Thursday, March 29, 2007

A little unfinished painting...

BrendaClewsWomanPaintingMarch2007

While I did this little India ink sketch and oil painting before seeing Susie Burpee's dance performance, "The Spinster's Almanac, A Cabaret of Solitude," this March in Toronto, down at the Distillery District, and though the figure in this is Victorian, there is something about her...

So I composed these words, I wrote them on the back of the painting in pencil, that were mostly a response to Burbee's performance, to perhaps add to the tiny painting (maybe 9" x 5") in handwriting:

Nails claw inside the breaking shell. Spinster's Almanac. Miss Haversham. Dance of downy feathers, beating heart, aloneness. Only windows seen or seeing. Escape into the confinement of solitude.

Only my hard drive is full, and I can't take a better, more in-focus picture and upload it, or even one with the scrawled words on it until I rectify the situation, sigh. I'll upload the finished little painting whenever.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Inkspill in Red

After the simplicity of my friend's encouragement -why not, he said- I tried again to go deeper in my writing of my present bodily experience. Sharing the little piece (that's taken all morning to write, sigh):

No meditating on stopping it. I'm not appreciating deeply enough. For having it. This bleeding, useless, without sense or logic on the part of Nature. At fifty-five years of age it is only a bodily remembrance of the fertility that is past and now becomes a path of greater communion with my womanness, a spiritual deepening into an intimate, private being alive. On the morning of the fourteenth day, still the flush of blood, is it that I deny its importance, denigrate it, lament how weak I feel, how awkward it is in the work world, how strange at my age to flow so redly and opulently? Not that I seek to valorize it. Just to become comfortable with it. After forty-two years of continuous monthly menses, except during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and during the last year when it's been sporadic, I wonder if I have fully accepted my female body? Can I arrive at gentle acceptance near the end of many cycles? Acceptance without celebration or lament. Is-ness. This visceral reality, scarlet wash of haemoglobin on the white moon cloth. Ache in my belly, hidden tides. Loving my womb, inner bulb of fire. Its tender blood vessels.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Observing the Observer

Observing, naming, creating stories gives reality to our perceptions of the universe, which is creating itself for us. Observing the world causes it to shape itself into a reality for us.

In the current issue of The American Scholar, Robert Lanza, a proponent of Biocentrism, which builds on quantum physics, writes, "the laws of the world were somehow created to produce the observer....the observer in a significant sense creates reality and not the other way around."

Hmnnn.


If subatomic particles are "watched" traveling through a barrier (in the famous experiment, a box with two holes), they behave like tiny particles, and go through one hole or the other.

If they're "not watched" they pass through both holes, like waves.

But no-one sees this.


Quantum waves are never observed, only inferred from the behaviour of unobserved particles.

Quantum waves are waves of probability, statistical predictions, not material waves, hence nothing but a likely outcome. Outside of an idea, the wave is not there, it's nothing.

Since it's not observed, can't ever be observed, it's not "real."


Nor does the particle have any definite existence, until we observe it.

It gets worse. Quantum waves merely define the potential location a particle can occupy.

But it's all probability!

It isn't an event or a phenomenon, but a description of a likely event.


Dear reader, my golden muse, I shalln't take this anywhere at the moment. Only let me ask, rather than 'how are you?' and 'what's going on?', what's in your quantum fields these days? ::grins:: Tell me about your entanglements over virtual tea!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Krishna was a Butter Thief

Logic is tiresome, like madness. The brown suede cover of my pocket calendar, the one in which I write, was the back of a cow once. Tanned, dyed, stretched. I will not make a metaphor out of this. It was the book that I bought when I promised to jot notes, any notes, regularly. Pencil swatting words on the fly. Discreetly. Grab at slips of thoughts before they slip away. It's the layer below the layer. A veiny map of words pulsing with blood. A cow's shroud, but see, there I go. The skin of a cow covers my book. The skin that was composed from soft grasses that were nibbled and mulched through four stomachs until the ingredients could be usefully used. To make skin cells. Dermatitis of words. Scribbled suede.

It is the hair that seems wrapped on a bone, that sticks out at jagged angles, that I like best. She pushes the mail cart like a hospital bed. Back and forth, three times a day, every day. Slow, cow steps. Bovine mail delivery. I must get cows off the mind. Really, as I sit at the desk looking for something else to fix my attention on, the telephone cord, wrapped in that circular pattern, is interesting. How do you press rubber wrapped around a line into that shape?

