Friday, October 31, 2008

CeLebRaTiOn of Dia de los MuErTos...

Welcome one and all!!
So glad you've come for a visit.
And special welcome to those of you stopping by
from Magpie's Day of the Dead play day;
from Dia de Bloglandia's gathering;
from Inspire Me Thursday;
or the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!!

First up: the winner is...
For my giveaway of 2 Henna'd Sugar Skulls the winner is Kim! She was commenter #11, picked by the random number generator. Will em you in a moment, Kim, and Congrats!!

Then for celebration, we have a picture story sharing our Day of the Dead rituals. Please feel free to comment on this post with links to your own blog entry sharing your celebrations, too!! And know that we are thinking of all of you as you are loving and missing your loved ones who have died. You are not alone.

Click on any photo here
to see it in a larger detailed size.

And now...
our story for:

Dia de los Muertos

The veil between the worlds grows thin
and the skeletons parade through,
visiting loved ones, celebrating ritual...
Emerging from shadow into the bright colors of DAY...
GREETING you as you call to your ancestors, too...
remembering ALL our peeps...
...but a remembering that it isn't morbid or bedeviled.
Isn't necessarily wholly sad either.
Though certainly sad is allowed and part of the journey.
Just remember also the celebratory.
The play and dance of the skeletons.
The sweetness of the sugar skulls,
the rich taste of bread,
freshness of harvested fruit, and...
The cacophony opens out to harmony,
Life integrates with Death...
...and a wire guide appears
with clay painted face,
henna'd hands,
and corkskrew feet.
He shows us around...
We get to see the ofrenda's glow...the sun's light cascading across our altered states...across the years, altars of memory...
filled with lovingly made art,
exploring our continuing bonds,
sorting out what death and grief mean in our lives...a stash full of ATCs
[Artist Trading Cards]
created by artists all over the world,
sent as blessing to share on my ofrenda each year...handcarved stamps,
each push of the carving tool,
a reminder of all that is just under the surface,
the bones of life, death, art, all together in stamping out a being...

and sugar skulls galore!!!
Sugar and merengue powder pressed into moulds,
large, small, in the visage of Frida, too.
Decorated with icicng, beads, foils...and...
dj, micah, cheyenne, joel...
unkie, aunt jean, uncle carl, gram chipoletti, and all the ancestors...
[below are the two sugar skulls going to the lucky winter of my bloggy giveaway!]
kota, peanut, andrew, ally, lily, jared...
pelli, janelle, maddy, grace...
MIRA, nora, allen, charles, adam...
katelyn, elizabeth, justin, charity, tracey, christian, chris, zach, jool,
natasha, michael, jason, brett, nikki...
cesar, jo, carlota...
bump, liam, kylie...
layla, nico, blake...
kae, aurora, søren, imogen, heloise, roku, seven...
cody, sean, mya mikayla...
christian, isabelle roo, gunnar, river, dakotah...
any and all children who have died too soon...being lovingly missed.
Also as young Brightling shared,
her very real first griefs..
remembering Swimmy the blue fish,
and all the beloved creatures we miss.
Take care of you this season.
Be gentle with your grief and love and every present moment.
When the veil closes, the skeletons will dance back to the other side.
Be assured they will come again for celebration and honoring next year...
Lots of miracles to you ALL of you, living and dead!!!

Check out other Day of the Dead sites:

From SF Chronicle - articles about other traditions of honoring the dead:
Celebrating Ghede, Haitian day of the dead
Samhain: Pagan celebration honoring the dead


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway...Henna'd Sugar Skulls

This giveaway is now closed.
Congrats to Kim! #11 commenter who won :)

Henna'd Sugar Skulls Giveaway!

Okay, you all get another peek at my upcoming Day of the Dead surprises. I've decided at the last moment to participate in the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival this week, so you all get a chance to win.

Giveaway items
These two henna decorated sugar skulls.

Please note: these are decorated with HENNA, not chocolate, so they are NOT EDIBLE. They are just for display and celebration/honoring of those you love who have died.

