Pretty

Jul. 2nd, 2015 06:00 pm
pegkerr: (Holy Tree with Candlelight)
I like my new ring, and the manicure that Delia gave me to show it off.

pegkerr: (Default)
img_holy_tree

The Holy Tree - Council Suit
I Am the One who grows beautiful and strong, deeply rooted in the human heart. My branches shine with flowers, fruit and birds. Do not look in the bitter glass which shows only a barren reflection.

img_barren_tree

The Barren Tree - Council Suit
I Am the One who is barren and twisted, my branches full of calling ravens. I can fill your gaze entirely, yet I may be only a mere reflection from the Bitter Glass of the true Holy Tree within the heart.
pegkerr: (Holy Tree Haiti)
One of our sister churches had a representative selling this and other works of art by Haitian artists in the narthex of our church today. This was made from a re-purposed oil drum. All the money raised is being used to help run a school for Haitian children.

I love it, because it has both birds and fruit and so it perfectly fits the William Butler Yeats poem, more than any image of the Tree of Life I've collected so far.

Tree of Life - Haiti
pegkerr: (Default)
Inspired by my recent visitor, I gathered specific images and sat down and made this card tonight (alas, not very well scanned, sorry).

IMG_bunny_4th_chakra

The Bunny (Fourth Chakra) - Companion Suit
I am the One Who is creative, intuitive, and loving. I live by my wits but can sometimes freeze in fear.

As I've mentioned, 'bunny' has been the endearment that we've used in our family since the girls were born. The fourth chakra is the realm of the heart, of love, so it seems perfectly appropriate. I was so pleased when I found the heart fractal tree (and note the link to the Holy Tree that grows within the heart - see Delia's artwork to compare).

This site has some interesting and pointed things to say about rabbits and their totemic meaning. I've spoken about how I've been having increasing trouble with anxiety, and given how I've struggled to deal with Rob's cancer, this sentence really stood out: "Rabbit people may be afraid of tragedy, illness, and disaster, thereby calling those very fears to them to teach them lessons."

Interestingly enough, the same site mentions the linkage in some cultures of rabbits to the moon. There was a moon in the artwork of the background (the heart fractal tree). You can see its reflection on the ground on the lower right. However, I covered the moon with the chakra symbol.

I think the bunny/rabbit is perfect for my fourth chakra. The only wonder is why it took so long for me to figure it out; it seems obvious to me now.
pegkerr: (Default)
Today is the 14th anniversary of my online journal. Hurrah! It seems appropriate to post my newest SoulCollage card. I created this up at my sister Betsy's cabin, where I went with Betsy and Greg and my mom and Delia (Fiona was feeling under the weather) for a one day retreat in honor of my birthday (tomorrow)

This very pretty card was created by cannibalizing my old We'Moon desk calendars. I feel a bit guilty: its prettiness is due to other people's talents, not mine.

Creation's Wheel of the Year

Creation's Wheel of the Year - Council Card
I am the One who turns the Wheel of the Year, circling around from birth and to death and then birth again. I am at the heart of all living things.

This is certainly akin to my Death and Rebirth card, but it adds the aspect of time, and of the neatness of the natural cycles, both the month and the year. I like the circle of what I think of as the Holy Tree going through the cycle, I adore what I take to be the little winged eggs, I like the circles being related to the spirals of DNA. Reminds me of the Peter Mayer song 'All the World is One.' One of the verses goes:
Ask an atom in the breath you take
Ask the water by the river bank
Ask a strand of DNA--it's written in your blood
One life running in your veins
One light from one big bang
You can try and separate it
But all the world is one, all the world is one
Huh, I went looking for the post where I posted my Death and Rebirth card, but I couldn't find it. Maybe I never put it up. Here it is )

Edited to add: I mentioned the 14th anniversary of my online journal to Fiona, who replied, "Wow, it's old enough to go to high school now!"
pegkerr: (Telperion and Laurelin)
Fiona, my math major, linked to this on Tumblr. I have been thinking about trees this week.

So I decided to share it with you.

Fractal Tree
pegkerr: (Default)
I asked Delia to create a piece of art which I could hang in my cubicle at work, based upon the Two Trees poem by William Butler Yeats that means so much to me. The idea would be to have something she could add to her portfolio. This print is what she came up with:


The Holy Tree

008
pegkerr: (Telperion and Laurelin)
Wow.

Bag End bonsai

Read about how this Bag End bonsai was created (and see more pictures) here.
pegkerr: (Default)
May Day was late this year, due to the rain date cancellation, and I am even later posting my pictures. But here they are. I no longer have my parade book so cannot give you much commentary on the intended meaning behind many of the characters, some of them very strange, that marched in the parade. But as Terry Garey once remarked (and this sort of a hazy paraphrase based on my memory of an email she sent out about the parade once years ago), it all sort of boils down to the same thing every year: good conquers evil because it's nicer.

