that by 25,000. But I am not good at math. I only can understand that this tragedy, one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, is really, really, Really awful.

Note of December 30, 2004:
CNN newsreports now say the death toll is at
118,000 after Indonesia reported 80,000 people were killed in that country alone.

Is there something about the scimitar like things in the middle of the mandala below that they seem to twirl with a tsunami-like energy?

December 31, 2004
Excerpts


12-31-04

When I felt the call of a mandala last night, I didn't know what I would get. As I played with the color selecter, none of the colors seemed right for the background. Then I clicked on black and it was the only color that felt right. Next, I played with the spray tool, and I drew a question mark. Why was this symbol calling to me? But it did. There's something in that mandala saying the Unknown can be scary. It can be exciting, but it can be scary.

What does the new year hold for us? More senseless war and devastating natural tragedy? The Unknown can be scary. It's perhaps even sane to be a little wary.

I'd like to keep it there, at a little wary. Otherwise anxiety gets out of control. But if we don't acknowledge our fears, they eat at us in a hundred unseen ways. I want to get them out where I can keep an eye on them.

January 1, 2005
Excerpts

I tell more about the image above here. It is an amulet of protection, a fitting thing to begin the new year.

I have already written many paragraphs in my private journal, working myself from a state of wariness to joy regarding what I did accomplish in the year prior and ideas about how to create more positive change in 2005...

Of course, some of those supposed goals were just the standard knee jerk reaction to the frenzy of New Year's resolutions that so many do at this time of year. Having no basis in REAL desire, they got quickly forgotten.

I did make some progress with plans for a future book, buying a PDF making program and assembling some poems and drawings for it:

January 21, 2005
Excerpts

The poetry and prose book work has been temporarily set aside for other projects, but I have gotten up to 59 likely prospects...

'Temporarily set aside', how long that that have to be before it's 'permanently' set aside? Still, I don't regard my efforts towards this as wasted.

Someday, I will get a clear vision of what I want to do with this book project.

February 11, 2005
Excerpts

So much lovely quiet this morning. Even the raindrops have quieted. It is a good space to gather my thoughts. I woke early, with a dream of Laura. Julia, also, had a dream of Laura a couple of days ago. We are counting them as Valentine visits....

February 18, 2005
Set in Moonlight

Prior to doing this picture, I wrote of my aims rather longingly:

"If I could get the musculature down like some of those other artists, with a sense of vitality, not cartoonish, and..."


small version of Set In Moonlight

March 4, 2005
Dream of Set

Earlier, I read in the livejournals of some Kemeticist who spoke of dreaming of Set. As I grew weary of reading about Phi in 'Serpent in the Sky' and drifted to sleep on the couch, Set appeared to me before a huge Egyptian temple. I understood it to be his ancient temple and that he was gesturing me inward...

I wish I could draw the image. Well, I might still could. Dark night was it? Anyway, blocky temple, dark entrance hall, Set pointing to entrance with one hand and gesturing 'come on' with the other. It would make a GREAT picture. Think I'll try to do it.

That picture did not materialize, but perhaps one day it will.

March 13, 2005
Excerpts

Yesterday was a lovely day. It started out with a determination to get out 'in a natural setting'. I'm not entirely sure if any such place exists in Yuma, though we do have plenty of parks. We went early in the morning to Smucker's Park. It is a park shaped like a long O, walking path at the outskirts of a large grassy area filled with trees and ramadas. It's not like 'the wildnerness' by a long shot. The whole perimeter of the mile long 'O' one hears the roar of cars. The only critters are birds, and I enjoyed their variety and song. But the apartment door is open now, and I hear quite a lovely bird chorus here.

We could not stay long, as Julia had her hair appointment. But the air was deliciously cool. I do so want to enjoy the coolness before the extreme heat of summer comes and there is no respite, except in our various caves.

Later, Julia and I stretched our horizons a little and went to Algodones, Mexico with some friends. It is not far to go there, maybe five miles at the most. Yet Julia and I never have ventured there, except once ten years ago when Laura took us there.

Oh, it is another world, indeed! The vendors are so desparate to make sales, they really pester you. I had to say, "Just looking" over and over again. One was bound and determined to sell a 'gold' necklace to Julia. I put gold in quotes, for the vendor went from $140 to $40 bucks so quickly. Julia, easily persuaded as she usually is, kept to her resolution, and he did not make a sale. She did buy a dark red shawl and some wine, though. It is good quality wine, 'full-bodied' as the connoisseurs say, and quite cheap. No one ever thinks of Baja California as a wine producer, yet the ideal conditions for grapes exist there as well as in 'Upper' California.

