Saturday, May 31, 2014


This heart
is a cramped
and heavy place
best kept laced
tight as corsets
and gallows knots.

Just one small cut
an incision of doubt...
and of decision
and this one sharp point
applied with precision.


Unlace my heart
and out tumbles sadness:

 an origami flutter
of folded thoughts
best left pressed in books
or tucked in cellar boxes.

 A scattering of pages,
cigarette ends
and dreams for all my ages.
Here a stamp,
there a heartbreak
with a scar
(oh I remember that night it was so...)

A handful of joy,
a dried bouquet of regret
(yes, I was 17 then... wasn't I?)
and the hopes of days
still promised yet.

All these scraps
and memories
shake out
into just one girl
(didn't she write poems?)

A star
within a cage of bone.

(Quick, lace me up,
or someone might see...)

A girl
with a nova
inside of her chest.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ripples and Grace

An attack of kisses.
Photo by Jared Bluestein
You toss a smile in the direction of a new person, loan someone a piece of garb, thank someone for their service, offer a word of encouragement, give people a chance to vent, lend a hand to cleaning, assist with a task, lead by example and you move on. Perhaps you receive a murmured 'thank you' or a smile in return, but mostly, you think no more on it. What you do not see immediately are the ripples that your words and deeds leave.

For me this was a strange weekend, because I was made to stand in place and have the ripples of my words and deeds pointed out to me, again and again. I was told to listen, told to see and I did. It was passing odd and a humbling experience. I was thanked and complimented by people whom I deeply respect, friends I have known for many years, those who I am still getting to know and also by several I have only recently met. It was a strange experience that left me teary eyed at times and often without any word of response other than a shocked and mumbled 'thank you'.

Compliments of any kind make me rather uncomfortable. I'm not good at receiving them and I know I need to work on that. As someone who believes in regularly giving compliments, thanking people and telling them how much they mean to me, I suppose I must learn to have more grace when receiving the same in my turn. I suppose I don't think myself very special. No work is beneath me. I'm not better than anyone out there. I'm just me, with all my virtues and my flaws which number fairly high. I care a great deal for my friends, I am loyal, I am a hard worker, I don't mind pitching in wherever help is needed. Sure, I have good qualities. But, to be regaled with a laundry list of my perceived virtues, good works and kind deeds left me rather flummoxed. 

The best way I think I can internalize this commentary is that those ripples that I have made in this small pond are all just reflections of the ripples that have affected me. I help because I was taught to help. I am kind to others because I was shown that the opposite was unacceptable. I leave a place better than I found it, because I was taught that lesson by example. I serve with joy because it was requested of me when I accepted a protege belt many years ago. I am merely a reflection of the bright light that has been shown upon me by the many remarkable people in my village. 

So, from now on, when I receive compliments, I will try to do so with grace, remembering that when I am complimented it honors those who have taught me. I am who I am because of them. My pond is filled with the ripples of their actions and each time I am thanked I can silently offer up my thanks to those who have inspired me. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

Creatively Tapped

Currently, three of my original pieces are hanging in a staff art show at my work. The show is entitled "Creatively Tapped" which was the suggestion I made of why I should be involved in picking a show name. The other artists on the planning committee found the comment funny, fitting and somewhat ironic and my mouthy retort became a show.

Sprites of Midway, Too Fond of Books and Litany Against Fear will be hanging for one more week in the gallery. Prints of these pieces are available at my Etsy store: Currant Thoughts.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Thalassia's Promissory Pelican

Photo by Jonathan Sidwell
It seems that we learn some of our best lessons from failure. This is a story of reaching for the stars and finding yourself just too short to reach.

We have a beautiful lady with a Greek persona who was to be elevated to the Order of the Pelican. A number of her friends that love her very much wanted to do something super special for her scroll, and I am sad to report that for the moment, at least, we have failed with an awesome project and had to punt with an ok project.

The idea was to make a piece of pottery, namely a Greek kylix. The lady for who the scroll is destined, Thalassia, is a wonderful hostess and really enjoys stuff that is useful- so we wished to create for her a scroll and piece of pottery that she could actually use while entertaining.

We wanted to illuminate it in the red figure style with images of Grecian life that reflect Thalassia's interests. A potter was secured and she tried so very hard, but the kylix just did not want to be. At nearly 12 inches in diameter, the pottery kept breaking in the kiln. The potter was heartbroken. Everyone involved with the project was just sad in general.

It is still our hope to find a potter who can make us a kylix, or that we can piece a piece of bisque that would work for our purposes. Somehow, we are going to make this happen. If you, gentle reader, do know a potter who can produce a 12" kylix bowl, handles and foot- please do feel free to drop me a line!

Now with the punting- We had about 8 days left before the elevation. Everyone was jammed up with projects and busy with a lengthy 7 week demo. We were exhausted and creatively tapped, but still we wanted to be able to hand our friend something. I think Finnguala came up with the idea of laying out the text in the shape of the urn. So, at a Ren Fest demo, this scroll was banged out. I took it home and finished the inking and calligraphy the next day.

Urn sketch: Mistress Finnguala

Text: Mistress Gwenllyan

Text layout: (soon to be Mistress) Milesenda

Calligraphy and inking: Mistress Maol

The finished product was simple, but elegant. Pretty in an understated way. We are still making that damned kylix, but for now- at least we were able to hand our lovely friend something, even if it wasn't what we were aiming for, precisely.