feather-gatherer

feathers5 by Katariina Fagering

What is it that makes me always gather feathers? 

Perhaps they serve as a testament of a life lived closer to the edge,

where it is raw and real

and there is no feeling sorry for one’s self.

Her heart may have stopped beating

but a story of a graceful, tenacious way of existing

lives on in her feathers.

What remains is

imperfection & impermanence

~ a rich and aromatic life.

three feathers by Katariina Fagering

orange feather2 by Katariina Fagering

three feathers 3 by Katariina Fagering

wispy feather by Katariina Fagering

three feathers blurred by Katariina Fagering

clump of feathers by Katariina Fagering

feather haze by Katariina Fagering

orange feathers 1 by Katariina Fagering

three feathers 4 by Katariina Fagering

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mixture of love, painting, photography . . .

& now a word from our sponsor, the color orange . . .

the market

I’ve been wanting to write for days now, but time seems to be flying by too fast for me to even catch up. Halloween whizzed by & now that it is November company is on their way for Thanksgiving, wait. . . . but first I am flying out to California for a quick visit, & Larry is off to a shareholders meeting in New Jersey. That feels like a lot.

I’m not even someone who has to be caught up in the energy of this season & here I am being pulled into its vortex. What I mean is I don’t have deadlines, a job or anything pressuring me to hurry up but still . . . I feel the sense of urgency in the air.

On Saturday night, we had a fabulously successful pumpkin carving party.  It was just a sweet night of sharing stories, listening to music, drinking great wine, dark beers & incredible food created by everyone, mostly Larry. He is amazing in the kitchen. So much Savor!!! The kids carved pumpkins & then swam their hearts out in the pool.

These pictures are just my way of catching up with all of you, sharing what’s going on in our hood. I’m taking an online e-course by Madelyn Mulvaney & she is sort-of, kind-of, really blowing my mind. I have only stuck one foot into the course holding onto the curb with my little toes afraid of what I might discover about myself. I’m two weeks behind on my photo taking that I am supposed to post on flickr.

One of the ideas that is swirling about in the recesses of my mind (thanks to Madelyn) is “where do I feel most myself?” I still can’t figure it out. It seems it is not so much a physical location as it is the convergence of many elements that inspire my senses & shoot right to my soul. Listening to a certain song, being in nature, being with Larry & my kids, dancing or travelling to exotic locations, tasting the perfect savory flavor or smelling roasting coffee are some of the elements that together can create this explosion in my soul & I am myself, home in my boots, with my soul dancing just under my skin. This is what I came up with so far, but still the question wanders & rattles around inside. After I figure that out I need to photograph it. Yikes!!

Enjoy the different shades of orange, until next time.

Katariina

habibi & the pumpkins

our house in october

the captain steering this ship!

 

 

I made this one! Can you tell?

from rawfully organic co-op

these tomatoes are so good I had to post another pic

roasted sweet potatoes

finn's new old truck

we made this dress together!

 

scanning sunflowers

this is what i played with today!!! I’m so excited about this new process that is so easy. a friend recently showed me some images of flowers she had taken on her scanner that were so incredible i had to try.

after some experimentation & a little Photoshop touch up/spotting this is it!!! TaaaaDaaaa!!! can you tell I’m excited?

so if you want to try this on your scanner this is what i did, but it’s purely about experimenting.

step one:  I took a small cardboard box (all I could find) .

Step two: i put a hole in the box (no wait!! That wasn’t it, just kidding, if you got the joke than good on ya mate!, if you didn’t then ask me offline :o))

the REAL step two: i put black construction paper in the box. I sort of shoved it in there so it curved on the corners.

step three: wipe the scanner dust free!

step four: place the flower on the scanner & the box over the scanner hit scan and see what pops up.

step five: crop, darken overall image & do whatever tricks or actions you like in Photoshop or elements.

i love the depth & clarity of these images. the red bottle below is a tiny apothecary bottle that my sister, Kristeen, gave me. she gave me a few of them but this one is the coolest because of the tree of life. the brown bottle is just a liquid stevia bottle from Whole Foods. we grew these smaller flowers in our garden & then dried them several months ago ~ they just keep on giving!

next i want to experiment with other objects to see how they turn out. perhaps fruit, or utensils or who knows. if you try it, please share what you came up with. if you need any tips let me know OR if you have any tips for me. it’s more fun to create together.

in case you are curious or just annoyed, i’m writing in all lower case because i’m feeling childlike, giddy & free today! i wonder if it had anything to do with coming clean about melancholy’s visit last week? hmmmm, i love that dirty laundry.

red tree of life apothecary bottle

my friends, melancholy & flo

This has been an odd week lacking in activity and creativity because my old friend Melancholy came to visit. She is a bit like Aunt Flo who visits monthly the only difference is that Aunt Flo is usually on schedule so I’m stocked up & prepared, where as Melancholy usually slips in the back door while I’m sleeping & sets herself up to stay for a bit. She is like family that arrives unannounced & doesn’t honor our house’s three-day for family visit rule.

When she arrives in the middle of darkness with no warning signs, I wake up in the morning & BAM, I feel blaaaaah. There is no point in even getting out of bed. What’s the point in doing anything, ever? Why go for a walk, eat or even shower? I can’t remember what I had planned that day. The only thing that sounds interesting is laying on the couch, slipping in & out of a coma while staring at the wall & devouring creamy, cheesy pasta. That is what my week has been like.

Melancholia by Albrecht Dürer

“According to Hippocrates, melancholia was caused by an excess of black bile, hence the name, which means ‘black bile’, from Ancient Greek μέλας (melas), “dark, black”, a person whose constitution tended to have a preponderance of black bile had a melancholic disposition.” Hmmmm? This is interesting & does make sense, it often feels like a darkness running through my veins or sitting in my pancreas.

