Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Does Facebook Break Up Marriages?

Do you know someone who's marriage became a casualty of a Facebook flame? Chances are, you do! According to a UK survey, more than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word "Facebook."

I recently wrote an article for Latitude News about the growing father's rights movement - Dads who feel the child custody and child support laws need updating. At the end of the article, divorce lawyer and House Representative Marie Sapienza mooted an interesting idea - mandatory pre-nuptial agreements.

Like the zen idea of contemplating your own death, contemplating the possible end of your union can put your partner into sharper focus, and put you both on the same page.

Intrigued? Take their poll.

With divorce on the cards for one in two marriages, sounds like that ole institution needs all the help it can get. Matter of fact, with so many couples choosing to live together, it's interesting that gay and lesbian people want to be married. They see a value in tying the knot, and will fight for the right to do it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quantum Fire debut

Sitting on Zeus' throne.
In Near Miss - a short story I published in the Across Town anthology by Columbus Creative Co-operative - the protagonist sews costumes for the vibrant arts scene in Columbus.

Last week, I was able to be part of that scene when Quantum Fire debuted at the arts festival Agora at Junctionview. Fire spinners with poi, staff and hoops, and fire eaters wove a play from Greek myth, with eye-popping flame effects from giant propane torches.

Although I didn't take part in Quantum Fire's first gig, my husband airbrushed my face, and created a headdress for me. I don't know whether I was Mrs Ninja, or an extra from Revenge of the Sith, but it sure drew stares and people asking: "Do you mind if I take your picture?"

I'm glad to hear that Quantum Fire will keep on smokin' with more performances in the pipeline. Over the winter, the troupe practiced their fire and hoop spinning techniques (unlit) at Via Vecchia Winery. I spent many happy evenings chatting with the artists - cross-pollination, I call it, while working on stories or just drinking wine and hanging out.

Next year, I plan to spend more time spinning the hoops and learning to twirl the staffs and poi. I feel inspired to "light up" at least once with Quantum Fire.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Charlie the chicken

Charlie the chick rescued from spending the night outside of his nesting box is now a Green Day fan.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It's all hatching

Yesterday I heard peeping as I slogged through the muddy gloop of the chicken yard with buckets of feed and water. A chick's hatched! Our first! A fuzzy yellow peeper with a black stripe running from its head down its back, boldly came out from under mama's white feathers. She's been so determined to set that she hasn't cleaned herself, and she's speckled with black mud. Greedily the hen pecked at the chick starter I put out for the first of her brood.

This morning I tried to catch a glimpse of the newest arrival to the coops, but she's got the chick tucked away under her feathers - wings spread, tail fanned, guarding the clutch of about 6 intact eggs.

Earlier we'd wondered about the manliness of the Rhode Island Red rooster, but he's vindicated. It's saved his life.

I've ordered 150 chicks, including 10 guinea hens, from Ridgway Hatcheries in LaRue, intended as layers for next winter and  meat for the freezer. The guineas will keep down ticks, bugs and snakes.

The chickens come as an apt symbol for the creativity we're feeling at chez Rosi. Since my husband quit the day job to go full-time in the winery, we feel creative and energized.

Who knew there is a cost to working in a corporation? We have more meals at home, more home fun with the family, and more time talking over ideas for the business. I suspect we will be healthier too.

This week he's working with our friend Jay to build the bride's changing room, and to transfer the wine into oak barrels for aging. The winery has its first wedding in April, and the place will be spiffed up and bride ready.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lee and Coco Dancing

I'm enjoying Mercoledi Creativo at Via Vecchia winery - aka, Creative Wednesday. Never know how many people will show up, sometimes more, sometimes a handful, even so I enjoy being in a time and space that's dedicated to artists.

There's something about sharing the energy with other artists who are not in my discipline that makes me appreciate what it means to make art your life.

Last Wednesday I hung out with my friend Sue, who's a visual artist, and watched Anna Sullivan practice climbing silks hung from a central beam, and talked with Jason the photographer about an upcoming article, and read poetry to Coco.

And, of course, there's Paolo's most excellent wine, which he sells half price on Wednesday. Paolo rolls in at 1am on those nights, totally stoked by seeing one of his dreams come true - to be able to support artists and performers with his space.

Here's a poem inspired by Lee and Coco practicing a phrase Lee choreographed for Independents Day.

Lee and Coco Dancing

We take this bright drop of silver
and wish, work, grow

roll our hips around
swirl our throats around
our painted voice
our dancing song.

Long throat
straight chin
iron torso
small breasts, tight to the body.

All of her belongs to her.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Colors of All Souls

Why is autumn the season of orange and black? The translucent brilliance of fall leaves? or the orange flesh of pumpkins? The ripe yellow squash and red gourds?

The colors of Halloween, of All Souls, represent two distinct concepts, and both have to do with creativity.

In the Earth cycle, autumn isn't recognized as creative. Instead, it's a time of fruition and shedding, of making provision for the cold months ahead. But the colors orange and black, and the symbol of the pumpkin, point to a different concept at work.

