Eclipse 2017

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In case you live under a rock or on another part of the globe and pay no attention to world news – we had a total eclipse streak it’s dark way across the US on Monday, 8.21.17.

It was a media and marketing frenzy…but, given this astronomical event happened directly over US soil, I really expected nothing less.

Don’t believe me?  Just go to Amazon and type in Eclipse – the sheer volume of crap offered at unbelievably high prices is unpresidented.  The last time I actually looked up an offering for eclipse glasses (paper frames, with little bits of black plastic for the lenses) you couldn’t buy less than a pack of 20 – for around $100.00.  Doing the math, that comes to five bucks a pop.

For PAPER and PLASTIC.

Land of the free, and Home of the brave?  Pshaw!  Our new national slogan should be:

If there’s a buck to be had…

 

Originally, I had vague plans to aim a camera at the thing.  If nothing else, an eclipse is a perfect excuse to dig out the big DSLR and tripod, set up in a field somewhere, and try to work on my suntan.

Tell me you giggled just a bit at that 😀

But on the day of the big event, the DSLR stayed home…because Mother Nature has a cruel sense of humor.  On this most auspicious event – she covered my hometown with heavy clouds.  I managed a single sorry shot of the moon covering the sun covered by dull grey.

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And this was with the little white point & shoot.

Not that I’m against wandering about with my lower-end camera as opposed to the big and boxy/CMOS sensor/interchangeable lens system that packs 10 pounds of accessories in a 5 pound bag…but I digress.

By the time the event was happening, anyway – I had more esoteric tasks at hand…which succeeded quite nicely, thanks to all who sent positive intentions my way.

I knew going in to this very special esoteric project that eclipse energy isn’t the easiest thing to work with.  It’s energy that appears very infrequently – generated when the new moon, normally hidden in the sky, reveals itself while being blasted in the behind by the MUCH more dominant sun, heavily influenced by the trio of planetary bodies in perfect alignment, and focused on a specific spot on the Earth.

In short – It’s akin to highly condensed chaos.

As I wasn’t in the focal region (I’d not have attempted anything if I was in the path of totality) I managed to work with the waves of chaos, find a bit of the Natural in the cloudy sky and sprinkles raining down on me, and set my intentions in my materials.

And here they are:

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Left to right:  Labradorite, Moonstone, Sunstone

The three obelisks represent, naturally, the three celestial bodies doing their thing in the great void of space.  I was quite pleased with the plinths, especially their sizes.  The Sunstone is the tallest of the three, the Labradorite next, and the Moonstone the smallest – a perfect representation of the size of the three objects.

Normally, when I set intentions in a spell, a single set-word emerges from my subconscious while I’m meditating over the object.  Not so with these guys.

I had three words come – one at each of the three stages of the work.

New.                                             Wonderment.                                     Curiosity. 

 

My original plan to bury the stones around my hometown may need some additional thought, though…as if they are in eclipse alignment (moon between sun and Earth) they radiate the chaos energy from the actual happening.

I’ll have to do some additional work on them to make sure the chaos is locked and non-effective before I am confident enough to position them in the Earth.

 

 

Art Abandonment Project – 7th Drop

 

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The weekend of August 12, the kids and I took a little trip half-way across the state to Madison…the justification being a new bra.

Once we tried on all kinds of over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders and selected the ones we wanted – it was time for fun.

Not that bra shopping in an upscale boutique-y place isn’t fun when you get to embarrass the hell out of the lady assisting with the sizing, selection and trying-on of the things…but I digress.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit ‘coarse’ when discussing boobage.  ESPECIALLY my own.

We ended up on State Street.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Wisconsin’s Capital city – state street is the connecting street to the actual capital building and UWM’s campus.  It’s filled to the brim with an eclectic offering of tiny mom&pop shops:  eateries, bars, glasswares, clothing, artistic gifts, metaphysical stuff…etc.

It’s also interspersed with an amazing number of very well thought out urban ‘chill’ spaces – fountains, greenery, water amusements, seating areas, and the like.

