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Showing posts from 2009

A New Perspective

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our perpetual way of seeing things, we lose the ability to see potential, to open to surprise, to find a new way of interpreting what is. We become so comfortable with the stories we tell ourselves about our lives and the way things work and why things happen and who's to blame that we forget they're just stories. If the old ones don't fit, we can create new stories. "A View from Above" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian What things in your life do you need to see through new eyes? Now's the time. Happy New Year.

Through the Cracks

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Soul enters life from below, through the cracks, finding an opening into life at the points where smooth functioning breaks down. - Thomas Moore Sometimes, it seems, the cracks develop (or we invite them)  because it's the only way we can break free of the "smooth functioning" that is stifling us, causing us to ask Is this all there is? In traveling the lonely and rocky path, we find the quiet place where we can listen to our soul.  When we are challenged, we have an opportunity  to grow strong at the broken places.

Creation Myth

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A Whisper created the Universe. She blew a stream of air across her voice box, through the gates of her lips and words were loosed into the void. The sound increased in magnitude until it formed shouts of joy and songs of praise. The whoops of joy became waves of energy that coalesced into matter. Bits of matter became stars and plants and continents and mountains and green, green valleys  and oceans and frothy rivers and sea monsters and dancing fish and silly looking birds with long beaks and all kinds of animals.   The songs of praise separated into individual notes that became humans. The joyful noise sounded like the tinkle of wind chimes, the crash of cymbals, the curling of waves, the cry of a newborn, the flutter of wings, a chortle of laughter, murmur of love, the chanting of prayer. The Whisper made the Universe so she could send words out where she could hear them, for she was tired of keeping silent, of withholding her trut

Wishing You . . . .

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I'm wishing you a world where each and every one of us sees everyone and everything through the eyes of love, through the eyes of compassion, through the eyes of peace.

Dancing for Joy

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It's the time of year for celebration, for family and friends, for connection at a heart level. "Dancing in the Dark" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian What special things in your life make you dance with joy?

Rebuilding

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All too often, at least for those of us who prefer the status quo, parts of our carefully constructed lives self-destruct in the most disconcerting ways.  Those we love die or move far away. Relationships end with or without our blessing. Winds blow. Volcanoes blow. And we're adrift in a sea of change. The certainty we took for granted proves to be an illusion. Sometimes we feel like there's a pile of rubble where our dreams once lived. When circumstances stripped your life down to bare essentials -- and it's probably happened to all of us at least once -- how did you clear the debris and start rebuilding? Your wisdom, shared, might be a lifeline for someone else, someone who is wondering, right at this very moment, how to go on. Let's leave a map others can follow when they think they're lost.

Looking for the Face in the Mirror

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I have a friend who once told me about a dream she'd had. In the dream, she looked into a mirror and much to her dismay, there was no "her" reflected. She was gone. Vanished. Invisible. She was absent from her own life. At least, that's what her dream told her. One of the risks of being female in contemporary society is losing our authentic selves. When we let the expectations of others dictate how we live our lives, we become invisible. When we don't take credit for our unique gifts, when we don't use them and nourish them and celebrate them, we discredit ourselves. When we are so concerned about what makes others happy that we can no longer remember how to create our own happiness, we are lost. There are so many ways in which to vanish from our own lives. Are you absent from your own life? Why did you decide to pull a disappearing act? What efforts are you making to become PRESENT and take up your allotted space in the

Anonymous Quote & Self Portrait

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Got an email from a friend yesterday in which she passed on a quote that had been making the rounds. It appealed to me and I thought it might to you. So, with regrets that I don't know who said it and can't give proper credit, here goes: I want to be the type of woman that when my feet first hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, "Oh shit -- she's up."

