Category Archives: Collage

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.

Dancing or Fleeing – you tell me

First I double-exposed this week’s Paris Collage Collective’s visual prompt (above) with the famous Angel Oak in South Carolina.

I liked how the tree layer turned his body to lace in places and grounded him in place. However, it was dismaying to see how quickly the figure resembled a hunted Black man, particularly when red showed up.

Which is why I went and grabbed some images of Alvin Ailey dancers. I wanted the exercise to remain joyful — the trap of white entrancement with Black pain too easily fallen into. (I’ve posted about this before). Besides, I think by now we all know that Black joy is a form of rebellion. Maybe the best form.

These quickly became cluttered. And the prompt figure in many compositions continued to look like he was fleeing jeopardy. Is it just me?

I then overlaid the image with one of my script quilts. The texture imparted was interesting and I may go with it some more, but oh boy, there’s another pitfall — white people overwriting Black people’s experience with our dominant voices.

I may be overthinking things this morning, she said.

In other news, after working from home since March 13, 2020, Husband went to the office this morning. It’ll be two days a week.

There he was, holding his flashlight to illumine his sock drawer, quipping, “See? I remember how to do this!”

Moments later: “This blows.”

Being thirty years married, it wasn’t the constancy of his company that pleased me so much as how by subtracting a two hour commute, he got a lot more sleep. That’s important.

Also pandemic related: Finn has to lose weight! Tony, the biscuit-generous mailman, needs talking to and games of “Find It” out back need to go on pause (that’s where I throw treats all over the yard and tell Finn to “find it!”)

And speaking of walking the dog (I was, wasn’t I?), my hips barely hurt this morning. I’m encouraged. Maybe adding two more stretches to my nightly routine helped.

4/20’s new meaning

Giana Floyd, George Floyd’s daughter

From now on 4/20 will live on not just as a day to celebrate pot but as a day to remember that a murderous cop was held to account.

I cried when I heard that the jury found Chauvin guilty on all three counts. A choking ugly cry. Gasping.

While I know this is not the end of the war (Al Sharpton) and that the verdict was only possible because it was captured on video, seen the world over, followed by a year of protests and the collapse of the blue wall (Jason Johnson), I want to breathe the relief of a decision well made.

Yes. Yes we get how broken we are that the outcome was not certain here. But let me exhale with gratitude.

Thank you jurors! Thank you “bouquet of humanity” aka witnesses who took the stand! Thank you remarkable prosecution team! Thank you protestors! Thank you cops who took the stand and spoke the truth!

Tomorrow I will lament the fifteen year old girl who was shot yesterday. Tomorrow I will share my outrage at how swiftly Republicans are seeking to outlaw filming police and protests but today: relief.

I shared this 53 second video over on Instagram but I’ll share it here, too. Synchronicity turned the Vogue model’s outstretched arms into something reminiscent of a prone, injured body as the day went on. Unintended but fitting.

Sunny Saturday

A walk around the lake with the guys. Down jacket on, but still nice air.

Notably absent: all the runners training for the Boston Marathon. Normally this time of year, they’d be everywhere. This year’s race will be in October.

Midday found me quilting and watching a show about Flannery O’Connor on American Masters. I knew she was a staunch Catholic and southern but I had no idea how ill she was with lupus.

I hear my neighbors chatting out back. I’ve been through quite a few chapters today and have to get back outside. It’s a little daunting, the page count.

Here’s how K and I do yard clean up: I rake leaves and whatnot into piles and he picks them up.

I close with two Paris Collage Collective Week 12 compositions that didn’t make it into my Instagram feed.

More snow

Last night:

Woke to snow this morning. It’s since turned to rain.

Watched a gripping movie.

Then, while making another set of collages for the Paris Collage Collective weekly challenge, a spooky combination [of an old fabric layout and an Assisi interior] popped up. Sometimes I forget to “lock” one of the pictures and the random generator button makes for welcome surprises.

A little spooky.