On Self-Deprecation

 

I am in a mood.

I’m gonna compose some letters. Not going to mail them, just let the words flow cathartic. I’ll print them on lovely stationary, then burn them, after I cross and cover names.

Yep. I’m in that kind of mood.

I’ll start my drafts here for your amusement. To accompany, a few of Dali’s beautiful heliogravures from his 1969 Alice in Wonderland series. Enjoy!

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Down The Rabbit Hole, 1969

Dear Person Who Self-Deprecates When Attention Is Drawn To You:

Hi. I’m noticing what you’re doing and it’s annoying the hell out of me. First of all, you look old enough to be my mother, and that’s not an insult, that’s a demographic detail. Second of all, we’re in the same room together, about to face the same challenges. While I sit here in tune to what’s happening, you’re sitting behind me, disturbing the persons to your left and right, saying, “I hope [he] knows how stupid I am” and “They better have someone who knows what they’re doing with me.” Do you even understand that what you’re doing is completely self-absorbed? Your pretend self-flagellation is actually a form of grandstanding that you probably inherited from a lifetime of leeching off of the kindness and patience of others. Shut the fuck up you stupid leech; you’re here to do a job. If you feel you can’t handle it, there’s the door. We’ve got this covered.

Love,

The Chick Wondering How You And She Are The Same Pay Grade

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Advice From a Caterpillar, 1969

Dear Person Who Self-Deprecates As A Form Of Emceeing:

Hi. You’re not a comic. If you were a comic, and this was a comedic venue, you’d so not be making me laugh. Self-deprecation is a source of humor only when you realize the joke is supposed to be on you. But if your job is to warm up the mic, try not to spend those moments between performers – who may be nervous or amped or prepared – to talk about how much of a talentless waste-of-space you are. When you do that, you diminish the starlight of the talent approaching the microphone after your sad tale. It’s like watching someone murder a puppy between sets: not only is it senseless, but it doesn’t fit the grand ideal of uplifting artists and showcasing their artistry. Get it together, or get another project.

Love,

The Chick Waiting For Her Turn On The Stage

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Mad Tea Party, 1969

Dear Person Who Self-Deprecates In Order To Get My Personal Attention:

Hi. You done fucked up. I don’t do pity. I don’t do the pat on the backs and “there, there” acts. You’re phony and I smelled your phony the moment I saw your pinched shoulders and wavering eyes. You want to absorb my energy, I see it in your wringing hands. Are you actually telling me about your life problems without me even knowing you? Who am I, Barbara Walters? And don’t you DARE call me Oprah, or you will know my wrath. Get away. Grow up. Instead of coming to me about what you’re going to do, come to me about what you’ve already done, maybe then I can at least advise you. But your self-inflicted humility is not my charge, buddy. You’re an adult now. And if you’re an adult using lines like, “I can’t deal with adulting,” stay the hell away from me. I’ve got a life; get yours.

Love,

<this space left intentionally blank>

:)

 

 

 

Coming Down The Mountain

Gilded tendrils

through wooden slats

summon a new

Appalachian day.

I tumble, tumble

giddy under feathery darkness

my morning dreams

launch me into flight…

So begins one of the poems I created in that beautiful cabin nestled under ancient wood. The experience of connecting with nature at a primordial level is a powerful thing. My body – how best to describe this? – absorbed unfamiliar yet friendly energies. Vibrations were exceptionally high in the hills, and my connectivity to animals seemed heightened. To explore it neurologically, I would say my pineal gland received a profound tuning.

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Goddess Mode (c2013)

My sweet would nourish sleeping in as I would roam the deck of the cabin with my morning coffee. Then I’d go to the dining room, my designated office, and churn whatever creative forces into a precious morsel of art. Silence was a gift as well as a motivator. I needed the time between sips to really think what I wanted out of life. I’m ready to approach 40, but what am I to invest in as a human being for the next 40 years?

The answers seem to pop off Chappie the laptop’s screen, as if a big DUH! Time to showcase what you can do for others, Ivonne. Time to grow into the artistic community as a director, not just a contributor. 

While in the cabin, I started to lay down the plans for a project I’m calling The Living Goddess Exhibit. Of course I’m going to represent Inanna (who could do better?) but exactly how are we going to praise her? What existing poems do I have that evoke her? What poems can I write in tribute to her? Suddenly in study mode again, I feel that excitement surge in me again, the excitement to share. I’m invested in my inner child, I’m letting her play! Gosh it feels good.