Orange contains the red energy of the earth, the blood of physical beings. Yellow is the light of the sun, the solar power to make us grow. When red and yellow mingle to conceive orange, they give birth to a creative glow.

In the pumpkins we see the shape of the womb. It's grown in the sun for months, fattening. In the center, seeds grow large, full of potential, protein, and nutrients. The center of the pumpkin, like the center of the womb, is black and warm, the home for nascent life.

"Hallowed" means sacred, as in "Hallowed be Thy name." The black of Hallowe'en - All Hallows Eve - isn't about evil, or death. It's about untapped potential, teeming with life. It's about formless energy.

Black is life waiting to become. This space of potential is a sacred space.

For people who are afraid of negative energy or see black as a negative color in an energetic sense, challenge yourself to a re-frame; these are places not touched by love. Touch these places with Love, and you will see the potential that had been sleeping in "negative" energy transform, and blossom into brilliant, positive fruit.

What about the Hallowe'en of ghosts? Ancient tradition has it that Hallowe'en, All Souls, is a thin time, when this world and the next become closer. Life goes on, this tradition says. We're still here; let that comfort you. Death is not the opposite of life. It's the opposite of birth.

All around us our landscape prepares for sleep, a sleep rich with life and potential ready to shoot up in the spring. In that richness we have dreams: ephemeral, non-physical, intangible, the shadow-selves of the forms we are about to create.

Which is why, after the riot of summer's fruition, we need autumn's shedding. As the trees shed, so do we. Our emotions intensify. Little crises force resolutions. You choose to stay or leave, to keep or to give away. We clean, we get rid of, we change over our bedding, our lightbulbs, our clothes. We cleanse.

All this sweeping, emptying, and choosing clears paths for the dreaming to take place. New goals, visions, friends, and foods arrive over winter along the pathways we swept clear, perhaps unconsciously, in autumn.

Creativity at work inside us, whether we realize it, or not.

Celebrate the colors of this season. The creative, joyful orange, and the teeming potential of night-sky black, strewn with stars and a bright moon, to light your winter's path.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Panegyric

Last night I had one of those 4am moments. You might be able to recognize it: waking up, staring at the red digital numbers displayed on our ceiling by a Batman-esque alarm clock, wondering if I had made a difference in the world, wondering if I would ever again move into writing professionally, writing for my living as I did when I lived in England.

Four in the a.m. is a kind of witching hour. I'm confused, in a fugue state, particles of my dreams swirling, dressed up like reality.

I thought of those people who'd decided to leave the planet early because they couldn't take the pain they'd carried: Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe. For some reason, my mind chose two people who could have been as much pushed into Beyond, as gone open-armed to it. They stood in front of me, so much good in their lives, but also that gnawing pain.

This morning I remembered this passage from Robert Louis Stevenson: "We must all be ready somehow to toil, to suffer, to die. And yours is not the less noble because no drum beats before you when you go out into your daily battlefields, and no crowds shout about your coming when you return from your daily victory or defeat."

Uncomfortable words for us modern-day, post-The Secret, positive thinkers. Toil, suffer, die. Yuck! I like the words: ease, choose a higher path, and cross over.

But I also really love the word sacrifice. It means "to make holy." Every time we choose that path of integration over the path of escape, it's toil. Turning the other cheek when someone spits on you is not an easy path. Transforming stinky energy instead of attaching to it is not an easy path. Going back into the past and healing old wounds instead of blaming the actors in the play is not an easy path. That is my definition of TOIL.

Washing those wounds to make them holy - that's pretty much suffering. Feeling that pain all over again while I heal it, that's not ease or fun. But the strength, the integration, the sheer ecstatic bliss when the work is done - that's ease. That's the higher path.

Yesterday when I came across the word 'panegyric' on my GRE review, I looked it up. I had the sense it was an elegy of some kind, but no idea it defined the times when we receive public praise. How many mothers out there put in a day of wiping bottoms and cleaning up dishes and wish for their panegyric? How many dads go to a job they don't enjoy and come home wishing for their panegyric? These are blunt examples, but we all have times when we wish for that moment that someone will eulogize our hard work.

We have our panegyrics: an acknowledgment at a wedding, or a graduation. A hug. They come at unexpected moments. Take photographs. Indulge in those memories.

We have many more days of going out into daily battlefields, when profound ambivalence, silence, or ignorance, keeps those around us from noticing the daily victories and defeats. That's when we have to create our own panegyric, and give it to ourselves.

I'm working with two practices at the moment. The first is out-loud gratitude. I say "thank you" to the Divine whenever I receive a blessing. Any blessing, no matter how tiny.

The second is to ask the Divine to align me with my purpose as a soul on this planet, and to align me with Divine Will, and show me a day that's in alignment with that Higher vision.

Talk about ease - every day I do this second step, I have a day of complete ease. Everything gets done, within the amount of energy that I possess, on time, and unhurried.

These two practices have become energy-generators for me. In a sense, they perform the function of daily panegyrics. They don't keep me from seeing my fears displayed at 4am, they don't stop me from having challenges, but through these practices I feel rooted and centered and peaceful.