Paper Wings

This poem's joined The Festival of the Trees 1 --- swing over, hyperlink-like, and read Dave's great inaugural celebration on all the terrific posts submitted. Every month there'll be a blog post by one of the rotating editors :) devoted to collecting all the posts submitted that month on trees. Tree worship is alive and well and thriving!
Paper Wings

I open 500 envelopes a day: transactions, records, letters. Slice them open like pockets, remove sheaths of paper.

Paper cuts, edges like swords.

The first paper was stone. Scrawling on cave walls, then wet clay tablets, wax-coated inscribed by metal, bone, ivory stylus. Papyrus, sheepskin, parchment.

Unfold letters, staple, sort, deliver it to the offices.

Papering the world. It burns. Flames of culture singe.

From pictures to pictographs to abstract figures to alphabets, our grammars of sound ground into ink of soot, glue and water scratched with reeds, or quills, taking the five outer wing feathers of geese, swans, crows, owls, turkeys, hawks.

As body is to breath,
paper and ink are to mind.

Without papyrus, animal skin, parchment, vellum or the plant fibre, cellulose mulch of pressed paper... our history.

The body of language is inked paper.

The Gutenberg Printing Press, replaceable wooden letters. 1436. Cursive handwriting, 1495, Manutius of Venice, the 'running hand.'

Our 26 alphabet letters not till the end of the 16th century.

Mass printing. Mass distribution. Wide scale literacy.

The first paper was stone. You drew on the cave walls.

The world is papered with knowledge. Burn all the paper in the stoneage firepit of our souls.

Smooth burning words under my fingers.

Forests are the lungs of the planet; and wood dust and water promise of immortality.

Give us our words, records, songs, drawings, photographs, to store. Save diagrams of what houses us. Even Capitalism depends on the paper that money is printed on. Bank statements, loans, stock certificates. Cheques, vouchers, tickets. Medical, dental records. Taxes. All the transactions.

Delible records kept in the vaults of time. Mementos.

Ownership tattooed in the ink on the paper that becomes passport of proof.

Birth and baptism and education and marriage and employment and travel and retirement and death certificates.

The paper trail of our lives.

Envelopes as wallpaper. Bodily fluids, tissue papers. Cards, wrapping, origami. Computer paper. Specially treated, bonded. Newspapers, boxes.

The world is awash with paper.
Inscribed paper.

Mind. Hand. Ink. Paper.
My letter opener flashes like a slicing knife.

Envelope after envelope, stack after stack of paper. Filing ourselves. Pixelated language printed out reams upon reams collected, stored.

I wander the stacks of the library afterwards, shelf upon shelf, floor upon floor of bound books of yellowed paper inscribed with words, figures, numbers, images.

This gift of trees,
memory of ourselves.

This love letter
of paper.

ah, sigh, I've been tinkering with this for months, it just keeps growing...
Comments (7)

Self Portrait #8, plus photos

Self Portrait #8, June 29, 2006

This week I tutored a sweet Japanese Physics student through stages of a philosophy paper, it was hard work for both of us -me eliciting coherent ideas and grammar, he pushing himself to produce, and then felt bad because I spent the money on paints and cheap brushes (when I have tubes of paint and sable brushes in storage). But a friend at another site loves #7 and has asked about it, so I should feel better...

Also I found a card table with a wobbly leg that I fixed in about 2 seconds and it's now a 'painting table' - so I don't have to put the dishes on the floor while I use the tiny bathroom counter - although it takes up nearly all the room in my tiny space. It's so damp down here too, that I wonder how these paintings will dry. Oh, fret, fret.

Ok, a garden goddess, based on a photo my daughter took (my choice of location & pose, I couldn't resist those roses), and I look way younger, but whadya wanna make of it? ::grins:: Paint & brush seem to be doing their own thing. Perhaps I'm celebrating a younger self, who knows. I guess I'll have to get a really fine brush to darken the face more & put a teeny tiny dot of colour in the eyes...

It strikes me that the 'open heart' of Self Portrait #7 has here turned into a canopy of open, blossoming magenta roses...

Oil on canvas, 9.25" x 7.75".

Update: Here's a merge of some photos over the last three years... no, one can't be blonde forever:) Click for larger size.

BrendaClews SelfPortrait Merge

For Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.
Comments (8)

Morning Pages...

What engulfs emits light.
I had put this commentary in a comment below, something I might try from time to time when I don't want to overload the image for you...

I read this article, Lighter Side of Black Holes, and later the image I've posted emerged. As I pondered my syllogism, what engulfs emits light, I wondered how it would translate across time shifts and conscious ripples. The statement spawned in my consciousness from reading about a 'scientific discovery,' that is presumably based in the empirical world, in the 'real' world of verifiable happenings, could be applied to other areas of human experience.

Emotionally what does it mean: what engulfs emits light.