I managed to get a few good pictures. The best one is in the photo gallery, of a vendor's shelf filled with charming pottery.

However, the group pic I took didn't turn out well, as everyone was a dark silouette against the bright background. But our friend Nick had better success:


Before entering Algodones

Yes, I look rather Arabian, or something in the hat and long scarf! But my delicate skin is protected.

April 3, 2005
excerpts


Fighting the Battle...

The 'fighting the battle' Lord of the Rings drawing is up!
I have to put it in the gallery now...

I am so pleased! This has been an enormously productive weekend!

Pleased, pleased, pleased...
Ooooh, YES, I'm 'proud of my creation'! (Big EeeeViL GriN!) Hah!

And I want to do more of these LotR characters. There's a desktop with Aragorn, oooh, he has a wizardly noble powerful look in his eyes, and I could capture that, ooh! And the one of Frodo, scared, ooh, I could capture that mood, and...

I'm jazzed. (Hmm, all this ideas, and then maybe nothing more? So many ideas and projects just sitting, waiting, sigh, inspiration for them run dry.... sigh...) But, hey, I really like what I HAVE been doing... 'Coming into Being', Yay, hooray! (Big EeeeViL GriN!)

April 9, 2005
excerpts

I feel a sense of emotional completeness about the LotR series. I think I've dealt with the most salient aspects of the hero's path. Always, the hero's path entwines with that of the initiate's path.

I had a small epiphany regarding my art. It seems to bring forth the art, I try to imagine myself in the state of the mind of the subject. For instance, for the guitarist, it is that state of first hearing the music in one's mind that seems to come forth. For Gandalf, the battle-mage, it is that sense of responsive interchallenge that is necessary for a dual, the anticipating and reacting to the fellow dualist's actions.

The Gollum figure intrigued me, as I was curious about what it would be like to enter his headspace. To him, I ascribe all the 'beastial' aspects and invoked a sense of pure greed.

Then I wanted to balance that with the noble, and Aragorn proved a perfect subject. I tried to invoke a sense of commanding sovereignity, in the sense that he is in alignment with the Power, and is a good ruler of himself.

So far, all these were capturing essential elements of the heroic path, but one thing was missing. The role of 'friendship' is an important part, and so in drawing Sam Wise, I invoked a sense of true love for one's companion.

So now the series seems complete.

What does it mean for future accomplishments? That will be an interesting corner on which to turn.

April 28, 2005
excerpts

Rather late in the Illustration week, I did a quick automatic sketch for the Friday Illo theme of 'daring'. The legs, hunched atop a dead limb, of someone reaching for a tasty apple came first. It's rather appropriate, for my main index page is called Out On A Limb


Daring to reach for it...

After posting this image to the web, I just thought of a previously unrecognized subconscious implication for the 'daring to reach for it' drawing. The person up on the dead tree is daring to reach for an apple, 'DARING TO REACH FOR THE *BIG APPLE*!

It's amusing for I've been considering a trip to the 'Big Apple'! The subconscious is so clever at times... Grin!

May 7, 2005
excerpts


The small figure of the 'Typhon Hero' (aka SET) points to the Statue of Liberty,
as if to say, 'Don't you want to see her in person?'

At this point, I didn't know if I would really have the guts to go to NYC.

May 13, 2005
"A Decision Is Made"

So I awaken with thoughts, dreaming of all that absorbing...36,000 pieces of Egyptian artifacts, all kinds of art, new and medium old, the 'Lady', the ground zero, and am thinking maybe this has to be a pilgrimage for ME. People do that, take pilgrimages alone, sensing a CALL....

Something is there, that is saying this is the time now...

Julia understands this extravagance. it seems pure extravagance, but it's an extravagance I seem to be needing.

I remember a book that I borrowed from the library, but only glanced at, of a woman who traveled alone to the remotest regions of the planet. She traveled alone! She did this purely for herself. This purely selfish thing to explore the world on her own terms.

It seems to me this is a pilgrimage that has got to be...
calling, calling, calling.

...some odd magnetic home point there on that shore of the Lady with the upraised arm...

calling, calling, calling.

maybe giving all sorts of magnetic calling points on Terra a stability....

