Friday, November 13, 2009

finding ritual.

It's been on my mind a lot, this desire to find some sort of ritual that has meaning to me.

The desire was reignited by participating in Tucson's All Souls Procession. A good amount of that event was just for fun, like dressing up for Halloween. But underneath it, was this urge for ceremony, for ritual, to use creative energy to make something to honor and commemorate someone/something who has passed on. A costume, a mask, a float for a parade. Part celebration, part closure (with a good amount of carnival thrown into the mix).

A friend just made a little alter for peace in her home. A simple thing from a cardboard box, some tin foil, a bit of paint, a few handmade objects, a few found objects (similar to these alters displayed during the Procession of Little Angels).

Another friend just had a blessingway for her upcoming birth, a powerful ceremony of womanhood.

Yet another friend shared with me the little alters she would make and put in her room, and of the little handmade talismans she would put in various parts of the house (each with their own specific meaning for the home and the family).

So this veteran's day, I decided to make something as a ritual. It was really very simple, me and my son each made a little person out of Popsicle sticks and string and fabric and other things. We joined the figures together, holding hands, a wish for peace and for our loved ones in the armed services. Then we took the figures to the El Tiradito shrine located in the historic barrio in downtown Tucson, lit a candle and left our our little peace figurines on the shrine. (I had been wanting to see it anyway, this was as good an excuse as any.)

Now here's the thing about me, and shrines, alters, prayers, blessings, etc...
I have lost the belief in there being anything mystical, or supernatural, etc about them. However, what is still very strong for me is the belief there there is still power there. We are creatures wired for ritual. We respond to it. So while I don't think these objects and actions draw out any special essence from the ether/heavens/spirit world, I DO believe these objects and actions resonate in particular ways in our own psyche's.

I mourned loosing my LDS rituals. (see here and here). Time to start finding my own.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

a Mormon feminst image

(posted at Feminist Mormon Housewives)
painting AFP (in progress)
A room of my own. Because Virginia was right.
My space, where I have room (sufficient for my needs) to work, to make, to make a mess, to make art. My entire married life I have maintained this space in our various living/family situations; sometimes it has just been a corner of a room, or half a closet and part of the table, etc. In our current local, I occupy the entire thing. I have frequently felt guilt about it, conflicted about my taking up so much space (a lovely way to top off recurring feelings of artistic failure). And for a good couple of years after my son was born, it became a rather neglected room. But not lately. With my son's growing independence and starting school, I am back in my room. No time for guilt now, only have time to work, to get into it with my materials. Making a mess, Making art. Using this room of my own.

BTW, I just found this trailer for a documentary about women artists who are mothers, to me it's searing, I almost cry every time I watch it. Powerful. "Who Does She Think She Is?"

(I think that woman, in the middle of the documentary, is Mormon. Makes my heart so happy.)