The parade and ceremony seemed so much more successful to me this year than last year, mostly because of the weather. Whereas last year it felt we were unable to banish the gloom from the park, this year's weather was warm and marveleous. It almost felt that all our work was done before the parade even started. We found a good spot near our usual location, at the point where the parade turns from Bloomington Avenue to head for Powderhorn park. Here's Fiona with a couple of her friends (Delia had wandered off to meet up with several of her own friends).






Pictures follow. Lots of pictures.

The parade begins )

The Tree of Life is carried in the parade, shrouded )

I loved the big cranes )

With my interest in the heart of flesh/heart of stone theme, I was happy to see the heart here )

Stiltwalkers appear throughout the parade, always traditional )

Sloths appeared in the parade to remind us to slow down and smell the flowers )

Yes, at the May Day parade we have violins in the marching band )

All the floats in the parade are human-powered )

Community May poles )

Part of the South American dancer contingent )

One of the four horses representing the four winds, I think )

More marchers )

The May Day parade keeps community front and center )

Marching bees )

This may be my favorite picture of the day. It says it all:





One thing I enjoy about the parade each year is that it's so colorful )

After the parade ended... )

We headed to the park to picnic and watch the ceremony. Here's the sun, preparing to be rowed across the lake )

And when the sun finally arrives on the opposite shore )

The Tree of Life miraculously rises up to bless the community )

Happy May Day!



pegkerr: (Default)
Delia is thinking in terms of colleges now. She knows that she wants to apply to schools where she can study an arts emphasis, and that means starting to build an artist's portfolio. I had a scathingly brilliant idea: I told her I would commission an art piece for her to display in my office cubicle. I wanted something that would display her skills as an artist and something that would make me happy when I look at it.

So I decided to commission a picture of The Holy Tree, the concept that has been so important to me from Yeat's poem The Two Trees. She started talking about initial concept with me last night, and had a cool idea for three little mini pen and ink drawings to the side and then the main piece would be larger. I'm excited to see what she comes up with. I will pay her when it is completed, so it is a real artist commision. And she'll have something to add to her portfolio!

This is one of the ideas I suggested as an influence: Tolkien's conception of the Two Trees of Creation:


Telperion and Laurelin, the Trees of Valinor
Telperion and Laurelin, the Trees of Valinor



My holy tree will have both flowers and fruit, and I told her I particularly like the trumpet-shaped flowers on the golden tree here.
pegkerr: (Hearts of Flesh and Stone)
The girls and I went to the Powderhorn Art Fair today. It was warm and bright, and I was in just the right mood to wander through by all the booths, soaking up the artistic ambiance. Fiona bought a new cloth purse to replace the one she lost when she was mugged. I got a henna design put on my hand. (Doesn't last as long as a tattoo, but cheaper and no needles involved.) We had delicious food sold by the food vendors: chicken gyros, lemonade, and a whole mango, peeled in quick ruthless strokes, sliced open like a flower, and jammed on a stick. I had hoped that this jeweler would be there again this year, so that I could get earrings to match the heart necklace in my icon. But alas, they didn't show up. Instead, my favorite artist this year was this one, who made the most amazing beaded necklaces. The very loveliest ones aren't even on her website. They looked like naturalistic displays of twigs, flowers, fruit. Stunning. There was a delicate spring-themed necklace of flowers, and another of autumn tones. I desperately wanted to commission a necklace from her, The Holy Tree.

Alas, her prices were out of my league. Oh, well. I shrugged and walked away from her booth. It would have been nice, and I would have enjoyed wearing such a piece. But I do have enough jewelry, really. It's nice to have more pretties, of course, but I don't need them. Or perhaps, with Delia's help, I might be able to make such a necklace as I have in mind myself.

I was thinking along those lines when I was driving to work earlier this week, when I was listening to that song I mentioned earlier, "Breathe," and a line jumped out at me: Let the life that you live be all that you need. Well, I do need a car. It's probably dangerous to drive the one I have as it has no airbags (Fiona needs to learn to drive and I won't let her learn in a car without them). I'd like to travel, but that might come (I hope) when I retire. Rob's not inclined/interested in international travel the way am, and if necessary, I'll go on my own, dammit.

But other than that, I'm really largely satisfied with my life. I have been feeling so much better since I started taking the fish oil capsules. Several months, now. Yes, I still do have a bad day now and again. But on the whole right now, I'm experiencing what it's like to live without depression. Wow. I'm starting to track my calories again, and I'm going down again in weight. I feel pretty good. My knee isn't really giving me trouble in karate. I hope to get my black belt within the year.