It has been my experience, that if you keep them wrapped gently in tissue paper, in a cardboard box, they will keep nicely for next year if you want to keep them for Day of the Dead 2009. OR you can do your own rain blessing ceremony with them after I send them to you next week. Just leave them outside in the rain and watch them melt away to the spirit world, to the Earth Mother as an honoring or offering of love to those you are remembering.


  • Please leave a comment here on this blog entry by 11:59pm October 31st.

  • Make sure you leave link to your blog or email address so that I can contact you if you win.

  • I am willing to fully cover shipping costs to US or Canadian addresses only. If you are elsewhere and are just desperate to enter anyway, please contact me so I can see how much shipping would be, if I am comfortable covering it, okay?

Have questions?
Contact me with any questions you might have!

Check out Bloggy Giveaways Carnival site for over 900+ other giveaways, too!

Getting ready...

Dia de los Muertos is almost here...been slowly working on our ofrenda here.

I've got my paint in hand for making myself into a sugar skull for the Parade of Skeletons on Friday.

Slowly working on a blog entry for dia de bloglandia and Magpie's blogher calls to share our celebrations and honorings. That will come later this week.

For now, here's a little taste and peek.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Doodling and dreaming...

A little Reiki infused henna paisley vine to you for your Wednesday.

Haven't had a lot of vision recently for the 1000 Faces and was feeling very frustrated. Decided it was time to just let myself doodle and dream a bit. Drawing left is one of my notebook doodles. Hawk laughs at me because I do these kind of things totally unconsciously now. I have marker doodles like this all over the top of my desk, and the phone books tend to be covered with scribbles like this, too. Occupational hazard. Ha!


Sat and watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off tonight. Was having a fun, old time, giggling away, and then it got to the part where they go to the museum there in Chicago. All thru the parts of the museum I had wanted to share with Hawk a couple week ago -- all the sections that were closed. ARG! I could just see that Picasso over the shoulder of one of the characters. All the open spaces of the post-Impressionist displays. Sigh... :) Ferris rules anyway.


Still in recovery mode here. Hawk always seems to be doing better by day, but then nighttime comes and the cough returns with a vengeance. We finally propped him upright to see if he could sleep that way. Seems to be working better than having him try to sleep flat.

As for moi, I'm feeling totally human again. Can't say enough about the netipot. If I actually come thru this with clear lungs the whole time, then wow! Am finding that I still need/want lots and lots of sleep though.

Hoping we'll both be feeling human enough come Saturday to at least get over to the mainland to see Groove's last gig before they leave for the France tour. Haven't seen them perform in quite awhile, so it will be fun to see all they've got going for the French audiences!

Also looking forward to a Hero's Journey this week, too. And we rescheduled the sugar skull play day to Friday afternoon. I think I'm good to go for both those and can make those happen while letting Hawk stay home resting. Thinking about breaking out the henna to decorate some of the skulls. I just can't get the same fine lines with the icing. I'll photo whatever we end up with for sure. Planning to do a whole Day of the Dead entry, so look for that soooooon.

Beyond that, we'll just take it slow and see how things go.
Miracles to y'all!! Stay healthy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Showing up elsewhere...

Post over at Glow Today

My contribution to the Glow In the Wood, blogolympic roundtable on spirituality is posted today over there as the entry "of magic and faith."

When you click over there, take the time to read through some of the other blogolypian entries, too. Every new post has made me stop and think, re-consider my own ideas of loss and learning to live again. It's been inspiring to read the stories of so many other bereaved mums, to see how they have sorted out the pieces left in grief's path, how they have redefined parenthood, womanhood, partnership. Very insightful sharing there!

Another sighting

I haven't seen it myself yet, but my friend Pamela down in SF said she found one of my collaborations with Hawk on page 134 of the new Autumn '08 issue of Somerset Life from Stampington & Company! No one ever got back to me to say anything we submitted there was accepted, and we have yet to get to the mainland to snag a copy, so I can only guess what it is. I suspect it is the beautiful shots Hawk snagged of the granola jar, honey, and flowers on our table next to the window. Can't wait to see...

