Walking the Back woods.
My Offering mixed media sculpture series centers on death and rebirth. I'm in the process of wrapping the offering. The process of wrapping explores the act of devotion and our inherent desire to protect those whom we love from pain and suffering.
"Sometimes God gits familiar wid us womenfolks too and talks His inside business" (Hurston, 1990, p 70).
Luscious red clay. My heart sings.
This vessel has revealed itself to me. "Libation" WIP. The vessel had me tossing and turning with its process of becoming. I am anticipating the wood firing at Tony Moore's Anagram kiln. I have wanted to experience wood firing ever since digging my hands into the clay two years ago. I am walking toward the fire. Will work a stoking shift. I look forward to all I will see, hear and learn. I will offer up my libation to the fire. Can barely contain myself.
Uploaded this photograph I to took onto our Tumblr blog this morning. I've been posting a series of meditative photographs paired with haiku. This is a creative a practice I started about 3 years ago. It's my own kind of digital style of Japanese Haiga, which is haiku paired with a painted illustration. Before I had a Tumblr blog or a website, I shared my photographs and haiku with friends via email. Now, I'm posting them online. "Words to live by" seems to have connected with folks. And as more and more people respond, I am awash in something truly electrical; something universal and beautifully human. I knew, when I encountered that bowl of glass words in that New Paltz shop...I knew, I wanted to sit with those words...So, I chose my words carefully. This mediative art, this act of seeing, is then seen by others and we commune through the silence of unspoken words. I feel the 'collective soul.' I too am expansive. I run to Emerson...
"...That Over-Soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks, and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand and become wisdom and virtue and power and beauty. We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul (Emerson, 1981, p. 210).
Wrapped inside this pain
like a gnarly hooded coat
moth eaten holes let the light
dance across my shoulders
billowing as i walk by
If only you could hear
the sound of snow...
©Photographs by Shelita Birchett Benash, 2014.
"When we lose someone we love, we should remember …matter cannot be destroyed--it can become energy. And energy can become matter, but it cannot be destroyed; she has just taken on another form. That form may be a cloud, or a child or the breeze. We can see our loved one in everything." Thich Nhat Hanh.
The sunrise grabbed me from my bed. I looked toward the heavens through my camera lens with gratitude for capturing the moment. And later on this day, Donna McElroy, my dearest friend of over 30 years was taken off life support after battling Gammadelta T-Cell lymphoma for 18 months. I see Donna in this sunrise. I believe her spirit called me outside that early morning on January 4, 2014.