Tag Archives: digital collage

What a psychic said

We’ve all been victim to the innocuously made comment, bland in endorsement, challenging in ambiguity.

Such as: I see you’ve gotten your hair cut.

Another example said to me years ago by a psychic: “you’re in good shape, considering what you’ve been through.”

Okay… I’m sure she meant to be encouraging but the fact that I’ve never forgotten her words kinda suggests otherwise.

These three scraps of paper, from the top down: 1) an aerial view of a lake in Colorado; 2) antique linens beautifully cared for; 3) a young impoverished girl sunk in a wading pool, somehow managing to look both defiant and defeated.

This is more of a time line than a depiction of ‘above, center and below’ as prompted by Acey* in Prompt #24:

Above/Below/Within — Tell a 3 piece story about who you are in relation to the sacred directions

Reading from bottom to top — the girl represents what I was given (not literally, I grew up comfortably middle class), the linens represent the mediating power of creativity, the clouds and lake, call forth the bigger picture, the place of transformation.

With a birthday on the horizon, it’s an opportunity to think about the archetype of The Water Bearer. To me, the lake and clouds suggest Aquarius. They reference the sign’s reputation for having concerns about humanity generally (as opposed to singular people), and for taking an airy intellectual approach. Sometimes the cool mental ways associated with Aquarius strike me as ‘less than’ — no heart-centered earth mother here!

Without intending to so do, this collage reveals the strength and beauty of such an approach.

The collage below also came together this morning — similar in structure, but more grounded, specific and joyful.

The fact that the points along the linen’s edge form a row of houses is just perfect.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

And from last night, another slide show made, in part, while sleepless last night. We were away this weekend, so I hope to catch up by Wednesday.

Indigo cloth dyed by me at Rebellion Farm, SC during Donna Hardy’s weekend workshop; gateway view from a barracoon on the coast of Africa, photo probably from Smithsonian Magazine; a collage I made ages ago; the cemetery is in Charleston, SC and the magnolias too; Angel Oak from Johns Island, SC; a river scene from Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant, SC and finally, cabins at the fairly recently refurbished McLeod Plantation on James Island near Charleston, SC.

20 Rectification

What force, what power, might be ushered in to rectify the damage of old limiting beliefs?*

At first I thought: movement, dynamism, light. Wheels and lightening.

But this is what came and it interests me more than the elemental first take. Here I find: mentorship, a path laid out by others, ritual. We see the moment BEFORE flight. A controlled relationship with a wild and fierce creature of the sky is depicted. There is wonder and delight. Mystery.

I am the student and the teacher. I am the raptor and the tether-holder. I am the arms and the wings uplifted as well as the stones lying flat, secured by grass roots and gravel.

Perhaps even the tether and raptor hood (not shown) are part of becoming free? If used in service of flight? In service of relationship to that which is wild?

Who is the hooded figure in the lower left and what’s with that ball of light? What did the boy do to invite it in? (It’s the sun setting over Assisi, double exposed, but still… )

I take my collage to mean getting unstuck and banishing my lack of faith with support, with tried and true tools, by putting one foot after another on a traveled path.

Writing a novel is like going out to sea, alone. I think Natalie Goldberg said that.

So the idea of walking a well-tended path, where help shows up now and then is revolutionary.

Below are a few digital responses. My printer isn’t cooperating, so they may not make it to glue and page.

I just turned off Jay Sekulow. There is only so much I can take (hood?)

Prompt #20 in full:

Let’s suppose a thought held by many has been powerful enough to jettison The Occupant once and for all. Why stop there? Why not just assume that for the duration of responding to this prompt you’re Empress of Everything.

What will you usher in to begin to rectify the damage incurred by the agent of destruction you’ve banished?

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album. SoulCollage and the tags here on the blog

What you need

I have trouble remembering the prompts from Acey’s posts even after re-reading them. That’s a tell that I’m being challenged.

What would I want a care package to deliver?

The above collage was one response. Support for my writing, structure, a feedback loop of encouragement, praise, even. Success would be nice!

But the first thing that came to mind is how badly I want this world to have a future. That’s what those three polar bears symbolize: us having a future.

Ram Dass’s recent passing reminded me of a time I heard him speak at Omega Institute. He shared the stage with Marilyn Ferguson, who called herself a visionary Christian. The topic was the sustainability of human life. She advocated for passionate engagement to ensure our survival (and this was in the 80’s!). But Ram Dass sat there so alive, so fully in himself and asked, “why should I be invested in our survival? In one result over another?”

Lastly, here’s a response to a prompt in this morning’s writing class (“the slightest clue can give us away”):

Who says time is an illusion? Time is a beggar, banging on my door. Time is a thief, already past the alarms, helping herself to my almonds and honey. Time is a slut, prostituting herself for just a little more indolence. Time wears a bear mask one day, a griffin face the next, and comes as Snow White for the weekend.