Because Madison has taken such care in creating an attractive space around the actual Government building(s), State street is a magnet for a very interesting class of people.

To put it bluntly – you get the hippies.

I don’t mean this in a negative way – I LOVE the hippy vibe – these are people who, in any day and age the tag has been affixed, go against the standardized social ‘grain’ of the time.  These are the thinkers, the dreamers, the rebels, and the artisans.

In short – my kind of people.

With such an eccentric gathering, how could I NOT bring along a few little artworks to abandon?

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I picked a total of 5 pieces for this little trip – an offering of some of my best…and some forms that hadn’t been chosen for abandonment before this.

We’ll start with this little teashop on State Street.  The kids wanted something kinda sweet to drink, and I badly needed a bathroom – Sencha Tea Bar served to fulfill both functions.  I laughed so hard at the signage in their restroom, I HAD to leave an offering…so the multi-colored fin whirly was perched on the sign.  Although my little twiddle isn’t as beautiful as Beyonce – I hope whoever found the piece treasures it as much as I loved making it.

We then wandered down State Street in the direction of the college quad.  One of my favorite things about State Street is the mix of old & new.  Here…some ancient storefront architecture bracketed with modern high-rises.  Perfect if you need some bohemian foodstuffs 😀

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Once we emerged into the quad – we found a gathering of flow artists…doing their thing to the beat of a small drum-circle.  I don’t know if you can really call 2 drummers a ‘circle’…but I was willing to just go with it.  Besides – the beats they performed were infectious – I couldn’t keep my feet still throughout the entire performance.

I managed to drop the dude and the inverted whirly in the quad – the dude ended up between the railings behind the drum circle, and the inverted whirly on one of the concrete seating areas surrounding the quad.

 

The kids spun things along with the group…after all, they’re flow artists and knew some of these people…and I wandered about the quad with my cell phone camera.

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Art comes in many forms – this storm grate isn’t your standard piece of cast iron.  This kind of detail is what makes the State Street area something special to visit.  And look…I took a selfie of my feet 😀

 

 

 

 

 

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You know I live in Wisconsin – we worship cows ALMOST as much as we worship beer.  I couldn’t help but snap up this little cutie.  She was quite intrigued by the flow artist spinning his hoop in the grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t need to go to Europe to see a castle…we have one of our very own!

 

 

 

 

 

The last piece to be abandoned in the quad was the full Persian keychain.  This wasn’t my standard abandonment, however.  One of the flow artists was having a birthday.  The group stopped in the middle of their performance, and offered impromptu birthday wishes and a pretty green present.

As green was her favorite color…the FP keychain was just the thing – it had green scales attached.  S duly presented my little twiddle to her…and she ran over to give me the biggest hug I’d had in quite some time.

FP Keychain

We had 1 more stop to make.  Mimosa Books & Gifts on State Street is a familiar haunt for the kids – they offer a lot of metaphysical stuff, some Eastern-themed tchotchkes, and tumbled, carved and shaped mineral stones.

Lots of those.

I slipped my final whirly on a corner of the counter when we were checking out.

We then grabbed a bite at the Which-Wich.  I tell ya – their lettuce-wich’s are HUGE – and very keto friendly.

We then made our way back to the old cheap-jeep.

But first…

When a building demands a good goosing – who are we to disappoint?

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And the last shot I’ve got from the Madison trip?  This little gem, spotted as we were getting into the car.

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If there were ever any doubts about how Wisconsinites feel about their beer, their football team, and their major religion – I believe this photo has erased all of that – the only thing missing from the signage was an advertisement for bratwurst.  We worship hops, the Packers, grilled brats, and Christianity in this state (well, the majority do…I’m the weird one!) and in that order.

 

Don’t Fear the Darkness

I have a witchy request, friends…

As you know, the solar eclipse will be casting it’s full shadow across the US next week Monday – August 21st, 2017.