Be The Change You Want to See in the World

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If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It's a factual and informative book detailing the many forms of oppression that women and girls experience in developing countries. It also introduces us to home-grown organizations around the world that are making an impact in redressing the wrongs on a local scale. You can find projects to support that address issues such as: midwifery and maternal health empowerment of women through job training and microloans eliminating sex-trafficking of young girls for prostitution helping educate girls, which reduces rates of early pregnancy, provides a way out of poverty, and breeds a new generation of women to educate and inspire their communities and provide menstrual supplies to girls so they don't have to miss school on a cyclical basis. I've given Christmas gifts in honor of my parents who have always been committed to activism to

Alternate Self: The Guardian

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One of my selves is a beautiful door, ripened with age and wearing a coat the hue of the Aegean on a cloudless day.  My eyes are glass or wood and rimmed with eyelashes of dainty filigree. I safeguard spirits embodied within and mark their comings and goings. "Guardian" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Strangers may gaze in my eyes but they will not seduce me. I cannot be tricked, for the wisdom of the ages is encoded in my core. I stand vigilant, waiting, watching, protecting. Intruders will rue my strength if they try to harm those I love. 

Reflections on Ugliness

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It's odd. I think this building is totally ugly, the worst kind of modern architecture: graceless, ordinary, a grid of supports and glass. I'd never set out to take a photograph of the building itself. "Reflections on Ugliness" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Yet when it's flipped on its head and mirrored in a pool of still water it becomes something else altogether. Ripple magic. A watery baptism that washes away all sins. Everything turns out to be a matter of perspective.

The Beauty of Imperfection

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There is breathtaking beauty in the imperfect if we take the time to notice. Weathered bricks, faded paint. Laugh lines around the eyes. Strong hands that show a lifetime of labor through skin no longer taut. "Faded Glory" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian The kind of beauty that is so much easier to see in the world of things, in the visages of others, than it is to recognize in ourselves. How are you imperfectly perfect ?

Becoming Poem

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Becoming a Hummingbird I am becoming a hummingbird, my iridescence coloring the words  that rise in my throat a glistening red. My wings support me as I dip and soar, spiral and hover. I travel at the speed of dreams, searching out the nectar of the gods to sip for succor. My breath shapes my thoughts, a gentle inhalation  shooting straight to my core and rustling the ribbons of my soul, exhalation giving me power to exchange depleted elements for new ones, brimming with life.  The purr of my wings stirs the air, bringing a catlike contentment to those around me. The chatter of my heart sends waves of sound vibrating  into a parallel universe, fresh pulses of delight  erasing the darkness and birthing blessings for all who feel the stirring of my wings. p.s.  This is one of the creative writing pieces done on the Egypt tour. As we speak, Normandi Ellis and Gloria Taylor Brown  are compiling and editing an anthology of works written by tour participants.

Seeing the World

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Each of us has a distinctive way of seeing the world and representing it through imagery. Jan Phillips, God is at Eye Level "Everywhere I Look" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Everywhere I look, I find little miracles, grist for the creative mill.  Things unfold perfectly, just as they were intended, even in the least fertile ground. How do you see your world? How do you represent this to others? Tell us about it.

Early Morning Reverie

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I was up early this morning. It's something I do now. I've learned to love the quiet of the morning, when the dog and cats are fed and watered and are content to leave me to my thoughts. This morning, I sat in my little computer nook on the second floor, reading emails and catching up on blog posts while watching the sky outside my window turn red-violet, then amethyst. It finally settled into a faint pink near the ground that graduated through the lavender range over to blue, growing faintly more intense as I looked up-up-up, but still a soft, soft powdery blue of a still morning, just after sunrise. I should have grabbed the camera early on, gone outside in the 30-something temperature and taken a photo to show you the glory of Mother Nature's paintbox. But I didn't -- I knew that by the time I pulled jeans on under my nightgown so I wouldn't scandalize my very-Republican neighbors if they happened to glance up to my deck, by the time

Still Stuck Outside Time

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I haven't reoriented myself in time even though I've been home for a month now. Egypt did something to my normal sense of place, of time. It's hard to explain, really. All I can tell you is this: something's different. © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved. I lose myself in the moment. I am spending hours writing each day but it seems like minutes. I created a new series of 21 pieces based on chrysanthemum imagery in a couple of days, but it seemed like a couple of hours. Some call this state of mind "flow." I don't know what to call it. I just know I haven't been the same since the trip. Talk about trippin.' Oh boy.

