Category Archives: growth

the rainbow and beyond–why transgender persons are important to human evolution

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in honor of transgender visibility day, i want to share a few thoughts about the expansion of transgendered people and their visibility in our communities. personally, I celebrate transgendered people! i see them as a gift to assist in balancing our very polarized societies and enriching our communities with a switched perspective in gendered expression. don’t worry, if you are feeling confused i am going to bring it home here. many times we have heard silly colloquialisms regarding gender such as  ‘men are from mars, women are from venus’ or, ‘the battle of the sexes’…and the frequent references to painful relationship situations due to misunderstandings between masculinity and femininity. people shrug and give up– “well, guess that’s a man thing”, or ‘women! so complicated’. and the painful experience prevents them from experiencing love and acceptance. and if that happens we become stunted. to have women among us that have known from the inside out what it is like to have a mans biology and a mans social expectations and conditioning, and vice versa, is to have a rare opportunity to heal the divisions and misunderstandings between the genders—on many levels, both physical and subtle.

why now more than ever are there trans people coming out of all walks of life and class/age groups and claiming their right to choose or change their biological gender to one that more accurately represents them? there are more children being born that are informing their parents of a true gender they feel beyond the biological gender they came in with. I’ve heard wonderful stories of parents allowing their children to express themselves as their claimed gender and fighting for their rights to attend school and church etc, –also of abuse and repression that have led to trauma and loss. it is often life or death for many trans people to be themselves. our communities are crying out for healing in relationship, and the birthing of transgender people is an answer to that crying. it is a wonderful healing opportunity to have a whole, healed person that feels their appropriate gender grace our communities.

i have loved ones, friends and friends of friends that are transgender. I have been by the side of a person I love while they made the only choice to transition to honor their true identity even while I had celebrated their fine example of being the other gender, the one they were not, and  though I had an initial sense of shock I embraced the opportunity to grow as a well rounded community member. i truly advocate for the support of well being in transitioning and pray that others will learn to celebrate the differences and opportunities we have for learning more levels of acceptance and understanding. people are people and it is be painful to be misunderstood and judged just for expressing ones true nature, as our birthright is to express our true nature.

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there are many ways of gender blending in the spectrum, however– if one says they are a different gender than they were born with, then they have come to an edge of self awareness that defies biology. that is evolution, and that is not a frivolous choice, as no one would choose to make the most complete change that a person could make and suffer the potential abuses and misunderstandings that may come with such a change. in many ways we are desperate for evolution as a species! truly there are more people wanting friends and partners that are caring and true and committed and deep, than can fulfill an extreme version of gender, one that has been rendered for so long we are physically evolving out of it. societally, there is too much attachment to the definitions of masculine vs. feminine, and women, men and children–people–are hurting because of it. transgendered persons are part of the rainbow tribes, and are guides into new and more hospitable territories, where aspects of peoples divine masculine and divine feminine are embraced individually to bring us to being more complete and expressed, satisfied selves. and that is why I celebrate transgendered persons, the rainbow and beyond!

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the artist on sex, the shadow and spirit

yes, I am choosing to write about a risky topic, in that it entails broaching the conversation of our most private and often unexplored topic, sex!  it gets our attention and regardless of our opinions, preferences and experiences will command a moment or more of attention when we see it in a topic.  it is natural, biological, and humans are captive to the impulse regardless of their personal conception and whether it involved sexuality or was a scientific experiment.  the biological sequence of becoming a life form involved an exchange of energy to initiate development.

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“untitled” collage 10″ x 10″ istara freedom

development from the infinite unknown, or spirit world into a life form took some sort of attraction and environmental arranging to occur.  thus the occurrence of matter!  any matter formed also creates a shadow.  shadows can be fun.  we can play with shadows, and become the master of our shadow.  we can turn in a certain way to the light and with our eye see the smallest shadow possible.  if we desire we may grow that shadow to immense proportions with the right angles of light, and make a large impression with our shadow.  some may call this a negative impression, and indeed it can be.  however there is another side besides the negative shadow, and it is the protective, powerful guardian side, that we can also depend on if we know how to work the light.  and now of course you know that I am speaking metaphorically as well as physically.

okay back to the sex, time to keep the attention going here, for real! –a quick review, how are all those things related–artists, sex, shadow, spirit?  oh yes, by nature of having a physical form, attention is drawn toward the impulse of exchange, and energetic exchange that creates more energy is a matter to consider, along with its shadow.  a psychological shadow also develops as a psyche forms when the matter begins to relate/exchange with other forms.  it all may seem very abstract but there is a basic exchange, a relationship.  in that sense spirit is drawn to that which is energetically embedded in our primal impulse, from that moment when energy surged into the cells that began to grow into us.  that universal occurrence of biological exchange makes us especially drawn to the idea of sex.  regardless of the opinion we have regarding sexuality, we will respond to the word or idea with some attention.  artists are the ones that visibly, consciously externalize the shadow–both physically and psychologically to the world, becoming a reflection for other lifeforms to relate to.  many artists have an ongoing representation of the shadow in their work.  it is an opportunity to have a reflection, and to share the reflection, as there are those that are conditioned to believe that the shadow is bad, or to be feared somehow, and want to minimize it to be more comfortable.

