U is for unruly

I am blogging from A to Z about Helen Burling Ottaway, my artist mother, and other women artists.

Artists are unruly. They are not obedient. They are usurpers. They are unreasonable. This is another etching of my mother, a self portrait, titled “Giantess”. She looks giant, rising from an ocean. Will she have arms and hands and legs, or is she an octopus? We do not know. It may depend on her mood.

ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 #art #Women artists #Helen Burling Ottaway #ATOZCHALLENGE #APRILATOZ

For more information about the #AtoZChallenge, check out this link.

phoenix rising

Written in 2009.

Set a torch to me
Why don’t you?

It’s not the tearing sound of fabric
A small rip
And now a tear
That I feel

It’s the torch

I’ve been here before
A job where the idealistic came
As moths to the flame
Self-immolation
Because they had ideals

I watched and burned and rose

It’s the torch
The flames that rise
As the witch is burned
Tilts back her head
In ecstasy and knowledge
Eager to learn what she can
From these burning brands

In the burning we learn
In pain we learn
If we can remain open
Ashes fall to the ground
Buckets of water
Wash any remains to grey mud
Gone, punished
Relief for the frightened
An example has been set

No but what stirs at night
Moon or none
What rises from the mud
The ashes
Takes form
Takes flight
Laughing

Set a torch to me
Why don’t you?
And see what is created

Sending love

Sometimes I wake in the morning, muscles tight and anxious.

This morning I dreamed that I was a teen, going on a trip. I packed my sleeping bag and the new pad. I finally bought a new inflatable pad for camping, last year. I still have my old one, patched and 30 years old and thin. I decided that I am old and stiff enough to have a newer one. I used it for the first time in the tree house. Yoga mat, pad and sleeping bad and I was warm. In the dream that was all I had time to pack: no clothes or books. There was barely room for that. I was worried about the trip and afraid.

When I wake anxious and feeling attacked, I send love. I send love to the people that I am finding most difficult in my life. A family member who with their spouse, have been mean since I was a teen. Not a family member any more: a blood relative, now. I will choose who is family and who is just a blood relative. In the manner of children of alcoholics, this is a terribly slow process. Raised in addiction and enabling, children love their parents anyhow, and it is a slow adult process to learn that love is not addiction, enabling nor enmeshment.

So I send love: may this person be peaceful. May this person be free. May this person be filled with loving kindness. May this person be safe. I send them loving kindness, especially if they are a blood relative who is still cruel. I don’t want them in my life any more and yet I want to forgive them. Forgive but not reconcile, if they are still in the dire pattern. No reconciliation if they continue the behavior.

Sending love.

Sweet Honey in the Rock: In the morning when I rise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAJBZXIzKcY

I took the photograph of my mother in the early 1980s. I borrowed my first real camera and took one roll. I scanned this today and my scanner is not up to the detail, but I like the abstraction. I love this photograph of my mother because it is her thinking and concentrating expression.