I have to trust that feeling. It's all I have to go on, deep inside my gut...

xxxxxx
The airline website is up...
my card is before me...
Julia understands this wild extravagance...
or at least is tolerant, ;)
xxxxxx

shall I now bring this thing into being?
Shall I declare it an intended, focused goal?
Shall I proceed to make it so?

It won't happen until I make it happen.
I can dream about it all day long...
but it takes action to make a dream real...

action, do, not just think...
I could 'think' forever...

But I will be yellow chicken not true to myself, big pile of piss, outdone by life, loser if I let my fear have the best of me...

I don't want to be that person.
I really don't want to be that person.
That person is NOT me...

xxxxxx
Fare Summary (for 1 Passenger)
Fare $432.00
September 11th Security Fee, taxes and fees $37.80
Grand Total USD $469.80
xxxxxx

Oooh, self indulgent me, piggy me... ooh-h-h-...
But this will make me a better person, I will be braver, more educated, more experienced, it will help my 'Willed conscious evolution'....

I wanna... I do wanna...
I'm not a pissy coward, not a pissy coward...

about to click the 'purchase' box...
36,000 pieces of Egyptian artifacts, lady....ambience,..., maybe see a few like minded people, 36,000 artifacts, lotsa other art...
get away, 'a change will do you good', like the lady was singing to me on the radio...
a change...
a chance for growth...
and I won't grow if I stagnant...
I wanna...

xxxxxx
Confirmation
Date Issued 13MAY05
Form of Payment Visa XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX
Amount $469.80 USD
xxxxxx

I did it!

Whee! I go away! whee!

May 24, 2005
"4:35pm"

I'll be 'away from the computer' May 25 through May 30, for I will be soon heading off to NYC for the museums, the 'Lady' and the other enlightening endeavors. I'm smiling, nervous but happily excited. I finished every single item on the job line, the bar is bare! It's a little thing, but it enables me to relax more, knowing I'm not leaving in a busy time.

Although away from the computer, I shall be keeping a handwritten journal while gone.

May 25, 2005
"5:02am"

Think I'm ready. Rather nervous. (Ah yes, just 'observe' and 'be aware' of the nervousness, no running commentary on it.) Of course I have to pee every second...

Well, I think it's time to sign off. When I'm back, then I'm back, with all sorts of tales...

Xepera Xeper Xeperu!

And away I go...

May 26, 2005
"Excerpts"


Along Central Park West...

May 27, 2005
"Excerpts"


A 'Cathedral' to Art...

I wish I hadn't have been so tired, or I would have opted for the boat ride that stops at the Lady, which allows for more intimate views. But I got that tiredness through much walking, through museums, through Central Park, so I'm not complaining. At least I got to see the Lady this close:

May 27, 2005
"Excerpts"


Lady Liberty...

No later than just one day after being back from the NYC adventure, I was already thinking about new adventures:

May 31, 2005
"Excerpts"

The Tut show is in Los Angeles June 16, 2005 - November 15, 2005...

In any case, I'm going to drag Julia there sometime in July...

I include Ciardi's quote in this 'summary of the year', for as I sift through my rather 'compulsive' journalling output, I indeed find the prevailing pattern to my life.

June 2, 2005
"Excerpts"

good quote:

The artist writes compulsively, as a way of knowing himself . . . He writes for those glimpses of order that form can make momentarily visible.
--John Ciardi

2:02am this weekend, I will try to draw that mutated pentagram, and... maybe empty that suitcase, heh heh...

...but NOW, now I will go back to bed... grin!

June 5, 2005
"Dynamic Mutation"

I was trying to illustrate the concept of mutation, within the constrains of a pentagram. Part of this design was conceived with conscious effort, but once I got started, the intuitive mind took over.

I tried to have an organic effect, as mutation to me is a very organic thing. I'm trying to convey a mutation of consciousness as well, for the eye signifies consciousness. The two 'cat eyes' also signify consciousness, as well, but that as is possessed by animals. The little branchings out that just dwindle off suggest the mutations that don't succeed.

That was my first attempt at creating an illustration for the mutating pentacle. It has a certain sort of 'raw' effectiveness, but maybe for illustration purposes, it is a little TOO 'raw'. So I gave the concept another try:

June 7, 2005
"Excerpts"

4:18pm
I kept playing with ideas at work, and this popped:

A standard pentagram of Set, not broken, with a Dna strand weaving in and around it into the center, in which Set, either as Set himself or half dragon has the ankh in his hand, zapping the dna with life, lighting bolt streaks almost hitting the dna strand. Maybe white pentagram on black, red Set, grey dna until it's zapped, where it turned yellow.

