Stomp and see

Things are finding me. Which is pleasant. I’ve always been a Romantic like that. I’m open.

Picked up this Walt Whitman bio from Caliban bookstore in Pittsburgh a couple months ago. I was drawn to it. Green is my favorite color. Thick books make me salivate. When I opened the cover I saw the lovely drawing and I was certain I wouldn’t regret the purchase. Was never deep into Whitman, though I am cognizant that he is a spirit that has followed me throughout my teenage and adult life. Figured I should start following him in return. A mutual soul-stalking if you will.

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First edition, 1926

Walt is encouraging my inner wanderer. She’s always been there, but I’m sure she could use a hell of a lot more breathing room. Less anxiety and worry. Less pressure. Kicking against the pricks.

I walk every day during my lunch break. Sometimes I have lovely company, sometimes I go it alone. An hour doesn’t seem like a very long time for introspection and observation. I suppose it depends on what you do with that hour. It can go really fast. It can slowly drag on. Time is relative like that (that’s right, I said it. Throw your watch on the fire…maybe, that’s a little hasty, but whatever).

What things can you see in an hour? Where can you go? Just wander aimlessly. It’s freeing. Crank some tunes and find out! Walked an old familiar way, but I managed to see new things.

(Music of choice this gloomy afternoon is Mitski’s new album “Puberty 2″…exquisite, by the way, holy hell).

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Today’s soundtrack.

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An eye in an alleyway. Big Brother is watching; maybe some less sinister like Mr. Walt Whitman from the Great Beyond.

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View through a fence through the trees of an old and mossy bridge.

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An old skateboard abandoned in the back of a discarded truck bed lining. And my feet.

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Beautiful GREEN moss on the tree near the skateboard scene. Everything’s coming up green.

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Geese on the move.

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Groundhog #1

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He thought this camouflage maneuver was sneaky.

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I didn’t know this notebook changed color in the heat.

I sat by the water for a bit and watched a playful Chihuahua wearing a bandana chase his tail in the grass. His owner, a thin, older man, gleamed just as much joy as I did from watching the little turd having the time of his life. I smiled as I walked back to work. Vibes in the air, y’all.

 

Listening with open eyes

A couple of days ago I spotted a lonely paintbrush on the ground. I was compelled to take a picture of it.

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Was it discarded on purpose? Maybe the guy painting the building facade across the street threw it at a passing car being driven by his archenemy. Maybe it was in someone’s back pocket and slipped out quietly to make a life all its own (I’m reminded of the Blur video “Coffee & TV”).

It was really the randomness of it that made me stop and take the photo. Or was it random? Is anything really random? I think that less so the deeper I dive into myself and my connection to my environment and the world and universe. Interconnectedness.

Later in the day my husband informed me he had finished painting the front porch. The same grey color that was on this outcast, little brush.

On the surface, I don’t think that it really means much. But it doesn’t make it any less fantastic about how, when tuned into the present moment, you can make a connection between just about anything. Therein lies the meaning, probably. What makes life worth showing up to every day. Wander. Wonder. The world is constantly speaking to us.

I’ve drawn some stuff lately that I plan to sew, too.

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I’ve carried many a torch in my life.

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One of my son’s ideas. Misspelling not intentional, obviously will be amended later.

A consistently encouraging friend of mine has been pushing me to apply for the arts festival again next year. I think I will listen and work towards that. That’s right. I’m going to listen. Less expectations, more openness. I’ve been letting it seep in my skin this year as much as I can.

 

 

Cats n’at

Ya know, I used to like Courage the Cowardly Dog…until my kid started watching it on Netflix. I’ve seen the episode where some apparition keeps saying “Return the slab!” about 4 million times. It’s on right now. Like, seriously, someone stab my ear canals, please.

