Friday, February 22, 2013

My Vodou Lenten Meditation - Day Nine of Forty

I spent some time last night talking with a dear friend who is also a Vodouisant. I was sharing my inner stuff with her, when she gave me this wonderful piece of advice -- sometimes, one hits a plateau in the work. The real gift is to push through it until you begin your ascent again. That simple statement made all my pondering fall neatly into place this morning with my meditation and prayer.

I have been deep in conversation with Legba these past nine days. I recite my prayers and then, I sit, listening. It takes time. His voice is soft, and I spend a lot of time sussing out if its me or him speaking. That's the hard part. I personally believe that self-examination is and should be a practice for anyone claiming to be a priest. After all, we don't need any more demagogs in the world. But its one that leaves me at least, wondering and fussing.

But the idea of a plateau is not unusual, in any kind of work. I am an artist. It has taken me a long time to get ramped up again, to create artwork without the impetus of a client or need. To sit down and just allow my inner Muse her voice, and spend the day listening to music, as the art flows off my hands has been amazing. But getting to this point has been a journey to say the least.

Oakland ceramics in 1970 - my UConn days  looked just like this group
 I was trained in ceramics (sculpture was what they called it in the 70s, but its ceramics, nonetheless.) This photo is from California, but it could easily have been UConn in 1975.  I also minored in graphics which saved me -- no one was hiring itinerant ceramicists in the 70s when I graduated. Form and function took a back seat to shape and shadow. I studied metallic glazes, which was more chemistry than art, and hand lettering for signs. I have been blessed to have had an amazing career as a graphic designer. But that was another life ago.  Now, I make art for myself and the Spirits. I don't worry about who likes it or not. The Lwa direct the pieces as they see fit.  Don and Chels find much to be amazed at as well.

So why am I questioning myself so much? I guess when one gets to my age (58, to be 59 this year), the lack of oversight suddenly gains importance. After all, I am without supervision. Sounds corny I know, but who do I go see about my stuff, when so many come to me for theirs? When did I become the grown up?

I figure as long as I question myself, I should be okay. My mother used to say its okay to question -- just don't answer. And the Lwa are more than willing to step up and hammer me should I get off track. Legba is always saying "eyes on the prize". I am not sure He means a "prize" per se. More like goal, a much more attainable thing in my view.

M di twa Pater, twa ave Maria - and back to the table,  my clay is calling and I have Pez totems to build. Yes, Pez, the candy containers. They are the current aesthetic from the mind of my painting teacher, Michael Demeng. Demented, woozy, crazy man -- but fiercely talented. And more than willing to share his stuff with the world. My guess is he probably questions himself daily, given His current aesthetics. And he still makes glorious art, teaches all over the world and finds time to be husband and a father. I can find much to emulate with him. Pez. Check. Later. Ayibobo.

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