Black and white spots today, a vest. Soft fur, brush it. Which is a lie, but it fits with the metaphor I refuse to make. Gibberish. Someone has gone out the door, someone will enter it, and I must watch all the time in case anyone has lost their pass or needs access, like a visitor, or a courier. My fingers race over the keys until they sound like a clickety cart. It's Friday and almost everyone is gone. I shift my eyes back and forth, checking my environment, people walking by. Am I seeing myself? What do I look like? How many people do you have to see before they blur? Into cows in fields bovinely chewing cud, walking bags of internal organs pulsing. We're walking herds. It must be environmental sterility that's making me this way. I cannot discount the effect of where I am. I'm not sure where these cowslips of thought are coming from. Inside the clover of my hair.

When I was a cow I had no time to give milk. All my attention was on my hooves. And then I ate grass until the cows came home. It was very good, if I recall. The gum that I chew is green. It's St. Patrick's Day. Do cows mind snakes? Cows don't get agitated often. I'm not talking about bulls. Mama cows. The ones mooing on the hill. Everyday I eat a fresh baby spinach salad that I make myself. With thinly sliced onions and fresh mushrooms, and liberally sprinkled with salted sunflower seeds, flax seeds, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, and perhaps cheese cubes. Milk squeezed into solids and dried. Feta cheese salad dressing thrown and tossed until all the baby spinach leaves are coated in oil and dark green. Then I chew, slowly, while all my stomachs digest. They tell me that eating green leafy vegetables with an oil and vinegar dressing is good for us. It keeps us our minds agile.

Really, my hooves are the most interesting part of my anatomy. Everywhere I've been is remembered in them. Look at the indents. See the continents. It's time to move up the hill. I'm being rounded. Milked.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The day illusions fell

This prose poem is dedicated to that magnifique intellectual and poet par excellence, John Walter. Some of the lines in this piece came from a comment I left at his moving poem, Nepenthe. It's also dedicated to my close confidant, Kaj, who received this prose poem as a voice mail message when he didn't answer his Treo, and for which I was generously thanked. Thank you, such beautiful men...
And to Sky, whose photographs and writing of the flowers in her garden inspired the imagery of the last paragraph, so sumptuous they ebulliently began blossoming over here.



Early March 2007, Toronto

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Oh, those years on the earth...

It's my birthday, the double high-five. Nothing special, but I did buy a silk dress which I am wearing at work. Perhaps I'll try to compose some images and see what might emerge from them. It's a difficult day for me, began at 5:15am with sadness, but I'm being brave... and trying to make it like any other day, ignoring the undercurrents, their deep swelling. It's not the age - I celebrate that, seeing myself as only half way through. But, oh, losses, family, really my Dad, such a long time ago now, the ways in which one is honoured, cherished, treasured and loved. Being born was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me, and can I say that after all these years? Does anyone understand this? It's not an easy day. Tomorrow I will probably go to a performance in celebration of International Women's Day with some women friends and celebrate quietly then. Oh, should I post this?

I'll update this as I write it. Please forgive how blatantly emotional.

I woke early, tears in the darkness.

Ironing the black silk dress with cream polka dots like full moons, a few ruffles over the bodice. It ties at the waist. Underneath a silky black chemise with a thick hem of lace that falls below. Since it is Winter, and cold, a wool shirt, the weave, a light-weight worsted, slightly stretchy, in black. An aquamarine pendant surrounded in diamonds, a birthday gift, the last one, from my father before he died.

I remember him on this day, the day he celebrated me, more than I do on the day that commemorated his birth.

The day moves into its heaving. Why can't it disappear into an ordinary day? By evening grief wears itself into memory again.

There are beautiful wishes from friends, and later perhaps my mother, and perhaps my brothers will call, my son certainly will. Only my Dad cared about birthdays, and not his, he wanted no special attention. None of us care that much about birthdays. Only why the slide into grief, the remembrances. As the years have gone on, it's gotten worse, too, missing someone who died 23 years ago now. To acknowledge it as a day of grief? How very odd indeed. Therefore I want to hide the truth of what day it is. You understand.

The day of life, remembering death. Mourning amidst quiet celebration of the day one embarked on life, commemorating the day of emergence, the rhythm of the passing years.


Later now, and the evening mellowed... sitting with my daughter while she does homework, working through things with our banter, the light on the table glistening, her hair, her high cheek bones, enjoying her beauty, sparkle, and one of those soul-baring talks with my brother while she walked the dog, and talking for nearly an hour with my son by phone, so gentle, so wonderful, these simple pleasures, such blessings. In the end, I am a family woman.