Saturday, November 17, 2007


In this modern age, when so many things can be distilled down into a concise scientific explanation, the persistent mystery and magnetism of the ritual still drives our daily lives. I believe this behavior goes beyond mere routine because these rituals create a transcendence of our acts, and by extension, our lives. As humans, we somehow crave this transformation. Even with our iPods, plasma screens and Mars landings, we remain elemental creatures of magic and faith. Amen! It can be so easy to lose our humanity amidst all the information and technology bombarding us, trying to strip it away, layer by layer. We need existence beyond our explanations to remain ourselves.

And so it is with my Martian Cup.

My morning ritual is to cook and share breakfast with my rats (otherwise known as the Well Wells or Charmkins). It's the same breakfast every day--scrambled eggs and a wheat bagel with cream cheese. The crowning glory of this daily intake is a good, strong hot cup o' joe. A day simply cannot be started properly without that one crucial ingredient. But little did I know how important is the container for this elixir!

I found this magic martian mug jammed to the back of a shelf in a 50% off sale in a gift shop about twelve years ago. I had to have it. I mean look at that guy. And over the years, it has strangely become my herald of good fortune, of miraculously potent good juju in the studio. For some inexplicable reason, I do my very best work the day I grab that mug from the front of the line in our jam-packed mug shelf, eager to douse my appetite with ritual coffee. Whether it's the power of suggestion or if there actually is some supernatural energy imbued in those buggy eyes, the result is the same -- a good day. A very good day.

And speaking of a good day, which today certainly is as you'll soon see, my breakfast these past two days has been abnormally decadent! We celebrated my husband's birthday by trying out a new steakhouse here in town, and upon ordering their chocolate cake for dessert, we were shocked to be served a slab the size of an 8 x 11 sheet of paper and 3 inches thick, doused in icing and chocolate indulgence. Oy! What's better than chocolate cake? More chocolate cake!

And so instead of a bagel with cream cheese, a hefty slice of this sinful extravagance has complimented my steaming joe--and what a magical combination! Really, the eggs are simply a flimsy excuse to call this meal "nutritious". But there's my Martian cup, the one thing that could outshine chocolate cake for breakfast.

So I ask you--what's more nourishing?--Food for the body, or food for the soul?

And so today will be a truly remarkable day in the studio, between my Martian magic and chocolate intoxication. Already, the Haflinger foal I'm sculpting is flowing from my fingers, without thought or effort. Perhaps I should procure more chocolate cake for when I sculpt his dam? Hmmm.....

And so I leave you with this: "That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you." ~ Charles de Lint


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Of Frogs and MRIs...

Shame on me! It's been far too long since my last post--my apologies. But boy, things have sure been crazy here this past month! Most of them with good things, such as completing my final duties as Parliamentarian for RESS, working on the new version of its newsletter The Boat for February publication and wrapping up two long-standing sculptures of a mare and foal that have been inexplicably troublesome for me these past nine months--If you heard a lot of cursing and arghs! from the general northwest vicinity, it was probably me as I broke off yet another leg for the fourth time! But they're just about done now, and I'm very pleased with how they turned out. Everything works out for the best really, and had I not been delayed all this time with them, I don't think they would have come out as cool as they have. Time puts you in fresher places, which often is an advantage for art work.

And the biggie good thing is the enthusiastic and overwhelming response to my sculpture Stormwatch (pictured above in resin, cast from my original in epoxy clay). I am so grateful and totally taken by surprise by the response--I'm still in shock. Hey, I thought he'd be a hard sell! Who knew that this funny little gelding would take the world by storm! (wink) And I'm happy to report he's going to be my first bronze, and I hope to have him in metal by the end of next year. I just need to sculpt a base for him, which is something I'm really looking forward to cuz I have some fun ideas for it. But the even greater thing with Stormy was that with him, I was able to help just a little bit with the Blessed Broodmare Project, to rescue dozens of pregnant PMU mares from slaughter! What a great way to kick off an edition! Check out the YouTube story on how these mares were rescued! Oh boy--does it get me verklempt. These dear people, the Bucklers, are also the same people who do many of my resin castings, including Stormy! The best things in life are those that come full circle in good ways.

So to celebrate his successful release in resin, I treated myself to something fun--an excruciatingly cute frog hat at a crafts bizarre in a local high school (above). LOOK at that smiley frog! The whole cap is rimmed with them! And there's a fly on the top! Is that not the cutest cap ever? It's wool lined with angora, so it's warm and soft at the same time--two good things that go better together! The lady who made this hat, and other assorted angora knitware, is there every year with one of her angora bunnies that you can pet, which of course is the highlight of the whole day for me. This year, she had "Mo" there--a big fluffy white beachball with ears. I about died. So c'mon cold weather! Bring your worst--my frog cap will protect me! The flower on each earflap gives me incredible power!

Speaking of which, my back. Ah yes...the spine--the great humbler of upright bipeds. My nemesis. My Achilles Heel. In my long, sordid battle against the best attempts of my spine to keep me bedridden, I have my first MRI this weekend. I'm not necessarily looking forward to it, but it's gotta be done to see what's going on. But I am so grateful that we live in a day and age of such technology and it makes me wonder what the next fifty years will bring us in ways of medical breakthroughs and discoveries! In the meantime, I asked my neurologist if I could sign up for a bionic spine, with the "sch-sch-sch" sound and all, and her reply--"We're not that cool...yet". I love it.

So with that thought, I leave you to ponder this: "
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ~Lewis Carroll

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