Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Anniversary: A Party Dress and The Making of a Blog Mask for Feral Mom, Feral Writer:

It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end--Ursula K. Le Guin

I’m still obsessing a bit about hesitations, the pay-off for waiting on the periphery. But realizing we each eventually brave the stage for our part. Nature’s metaphors provide solace: take flowers. They don’t choose when to bloom, nor do they falter. The heat of the sun impels them to fold back their exquisite petals to reveal their centers. I wrote more about the fear cycle of exposure due to book publication in Tarot Butterflies and Poem Disorder and Not Saying Goodbye to Feral Mom and in a forthcoming guest post hosted by Suzi Banks Baum at Laundry Line Divine, Hesitations, The Lost Wing, and Outgrowing the Metronome. (Link updated Jan 13, 2014.)
But December marks the official six year anniversary of this blog. Happy Birthday, Feral Mom, Feral Writer--here I am in a party dress for you! I don’t post here as often as I wish—but I’m grateful my absence here correlates with joyful ventures on other websites that were seeded here. One of my favorite offshoots of this blog is working with women bloggers at Transformative Blogging—especially the fun we have brainstorming the concept of a blogging mask.

Initially, it was just a metaphor: taking on a blogging mask to navigate the blogosphere with a little shield, a little simultaneous kick in the pants to get on stage. But it didn’t take long to fall in love with the idea of making a physical mask in order to ground the process of consciously honing in on a blogging mask and focus. It not only adds a spiritual form of listening but gives us each a tangible object to write to and speak from. And a way to involve the body, and thus the heart, not just the mind. I made my first mask in 2012 with the first round of online students willing to try it out.

But we were spread out across the states and unable to pair up, so I cajoled my daughter into helping me. With a strong fire raging in the woodstove, I got supine on the tan leather couch, which meant the cat quickly graced my knees, and my daughter told me “Stop talking, Mom, you’re wiggling the plaster around your lips." So there was nothing to do for those long moments but listen to the sound of the scissors shearing the plaster strips, the wind through the redwood trees, the thunk of her little brothers trouncing down the stairs, house jiggling in response as the boys brushed my toes with their restless bodies until my daughter shooed them outside.

When my mask was done, my neck wet and cat peeved at my feet, my son surprised me by taking my place and asking his sister to make him one as well. Then she too went under the plaster in a beautiful display of trust.

I went with a base coat, applied outside in the driveway with a can of silver spray paint.

Then came the blue. So dark…I had to add the pink. There was so much pink paint on the plate I flipped the mask over and used up the paint all along the backside of the mask. When I pulled this photo up today I saw the holographic properties, the inside face, peeking through…although, it does make me feel (this photo) like I’m showing you my cervix. Try to get that image out of your head!

Next I took the mask out in the woods and tried to photograph it by some moss. Which came out dark. So then I dropped it in a silver bowl.

Then, it sat balanced on the lip of a white jug in my cabin for about a year when my husband was commuting and we were both just hanging on to withstand the separation. Because he’d hand-trowled the interior of my cabin with plaster and painted it such a lovely pale tan, I couldn’t bear to be in that cabin and write…so the mask took my place.

Then I chose a veil to veil the the mask for use on my “professional site”…something about the paint showing through the mesh made it feel naked to me.


Then we moved to a sunny city. I decided to teach the mask making and blogging focus workshop in person for A Room of Her Own Foundation. A friend suggested I buy face shells in case anyone was afraid to set wet plaster on their skin. I couldn’t resist the urge to play with the face shells, thinking all the while about the friends near and far the blog work and connections have brought me, and those yet to come. Here we all are, a composite flower.
The journey goes on.

Here a few phrases I found from writings the mask revealed that still align with my goals for this blog. I’m grateful to extend my best effort to:

Face the poverties (of body, soul, faith, imagination, relationship).

Ground the numinous.

Greet the past through the veil of now.

Free the self into greater joy in the company of kindred hearts.

Bessings to you and yours in 2014. Love and thank you to each one of you holding up the invisible web of love and support that goes into writing this blog. I couldn’t do this alone and I’m grateful to be in your collective presence.

Additional News:

Mordred's Dream, from the Guinevere cycle, is forthcoming in Poetry Flash--I'm ecstatic, of course. Working on the movie with Robyn's images and some beautiful flute music and this one is graced by a male reader's voice--more to be revealed.

I'm teaching Beginning Blogging in person at Coronado Adult Education on Thursday evenings from 6-8 pm from Jan 9-Feb 20 and again April 10-May 22.

and a Poetry Workshop: A Tour Through Forms on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 pm from Jan7-Feb 25 and again April 8-May 27th. Call (619) 522-8911 to register or visit their website to view the brochure: Coronado Adult Ed/ROP.

And Poetry of Motherhood on-line....hope to work with you in the future.



Barbara Ann Yoder said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful post, beautiful you. Thanks for the inspiration!

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks Barbara, for the love and the support and the gift of your blog. And the suggestion to bring along extra shells to AROHO.

Edith said...

Happy Birthday Feral Mom, Feral Writer - 6 years old already, marking the end of your blog's babyhood and pre-school years and the beginning of that wonderful period of never-ending playtime which constitutes the Middle Years! :) I love how you marry your soul to your heart, mind and imagination. Yours truly is a blog dedicated to the exploration of the transformative potential of creative spirituality!

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks for celebrating with me Edith...and for the fun metaphorical play. Wide-armed and ready for the Middle Years, long may they last and intertwine in subject pursuit with yours at "In a Room of My Own."

Lisa R said...

Tania, how wonderful to read about your first mask-making experience. I am happy that I made a blogging mask with you last summer in New Mexico. My mask takes pride of place on my writing desk, reminding me that I can be whatever I want in my writing. Happy blogging birthday. I'm glad your blogday comes in my birthday month! Love, Lisa

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thank you Lisa! And happy birthday! I look forward to featuring your mask story if and when you want to share it for Transformative Blogging readers or here on Feral Mom...such an honor to work with you at Ghost Ranch. Loved how yours came out, what you did with it.

Lisa R said...

Tania - I'd love to write about my mask for your blog!

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Pencil us in then, on your calendar, Lisa, we look forward to reading your post!

Sandra said...

These masks are ALIVE! You're amazing (well, of course)..

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks Sandra...they certainly have plenty to say when given the chance...thanks for the love, love.

Rachel Federman said...

Wow - so neat - I remember you from a few years back when our blog paths crossed...just now I saw your name at Bread on the Water...looks like you are doing a lot of amazing things...feeling life very deeply...publishing...teaching...offering metaphors. Congratulations on all your successes. Established, but still just as feral, I hope.

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks so much Rachel! My promise, yes, to remain as feral as the first post! So nice to see your comment.