Category Archives: digital play

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.

Squeeze the balloon

Writing with others three mornings a week definitely lessens my need or impulse to show up here. I have to figure that out. For today: a completely disjointed post.

I’m ready for it to be warmer. It’ll be easier to wait for the “EVERYONE ELSE” category of vaccination then. I’m hoping.

If you can find Maddow’s final segment from last night, do. I’d share the clip but couldn’t find it — maybe next week? It was about the impossible becoming possible. A Catholic story, a tale of heroism and altruism. It was a real antidote to the epic assholery being reported about the GOP. That party… Gawd.

My paid manuscript consultant has finally taken up my book again. I’m trying not to think too hard about how loooonnnng next steps take. In the meantime, work set in Colorado is “coming through.”

Lawrence Durrell once said he didn’t know if he had a novel or not until he’d written over fifty pages. Well, I have much more than fifty pages already and I still don’t know. I swore I’d work from an outline if there was a next novel but that doesn’t appear to be an oath I’m keeping.

Reading about the bomb factory in Rocky Flats is research. Hair-raising.

It’s Saturday. I’m gonna eat breakfast today! Have a great weekend.

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.

Where you find strength

Today I find strength in others’ words and posts. From Mo’s exaltations of Pinkola Estes to Liz’s resolve to find beauty wherever she is to an NPR radio interview with Kimberle Crenshaw on the historic and catastrophic parallels to “finding unity” and “moving on.”

And, as is so often the case these days, Acey’s pictures and directions and catalogues of thought and image are rolling through my nervous system.

The sewer cap above is one of many answers to Liz’s question: can you find beauty in the suburbs? Look at the color of that brick! The rust! And the delicate shadow of a twig. They make my heart sing.

The magic green dots thrill me every time!

As I begin to explore yellow* — my cutting and piecing paper instincts want to be translated to cloth. Can I even remotely achieve the immediacy of paper collage with stitch and fabric? What a wonderful edge to open up the power of the will.

* chakra exploration with Acey

Indigo square with moon by Jude.

Snow on the way

I might follow along with Roxane Gay’s reading list for the year. One book a month. I ordered the first one, which is getting a lot of buzz and I really wanted anyway. If this effort is like others, I’ll last until April.

I’ve finally attended to the minutiae involved in being able to borrow kindle books from my library. What a gift! Using the Libby app, I can reserve books and then they show up in my kindle reader without having to go anywhere! Black Futures looks like a beautiful coffee table book, though, so I ordered a copy. Here’s the full list in case you’re interested.

In other news, “we” are installing a gas fireplace. This old house’s current fireplace is very inefficient and sucks warm air out of the entire first floor. Plus, you know, because of the mess and effort, we just don’t have fires all that much. We already have gas in the house. I can’t wait to be able to start a fire with a click of a button. Don’t judge me!

By “we,” I mean my husband, of course. We save almost two grand this way.

I just discovered an Instagram group — @pariscollagecollective — that posts weekly image prompts. I may take part (again — will I last until late spring?) Here’s the first prompt for 2021.

I’ve put together one of my digital-collage slideshows (one minute, below), but I intend to work with paper this week. And then maybe, using a photo of the paper collage, create more layered exposures with the Diana app — my preferred method.

Some of my faves follow. Some of you will recognize collage images embedded from the Collage Challenge with Acey a year ago.

Snow to begin before sunset.

* tattooed torso is a dancer from recent remake of West Side Story and featured in the New York Times. Cloaked Egyptian and other smaller white cloaked figure from National Geographic. Cloth is my own. Virgin from photo I took in cathedral in Assisi. Black woman looking at lens, I don’t remember — but very possibly Vanity Fair.