I think in Aruyvedic practice, when Melancholy shows up on your doorstep it would be the equivalent of too much Kapha (water). Too much of anything is an inbalance. Whether it is black bile or water that is keeping me in a blah, sub-level, weepy state, hardly matters, they both suggest an inbalance & a need for stirring or shifting, moving & shaking, creating & co-creating. Which is hard to do when Melancholy is over there on the couch shoving Kraft Mac n cheese in her mouth with one hand & flipping channels with the other hand.

I know it is depressing talking about depression but I guess today I feel that perhaps its a better idea to just call it out rather than hole up & hide.

Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Van Gogh

These melancholic feelings are something I have lived with most of my life but just in the past few years have I truly admitted it. I guess without a proper diagnosis it never seemed really that serious, because it is my baseline. It’s a bit like a fish not realizing she is in water, depression is just something I have always lived with. When Melancholy pays a visit my blah goes from baseline to sub-level but my natural disposition is melancholic.

Most people I have worked with in the past wouldn’t know this about me (well I pretend they don’t know, who knows if they do) because I spent my time at work with a smile on my face, pretending everything was groovy. My friend Sara says she puts on her smiling mask at work to protect everyone from what she is truly feeling because there is no way they would be able to handle the depths of the depression. I might add that I never thought they would be interested in dealing with such heavy feelings, especially at work. There could be some negative repercussions at work anyways. I know the Marine Corps was not interested in my emotional self. In the Marine Corps I wasn’t an individual but a piece of the whole, it was my job to be healthy or at least do my best at pretending in order for me to be accepted and useful. I always thought it was my job to be light, happy, upbeat, productive, & professional (this one was very important).

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth

I have reached that point where I can’t pretend anymore. I don’t want to. I’m realizing that melancholy is my disposition, not the kind that consumes my energy & makes me want to surrender to the magnetic pull of the couch & stop brushing my teeth for days but that watchful, slower, more contemplative, deeply feeling sort of disposition.

Washed Up

I really don’t have any profound insights about depression or melancholy, I just wanted to bring it out into the light & share my vulnerability with you all (as learned from Dr. Brene’ Brown) to be more authentic & release some of the shame swirling around this way of being.

shards of broken glass . . .

shards of broken glass

Turning the corner onto Harvard from 18th I was greeted with the brilliant translucent greenish blue of shattered windshield glass spread across the street. I had to stop & photograph it. As I played with every angle & dimension possible a man drove up, rolled down his window & asked what happened. What happened? I was confused & suddenly felt a bit silly. I had been more interested in beauty of shards of glass on asphalt than I had been curious about the poor car that had been broken into. I told him I wasn’t sure that I was just photographing the beauty of the glass. Perhaps I looked a bit like a CSI agent with my iPhone collecting evidence such as glass trajectory to be able to solve this horrible crime.

The song, Till the End of the World sung by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds kept running through my head. I love how he enunciates “shards of broken glass.” Youtube it to get the full effect.

It was a miracle i even got out of Longwood alive,
This town full of men with big mouths and no guts;
I mean if you can just picture it,
The whole third floor of the hotel gutted by the blast
And the street below showered in shards of broken glass,

broken

The more I lingered photographing the glass, instead of contemplating the reason behind its presence, I started becoming more curious about the usage of the phrase, “broken into.” I know, a bit weird, but the word broken is one of those words that has so many connotations. It can mean; interrupt, mental collapse, soften, begin, destroy, divide, fracture, crush, intrude (broken into), interfere, & become unusable. The one I liked the most was “to separate from the whole” or perhaps “separate from wholeness.”

I feel broken a lot of time, but not the kind of broken that is destroyed completely, more the kind that is separate from the whole, or interfered. I like to think of it as a starting point to finding my whole, audaciously authentic self. Perhaps I have been broken since about six years old or earlier, it’s just that I didn’t have any reference to whole-ness to know of my broken-ness. Thanks to God & the Veteran’s Administration I am now very certain of my broken-ness but in a compassionate, loving, nurturing way. It’s been a bit like introducing my six-year-old self that has been running a lot of the show to my 45-year-old self. She doesn’t have to grow up but she definitely doesn’t have to be in charge anymore.

Notice all the beauty in the broken-ness of these shards of shattered glass.

shards

among the leaves

more poetry please. . .

eVery day I yearn for more poetry. I long to hear sweet poetic words that skip over my brain and settle into my soul awakening a piece of me that is now sleeping. I long to dance along with the second reading of a poem that fits like a glove yet is emotive enough to wake me up to a deeper, slumbering part of myself. Painting & photography can do this part way but poetry somehow catapults me deeper, my soul livens, weeps, dances & sings.

I want to share my own poetry here but don’t have a poem that fits this moment. So instead let me share an old favorite by Mary Oliver.  Here is the photograph I made years ago back at Camp Pendleton, CA with one of my Holga cameras. It is also called The Journey.

the journey

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice-

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do-

determined to save

the only life you could save.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love this poem’s message of saving the only life I can save, mine. No matter how deep their meloncholy is, no matter how difficult their journey seems. I live with an overwhelming sense of responsibility for others (perhaps a condition of being of service for nearly 20 years. I am releasing this now & diving deeply into my own journey of poetry, art, healing & discovering.

I’m hoping that this will be the impetus to get me writing some poetry again. I want to dance with my soul more frequently inbetween taking Raine to school, doing the laundry, & fixing dinner. When I dance with poetry the pain of the world can’t catch up to me.

Big Poetic Love,

katariina