Sunday, August 28, 2016

Children of The Big Bang

Earth Bodies - 1 (Copyright Lori Allen 2016)

Fifteen billion years ago, we were there.
You and I. Our sisters, brothers, lovers,
others, all there.

We were wild, hot, and brilliant.
We could not contain ourselves.  For over
ten billion years we allowed our young,
spinning, fluid and fuming bodies to
gyrate and convulse.

We exhausted ourselves.  We allowed
ourselves to slow down, cool down, and dream
about the future.  We chose partners who
supported our dreams, mostly.

My partners and I named our dreams
"Earth."  I have been involved in cycle
after cycle of molding the shared dreams
of Earth, though I can not recall who or
what I was before this cycle.

When I look to the horizon of this dream
named Earth, I recognize you all.
If I stand or sit quietly and match
my heartbeat to the pulse of Earth, I
understand, again, that we are the same.
I can not feel where I end, where you all,
my fellow dreamers, begin.

I marvel when I see all we have created,
are still creating.  I am proud of the
terra firma, the oceans, the rooted
things, the rocks.

I am amused, and annoyed, that in
my current cycle, I only understand
the language of those exactly like me.

Humanness is such a limited way of
being.  Every day we ask, "why am I here?"
"What is the meaning of life?" (When what
we mean is, "what is the meaning of
THIS life?")

In the blink of a humanoid eye,
as the cosmos says, this life will be past
and all question will be answered, again.

I long for my next cycle.
What, who will I be?  Bacteria? Plant?
Element? Artist? Stone Cutter? Healer?
Who will you be?
Surely, we will remember one another.

In whatever form our next cycle finds us,
let's connect. We can get a coffee, or a
bite of sulfur.  No, wait, let's get my favorite
- a shot of stardust with a lightning chaser.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Children of Perseus, Tears of St. Laurence . . . . a Meteorlogical Work of Art

Photo Credit -

Perseus was a minor Greek god who was the son of Danae and Zeus, grandson of King Acrisius of Argo.  He first saw Andromeda when she was chained to a rock as a punishment for her mother, Cassiopia.  Perseus rescued Andromeda, they married, had seven sons and two daughters.  Their children are called Perseids, or coming from Persues.  That is where the Perseid meteors get their name, as they appear to be coming out of the Persues constellation, right next to the Andromeda constellation.

I mentioned that Perseus' maternal grandfather was King Acrisius of Argo because this reminds me of another person from a similar sounding land, Aragon, who also has connections  to the Perseid meteor shower.

In about 225 C.E. a lad named Laurence was born in Spain, in the region of Aragon.  As a young man, he encountered a Greek man, the future Pope Sixtus II. The men became great friends and decided to travel to Rome to further their studies.  Sixtus eventually became pope, ordained Laurence, and appointed him one of the first seven deacons of the Christian church.

Laurence, even though he was very young, was trusted with the church treasury and distributing alms to the poor.  In August 258, Roman Emperor Valerian issued an order that all Christians should be denounced and killed, their possessions and land confiscated and turned over to the imperial treasury. Of course, this meant that all religious officials, pope and deacons, should be executed and the church's treasury delivered to the emperor.

After killing all the others, Laurence was apprehended, and he was ordered to give over the entirety of the treasury.  He convinced the soldiers that he needed three days to gather everything for delivery. During these days, he distributed the entire church wealth to paupers, disabled, widows, children, and anyone who was in need. He appeared before the emperor and his soldiers three days later, an entourage of those he'd helped following him.

"These are the riches of the church," he said and he pointed to the people around him.  "It is all the church has ever held that is of value."  Of course, soon after the meeting, there is violence that includes roasting on a gridiron until dead, martyrdom, and eventual sainthood for St. Laurence. Today, San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, the church that was built over his tomb, still stands outside the Vatican walls.