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2015 on the New River. This year, The New River encourages me to grow.

Even when we moved to the Cousin’s place, I was still in composition mode. Three large dogs make it difficult to keep expensive equipment out, but I did capture some creativity on my mobile devices. Here’s one that insisted on being written mid-sleep:

Columbia
Great leader
her torch knows no master
Balance is her charge
the Law as her guide
Love her as I do
Her power is needed
now more than ever.

So interesting that I’d reference the Law Goddess in my sleep state. This’ll be a poem worth developing, especially during election season!

freeze
Ready to hit the stage! c2014

Look forward to two productions from me, one in November and one possibly January. If you can’t make the shows, there’s always my performances with The Second Time Arounders Marching Band during the 2017 season.

 

View From My Coffee Cup

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Todd, Watauga County, North Carolina

Nothing more refreshing

than a cool kiss on the neck

from the mild mountain breeze

welcoming us back

to where we call Escape

to what they know as

Treasure.

-Von Simeon 07.16.16

 

Mountain Song

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(NOTE: This occurred in May 2015…)

Once at Murphy’s I am consumed with the idea of a beer. In one day I embraced mortality twice; surely, my libation limitations can be excused this evening!* Besides, the two male cousins before me, busy with setting up our pool table, have earned my trust, now and forever. I sip an ale and cherish the simple act of drinking.

A pool cue placed in my hand, and it’s my break. As I line the chalked tip between the 1st and 2nd balls to my right, the green felt bubbles. I blink to correct my contact lenses, then line up again. The smooth wood rod punches through my left grip, a sure shot, but instead, I scratch. I offer a self-deprecating comment to my company and giggle, then return the cue ball to start position. I attempt again. I fail again. The pool table is a tide moving quickly towards shore.

No one else sees this but me.

I look to my love and consider for a moment telling him, but his response will be a logical one: you’re coming down from the adrenaline rush, dear. This makes sense, except, I’m as calm and steady as I can physically be.

Perhaps more beer…

The cousins take to the table and I’m benched, nursing my ale, when I feel a wave of energy push against my right side. Moving only my eyes, I witness a furry, bearded man wearing a brown plaid shirt, hands clasped to his chest, eyes squinted inebriatedly. He smiles warmly then takes my hand as Jerry introduces us. “Ed, my name is Ed, I don’t know if I said it already…Ed.”

I find Ed to be comforting.

Jerry suggests we visit Ed’s studio. A break in the action? Sure. Brews are grouped aside and pool cues are chevroned to indicate, “We’ll be back.” A right turn from the cloaked billiards room over to the smoke haze of the outer patio, down the slicked side stairs and into the rain, the same murderous rain from our descent earlier. The audacity, I curse, as I bunny hop over puddles towards the adjacent building.

One key opens one door, another key unlocks another, then we’re in the presence of track lights and shiny instruments. Is this the universe interfering, or am I just plumb lucky? On the floor lies a six-string bass. Along the wall, a banjo, an acoustic and electric guitar, and a framed photograph. Jerry points and Ed blushes momentarily. BF doesn’t know who’s in the picture, but I’m well acquainted from my Kentucky days: the greatest picker in all of Appalachia, Mr. Doc Watson. To Doc’s right is our studio host, smiling and squinty-eyed.

Jerry goads him to play, which I know as an artist, we don’t need much cajoling to do what we love to do. Ed eases down onto a stool as I lower to the floor before him, cross my legs and cradle my hands, rocking into a cozy sit. “This is a song about a girl…” Ed starts as he fits his pick against the 3rd string and fingers his chords. The acoustics, so well tuned in the room, send me a fit of chills. He strums and sings with reverence as he shares his pained story, about the girl who moved on. My spine follows the melody and my shoulders meter the down beat. Where the cousins are I don’t know, all I know is this irresistible urge to sway. Side to side, side to side, as the notes play in the white light surrounding us. His words mute and I hear, “There, there. You’re all right. Everyone’s all right,” in a soft, wise, feminine voice. I’m cradled in a maternal embrace, a baby swaddled in a tight blanket of light. “There, there,” she sings. The terror of the last hour simultaneously manifests, actualizes then dissipates.