And Still Recovering

Haven't had much umph lately for doing anything. Hawk and Peter both got sick right after we came back from our trip. Hawk's turned into pneumonia again, so we've tried to slooooooooow everything down here coz the only thing that fixes him up is rest, rest, rest.

I'd been doing great fending off the germs -- I think the neti pot and giving up sugar both really helped. But then yesterday, I woke up with a petri dish of germs in my throat and ear aches!! Ugh! So we post-poned the sugar skull decorating day yesterday, and I've spent almost 24 hours sleeping, napping, sleeping :) Added an additional neti pot session, and so far, I'm holding my own. Still feel a bit like a mac truck ran me over, but my ears don't hurt anymore and it hasn't decended to my lungs. It will be interesting to see if the giving up of sugar helps me stave off these things that usually end up affect my asthma, you know?

Anyway, forgive me for delays, and just know I'll be back at it later in the week I hope!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nervous...Inspire Me Thursday topic

Topic: Nervous
for Inspire Me Thursday

Is it any wonder?

You set the alarm to the radio.
You turn on the tv before you brush your teeth.
Your home page online is all news all the time.

Of course you are nervous.

Media is the new God.
He dictates rise and fall.
He causes panic and fear.
He tells you which secret tinctures will make you thin, beautiful, smart, lucky, wealthy.
He reads the bible for you and tells you what it means, what to think, how to vote.
He will tell you it is raining, the world is terror, and there is no more money.

But if you would just walk outside yourself, you'd see the truth.

The sky is blue.
The chickens are pecking and the kids are playing.
The apple trees are overflowing with harvest.
Let the Goddess of your own perspective kick Media's ass.

Stay in your own peace (piece)
and let that connect you to the other
peaces (pieces).
Bit by bit, we transform the world to be anything but nervous!


PS: I've just re-uploaded the Day of the Dead inchies on the post:

because I didn't realize it originally had a draft version of the image!! So very sorry for the mistake. Peanut now has the "t" crossed. MIRA has one square *and* Joel's square is there now, too. Very sorry for not realizing it was the wrong version earlier!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When words just don't...

Words just don't seem to do it lately. There is so much running around my brain and heart, and I can't make any sense of anything.

There are just these little hits of thought.

*Seeing the older women in my family, making their way through their 70's and 80's. I'm not even at the 40's yet, and I cannot imagine what the heck I will do with all my time if I should live anywhere close to 80!?

*Blips of the closed doors of the post-impressionist area of the museum in Chicago. In the realm of creating my own reality, why all the closed and locked doors?

*Watching the political debates while seeing the effects of racial hurdles in my own family, old home town, seeing people stare at us in ways they do not stare when we are here on the West Coast. I wonder if quality, integrity, humanity can overcome racial divides when people actually enter the voting booth to pull their vote? With the world finally falling apart (again), does it even matter?

*Clips of the very young lives of my two goddaughters and realizing I'm not there anymore. But with my son dead, I'm also not at the "middle stages" where most other late 30-somethings are either. What does that mean for the way my reality unfolds? The way I choose to create it?

*Looking at art, masterpieces. Seeing scenes from West Wing with Martin Sheen or scenes from Brothers & Sisters with Danny Glover and Sally Field. Being conscious that I'm seeing powerhouse experiences. Masters. Artists and actors who have had a lifetime of practice, and the whole history coming through this one painting or this one scene. Realizing that happens one step at a time, persistence, year after year. Am I actualizing that in my own life? I don't know.

*Hits of email, calls, looming dates for work we are doing for others, outside our own artwork, stuff that makes the ends meet. Realizing how much dread comes with "making the ends meet" and wondering how to keep navigating this moment to moment?

As the days unfold, the words seem inadequate.

I've taken lots of naps. Sat looking at the green turning golden red for hours on end. Done the simple things of daily miracles like laundry, cooking. Taken walks and made sure fresh air is breathed into each room of the house.