And in terms of a kind of dominant gene, combative, Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest, Tennyson Nature-red-in-tooth-and-claw, all the devouring that goes on, is there always a record of the engulfment? That light is emitted?

The conclusions my night-time/morning mind came to, what engulfs emits light, have pulled me into strange and wondrous musings on the philosophical ramifications...

"Scientists have cracked a huge cosmic paradox — how black holes can be the darkest objects known but also responsible for a quarter of all light and other radiation produced in the universe since the Big Bang."

Like, wow.

Morning Pages...

Once it appeared in the world, there was a difference.

Things weren't the same afterwards.

What was puzzling was that no-one noticed when it happened. Life went on.

But everything had changed utterly.
Comments (5)

Morning Pages: On a Summer's Morning

(I am attempting morning pages, even if it's only a few lines.)

On A Summer's Morning

Something a little more pure. Where the gift is.

The hot humid air bathes me.

I use espresso coffee in my coffee maker; flavourful, earthy.

Free the moment of its burdens.

Find home.

After which I meditated for many hours on what home is, and this continued day after day. It's become a mantra whose sound I follow. Even today watching the leaves catch the morning's rain, remembering filling the hugest flower pot I could find with as many red geraniums as it could fit for the doorstep of my old house and wondering where again I shall be watering such richly red blossoms. I think of Jean, Mary, Tamar, who are all in perhaps similar though different processes on the meaning of home...

And then the Linden tree down the street, filling the road with such gold. I picked up a handful of marigold-yellow seed fluff and placed it in a small pewter-glazed ceramic bowl. The beginning of an alter, it feels like.

But that's another story.
Comments (3)

Self Portrait #7

Self Portrait #7

Paint's still wet (oil on canvas)...

I haven't painted in a very long time, but yesterday bought a small set of oils and one brush, and tonight cleared the foot & a half space on the bathroom counter where we have our dish rack and painted one of the self portraits. There was no black or even brown paint, hence the blue hair. Is the red paint her heart? I give the paint a fair bit of freedom to do what it wants and become witness to the results. What emerged frightened and exhilirated me. A meditation in 'emergent self'? - my dream of a few nights ago said, use brushes, not sticks, which I took to mean paints not watercolour pencils. Interesting. Not quite starlight, but tiny pin pricks of an opening of something...

Mary Ann says, "The red part in the middle looks like your heart is open for all to see."

For Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.
Comments (8)

Self Portrait of Woman Keeps on Walkin'...

Update: Sparky's asked me to decide how to post this mini series. Gnash, gnash. Ok, decision. All together, but he only has to post one. There are 10 so far, and I'm planning to paint at least one of them too.

They're all clickable for readability.
Da Original



Da drawing:

Self Portrait #6, June 20, 2006

De first batch of Self Portrait of Woman Gone Walkin':

Self Portrait #6 - Lady Of Vines, Of The Forest, Or Fence Sitter

Self Portrait #6- In the Gutter

Self Portrait #6 - Posted On the Post


Da Second Batch:






Yat is enough. She gonna stay home now! (Or leave town!) NO MORE WALKIN', Self Portrait!

(Sometimes ya git caught in a swirling eddy [of walkin' S-Ps] [oh, 'n there's no overlayin'; they's all real shots in real places, even if enhanced later] & ya can't hardly git out!)
Comments (3)

From my notebook...

(the first two, the twigs, & vertical lines, from dreams the night before)

CaligraphyDon't use twigs, use brushes.

The downward vertical line & the upward vertical line don't meet, and she saw this years ago and went away distraught.

It's SunFire Day. Solstice.

The typoGenerator* threw up some of my images. A photograph of a red tulip; a line drawing of a pensive woman.

In the field of green, some random red.

My dog lies sleeping beside me; she always has to be near.
From the Notebook...
The wall clock ticks. The world holds still. O


(I did for an hour.)

Then move, fast.

(I didn't. But ran into an old friend in her blue Rav4 later, the same car she drove me out to a farm in the country 5 years ago to meet and fall in love with a certain puppy, an occurrence which seemed stretched like a line inevitably from this point.)

*thanks to Dave for the link

Comments (2)

The plain face...

Surely post & then take this down... the photo underlaying the drawing (which will surely do more walking), unadorned, plain, as is, the background fuzzed, oh yeah, well...

Comments (7)

Re-visers, oh, oh..... A Wandering Self Portrait!

I apologize for updating posts; it drives me crazy too. Yesterday was a case in point (surely dozens of times, those with aggregators must have... oh, sorry!). But the post kept growing! I eventually took the drawing and photographed it in different places - no overlays, the real drawing in real places: leaves, a gutter, a posting pole. Now I'm thinkin' where else I could take her. Any suggestions?

Self Portrait of Woman Wandering the City.

No comments allowed on this post; you'll have to go back to the other one...
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