I have two beautiful daughters who have their ups and downs. But I am very proud of both of them and love them very much. My husband needs a job, and our marriage has its ups and downs, too. I wish he wasn't such a packrat. But I've worked hard at my marriage, and right now I feel that the hard work is being rewarded.

Life feels pretty good right now.
pegkerr: (Default)
I saw [livejournal.com profile] mrissa wearing this necklace at Minicon. I liked it so much, I asked where she got it, and she kindly obliged. So I picked it up for myself this afternoon.





Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] morganmalfoy and [livejournal.com profile] _lindsay_!

There has been a jump in donations. Thank you, I'm very grateful! We still have quite a ways to go, though.

MyCharityWater Campaign Report:

$5,000 CAMPAIGN GOAL
$766 RAISED SO FAR
38 people served
22 donations
74 days left
pegkerr: (Default)
The girls are back home (yay!), and we're back from Minicon weekend.

Rob has been quite busy all week with this temporary census job. It has prevented him from putting any work in on the room rearrangement project--and since it's to a large extent his stuff that's the bottleneck, I was stymied from doing it myself. But we got started finally on Friday morning. Two bookcases and a dresser have been moved so far, so we're partway there. My computer is still in the room that's going to be Fiona's bedroom, at least until we figure out wiring. Rob may resort to running cables rather than depending on a wireless card. Not sure. We'll see. I hope we'll be able to work on it during the coming week, although I think he has more census work in the way.

The two of us headed to Minicon on Friday afternoon. (Didn't stay at the hotel this time, but drove home in the evenings.) The con is quite small now, just about 400 people now (quite a change from the days when 3000 used to show up). I did no programing this year, and mostly just sat around and talked with people. That was nice.

The girls got back late Saturday afternoon and came straight to the hotel. They had a marvelous time. Delia ran quickly through her pictures on the digital camera, showing me the people and scenes from the past week. They were rather tired, and Fiona's fighting a cold. We didn't stay late Saturday, and we left right after the con was finished today.

I indulged in one thing in the dealer's room, the Heart of Faerie Oracle Deck by Brian and Wendy Froud. It's been my tradition to do a tarot reading on Easter Sunday, when Minicon was over. Laurel Winter did them for me for years, but since she's stopped coming to Minicon, I've started doing them myself. I had thought it was a tarot deck, but it turns out it was a different animal, an oracle deck. It's truly a lovely thing. I took it home and studied it and tried to do a reading, asking What do I need to know about turning fifty. I was quite impressed. I have two other decks, but I have a truly powerful affinity for this one, and I think it will become quite a favorite. The backs of the cards look like this:




How perfect, with their hearts (heart of flesh/heart of stone, natch), and the roots, which make me think of trees (esp. the Holy Tree) and the spark at the middle (Light in Dark Places). The wings don't make me think of swans so much as ravens, but that's okay, too. (You can see other cards from this deck pictured in the slideshow at the bottom of this review.)

So: the girls are safe and well and home, the con was subdued, but quite pleasant, and I have a beautiful new deck. Life is good.
pegkerr: (Default)
I'd buy this:


Tree of Life Jacket
Tree of Life Jacket



Detail )
pegkerr: (Holy Tree with Candlelight)
The last time I went on a retreat, I asked people to send me trees, and I got many marvelous responses. Thank you.

I'm going on retreat again because as you know things have been hard lately, and so I've been struggling. This time, I'll simply ask for this: I'd just appreciate an encouraging note. Or an affirmation. Or a good wish. Or a prayer. Or simply something just to think about in the days to come. Tell me what you think I'm doing right, tell me I'll get through this (me and my family, both). Tell my why you like reading this LiveJournal.

Tell me anything you think will give me light in dark places. Lurkers, I'd really appreciate hearing from you, too.

Thanks.

Love,
Peg
pegkerr: (Default)
I planted my garden containers with miniature tomatoes. They are already noticeably thriving after a mere week and a half. The hanging baskets on the porch look great. The hostas look lovely in the front. And I never have to buy flats of impatiens to plant in that front garden ever again.

The hanging pot of mixed white and blue lobelia gives me deep joy every time I walk out the back door.

Rob has a job interview next Wednesday for a job he really really wants, for which he would be well-suited, and which I think would make him ecstatically happy. Grateful thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jenett who brought the opening to our attention! He made the cut to the top four candidates (there will be a later interview for the top two). Please send good thoughts and prayers our way.

The weather the past week has been gorgeous.

I will get a lot of overtime pay in my next paycheck.