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“untitled” collage 10″ x 10″ istara freedom

we can benefit by being aware of the shadow–as a performance of personal power, or to provide a distraction, or open a conversation with the psyche as to ones fears and challenges.  I have found the dialogue can be very helpful, to assess where i am in relation to my shadow.  by looking at it, envisioning it, and playing with the shadow, we can communicate with the parts of our psyche that are pre-lingual, and deep in shadow.  it may well be an uncomfortable conversation at first, as our very powerful imaginations combined with deep elemental forces will detail any type of fear or fantasy we may have.  artists and creative types, scientists, are agents of this primal creative energy, and often explore aspects of shadow sexuality in their work.  the commercial viability of sexuality is part of our collective human shadow and is a consideration for many artists and the phenomenon we know as ‘selling out’.  because sexuality is viable, it will often dominate certain types of commercially successful art forms, especially in film and music.  as artists with integrity we can minimize the grotesque exploitation of sexuality for profit by looking at the shadow sides of ourselves and use the sexual energy to create work that honors the sexual impulse of all life as a more elemental occurrence.

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“O” collage, mixed media 2′ x 3′ istara freedom

as I am transitioning from the more quiet side of the visual arts to songwriting and singing, I am beginning to consider performance again and selling an image.  I get to play with the ideas of sexuality and how much of a sexy image I want to portray.  i consider the challenge it has been for me from time to time to present or ‘sell’ my  visual art, as it is open to interpretation and has the energy of self reflection.  it gives the viewer a mirror to go deep inside and that can be uncomfortable for those that want a pretty and conventional surface to relate to–or people will get distracted by my physical presence, and want to shift the focus to me. so now i get to play with selling my own image in the presentation of the songs if i choose.

perhaps you were expecting a more juicy expose on sex, shadow, spirit and the artist. i will admit, i have been curious to see just how much of a difference in the traffic to my site will be affected by including sex in the topic, and this is part of my research. maybe another day i will write a more ‘juicy’ piece to make up for it if my readers seem interested. let me know. thanks for the visit!

universal upgrade, part 1

some time ago i made a commitment, to get some work done and really give my love of stone sculpture my full attention for a while. it seemed that would be the only way i could make enough progress in this tough and challenging medium. it is an art that takes time and physical energy and patience and the willingness to be dirty. the results occupy space and time in such a hard and formal way, even if the gesture is soft and lovely. to make this commitment, i had to let some other interests go. tattooing for one. so i may not get to have work on myself as often for a while, oh well, that is a sacrifice i choose for now. then i asked the universe to give me some support if this is the right choice for me, and got busy with my rocks and hand tools. i had started to speak of my journey with stone in my previous entries.

i’ve come back so many times to the love of the subtractive carving process and the way it feels very complete to me, being so physical, and sometimes so slow to see results, it takes me out of my mind. i hear the sound of the tool in rhythm with my mind’s eye and the physical ability i have to execute that visual relationship. now i’ve made a deeper commitment, followed through with some action, asked for support, made some progress. i’ve received support, encountered challenges and set myself up for a year or more likely a lifetime of sculpting with the tools and techniques and new material, but especially with the feeling that there is so much more to learn and say within the medium.

wow, so what exactly was the upgrade? things went so full circle and surprised me–i’ve  learned recently that people i respect in my community have been reading my words, here. okay, to step back a bit, where i left off, i was working on the ‘angelheart’ sculpture. what a stone–the detail, the polishing, it is like glass, very crystalline! i’m happy to say it is finished. renamed ‘Ananchel’ or angel of grace. Ananchel means divine grace, and she is here to offer us the experience of an open heart allowing the love of the divine to pour in. “she awaits to bathe us in a state of ecstasy, when every cell in our body sings praises”  and offers gratitude. “Ananchel provides the state of grace which allows the angels to fill us with love, inspiration, wisdom and rapture.” the color of the onyx really does vary from white, to a soft peachy color as shown in the photos, depending on the light.

   

what happened is that after i made the commitment and fumbled around with my motivation to put the energy into it, that i had the first upgrade; the pleasure of being commissioned to create a piece in stone for an indoor water fountain made of slate and built into the corner of a wall. i put the other pieces on hold, and went for it, finding the right stone and getting it approved, eventually having enough awareness of the project and the material i started carving. (this part took a while, looking at the rough rock in the shadowy corner, and trying to ‘see’ it in my minds eye) i loved working the stone, pyrophyllite. the consistency and color and smooth, tight grains. the idea of water and the shape of the fountain informed a feeling in me of where my eye and tools wanted to go together. also, there was a lovely patch of red on the top corner of the stone that the client really liked, however the red was pretty shallow and toward the front, so had to find my way around that brief red coloration and not overwork the area, a thought i dreaded. the following pictures are: the fountain, the sculpture, and the fountain with the sculpture.

  

i then encountered a problem with my growth. i made too much dust in my home studio environment (that was our garage and yard) and had to look around for a new place to work. i heard about Pratt in Seattle and looked into it for a studio rental. i rented the stone yard there to finish my piece and am so glad i did. it is a great place that has everything i need to continue my exploration of committment to stone sculpture, the tools, the air, the water, drill presses, the six inches of dust, etc. i have had the place to myself, except for a few random and changing artists and the department technicians which have been most supportive. this place allows me to keep busy and have more resources and and a good atmosphere to work in, as it is surrounded on two sides by a community park on the other side of which is a great local coffee place.

that is why you may not have seen or heard from me as much in a while. i’m encouraged to continue writing along with creating sculpture and visual art, and recently i contributed to a group show at artwalk in Issaquah, completed another five-day figure sculpture intensive and am getting ready to have a place in the local annual salmon days festival in one weeks time. events that are requiring me to finish pieces and consider how i want to represent myself and grow.