You might not know

You might not know how much of my psyche is wrapped up with wondering what it’s like to become an adult right now, particularly as a man.

I don’t realize the depth of this preoccupation myself until I start making collages.

Example: the SoulCollage card above. There are LOTS of examples.

For obvious reasons, climate emergency comes up. It is really hard to imagine 15 years out.

I glued a lot of paper into the book after dinner tonight, slitting compositions in half or thirds to fit on the page where need be. This will allow me to use remnants to create unifying repetitions.

Below is another one of my slide shows. I don’t know why this satisfies me so much. I don’t expect it to satisfy you. It’s worth noting that this process is NOTHING like working with cloth. I read Grace’s post just now where she draws parallels between cloth and paper and they are there for the finding. This is not that.

For info on this collage project see Acey’s blog sparklinglotusink

For more SoulCollage cards of mine, go to Flickr on sidebar and open the SoulCollage album. Or, track the ‘SoulCollage’ and ‘collage’ tags here on the blog.

The collage project

It’s is fun to play along and play along I shall with Acey over at sparklinglotusink. “Collage month” might describe March for me or December or any random June. I make a lot of collages, in other words.

But still. Although I don’t plan to make a booklet, I am going to play with her prompts. I’m also obsessed currently with making teeny slide shows using digitally layered collages. Bear with me or skip. Feel free to comment on still images only.

Below is the complete collage. Vertical format could be converted to a SoulCollage card later. For the deck, I make color copies both so I can noodle with scale and to produce an image that’s smooth.

CUT THREE CIRCLES was the prompt.

  • There’s the text from some psych journal.
  • The vintage fire cart wheel lower right.
  • And the chicken eye.

I ended up using two strips of orange along the side that were sliced from a SoulCollage card that featured a BIG face. Part of the eyebrow and eye socket came along and I filled them out with scraps. I love how a FIG offered good contours. Another grouping of circles assembled.

I’m not sure where those well dressed silhouettes are gathered. Deb thought it might be Grand Central. I think it might be somewhere in Europe. Sometimes I track sources. Sometimes not.

(UPDATE: Deb was right. She just sent me this confirming photo:)

Tree trunks, an ad for Coach dog collars (the grommets as well as the bright orange blocks on the side) and more grapes and figs make up the rest.

The woman with her old-time device is the heart of the story. The highlighted words “her mother/ memory might” ended up acting as directive. A serviceable title. The ladder also holds a lot of power here.

Her mother / memory might

We wonder what she is doing on her device. What links or letters tapped? To whom does she address her words or is this a private entry? In my dream, she is abroad, perhaps a member of the Peace Corps, living simply, maybe even in hardship. To bring water to others. Or food. Or sewing machines. Her sweater, a lovely Aryan, is a serviceable token of her “real” life. Or is it her former life?

Slide show below. One minute.

Three or four SoulCollage cards appear, along with a page from one of The Sketchbook Projects (“what will haunt you?”). The virgin dwells at Magnolia Plantation, SC, and you’ll see the pennant I made for Mo’s “love is the answer” project.

Speaking of Mo and Australia, this is a photo I captured off a news source last night. These people are gathered on a beach, evacuated because of the fires, with nowhere to go except INTO THE WATER.

Oh dear world!

A word about optimism

From a Medium article entitled, How to stay sane if Trump is driving you insane: Advice from a therapist.

“There are times when optimism is not appropriate or possible, and this is one of those times. Our President is delusional, lying, or ignorant; disastrous climate change and war with North Korea loom; marginalized people in our society are suffering. Faced with these calamities, catastrophic thinking is a rational response.”

She recommends:

  1. Radical acceptance. Clear eyed acceptance. Seeing things as they are now.
  2. Feeling the inevitable grief.
  3. Practicing mindfulness, in particular countering bad news with good (because pessimism is not useful either).

“You may object, “But I can’t just forget all the terrible things going on!” You are right. Mindfulness is not about forgetting. It is about shifting focus to what is most immediate and most helpful. We help no one by staying in our anguish for long. Bernie Sanders said it best: ‘Despair is not an option.‘”

These are digital collages that I made at four this morning. They incorporate quilts and photos of collages, so the layers are numerous, sometimes past counting.

The images speak for themselves but to name a few: the virgin atop a cathedral near Assisi as well as an Italian stone archway, an antique bird cage for sale in Essex, Mass. Quilts on the line in the backyard, a woven cloth painting, and another close up of patchwork. A SoulCollage (r) card made from magazine pictures.

As usual, I used Diana photo app for double exposures and Prisma app to create mosaics.