I feel, in a word, remarkable.

My snake dance to the charmer slows to an erect sit. Ed has finished playing. I awkwardly clap, hoping it’s not ill-timed. The cousins are ready to head back to Murphy’s but not before I take a few pulls of healing smoke. We leave, without Ed, from the glow of the studio back into the steady rain.

*: minutes before this interaction, the male cousins and I were near-death, sliding down the face of the mountain during an impromptu storm. This is the recovery from said event. Hence the beer.

Random Sketches

I’m working on two poetry exhibits for the coming Fall season. One to do with the Divine Feminine and the other on mental transformation and healing. Yup, big topics to chew on, but like my large five-rose tattoo, when I do things, I do ’em big.

Pulling some sketches out for inspiration, and others to revisit. The continuing visitor in my book is “the purple woman,” so named because she either appears bathed in purple, or she’s cloaked in purple. I’ve been seeing her all my life, yet in the past six years, she’s been manifesting in my visions quite regularly.

Hoping to try other mediums and tools to convey my visual art this year. Perhaps need to wander over to the Arts District and learn from the local masters. Won’t you join me?

Friends In Warm Places

Even into the darker blue, the Gulf waters felt too hot. Surely there’s a cold spot somewhere, I thought. I wanted to swim out further to find that magic place, but I needed a spotter. I came with three of my favorite fellas, but they were gathered around our table for the day, too far to yell, “Get in here!”

Spinning slowly as I tread the water, I spy a guy with diving goggles on. I paddle up to him, “Hey, I was just coming to get you…”

“Me??”

“Yeah, I saw you were diving. Wanna go out further?”

“But I can’t touch the ground…”

“That’s okay. Me neither.”

He makes like he wants to leave, but my one-minded state won’t let him. I tell him, “Just 10 more meters, nothing scary…”

“30 more feet?”

“Sure.”

We both dive to the bottom. I can see his white long-sleeved top to my right. Below us are lovely, wavy patterns drawn onto pale beige sand. I surface. So does he.

“I’m Von,” I finally introduce.

“Jordan. Are we close to the sandbar?”

I laugh, “Hardly.”

“Let’s look for starfish.”

“Alright.”

We continue diving and surfacing to no avail. It feels as if the water’s getting hotter. My new pal complains of the heat. I could use a non-salty drink anyways. Jordan and I reach his floating commune, which turned out to be local relatives; he is visiting from South Florida.

“Yeah it sucks down there,” Jordan laments.

I float onto my back as I pull Speedo suction cups from my eyes, while singing,

“The West Coast is the Best Coast…”

The Freedom to Write

I have a writer’s callous.

Very few people in the 21st century maintain a writer’s callous, the telltale indentation on your dominant hand where you normally rest a pen.  Composition after composition, frustrated hand and head viciously working together against time, all the answers having to come out of your tired phalanges. And yet, even as I type on Chappie with my tablet and my smartphone both in range, I still freewrite by hand. Zealot for abuse? Nah. Just a sign I’m still alive.

And free to write.

 

 

We do take advantage of that free-om, us Americans. We put all kinds of nonsense out in the 0s and 1s and it is protected (for the most part) by our Bill of Rights. But I know not every person with Internet access has the free-om to type their authentic opinions. We know from following international news that simply voicing an opinion can shut down a digital nation. Look at what all occurred with Twitter during the Arab Spring. Jobs and lives were lost simply by Tweeting. Tweeting!

I celebrate a personal free-om today: the ability to write what I feel, in the comfort of jim jams, folded legs on the couch. This was not my position last year. I was not allotted a journal. I was on a strict schedule. I was not allowed to leave a building for seven days. The absence of a pen and paper was much more disabling than the locked doors.

To those who write despite despair, I honor you. May you continue wielding words as weapons. 

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So You Might Be A Star Seed

tambourine
Holding the Keys to the Universe Since 1977.

I admit, I’m being a little too research-intensive for a 4th of July weekend, but it’s helping me keep focused on something positive. Ever have that? Such a constant flux of negativity that you have to FORCE something positive to engage in? Sad.

wp-1467496084097.jpgAnyways, this weekend I’m going the phenomenological route by visiting the work of R.D. Laing, and then the metaphysical route by visiting rando blogs and websites with 1st person accounts of metaphysical being-in-this-world. I tumbled across a members-only forum for ‘light workers, star seeds, and indigos’, to which I wondered, what and what?