And still things feel a little too tender. I'm slow to find words to answer emails. The phone is totally impossible. [Many apologies to those I owe call backs -- give me a couple more days, okay?!] Attacking the "to-do" list is just not happening.

So then what?

Can't say I have an answer :) But I guess just taking one moment at a time and rolling with it. Something will crack open, I'm sure. My heart will crack open again after processing, I'm sure.

One thing I think I finally get -- totally and completely get:

Sacred space is not out there somewhere. It is here. Right here, exactly where I am, in the middle of muddle, THIS is my sacred space. Maybe that is all that matters.

I don't know.
If nothing else, remember this: PLAY! Even if it is just playing with the bubbles in the sink while you are doing dishes -- PLAY! Whatever moment brings my end, I want to be able to know I will have played at least a few moments of that day, of everyday now till then. :) Play.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


OPPS! PS: When I posted this the other day, I posted a draft version of the inchie Day of the Dead drawings that didn't have the "t" on Peanut crossed and had Mira twice and Joel not added. My apologies!!! I've just updated this entry to include the final version!!

October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day, and the whole month in fact is dedicated to child death awareness.

Day of the Dead
And I'm finally starting to get ready for Day of the Dead here. Usually have my sugar skulls made and ofrenda set up already. But since we were on the road, I haven't had a chance to wrap my brain around it yet.

So, as a start, to the left, here are my latest Day of the Dead inchies. Each one is honoring a beloved child who is being remembered this month. Lots of Reiki to all the parents of these precious babies. Thinking of each of you today!

Sacred Play Day & Sugar Skulls
Hoping to spend part of my day making sugar skulls in prep for decoration gathering we have scheduled for this Sunday's Sacred Play Day! Guess I should send out reminders about that, too, aye??! :)

"A Peace Of...Vashon"
And speaking of reminders, I finally have the "A Peace of..."
art show and film festival information posted! Click here to see the details


Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Scribblings #130...Weddings

For Sunday Scribblings #130
The Wedding and Reflections
by Kara L.C. Jones

Photo left: Copyright 2008 by Hawk Jones/Kotagraph, The Wedding Dress

We headed out a few weeks ago for a mini-marathon trip. One of our stops was back East for my goddaughter's wedding. Hawk did the photography for everything: engagement, rehearsal, ceremony, family, reception. It was amazing to be a part of their big event in this way. To play the role of conscious witness capturing images while the days whizzed by so very quickly.

As we met up with various friends and family members, I heard myself talking with cousins I haven't seen for years and years. People who've never met my husband ever. I was telling them we'd been married for 10 years. One of my cousins mentioned she'd been married 23 years. The dj played an anniversary dance asking people who'd been married 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40+ years to come on the floor and do a slow jig. It was amazing to see how quickly time passes.

To see my eldest goddaughter at the start of her marriage. To see my younger goddaughter in the middle of her college days. And then to see how fast 10 years of marriage have passed in my own life. To realize 10 years have passed since Kota's birth and death.

It goes so fast. Capturing images, making art, writing. These are all parts of playing witness to my own life. I was honored to play a small part of doing that for my goddaughter. And it made me realize that all my own, Capricorn-like tendencies toward reviewing my trunk of journals or stacks of artwork are all about trying to chart this Journey. Trying to make sense of time that flies too fast. It isn't that I want to live in the past. It is that the present moment goes so fast I sometimes need more time to integrate what has happened.

As I'm facing re-entry back here upon our return from the mini-marathon, I find I need more time. More time for everything. More time to integrate what happened on the trip. More time to be present each day. More time going slow. More time to create and be. More time for music.

I've said it before, but it is worth repeating.

I don't necessarily mean that I need Earth days to expand to 72 hours -- though that would be nice. I do mean that I need more -- more authentic, more present. I want more meaningful work. I want more days full of consciousness. I want more days in the pool. :)

What can I say? Weddings do this to me. I can't stop reflecting...
How about you? What do weddings do for you?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Engaged in my own reality...

Images left: (top) This is my 1,000 Faces tribute to Preston Singletary. (bottom) This is the original glass piece by Preston Singletary. It is on display at SAM in downtown Seattle.

