Tuesday 17 March 2009

scratch 2

misha flight 4

misha flight 3

misha flight 2

misha flight 1

from misha 2

Friday 6 March

Some nights I go underground. I go deep into the London night and make friends with people I will never see again.

I dance until the light of morning
I dance for all bodies
I am no longer myself, I have transformed into a vibrating expression for all my ancestors and for all their pain, and for all my own dreams of the future, carried together…

I have been purifying all the toxins out of my body for 2 weeks
Sweating out the past – because I believe that emotion and psychic materials can be sweated out. Drive them out with ginger and lemon and garlic and water and prune juice and grapefruit. Transform. Pray.

My ears are still blocked, my throat is still sore
But around me my body is changing

Wednesday 11 March

This it the full moon
She is grand and strong and pulls me from sleep

This morning I will burn Marigolds.
Calendula is what I rubbed on the legs of my mother as she moved into the land of Death – I massaged it in deep. I massaged and talked with her. Giving her all I had to help her in her passage.
She was afraid at first. I saw it in her eyes. But I kept pushing the stuff in, deeper and deeper. May this be a salve. We talked as she looked out at the lake and I sat at her feet staring into her face.
These precious moments of last summer. These golden flowers. The moments that made everything change, for all of us, all the women, all the women in my family. . .

That was last summer, and this is the road to a new season of spring.
This morning I will burn Marigolds.
To honor the releasing. To honor the purging. To honor the changing.
As we move from one era of life, into another.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

from misha

Wednesday 25 February: Ash Wednesday.
The Dark/New Moon -- The beginning of 40 days of wandering.

To wander: to move from place to place, either without a purpose or without a known destination…

To wander -- To Search: a careful and thorough examination in order to find something or something…

Wilderness: a mostly uninhabited area, uncultivated, wild.

To purify: to free of sin, guilt, and uncleanness – a ritual cleansing…

Wednesday 4 March
First Quarter, she grows again.

I am not sure if I am giving up something as much as letting go.
I am not sure I can write the things I am letting go of, as they are so deep, multi-faceted, and mysterious.
But I know something is leaving, something is ebbing away –
And something new will grow there

I have been sweating in bed with flu.
My ears plugged and dangerously close to infection:
First the right side, with my entire rigor and male drives overdone, overdone, overdrawn.
Then the left side, something from the female calling me. Telling me there is a block.
So, the first 7 days of 40, I am ill.

Thursday 26: I perform a dirge for my mother in Whitechapel. Bones and flying angels, deep blood, cries.

Friday 27: I tell my ex-lover that I can no longer be in touch.

Saturday 28 & Sunday 1: I lie in bed. At some point I hear the meow of my cat to wake me. But she lives in Canada, and I live in London.

Monday 2: I go to see the tales of Babylon at the British Museum – all is crumbling. The old order is crumbling… William Blake’s depiction of the Whore of Babylon goes deep into my psyche…

And Tuesday the 3rd I work, I write, I return, I come back to myself a little. I have sweat a lot of the old unneeded out of my body. It has taken thousands of years to get to this point. I feel tender and uncertain, and somehow strong.
Somehow I have arrived. I have made it through the first part of a massive transformation.
words and images

'sh wednesd'y new s'crifices

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Lent v Carnival

"The Battle between Carnival and Lent" - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1559)

"Like his contemporaries Erasmus and Rabelais, Brueghel clearly understood the power of the ludic over its graver alternatives. And yet it is the coexistence of these two themes that he celebrates and immortalizes. Carnival has no meaning without Lent; locked in an eternal contest, they enact the battle between passion and reason, appetite and intellect, pleasure and piety, excess and scarcity that encompasses so many of the questions that guided and shaped the lives of early modern Europeans."

(Paula Findlen at Painting in Concert)

bundle by sarah gee lent as preparation for a significant event

scratch 1

seventh day

There has been a wonderful response to 40 DAYS & 40 NIGHTS with brilliant ideas and many of you asking how we might proceed.

At the centre of my idea is the desire that we might keep in touch as Lent goes by,
in order to encourage each others' undertakings, whatever they are, and to report progress, setbacks etc. I have in mind that we could use the part of my website - www.elspethowen.net -called Daily Rounds, which is a blog, for this purpose:
either A you can post words and pictures there for all of us to see or B you can send words/images to me and I can put them on the blog. For A to happen I need you to email me requesting access to the blog; for B I need you to email giving me explicit permission to post your material on the website. (Once you give me permission I shall assume it covers everything you may send, so you must specify if you change your mind.) Obviously this form of communication only works if you WANT to use it. Otherwise the opportunities for interaction are ones between you and me individually via email, post or telephone.

Some of you have launched into your own schemes just as I was hoping. I myself am giving up SCRATCHING (I have developed a maddening scalp itch and urgently need to stop myself harming the skin by going at it with my fingers - such exquisite pleasure). Actually I am only giving up scratching my HEAD and I'm going to devote myself to scratching as many other SURFACES as possible. My plan is to make a collection of these scratchings as we go along through the wilderness.

Because this project embraces real and virtual ways and the real is always that much more to me, I would like to propose an actual get- together on Saturday 11 April at The Pavilion in Grantchester. This could be the occasion to mark the end of Lent and usher in SpringTime and to share our wilderness experiences.

But this is all a long way off (though less than 40 days!)