nudes by candlelight . . .

 

FROM ODE TO A NAKED BEAUTY BY PABLO NERUDA

IT IS NOT SO MUCH LIGHT THAT FALLS

OVER THE WORLD
EXTENDED BY YOUR BODY
ITS SUFFOCATING SNOW,
AS BRIGHTNESS, POURING ITSELF OUT OF YOU,
AS IF YOU WERE
BURNING INSIDE.

UNDER YOUR SKIN THE MOON IS ALIVE.

 

Many years ago, I took these soft images of women by candlelight. I wanted to recreate those old 1910 photographs that I adored so much. I just love the soft subtle lines of these women’s beautiful bodies.

I dug these prints up out of one of the many boxes in my studio closet filled with prints that I made back in the day of film and dark rooms. I dusted them off and scanned them to breathe life into them once again.

Pablo’s poem and these images inspire me to explore more alternative image making.

 

 

 

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Allow Freedom!

Allow Freedom

And the day came when I needed them.

When the battle was too big for me,

And the lawyer by my side.

I summoned them from the far reaches of time;

Legions of Mothers, Grandmothers, and all the Greats!

We shared this thing in common.

We knew the struggle to keep a child safe.

I called them forth for my little girl;

The baby I birthed,

The Little girl within me,

And every little girl throughout all time,

Who ever needed to be loved, protected and heard;

Every girl who ever needed the freedom to choose.

I gathered them into that courtroom,

To stand with me,

Arms linked,

Hearts connected,

Known, felt, embraced.

They came gracefully, elegantly,

Holding me with calm certainty.

I scrawled our intention in large letters and underlined, “Allow Freedom!

We didn’t come to destroy, conquer or ravage.

We came to defend and allow with love,

With Sofia Wisdom, empathy and grace.

We washed everything over with fierce

“Mama Bear” love of protection.

For one purpose, with one intention, “Allow Freedom.”

In our united front,

Madame Justice held up her scales,

The child was heard,

Her desire granted.

The judge proclaimed,

“I have never done this before,

I’m not sure why I am doing this now,

But I am going to allow the child to decide

Who she will live with and if and when

She wants to visit her father.”

{Silence}

Tears washed over the Legions.

They rejoiced in gratitude.

She was their child and this was

A victory for grace,

A victory for all they stood for.

A victory for all they ever desired;

For every girl to be heard,

Trusted and allowed the freedom to choose!

Freedom was granted on this day

For my little girl and therefore

For all little girls.

I wrote poem very quickly after sitting with such radiantly beautiful, soul-full women at the Sophia Conference in November of last year. The conference is hard to put into words but it touched, moved, shifted & changed me in so many subtle & not-so-subtle ways.

The court hearing was one of those magical, divine moments that today still seems difficult to believe. My daughter had been tormented and abused by her father for years and when I took her for the summer and stood up to him, he took me to court and this is what the court had to say about that.

Articulating this even in poetry is just one of the gifts that emerged from the Sophia experience.

If you are interested in attending next year’s conference in San Diego please get in touch with Laura Plumb at Deep Yoga!

Latitude Zero by Monique Stauder

by Monique Stauder

My dear friend, Monique, an exotic beauty with a gorgeous accent and feral spirit spent a decade traversing the equator, becoming part of its fabric, connecting with community, witnessing the great expansiveness of Love and capturing it all on film. My courageously creative friend put all of these years and her experiences into a book that is more than a book, it’s an experience. I highly recommend purchasing it. The unusual layout allows you to see the diverse-ness first hand of this single circle around our earth, its fun, inspiring and educational.

Monique can be seen giving a talk about her experience on TEDx Pearl River NY. Her book is available on Amazon.com.

Latitude Zero by Monique Stauder

by Monique Stauder

by Monique Stauder