Engaged in my own reality...
by Kara L.C. Jones

My friend Lisa has a wonderful post over at Journey School where she struggles with all the outward pressures of world, economy, politics, and sits there asking, "What do I do now?!" And her amazingly insightful daughter answers, "Milk the cow."

I laughed and had a huge A-HA when I read this. We take in all that we can take in from the outside world. And really, this is anything and everything outside our own minds. All that is "out there" is really just your perceptions of what is "out there". It is all coming to you from within your own mind. And so all this pressure comes from "out there" and you feel like scrambling and fears rise and your mouth is bitter and panic is setting in and OMG what to do what to do?

Milk the cow, baby. That's all there is. Just do the next thing that is at hand right now. That is really all there is.

Creating my own Chitown

So being still out here on the road, I've been playing with this idea today. There appears to be so much poverty, so much fear, so many lost souls, just pieces of human beings moving through the city, doing the best they can. And I got very caught up in this reality at the start of my day. Right away, a man hustling for money bee lined to me and I could seem to shake him off. Just like a real bee around your soda can. Then getting into the museum and every single thing I wanted to share with Hawk there was closed. The entire Impressionism and post-impressionism section closed. Every door shut and locked. Curtains block view while guards stand blocking the way. "Sorry, Miss, this section is closed." Oh, what the heck?!

And at that moment, several things rang thru my ears: Divorce the Economy and Milk the Cow.

Okay, so to see what I originally wanted to see at the museum, we'll just have to put another visit in the works for some future date.

In the meantime, what was available today? We discovered that a few of our favorites were shuffled around into other areas of the museum. Seurat's Sunday Afternoon was still open, just in a very small room, all by itself. There were a few Van Gogh, a very small Dali painting in the Paris collection, several pencil drawings by Picasso and others by Matisse. And we took the time to just wonder around aimlessly to see what might be there. Guess what?! The huge Sky Above The Clouds by O'Keefe was still up, in this obscure hallway, halfway between the first floor and second floor!! So we got to see it, to read about her thoughts at age 76 when she took on this 11 by 7 foot painting! Amazing.

Next thing to shift was the screaming poverty that seemed to be everywhere. Beggars, street performers, scam artists, buskers, homeless. Hawk appeared to shift his engagement in recreating this reality by talking with the people. He wanted to know what the one beggar was trying to get for breakfast with this money. He asked how the next guy was involved with the local homeless newspaper. In the end, he was actually talking, laughing, and engaging with purpose instead of hurrying past or pitying or ignoring.

For me, I seemed to be seeing the poverty in everyone. Not just those shaking cups of coins or performing for change thrown into hats. The people who obviously had jobs or were students or even the "well to do" -- they all seemed wrapped up tight today. Fists tight with what they thought they might lose if they engaged at all. And then, I had to stop and figure out what this was about myself. How was I being wrapped up tight? Why were my fists trying to hold onto the sand?

We stopped for a cup of coffee, and I gave the guy an extra $10 along with two Kindness Cards. He questioned me at first. "Really? You want to pay for someone else's coffee?" It was as if I was speaking a different language and he was trying to wrap his brain around translating my words. Yes, I assured him that I wanted to pay for someone else's coffee. I asked that he just give them the Kindness Card along with their coffee and tell them to have a good day.

I know maybe that is silly. Why not give that $10 to the Food Bank? Well, I will be giving something to our local Food Bank this coming week at the Empty Bowl event. But for right now, I wanted to give something to the random person who is getting coffee during rush hour, on their hurried way to work, trying to make the ends meet. I hope the two folks who get this little treat tomorrow will feel a small bit of abundance. It was the the one thing I felt moved to do in the present moment where I was previously feeling only poverty. It was my decree of divorcing the economy.

These are small ways we chose to create our own reality in Chitown today.

