Holding the ecstatic center

Apparently that is something I do — “hold the ecstatic center.” Really? A trusted source. Many decades of association. I try to worm out of it. Then I try to wear it.

It’s a powerful reflection, thrilling, really.

I certainly can own surrender and ecstasy as recurring visual motifs.

This morning I’m inspired by dogs jumping into swimming pools, by photographers catching women airborne, by fifth generation islanders celebrating a birthday. By my Tuesday Group.

Below is an assemblage of SoulCollage cards, digital collages, collages made responding to this year’s Paris Collage Club weekly visual prompts (over on Instagram) and paper collages made during Acey’s collage tour (last year?).

** initial dancers from Alvin Ailey’s dance troupe, subsequent tattooed dancer from recent West Side Story production, photos from NYTimes. “Male exiting subway with grace” probably came from Vogue but maybe it was Vanity Fair. There are National Geographic images sprinkled in there, shots from Skateboarding Magazine. The Black woman with wings was featured at a Boston MFA show before the lockdown. I’m sorry I don’t know the artist’s name. You’ll recognize Oprah Winfrey, Julia Child, Sigourney Weaver, and Michael Jackson (yes I’m leaving him in!). The whirling dervishes are from the mystic branch of Islam, Sufism and St. Francis makes a small appearance at the very end.

12 thoughts on “Holding the ecstatic center

  1. Marti

    Watching your images put me in mind of Gabrielle Roth’s words:

    “Each of us is a moving center, a space of divine mystery.”


    “Energy moves in waves.
    Waves move in patterns.
    Patterns move in rhythm.
    A human being is just that –
    Energy, waves, patterns, rhythms. Nothing more, nothing less…A dance.”

  2. Acey

    yeah – it was only last year. It’s hard to fathom all the ways time’s changed. I came by today to comment irrespective of the post because I thought you’d get a kick out of this. The cosmos is definitely lending some ballast – my new dentist looks JUST like Carter.

    I wanted to tell him really badly but it just didn’t seem wise. I’ll tell him at the end, perhaps. When we’re all through …

      1. Acey

        I came back because I have an image of you that seems to speak to holding an ecstatic center, just as a visual. That time you went out to .. rockport? .. with your sister’s ashes. And then at the end the wave caught you and K captured this amazing incredulous joy on your face as the water swelled around you on the rocks … (if it were me, I’d haul that one out and put it through your light box of tricks)

  3. Tara Hetrick Greenblatt

    Arms are wings, freedom in flight of ecstasy. Buoyant joy in these images. Thank you Dee!

  4. Barbara Zilber

    Beyond love and gratitude for your sharing your precious dance of love and moving aliveness and life. I’m watching, listening every day as I celebrate my coming into this world and all the birthings dancing and awakening with you Dee and some many beautiful hearts and souls.


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