Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Another in the Paper Doll series. Something about the pointe shoes continues to fascinate me. The first piece I did in this series with pointe shoes, "Notes of a Dancer," was still in the jam series because though I was showing something typically considered beautiful, it was imposed on a stained paper background to say something about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into what we all finally see.  This piece in today's post is about taking the typical fashion plate icon you see with pointe shoes and flipping it to insert a plus size image which is often so fat-shamed in our culture even though, of course you can plainly see, just as much beauty is here as in any other figure.

All this is just a continuation of my sitting with the idea that all we have is now, so why do I bother to create things when legacy, tangibility, all that is myth. Because I seemed to thoroughly depress many people with my last post, I did later post a video featuring Sharon Olds as an antidote of sorts. In there she talks a lot about why she creates. In particular, she shares about creating as a piece of comfort, a message in a bottle, that hopefully touches another being, and that's something.  I get that. And another friend posted to me saying that comforting another soul is something, it is not ephemeral.  I get that, too.

But I guess, just for me personally, at this juncture, I'm really sitting with the places of discomfort. That's one of the reasons the weird collage art has been speaking to me so loudly. They purposely leave us discomforted. Something in that grabs me just now and has me considering creativity, the process, what we create, why.  It may be that I'm very taken at the moment also with much of the monastic Buddhist stuff whereby the notion of letting go and giving up really is about giving up worldly stuff and being. Even someone like the Peace Pilgrim makes me ponder all this. I mean she did eventually let others come in and help to create things like a book, website, other teachers -- all that has outlived her. But there was a point in her life where she gave up all creation and all worldly things to simply walk. What is that happens to people who choose something like that? What is the final discomfiture that sent them to that decision to just walk? Or to give up clothes, food, shelter and simply meditate in the forest for the rest of their lives?

Of course all that is balanced for me with the total other extreme that says, "Who cares? It's a beautiful day out, so lets just go to the beach!"  Which is another way of being in the NOW and not creating. Looked over usually because it doesn't discomfort. But nevertheless, it is another way of BEing.

Anyway, I don't know. I don't have answers. Only more questions. Every single day. More questions. Or more not caring about the questions even. But just so you know, lovie loves, I wasn't trying to thoroughly depress you! It's just the pondering of discomfort in the process of creation. Pondering that the discomfort of grief sent me to creativity in a big way. Part of the culture jam idea anyway, you know?  So that's that for now. Happy thinking -- or not thinking -- creating -- or not creating :)


  1. Dear Kara,
    I love this conversation you have initiated. There is so much I want to say. It feels that you are naming a classic duality in Western mysticism, i.e., The "Via Negativa" (way of iconoclasm/emptying) and the "Via Positiva" ( the way of the image/embodiment)....As is always the case, the reconciliation of such dualities lies in their integration...the Both/And. I'm reading a fabulous book that I highly recommend, which touches on much of this: The Creative Soul by Lawrence H. Staples. Here's a quote: "Creativity in all of its myriad expressions...is a potent healer of (our) early wounds (i.e., our repressed shadowed parts). It helps restore the wounded parts and integrate them into a cohesive structure. In so doing, creativity increases human consciousness." "For this integration to occur in society, it must first take place inside the individuals who comprise it." This understanding focuses on the process of creativity ...and yes there is always the dilemma about all the "stuff" that engaging in the process generates, something I struggle with. For myself, I have to say this: If I didn't make art, I might kill someone.

    1. Oh, Yvonne, that's lovely! I've just added his book to my wish list now and will get it soon -- thank you!! It's true, if I didn't make art, I'd got berserk, too... I was in a writing workshop recently and wrote a piece about the 1000 Faces project -- and how when I got to the first 1000 mark, I just kept going and am 1/2 way thru creating the next 1000. Someone asked me in the class, "Why?" and I said I don't know, it's just what I do. It doesn't feel like work though sometimes I can be present enough to do stuff to develop for biz. But truly it is more like breathing or sleeping or eating. It's what I do.

      Anyway, so along the lines of "it's what I do" I started pondering why the discomfiture of the weird art collages was calling to me. There's a lot there. Something about no people pleasing. Something about being a voice that causes discomfort in the effort to wake up consciousness. Something about not being the "good" girl all the time. I'm sure it is the integration process of the various shadows and wounds. And then also, just as a witness, it is interesting to see myself engaging, on purpose, in discomfiture...it's not something I've done consciously before, I don't think. I've done it, but not consciously -- and therefore responses from people have surprised me in the past. Like around grief stuff. I just bring that stuff up. And, wow, people react. I used to get so angry at them for reacting. But I realize now it was almost not a reaction to me, but to the discomfort factor. ??? Anyway, all that! :) Sending you BIIIIG LOOOVE!

  2. I LOVE this, Kara! Is it available as a print?

    1. Aw, Gail, that's sweet of you to ask! Yes, I did post this one over in the Reb Bubble gallery as print and card and such: http://www.redbubble.com/people/motherhenna/works/12001204-pointed So glad you dig her! <3


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