Back to recreating reality on the island

As we head back home to the island, I'm not sure how the experiences of this trip will help me to continue recreating my reality, but there is so much to consider. My mind and heart are overflowing with ideas, observations, longings. I do know, that just with what we already have in our life as it presently exists, we have so much abundance coming from off the beaten path. We divorced this fear based reality on the infamous September 11th when we chose to stop being homeless living in our car, when we chose to stop being victim to the rampant fear mongering. We have made choices consciously for the most part.

And maybe now we are at a cross roads for making more conscious decisions. Decisions to keep creating beauty no matter what. Decisions to keep sending out blessings. Decisions to stay within our own personal power of creating and recreating our reality, knowing that everything is coming through the perception of our own minds. There is nothing outside me anyway! Never has been. So it makes no difference as there is "nothing" outside me now. I, the witness, my inner deva is here. No matter what.

And the same is true for all of us.
If you are fearing, remind yourself that you are you and nothing can change that. Remember that it is time to milk the cow. Remember that you have the power to divorce any reality that doesn't speak to your highest good and greatest benefit.

Reiki and blessings to every single eyeball reading this! :) And then may the Reiki and blessings go forward out from your eyeball to touch everything you see!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Winging from the 'Burgh to Chitown

It is amazing how travel sets you up for transformation, being sculpted by experiences as new moments wash over you. I'm still in the middle of this as we are on the road a few days more here.

But something struck me yesterday. Something about how and why people like the Peace Pilgrim come to be in our world. She's been in my awareness for 20 years or so now. Her work and life are inspiring, to say the least. And I always wished I could be someone like her, but could never see how a person could do that.

Yesterday, it struck me. The WHY is HOW.

Most likely people doing good in this world didn't set out saying, "How can I do this?" Instead, they set out saying, "There is a need and I have to do this." Why did they do it? There was need. That's all. The HOW unfolded in each present moment as others showed up to help them or as they let one experience after another wash over them each day.

And it struck me yesterday that I did this same thing really. In the beginning of 2007, I felt compelled to create the 1,000 Faces of Mother Henna. I didn't really know how or what the plan might look like. I just felt a need. Everyone I was meeting -- and in my own experiences at the time -- we were all being inundated day and night with scare tactics. News talking heads scaring us. CNN spewing streaming wires of bad news 24/7. People in the hierarchical structure of working situations being threatened each day with their jobs, their income, their 401K. And now the elections -- all the ads are designed to do is scare us into voting one way or the other.

In the face of all that, is it any wonder that I felt there was a need for something peaceful? Something that could build over time. Be shared with others. Something that I could offer knowing I was sending it out into the world, Reiki-infused, so that there might be a respite, a moment for reflection.

Of course people look at me like I'm crazy. Or shake their heads about my crazy ideas when everything around them is telling them that the world doesn't work that way. But this is just another layer to break through for me. I'm sure people shook their heads at the Peace Pilgrim, too. But you know, many many other people welcomed her. Felt she was doing exactly what was needed. I know I am forever grateful for her example.

So here are a couple things that have come across my consciousness in the past few days. Things that help me come back to MY REALITY, the life and love I am creating in each moment. Not even "in spite of" the scare tactics -- but INSTEAD of -- those things are simply not real here. When the only thing I have is the playground of my perception, I get to choose what I'm creating. These things have been helpful most recently:

  • Joan recently reminded us to "Divorce the Economy"!!!!

  • Turn off your tv. Better yet, get rid of it. If we don't feed them with ratings, they stop spewing b.s..

  • Look outside your immediate world. Forget what your household, town, family, CNN debate rater believes is "right" and get out to the internet and library and even travel if you can. Do your own research. Make up your own mind and heart.

  • Make a cup of tea and just sit in silence. Turn the world off.

  • PLAY! Do something playful and see how your being opens up again. It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Walk to the park and get on the swings. Anything. Just make play a priority.

  • Send Reiki to everyone all day long today. Just every being you pass, think, "Reiki" or "Blessing" and let that beauty of healing and loving energy flow from you to everyone. Even when a being annoys you -- especially then! Reiki, reiki, reiki!!!!!!!!!!

Well, that's that for now from Chitown. Off to the museum today and surely will have something to share upon return!!
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