Now – I won’t be in the path of totality, and there’s NO way I’m traveling to get into that path – the traffic will be neigh on suicidal.  I’ll be perfectly happy with the 83% of totality I’m going to get shadowing my little corner of this Earth.

The amount of shadow I personally get is eclipsed (pun intentional) by the potency of this celestial event.

See – the energy of the eclipse will be felt worldwide, no matter where on the globe you reside.  Even if you don’t have a single sliver of shadow crossing the sun in your sky, the energy will still be resonant…because what we’re experiencing is a triple conjunction – the sun, the moon, and the earth all on a single axis for a brief moment in time.

That conjunction is the source of this potent energy.

 

I have my intentions clarified, and my materials gathered.  After the event has passed, the energy harnessed and the calming soporific set in my selected stones, they will be very carefully buried in points around my location to firmly set this massive undertaking.

Because I’m using the Earth and the Natural to completely lock this bit of spellwork, I’m confident that my calming intentions will spread far beyond my own backyard.

This is where the help comes in, folks.  On the afternoon of the 21st – lend me a thought.  A good intention.  A brief moment of your life to aim just a tiny bit of positive energy toward me – the caster – to blend into my calming.

And if you’re in the path of totality – pass me a bit of the awe you’re feeling to see such a potent astrological phenomenon.

 

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Tuesday Photo Challenge – Golden

I ran across Dutch Goes the Photo’s Tuesday challenge.  His word of the week?  Golden.

 

Have I got a golden shot?  Abso-freaking-lutely.  And a story behind it, as well.

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This shot was taken in August of 2010, in the midst of my high priestess time.  I call it that, because I was in a studio apartment in the middle of downtown, was walking all over the place to keep the walls from closing in on me (studios are, by their very designation…SMALL living spaces), and had just realized what a wonderful energy the Fox River generated at the small dam visible from my unit’s windows.

Yea, I was drunk on the vibe and the freedom I had acquired by the move and the ending of my 12 year marriage.

Prior to the taking of this shot, I didn’t consider photography a viable art form.  You didn’t do anything to produce the image, after all, except push a button.  The gadget did all the damn work.

This shot was taken on a cheap point & shoot camera.  It was one of a series I took in the early AM.  I have to say, this wasn’t the shot I went out to take that morning (that composition didn’t gel in the slightest), but was one last click taken as I was headed back to my building.

This is the photograph that changed my mind on the photographic arts, turning me from a cynic of the art form into an active participant.  And though I cycle through artistic expressions (in my half-century above the ground, I’ve written, painted, drawn, carved, etched, sculpted, sewn, braided, photographed, photoshopped, and made interesting things with bits of metal), photography is still pretty high up on my list of ‘I’m bored…what can I do today?’ projects.

I even wrote up my story about the dread pink menace earlier in this blog:  Oops..I broke the Dawn  

 

 

The Concrete Jungle

Took a new route home from work the other day.

I started out like I usually do – down the industrial leg.  The cemetery did some judicious tree-trimming along their fence, so I no longer have to dodge the long boughs to get through. More sunshine and less shade make that stretch just a bit hotter though – so it’s one of those give & take situations that everyone over the age of 12 has learned to adjust to.

 

Instead of heading all the way down the industrial leg, I took a slightly sharp right turn into a residential area…in search of more trees.  More shade.  A bit more breeze.  Plus – I get to tramp on different concrete.  Who knows what I’m gonna find?

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(the last time I took a different route home, I ended up snapping a couple of shots of Les Paul’s memorial graveside…so ADVENTURE!)

The residential trail WAS a bit cooler, as I was walking with my back toward the sun instead of it blasting my side – and the wind was brisk enough to cool things down a bit.

Ooooo – big hill.  Let’s turn left here to avoid…

And down into a stretch of …how shall I say this…

Cheap Apartment Units?