Next question, (after attempting a few compositional sketches), how do I make this thing so it's not cartoon like?

Aii-i-i-i-i!

Hah, all I have managed to do, besides create funky sketches, is create a very large Pentagram of Set, 26K in gif form... And now I just stare at it, mesmerized by its perfection.... feeling all that potent power in it....

Anything I do to it seems an insult...

9:26pm
I found a way to aid my efforts. However, the outer ring will have to be the dna chain, as before. It can be tamed down, all even, perfect dna pieces, and the mutation just one of color. But the difficulty of getting Set to be resting on the pentacle in a believeable fashion makes his hand with the energizing ankh have to be pointing outwards at the outer ring. I will continue this project later, for I am pooped. But at least I am leaving it in a place where I know where it's going to go. A *LOT* more work awaits, but the process ahead is clear...

June 11, 2005
"Pic Is Done!"


Evolve!

This was one of the hardest pictures I've ever done, as it was quite challenging to figure out how to bring the vision I had into being. But it has been very rewarding.

June 19, 2005
"Excerpts"

I wake full of thoughts. I much enjoyed yesterday's games night. So fascinating, the types of intelligences. One is very good at Boggle, assembling the long words to achieve amazing scores. I have an ease with that game for finding the short words. I am madly scribbling, my hawk eye brain seeing lots of them. But the long word finder beat me handily. However, I was slow of brain with Trivial Pursuit, while others knew all that trivia. I marvel at the capacity of these folks to hold all that knowledge in their heads. Julia's one of the ones who are good at that. She can rattle off obscure facts all the day long.

I accumulate knowledge slowly. I read slowly. I have to really chew the text to be able to absorb its knowledge.

But I've come to the conclusion that I am not shy at all. I like being around people. I like the dynamic interchanges that occur when people of such differing talents come together. I'm keenly interested in people and what makes them tick. I enjoy what I am able to add to the conversations. I just have the slow brain, that is processing huge amounts of data. In the face to face, there is so much information to process. Via the written word, there is very little. Everything must come through in the shading of subtle nuances of word-meaning. It is the hawk eye brain that can find these subtleties.

One thing is a joyful thought. What ever my skills are in a certain arena, I can improve. I don't feel bad that I am not good at all skills, as I used to. That was an old me that used to sorrow over that, and she no longer exists . I relax, take things as they come, am patient with myself. This is a change I welcome and embrace. Life continues to amaze me with all its possibilities for growth.

June 27, 2005
"I Was the Child Who Dreamed"

With These Two Hands of my Dreams

I was the child who dreamed great dreams.
I said, "I will be great."
Adults smiled, humored.
I was the child who dreamed.
I was the teen who said,
"My flame will not die as I get old."
Adults smiled, humored.
I was the teen who dreamed.
Passion's pulse throbbed through me.
The years went by,
by and by.
I am the adult who dreams great dreams,
who ponders what she will create,
who hopes many things,
and who knows
her flame did not die,
will not die,
will continue,
and this not even death will stop,
I am the one who dreams,
who has always dreamed,
and will always dream.

I have won this far.
Struggles are only there to learn and become stronger.  
I have won this far.
With these two hands of my dreams
the two hands of my flesh
will make them come true.
I am the one who dreams.

JAL, 6-27-05
While the music to "Gettysburg" played

July 7, 2005 was the day Julia and I went to Los Angeles to see the King Tut exhibition. It was wonderful sharing this adventure with her. Each part of the day was delightful, except, of course, my chaffed thighs. Getting there early, we at first spent time at the La Brea Tar Pit and Museum.

We spent some time just sitting on a bench and staring at the tarry pond before us:

July 7, 2005
"La Brea Tar Pits"


Yes, I could smell tar
(Bubbles of methane gas would periodically surge forth, as well)

I wish they would have allowed us to take pictures of the things in the Tut exhibition, but at least I have the catalogue from it. When we were finished with seeing that exhibition, the large shopping bag with Tut's golden face on it was all they needed to see to know that we were paid up for admission to the rest of the museum. By the hour it was time to go out and wait for the Supershuttle, both of us felt we'd had a rich day, indeed.

