Tag Archives: SoulCollage

Australia burning

SoulCollage card made years ago

New South Wales firefighter, Greg Mullins: “I’ve been fighting fires for 47 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. But, we’ve known it’s coming for 20 years.”

“It’s climate change, it’s worldwide, and people need to sit up and take notice.” (WBUR interview)

UPDATE: I removed the two attempts at fire maps because they’re not accurate. Mo tells me the fires are burning in “NSW, Victoria, South Australia and they were burning earlier in Queensland and Western Australia.

As Acey noted in a comment to yesterday’s post, one of the beauties of the collage process is that it brings heartbreak out of the shadows. Oh, look! To view pain in the stark terms that images allow is always powerful and sometimes healing.

Two days ago, I was wrapped up in the catastrophic missteps of our government in Iraq (still am). Not really thinking about Australia at all. And then I found this woman and her horse. She was in a stack of magazine pullouts waiting for this moment.

Of course the animal reminded me of the horse on the beach from yesterday’s post. Look at her! A warrior, for certain! I would trust her with a beloved animal. With environmental policy. With anti-corruption efforts.

The stylish woman in the upper left hand corner, on the other hand, has rendered herself frivolous by looking away.

Every once in a while, type shows up in a collage that adds import. For the word, “things” to appear next to a materialistic fashionista while the world burns around her makes perfect sense. We wonder: what will happen to HER horse?

Please consider making a donation to help orphaned and injured animals. Here’s a link for cash donations.

Even though postage to Australia is so astronomical, I know some of you will be moved to make a thing or two. For that reason, I’m offering to mail a couple of boxes to Australia if people want to make nests, mitts, or wraps and ship them to me in Massachusetts. I’m going to refer people to the FB group instead. American shipping hubs have been established.

The first picture below shows what’s needed. If you’re on Facebook, you can join Animal Rescue Craft Guild. They have a tab, “FILES,” where patterns are listed.

Here’s a link to a crochet pattern for nests.

For another post:

UPDATE: thru the FB group, I may have found someone who can offer drastically reduced postage! I’ll keep you posted — so to speak πŸ™‚ Photo below from that FB group. No attribution listed.

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, β€œBut 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.

What counts as good news

Maddow on pause because I just can’t take anymore right now. And you know, it’s not just the onslaught of breaking, awful news, it’s also (and this happens frequently), the disorientation that arises when a big scoop turns out to be something we’ve heard before, maybe even more than once and often over a year ago (recent example, David Farenthold’s Washington Post story on trump’s hypocritical dependence on immigrants without legal status at his various businesses).*

Before pausing the news just now, I learned the identity of this MAGA-hat guy that I used on a SoulCollage card as a stand-in for the rot that trump has exposed. Turns out he’s the worst of the worst. He’s Andrew Anglin, founder of the Daily Stormer website, terrorist extraordinaire. He was one of the organizers of the Charlottesville protest two years ago. He’s a Holocaust denier who advocates Jewish genocide and has an army of like-minded white nationalists at his disposal. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls him “a prolific Internet troll and serial harasser.”

Well — judges in three recent high profile cases have awarded Anglin’s victims damages.

If you remember, these are the kinds of law suits that the Southern Poverty Law Center filed to good effect against klansman years ago.

The imposition of damages on white nationalists and their organizations counts as GOOD NEWS, particularly since we now know that the Department of Justice cannot be relied upon any longer to do the right thing (the legal, moral thing). As long as these cases come before judges appointed in the pre-trump era, we can hope for more satisfying outcomes.

* in reading the Washington Post piece this morning, I can appreciate what’s hopeful there, too, actually.

In a world where Democrats are slow-walking the impeachment process, we can look to state courts for interim justice. They have to be courts out of the reach of AG Barr, of course, but since they are, they’re also courts not bound by the OLC memo prohibiting indictment of a sitting president AND their judgments cannot be subject to presidential pardon power. Surely state laws are being broken by not only hiring undocumented immigrants but in instructing them in where and how to get fake papers.

Meanwhile K arrived home from his 49th trip to China last night and I’m off to Western Mass. tomorrow for a writing retreat. I kinda wish I was staying home honestly.

Lastly, what good news have you to report? I’ll start: CBD oil seems to be helping with my joints!

Collaging to the news

Soul Collage, when you listen to back podcasts of the news, can’t help but feature the vulnerable.

This next one came in response to a story that keeps coming back, not unlike a virulent STD. I’ve included a close up to make the reference clear, but since the script is still small, let me tell you. After one line, find penned two words, “altar boys.”

And because Halloween is about a week away, this next one.

I also spent a considerable amount of time clearing about six square feet of floor. Wish there was a “before” picture but you’ll just have to take my word for it. The recycling bin will be full this week.

Question: what are you guys doing to stay sane in these last days leading up to the midterms? I’ve got my weekly call with my Indivisible group and postcards. Tomorrow a friend and I will hit 200.

A fire is nice, too.

Joy where it comes


The Royal Wedding. Sneakers that fit and offer support. Really good homemade gluten free cookies. Lilacs. Lichen. The strength to push a lawnmower. Friends to see movies with. Movies. Social media (yes, even that).

Honeysuckle. Flying overhead: a robin with twigs in her beak (or is it plastic?) landing at the crook of two branches, building her nest. Good books.

A coyote crossing the street at 6:30 in the morning, pausing to look at Finn and me. Disappearing behind Daniella’s place. Finn. Cloth and gifts of cloth (thank you Deb and Ginny!!)

And SoulCollage. Here’s a card made, believe it or not, while constructing the burning infernos and dark fields (actually, I started it months ago and only glued it up this week).

I am the one who adores the wind and the sky and anything that plays with the wind in the sky. I adore red — how it pops and dances. I launch kites — and images and ideas, too. My element is air; my status freewheeling. I am the one who is not afraid to be silly or stand on the edge of a chair.

American Horror

Two things.

Sometimes the most potent collages are made by combining only two images.

And, sometimes you want to transmute the underlying image and sometimes, like here, you want it to stand for what it is. The bee-comb head is an ad for the TV show American Horror Story. I haven’t kept up with the series so I can’t tell you what’s up with the bees, but I can hardly think of a better way to name the gun carnage and political failure we face than: American Horror Story.

(PS. Made this SoulCollage Card two days ago but given how often mass shootings happen in this country, it’s not particularly prescient).