By the forth century, many Christians knew St. Laurence's story, leading to a strong and widespread devotion to him, especially by the poor and afflicted.  When the Perseids meteor shower would appear on or near his feast day of August 10, the descending sparks became known as "The Tears of St. Laurence."

As I watched the scant golden threads of the meteors in the early morning hours today, I thought of these two pieces of lore.  I appreciate that modern astronomy has allowed the myths and metaphors to name this meteorological event - a marriage of art and science.

I long to find my own mix of art, science, and the ordinary experiences of every day that will allow me to move through life with the creativity and grandeur of Greek mythology and the caring and hubris of a champion such as St. Laurence.

Now - I'm off for a nap.  Not sure if I'm catching up on last night's short sleep or planning ahead to get up mid-sleep tonight to try and sew together more stories and memories from the golden Perseid threads, er tears . . . . .

St Laurence and his gridiron.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Who We Really Are

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with 
the darkness of other people.  C.G.Jung

"The Dark Knight Sigmund Freud" by Evgeny Parfenov

As I was walking down the sidewalk today, two young men burst out of a building and cut in front of me.  I was close enough to hear their conversation clearly until their steps outpaced mine, leaving me to wonder what  in the world the context of their words came from:

    1:  I mean, all this shit is serious.  And I used to act like that.  I mean, not on purpose or anything.  I just did what my friends and crap were doing.

    2:  You've been awakened. (A few steps in silence.)  But hold on to, you know, remember all the shit you did.

    1:  Yeah.  I know.  (Again, a few steps in silence.)  Wait.  What?

    2:  You know.  Remember what it was like to plan shit, do shit.  That's how you'll know what's going on, what people are going to try to do.  That's how I got good at it.

    1: Yeah.  Like a super conscience.  

Awakened.  Super conscience.  Immediately my mind went to Freud and Jung and all the things they tried to explain to the world through the lens of their experiences and understanding.  I am making an assumption when I say I don't think Freud or Jung were on the mind of the speakers I overheard.  I did find it interesting that all these years later, we are all still trying to make sense of how we live in the world, how we should live in the world.  

Today's blog post is more about other people's thoughts and expressions on life than mine.  It's a showcase of sorts for Freud, Jung, and an amazing artist named Andrew Myers, whose work I saw a few years ago.  Love, hate, or indifference for Freud and Jung?  Fine.  I, too, get weary of trying to decode and translate how their wisdom might be processed and understood in my mind, then transformed to feelings and actions that inform my life in today's world.

But, the artists?  They are too important not to pay attention to.  Their messages of awe and wonder are not so difficult for the heart and soul to understand and translate for our minds.

As for the two young men I over heard . . . I do hope they were pondering how to navigate maturing into responsible adults, you know, embracing their "super conscience."  

As for you, my readers, I hope the short film below will allow you to look into, rather than outside, your own self to know who you are, to awaken.  And, I hope you will love, or at least accept, the full recipe of who you really are.  Click on the link Self-Portrait for a serving of awe and wonder.

Self-Portrait  Andrew Myers 
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are. C.G. Jung

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Earth is Our Mother . . . .but Who is Your Father?

The Earth and Her Lovers - Air, Fire, and Water

She gazed upon her
children, admiring each
lover’s finest traits.

It is not secret that I love to paint metaphors and hidden meaning into my paintings. I especially love to give humanness to non-human entities.  Who knew that after many days of pondering old and, perhaps, new relationships . . . I would find myself imagining the Earth as a strong feminist spirit whose love and passion and playfulness with ALL the elements is what gave rise to the evolution of humans.  

So, if the Earth is your mother, who do you think (or maybe you know for certain) your father is?  I, personally, have had the DNA testing that proves my paternity, and I know who many of my full brothers and sisters are.

But I love all the rest of my half-siblings equally.  There is room for us all in our mother's house. We must work hard not to wash over, blow away, or burn up one an other's lives.  Mmmmwha! Let's all get together at mom's one day soon!