I just plain like this passage :

July 14, 2005
"Thirsty"

Time for some water, I am thirsty for more than just water...

I am thirsty for that 'undefiled wisdom', I will seek the mysteries, mysteries growing like dandelions in the cracks of the pavement of life. Disregarded by the other walkers, but stubborn to persist through the concrete, I will see these beauties.

I will go 'where angels fear to tread', and find the One with the dragon wings, I will smile at my 'dangerous alignment', and if you don't understand, well, you can keep to the common corners and huddle with the others, and maybe I will be the thing you see streaking through the sky, on the back of a Dragon.

And you won't understand, and you will say, "What was that?" And I will be smiling, although you will not be able to see it.

September 2, 2005
"Hints of a maturity and strength"

(excerpts)

Wanting to finish off this year's work on my Book of Life project, I thought a photo of me NOW would be a nice way to celebrate my evolution to this point. Then I thought it would be interesting to make a photo spiral showing how my face has evolved from 1958 to 2005. I've gained wrinkles, but my face gives hints of a maturity and strength I did not used to have.

Particularily on this night of 'looking back', this entry resonates with me. Aletheia!

September 11, 2005
"Memory"

(excerpts)

I live in the present, but it is all the memories of my past which are there in the subtle background of my consciousness. All that I have experienced is held in the hand of memory, the happy, the difficult, the triumphant, it is there. As I remember the past, I also embrace the present being more aware of the growth that has occurred. Without those memories, I have no measuring stick by which to measure this.

There's a Chinese proverb which declares "The best memory is not as good as pale ink." That was penned by a writer or artist who 'froze time' so that a previous moment could be perserved as it was. It's been nearly nine years of chronciling my life. Nearly nine years of savored bits. I celebrate each one. It is the mind of the writer which collects these bits. I do not live for 'the record'. But this record serves as a scrapbook of hoarded moments. The words and images cue my memory. It all comes back to memory.

This Spanish filmmaker said it so well:

"You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing."
Luis Buñuel (1900–1983), My Last Sigh, ch. 1 (1983)

And so I savor these hoarded memory-aids, this record of my path.

The following is a combination of 'Pathmarking' and 'Tasting' entries around an image. That image came to me as a marking place of personal evolution. Evolution, aka Xeper, is gradual in nature, yet there are points that seem as a marking point. This drawing arose in such a fashion, as I grew in confidence and feeling more adept in various skills.

October 2, 2005
"Plenty to Occupy my Mind/ A Sense of Power and Mystery"

The weekend is rapidly drawing to a close, and it is ending on a triumphant note. Earlier today, we saw Serenity. It is good, there's some depth to its underpinnings. However it is very fast paced and hence, a little hard to follow. Those fast switches of the camera eye, whew! Still, it's quite an exciting 'ride', as I felt a stowaway on the airship 'Serenity'.

We went to Mandarin Palace afterwards. I tried to remember to just take A TINY BIT of each thing that appealed, and I did okay. I didn't have a huge pile of leftovers I couldn't eat. It's funny, I eat less at buffets than I do with what they serve as 'normal' portions. Nearly always, I have stuff to take home.

My fortune cookie made me laugh:

"Enthusiastic leadership gets you a promotion when you least expect it."

There's only one problem: I'm always expecting it!

Meanwhile, there's plenty to occupy my mind. There are fascinating conversations going on via the web, which is always intriguing. A show on meteors engaged Julia's mind, and I enjoyed what I could catch of it, while I was busy with other things. I stopped while they showed the meteors at NYC's Museum of Natural History, remembering being in those rooms and touching those gigantic rocks from the heavens, feeling their hard cold surfaces. Many centuries ago, they were not so cold as they were hurled across the sky.

Also, I felt in the mood for some intuitive explorations via the 'automatic drawing', and came up with another of my quirky drawings:

A couple of days after creating this drawing, I found a quote which seems to enhance this picture:

"Use your mind to its full extent and rise from Earth to Heaven, and then descend to Earth and combine the powers of what is above with what is below. Thus you will win glory in the whole world, and obscurity will leave you at once."

The eighth precept of the Emerald Tablet, attributed to Hermes Trismegistus
(found in Hermetic Magic, by Dr. Stephen Flowers, (Introduction, xxvii)

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© Joan Ann Lansberry
joanlansberry(dot)yahoo.com