Posts

Showing posts from November, 2009

Still Stuck Outside Time

Image
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

Image
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

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

Suffer for Beauty

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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. . .

Image
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

Image
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. . .

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

This Cold is Keeping Me Down

Image
The cold I brought home from Cairo is cramping my style. Just going out to buy food exhausts me. My get up and go has got up and left. To pick up my spirits, I just have to remember the fun of browsing in the Khan el-Khalili. It was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili and was part of the market tradition that established Cairo as a major center of trade . Like at Alice's Restaurant, you can get anything you want (or nearly so) at the Khan: gold, silver, brass, trinkets, clothing, shoes. There are fragrant spices, pipes for smoking strong Egyptian tobacco. There are carpets, lamps, art and artifacts. There are gorgeous scarves and shawls, billed as Pashmina that are really wool and silk fibers, shawls that can be had for around $8 if you drive a hard bargain, hard enough that the shopkeepers will tell you you're trying to make them go broke and then delightedly close the transaction. More than anything, the Khan's a dandy place to people watch. Young, old,

Up Before the Sun

Image
This morning, thanks to the relentless door bumping of my cats who thought I was a laggard, I was up before the sun. On a wet Pacific Northwest morning, with heavy overcast and leaking clouds, there is scant reward for being up so early, except not having to hear the cat thumps and bumps. Ah, but in Egypt it's a different story. "Luxor Sunrise" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian No matter where you are, no matter how gloomy the skies, I wish you the colors of a Luxor sunrise.

Fall Color

Image
I'm looking out the window, happy to be warm and dry as I watch the rain sheet down and wash away the fall color. I think back to the paintbox of reds and oranges and golds and yellows that decorated upstate New York and soaked us in a riot of color. "Communion" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian I remember a Saturday filled with color and kites and wind turbines, friendships formed over food and images, beautiful souls shining through their vessels. "Soaring" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. "Harvesting Wind" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian I think of metaphors and shooting photos of a woman on a fence, "Kissed with Light" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian watching the light dance off the planes of her face, and wondering if she sees herself as beautiful like the camera sees her. "Wondering" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Probably not. It's easy for us to see the beauty around us. It's much harder to see the beauty within us, even when it

Secrets

Image
Since Mackenzie Phillips started making the rounds of talk shows, speaking her truth about her life as she sees it, I've been thinking about secrets. The kind of secrets that rule your life, that make you see yourself as smaller than you are, that fill you with a sense of shame. The kind of secrets that other people urge you to keep, not for your own good but for theirs. What burdens have you carried for someone else for far too long?

Luxor Street Scenes

Image
Our Egyptian tour guide gave us a special treat one night, a tour of the streets of Luxor that tourists don't generally see. These goats have taken up residence on the street where he was born and where his parents and grandparents lived before him. This house is painted with scenes showing the sights the owner saw on his pilgrimage to Mecca. This is the way that people tell others about their holy pilgrimage, publicly reveal their devotion to Islam. The end of his old childhood street used to be walled off so there was no direct access to the market area. They had to take a several-block-long route to reach the market. The wall of the neighborhood barber shop tips us off as to the proprietor's religious affiliation. A wide variety of goods is available in local markets. The horse, by the way, is pulling the cart upon which we were riding, Seeing American tourists riding on a farm cart was a source of great amusement to the citizens of Luxor. We were more than happy to