It was almost like I’d stepped through a portal.  Trash now clogged the streets and gutters – empty pop cans, Power-Aid containers, the torn pages from at least one book.  Various scraps of other unidentifiable paper danced in the breeze up and down the obviously-patched (read…badly tended) blacktop street.  The lawns were dominated by brown, frizzy, untamed grass, widely interspersed with large swaths of light brown dirt under the old oak trees.   Concrete stairways marched up the low rise between the apartment buildings and the sidewalk clearly showing their bellies – the earth had eroded from underneath them.  The handrails were either missing or brown with rust.

The buildings themselves – all brick – all uniform – all looking like they had been more than just a bit neglected in the maintenance department.  A LOT of the windows in these buildings had cracked blinds, blankets, or sheets hanging in lieu of commercial, uniform, curtains.  One window even sported a large splash of mud.

Because it was a nice, sunshiny afternoon, the residents of this neighborhood were out and about.  A couple of young men were conversing with another couple of young men in a car stopped dead in the middle of the street.  Off to the side on the other side of the street another couple of men conversed in the doorway of one of the buildings.

A young lady finished her conversation with another, then darted across the street after giving me a long look.

On my side – 3 moms stood on the dry grass chatting with each other as they kept eagle-eyes on the kids playing nearby.

As I approached, all those eyes zeroed in on me.

 

Now…my favored ideal when I’m out and about is what I like to call chameleon mode.  Yes, the people around me are aware of me, and I of them, but I’ve pulled in my energies nice & tight, so I just flit on the edge of that awareness.  If you’re a fan of the Hitchhiker’s series – it’s almost as if I’ve placed a SEP (someone else’s problem) field around myself.

SEP Field

I like it when observing eyes just slide off.

Yesterday … no amount of pulling in of my energies was going to make those eyes NOT notice.  And focus.

I was the interloper.  The intruder.  The one who did NOT belong.

The expressions of the regular denizens of that place went from easy and social to calculating.  Alarmed.  Assessing.  Was I a threat?  A predator?

Or was I prey?

I watched body language change as each set of eyes came to rest on me.  Backs stiffened up.  Conversations died.  Eyes narrowed and nostrils flared.  Hands unconsciously curled and the kids play abruptly ended.

Now…I’ve been breathing air for quite some time.  Driven through my share of ghetto-ish neighborhoods, walked a couple others.  But this is the first time in a LONG time I’ve been in such a place without companionship.

Yes…I was extremely concerned.  But I bravely soldered on through to the marching beat of the tune blasting on my iPod – and they all just stared as I walked.  I guess I was assessed as SEP after all.

Now that my adventure has ended…I gotta ask…

Does anyone else out feel the poverty in the air when you find yourself in (gah!  I HATE political correctness!) a disadvantaged neighborhood?  Can you taste the desperation in the wind?  Do the vibrations of these struggling humans echo from the Earth itself?  Does the miasma which chokes these locations threaten to cut off your breath?

Or am I just too freaking sensitive for my own good?

 

Let’s Discuss Underwear!

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I’ve been in stretchy, ultra-comfy sports bras for a while – as I continue to shrink, more stretchy=longer wear life.  Unfortunately for the SQO, sports bras are neither sexy or conductive to activities of a bedroom nature…

He has to demand I FREE THE TATAS! instead of just doing it himself.

Sooooo – to better keep harmony in the bedroom and beyond, the DIL and I are planning an excursion into Madison this weekend for some **real** bra shopping…and I just happen to have the right blog post to get me in the right frame of mind as I go forth and procure a new undergarment for my boyfriend.

Bonus – I buy it ‘for him’ but get to wear it myself.  Doesn’t get any better than that 😀

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Anyone else out there count their favorite time of day the glorious moment in time when you are home for the night – shedding outdoor and/or work clothing to slide into comfy pajamas – reveling in the freedom that comes from taking the bra OFF?

Yea…I live for that moment…

In ShapeAs my body shape will never be described as svelte, thin, shapely, or firm, bras have always been a constant source of aggravation.  The band is either too tight, too small, too loose, too big, too stretchy, not stretchy enough or difficult to fasten.

 

 

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Enjoy.