At the end of the month, Rob will have been unemployed for a year. Yet, we are still managing to pay all our bills on time, and we actually have more money in the bank than a year ago. I have been a good steward of our resources, and God has truly been good to us.

I am hopeful and happy--for the most part--about our new President.

New Hampshire joined the list of states today that allow gay marriage.

Fiona got a call from that high school jobs program. She may get a job with them after all--at a public library. Man, the universe is doing a good job of finding jobs for her that exactly suit her.

I think I have finally achieved some hard-won peace about something Elinor Dashwood has been processing for over a month.

I think the Decrease Worldsuck has changed my thinking about my life. I have found such joy in discovering that I can make a difference every day (well, most days) and I am eager to see what this project will bring me and my family for the remainder of the year.

I dropped Fiona off at karate tonight and then drove to Anodyne Coffee where I had a delicious vegan salad. Then, I drove to Tanglewood Gardens, where I browsed the lovely plants for awhile and then stepped across the street for a hot fudge frozen custard sundae. As I was driving back to pick Fiona up again, I rolled down the window and looked up at the blue, blue sky, and admired the flowers in the gardens I passed, and I thought to myself, I am happy. I am truly, truly happy. I must remember this feeling so I can pull it out on dark winter days for comfort. I can see the holy tree growing within in my own heart without the slightest difficulty. The branches are flowering, the fruit is beginning to form, and the light from it is so bright that it illuminates my whole life with happiness and wonder.

I love being alive. I love my life and my family.

Right now, this moment, I am perfectly, exquisitely happy.
pegkerr: (Default)
Since I buy cheap-ass shoes at Payless, and the heels wear down quickly, I develop holes in my shoes, and pebbles often get lodged in there. When I start to hear rattling noises when I walk, I take off the shoe and patiently wedge the hole open with a finger or paperclip, until I pry the pebble out of the hole in the heel and throw it away.

Today I found an acorn lodged in the heel of my sandal.

Sweet.

I don't mind that it is there. It doesn't rattle, unlike the pebbles. In fact, leaving it in there in the heel will keep the pebbles OUT.
the holy tree grows hidden within the heart
the seed lies nestled in secret within the shoe
a reminder of the earth beneath me
the yogi says, while doing Tree Pose,
find your balance
and if at first you start to sway, don't give up
trees sway
get more grounded
I turn my shabby sandal over in my hand
place it on the floor
and slip it over my foot
my walking root
I stride away, swaying,
tree in my heart
toes spread wide
seed in my shoe kissing the earth with every step










pegkerr: (Default)
From my post 5/5/08 "The Tree and the Sun." Click to see close up:



This was sure pretty when I printed it out. I'm going to hang it above my desk at work, and add it to my Trees collection.
pegkerr: (Default)
I had mentioned previously my favorite poem, Yeats' The Two Trees. Part of the poem reads:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile,
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For ill things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.
I realized that my soulcollage deck needs a picture of The Bitter Glass, since so much of my understanding of my own history with depression is tied up in this metaphor. I realized quickly that a way to get a picture of the bitter glass the demons hold would be to check out illustrated editions of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," because that story begins exactly the same way: with a mirror held by demons that distorts and makes ugly everything that is reflected within. I quickly found a perfect one; this is another card made by simply scanning and pasting down the image. I did have to monkey with the proportions a bit to make it fit the card.

I may use this image again to make another card, cutting out the mirror and just a few of the demons holding it, and showing it reflecting the Barren Tree.


The Bitter Glass - Council
The Bitter Glass - Council
I am the One held up by the demons that distorts everything reflected in me. I twist beauty into ugliness, nobility into coarseness. I was created for the amusement of the evil and cynical, to taunt the good. I tell nothing but lies.

I also wanted to have a card for the Mirror of Erised. I have long been fascinated by the concept--not just because the scene where it first appears is one of the most poignant in all of children's literature. I have been fretting for several years, trying to figure out what it is that I want to do with my life. I've joked with Kij that I need a crystal ball to discern what I really want. Or rather, I need the Mirror of Erised to show my own desires to me. Perhaps it is because I have been a caretaker for so long--I have been working so hard to make other people's needs possible that I have totally lost my ability to discern my own.


Mirror of Erised - Council
Mirror of Erised - Council
I am the One that shows not your face but your heart's desire.

This card was really fun to make. The description, of course, is taken right from the book. I pinched the image of the Mirror from Deviant Art, and overlaid it with an actual photograph of myself taken from the back (I stood silhouetted against a very bright window, which is the way I got the light outlining my figure to look right).

I like this, because the image-Peg is looking in the Mirror, but because her body blocks our view of the mirror, what she actually sees within is a mystery--just as it is to me in real life.

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