Got a lot done around the house today. My front porch looks immaculate. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it does look pretty nice for the time being. Scrubbed some more on the back deck. Cicadas were dive bombing me the entire time. Once those fuckers have started mating, the males are particularly aggressive. Look, I am not a tree, and I am not your mate. I think you guys are cool. You don’t scare me, but back the shit off. Get away from my face.

I’ve started work on a new patch. A while back I made a patch called “Meow-issey” of Morrissey as a cat.

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I told myself I was going to start a series of musicians as cats. Because, why not? My newest venture is a Robert Smith cat patch. Will probably add a felt backing to it once it’s complete.

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I’ve had the striped fabric forever. But, recently my kid and I experimented with some tie dye, so I added the purple to mix it up a bit. I am pleased with myself for 1) delving a little deeper into full stitching…not just making outlines like I did when I first started embroidery. It’s cool to see how I’ve progressed; and 2) that I am sewing this new patch on a colored fabric instead of white or light colored. When I was just focused on the outline, it was kind of hard to do it on anything but a white background. Growth and stuff, man. I’m getting better.

Reboot.

Remember this blog? Barely. But it was the first one I actually kept regularly. Too bad I just up and deleted most of the old entries. I’m just not there anymore. Not that I’m ashamed of my past or anything, I just don’t feel they have a home here any longer. Though there’s also no point in deleting the blog altogether. shapelessflame has always been ME. It’s a line from one of my favorite poems by John Donne “Air and Angels.”

Twice or thrice had I lov’d thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp’d be;
         Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing I did see.
         But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
         More subtle than the parent is
Love must not be, but take a body too;
         And therefore what thou wert, and who,
                I bid Love ask, and now
That it assume thy body, I allow,
And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.
Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
And so more steadily to have gone,
With wares which would sink admiration,
I saw I had love’s pinnace overfraught;
         Ev’ry thy hair for love to work upon
Is much too much, some fitter must be sought;
         For, nor in nothing, nor in things
Extreme, and scatt’ring bright, can love inhere;
         Then, as an angel, face, and wings
Of air, not pure as it, yet pure, doth wear,
         So thy love may be my love’s sphere;
                Just such disparity
As is ‘twixt air and angels’ purity,
‘Twixt women’s love, and men’s, will ever be.
It’s Donne’s favored thematic device of religious, sensual, and perception is something I have always found pretty stimulating in the arts and literature. Love as religion, forbidden desires, nuns giving BJs…you know, that kinda stuff (also why I would consider “Songs of Faith and Devotion” my favorite Depeche Mode album. But, I digress.) I choose “shapelessflame” particularly because while it represents a flaming desire, a fire, it also suggests something undefinable. Some wiggle room for interpreting things as you see fit…whomever you are. It applies to art and love. Two things I find myself pretty motivated by on a daily basis.
I was selling vintage and a bit of my art on Etsy successfully for a couple years. I had modest, steady sales. I enjoyed it, frankly, but thanks to fees and just general lack of time to dedicate to it (that shit takes a long damn time), I gave it up. And, really, if we’re being honest here, there’s some attachments to the name “Weird Life” that I came up for my shop revamp. It was always shapelessflame. I changed it when I decided I wanted to start a collaborative effort with one of my friends at the time. Too bad her idea of collaboration ending up being trying to run off with my husband. I kept it running after our falling out, but I’m done with it now. I need to shut down the energy surrounding that name and that shop and that time for myself. Door closed. Bye. Not looking back.
I’ve been super creative lately…
collage
I finally feel consistent in that realm, but I’m still working on being content with it. I am working on creating for the sake of it. For the therapy. Trying not to stress (too much).
Life is good these days. I mean, it has its ups and downs. A lot of downs it seems, but if I take an honest stock of where I am right now, it’s pretty good. It’s life. It’s beautiful and fucked up all at the same time. Right?
I am going to keep this blog to show some art and to speak my mind. I don’t really have much more direction than that. But I’m gonna sign off for now. My kid is kicking my foot and it’s seriously getting on my nerves…and I need a glass of wine. x