Chrysanthemum Imagery

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Today my time went to the act of creation. When that happens, everything else flies out the window. Here's one of the new pieces in a series based upon chrysanthemum imagery. © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved. My friend June tells me that in Asia, the chrysanthemum is highly revered.  It symbolizes tranquility, purity, abundance, joy, longevity, and life. She says that John Steinbeck wrote a sad, but sexually charged story about a woman in The Chrysanthemum and that Cathy Song, one of her favorite poets, penned a sensual poem about the chrysanthemum in her work Ikebana . She reminded me that Georgia O'Keeffe painted chrysanthemums that were said to have sexual overtones. She sees them in one of the pieces I worked on today, but she also sees bodhisattva figures (enlightened female deities) or shrouded figures in the same piece. I sent her two files. She thought the other one looked like a spider. I hope it wasn't a black wid

Playtime

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The chrysanthemum photos were just too tempting. "Wallflower" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. I had to play today.  

Suffer for Beauty

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A community museum somewhere in the outskirts of the local area recently mounted an exhibition called "Suffer for Beauty." I didn't go see it because it just didn't fit into my schedule,  but it got me thinking about the ways that I have suffered  in the quest forbeauty on the outside, the place that seems to be of utmost importance in the American scheme of values. Maybe where you live, too. There are the obvious things, of course, like cramming my feet into high heels and teetering around town with feet that are screaming  and back that's trying to adjust its alignment and ankles threatening to twist just to stop the madness. I've also had abdominoplasty, a "tummy tuck", to pull my muscles back into alignment and cut out excessive skin and stretch what's left back together after repeated C-sections left my abdominal muscles a little lax. Hurt like hell (more than the C-sections) and the compression garments I had t

An Invitation

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I know that most of you are too far away but still. . . . I wanted to invite you to my upcoming show of dreamscape images from my "About Time" series. "About Time" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian It's going to be mounted at Dragonfly Holistic Healing in Seattle's Fremont District 760 N. 34th Street "In the Nick of Time" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian in time for the Fremont Art Walk Friday, December 4 (from 5 pm until 8ish) and will be exhibited through December 29. There are seven related images in the series. This is a sneak peek at two of them. Enjoy!

Windows

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Sometimes I'm lucky enough to take a photograph that excites me, an image that's a visual metaphor. It might say "oneness" "grace" or "sadness." "Seeing All the Way Through to the Heart of Things" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Here, the magic for me is in the wavy panes of glass showing their age, being just as they are. The meaning I ascribe shines through the transparency and openness, the way you can see all the way through to the light on the other side of things. The light so pervasive and yet delicate, coming in quiet in the morning and illuminating everything inside . The art leaning up against the window walls,  hidden treasures just waiting to be revealed. The whole tableau speaks to me of light and open hearts and the gift of creativity. What moved you today? Tell me.

Letting the Light Shine

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One of the challenges that most women face is learning how to gracefully wield their power and let their light shine. Some of us were lucky enough to find great role models and learn from their examples. Others of us acquired power but never learned to use it wisely. The rest of us still struggle with expressing personal power. What lessons have you learned that might shine a light for other women? Share with us, please.   