To the search engine, to enter the lame question, and came across this helpful article at Gaia.com. I know you like to skim down to the meat ‘n’ taters of the article, so I’ve done it for you! Do read the full link if you, like me, go through this list going, “Yup, yup…uh huh, yup…yuuuup…”

While you do that, I’m looking up “indigos.”

😀

STARSEED CHARACTERISTICS

  1. From a young age, you have had an inherent wisdom that usually comes later in life for other people.
  2. You’ve been told you’re an old soul and you agree. You feel ancient to the core.
  3. No matter where you are, you always have a feeling of homesickness. You know what home feels like, even if you can’t express it, and you know that your house is not it. This may even lead to depression in some cases.
  4. Even as a child, you have always felt different. As though you are unique and others cannot understand you.
  5. You feel divided from the world — As if it is a constant battle of “them” vs. “you.”
  6. You often feel morally superior to others, regardless of education or social stature.
  7. Your sense of empathy is overwhelming. You feel different from those around you, however, you have a natural inclination to relate to their struggles.
  8. Your physical body is an enigma to doctors. It functions differently than everyone else’s and the medical world struggles to understand it. This may manifest itself in ways as small as a lower than average body temperature or inability to withstand heat.
  9. You are incredibly intelligent but bored easily by traditional academics.
  10. You have had a paranormal or psychic experience. You may have seen a ghost, heard other’s thoughts, had dreams that became reality, etc.
  11. You feel as though you have a purpose or mission to fulfill, but struggle to find what you want to do with your life. You lack the passion or intrigue to truly devote yourself to one area and understand the banality of life.
  12. The physical limitations of your body often frustrate you. You feel as though you should be able to do more but are vexed by your restrictions. This is because Starseeds remember far more freedom in their physical form.
  13. Your dreams are vivid and exceptional, and waking life never seems to measure up. Often, your dreams will seem other worldly — as though your mind has created a completely separate universe.
  14. Others are often wary of you or feel uncomfortable in your presence. People instinctually know that you are different, but struggle to verbalize why. You may even feel isolated within your own family.
  15. You have very few friends, but those who are seem to understand you without need of explanation.
  16. Animals trust you and are naturally drawn to you. You understand them to the point that it feels as though you can communicate.
  17. The same is true for babies and small children. They find you fascinating and seem mesmerized in your presence.
  18. You can feel who people are without them ever saying a word. You see beyond the external façade and instinctually know when they are lying.
  19. You may seem rude in conversations because you know what the other person is going to say before they’ve even started. People think you are disinterested, when in reality you are frustrated by the pace of the conversation.
  20. You are interested in spirituality but see the divine beyond books and religion. You may not be able to put it into words, but you have a deep understanding that spirituality has always been an intrinsic part of you.
  21. You are drawn to metaphysics and the science behind other worlds.
  22. From a young age, you questioned the ways of society and still feel perplexed as to how other’s don’t see its mistakes.
  23. Though your dreams are exceptional, you’ve always had trouble sleeping.
  24. You have a natural ability to make others feel better – whether through medicine or your words. Strangers will often open up about their problems without even realizing it.
  25. People’s first impression of you is often aloof or cold, however, one they get to know you they consider you to be one of the most loving people that they know.
  26. You avoid large crowds and find it hard to handle people in large doses — even friends. To you, people are overwhelming and their emotions and actions seem chaotic.
  27. You have an ability to emotionally or spiritually grow much faster than those around you. Your sense of morality keeps you grounded, even when presented with emotions that are difficult for others to handle.

– See more at: http://www.gaia.com/article/are-you-starseed#sthash.JAxwrFUF.dpuf

 

 

Pride 2016: Art For All

I had an absolutely wonderful weekend! The City of St Petersburg, Florida hosted its annual Pride Parade last Saturday evening. Once again I gave my time to the fine folks with NOMADStudio…you remember them from last year? Well this year they got renowned artist John Gascot to paint the Art Bus with messages of Love, Hope, Peace and Action. What am I proud of? Being alive! Being able to live my life free! Being able to love exactly who I want!

What are you proud of?