Writing Circle

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One of my favorite things about the Egypt trip was the writing (and reading) circle. Here's a piece that explains the magic. Left to right - Margaret Kachadurian, Laura Janesdaughter, Nettie Eldredge, Piliaka Peter, Denise, Pat Chesser, and just the merest hint of Joyce Brady's peach-colored sleeve. Not visible: Nicki Scully, Mark Hallert, Gloria Taylor-Brown, Normandi Ellis, Barbara Lindsey, Kathryn "Raven" Ravenwood, Vera Kaplan, Cathleen Shattuck, Jane Wodening, Alma Donato, Donna Swindells, and of course me (the photographer). The group sat in rapt concentration, bringing to a close the scribing of words that described alternative selves, alternative realities. Eighteen women and a lone man sat on chairs, sofas, the floor, with journals in laps and laptops on tables or perched upon their knees. The air conditioner exhaled a steady stream of air above our heads but we barely noticed the cool breeze caressing our shoulders, the sacred energy was so vibrant and

Raindrops. . .

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The word for the day is raindrops. Raindrops on roses, raindrops hanging for dear life on the leaves and twigs of my coral bark maple. Raindrops dripping down your face like tears. Raindrops pattering a soothing sound on your roof. Raindrops filling the creek behind my house so the ducks can body-surf from the bridge to the pond. Raindrops. Have any fallen lately into your life? Are they helping things grow or making you think you might drown? If there's too much rain falling around you, stop complaining. Complaining doesn't stop the rain. It makes you focus on what you don't want. Just let your friends shelter you with their umbrellas of love.

Mum's the Word

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My cold and I went out for an adventure today. I couldn't seem to leave her at home, though I've tried. I don't know why I think it's a her, but I do. It might be because she keeps urging me to eat chocolate. Whether she's a she or a he, it'll do her good to get a breath of fresh air. We went to the conservatory in Wright Park in Tacoma "Hanging On" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian and were overcome by the beauty of the floral displays. " Unfurling" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian She started whispering to me, making lots of suggestions. "Pink Princess" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian You know, said Ms. Cold, people might like these photos. You ought to get off your butt and get prints made. She's pushy, this cold. "Yellow in the Thick of Things" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian So I said to her, once you decide to go live in someone else's head, I just might do that. Are you planning to leave anytime soon? "Cinderell

While We're on the Subject of New York. . .

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I know the Empire State Building is taller. I know the observation deck of the Empire State Building was romanticized in An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle , but in my book it doesn't hold a candle to the Chrysler Building. It was designed by architect William Van Alen for a project financed by Walter Chrysler, chairman of the Chrysler Corporation. Ground was broken in 1928, not long before the crash of Wall Street. At the time, there was intense competition to build the world's tallest skyscraper and with a few tricks up their sleeves, Van Alen and Chrysler managed to do just that but only for a brief interlude. It was the first habitable structure standing taller than 1000 feet. But less than a year after it was opened in 1931, its height was surpassed by the Empire State Building. The Chrysler Building still can boast about being the tallest steel-supported brick building in the world. The building is a National Historic Landmark and is considered a mast

Flying Rats

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I know they're considered pests. I know my darling ex called them "Flying Rats." Or was that seagulls? No matter. I know pigeons leave messes on statues and park benches and sometimes even on people. But don't you think these guys are pretty? They've got colorful eyes and a vast range of feather designs. They're very entertaining and useful too. They make soft little noises and keep Times Square free of crumbs. That's kind of a miracle, when you think of it. And lest you get all hrr-umphity on me, consider this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the ordinary. There. Don't you feel better about pigeons?

Vignettes

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I love to find fancy little shops that sell lovingly-chosen antiques or decorative items and arrange them artfully. "It's Gone to Her Head" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian I especially love it when the items are unique, unexpected "Blue Glass" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian or when there's an arrangement of items in my favorite colors or shapes. "Those Were the Days" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian And it never hurts to find a display with cake stands, particularly one with pierced edges, because I love the way they look, even if I rarely bake a layer cake these days. "Drunk on Possibility" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Stumbling onto a place like that turns a lackluster day into a creative festival, makes me positively giddy and just a little drunk on possibility. What treasures have you found in your wanderings? **************** p.s. Take a moment today to remember the service to our country that military veterans have rendered and their