of Other Solstice
Nancy Ferro - Mixed Media Hand
+ Photographs Copyright 2004 by JR Compton
All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without permission.
I've been moving stuff around on my truckstop tabletop all through this transition, and most of that time I have thought of the slowly changing arrangements of rocks and other objects as magic — although it was magic I did not fully understand.
Not that I fully understand any magic. Although I do get glimmers. Part of what makes the process interesting is that I rarely have any idea what form those objects on the table will take next.
Yeah, I move them around. And I think about it before I do. But when it comes to actually moving the pieces, I just do it. Whatever seems right, seems to fit, or looks good in a photo — often changing it dozens of times as I photo it.
It's mostly visual, hardly any at all verbal. If there's anything in my mind about it, I can only put it into words later, after it's done.
Like my friend Paul Harris says about his art, if I could put these concepts into words, I wouldn't have to make these things. I'm more convinced they are art than anything else.
Except maybe, prayer.
There's always spiritual purpose to these arrangements. Little meanings adding up to bigger meanings. Symbolic magic and prayer, which, as I've pointed out before in this transition, is pretty much the same thing.
The Juggler by Montgomery
It's not outrageous then, that a photographer who believes in magic and whose favorite member of what I grew up calling The Holy Trinity is the Holy Ghost, because it is pure spirit — would make his prayers visual, make photographs of them, then move everything around again.
How more spiritual could a prayer be, unless it's burned?
It looks amazingly like the Yo cat,
but it's just random flames leaping out of
the January 4, 2004 Burn.
I even entertained notions of exhibiting some of those photos as temporary sculptures. For a while.
I've placed some Transition photographs in exhibitions, but the best of them (according to me) have all been declined from the shows I've entered.
I guess they didn't look enough like paintings.
I grew up Catholic. Rosaries were a part of my life. My fingers still remember bumping through the beads while my mind raced through memorized, practically meaningless prayer after another.
I've since become enamored of Prayer Flags and spinning wheels and all sorts of other physical manifestations of the act of prayer. Seems like there ought to be something you could put a quarter into that would rock around praying for half an hour or so.
At first I thought it was too easy to impart a prayer just by setting something spinning. I mean what were those guys thinking. But compared to some of the nonsense I used to believe when I was a Catholic, why not.
The objects in my prayer photographs have some sort of connection with me. As I with them. I've thought about each and every one and tracked each's meanings back to the nub.
Pablo Picasso - Country Dance, 1921-22
cut out of a magazine and framed in Dax
Sometimes the meanings are pretty obvious like this Picasso image I had hanging over my bed for many years — although I moved the bed sometime early in the transition to align it more cosmically. Still the balance on top, keeping it level, and with the purple comet flavored light switch nearby, all adds up to a message I still don't really want to put words to.
I know what it means, and so probably do you. It means what it means. The media is the massage.
Photograph makes it real.
Digital is a dream that saves the silver from the sky.
Moving water symbolicaly activates emotions. These are my pillows, over which is my White Rock Lake spillway photo I call Dancing Water. About a month ago, the tape let go, and I let it rest awhile. A couple days ago, I taped it back up.
I don't know this woman, but I was thankful to her, because while I knew that it was somewhere around there, I didn't know exactly where I should stand to feel it.
I waited till she'd finished, then I took her position, sitting there on the edge of a several hundred foot drop-off just off the road up to the airport at Sedona, Arizona.
It was reputed to be a Vortex, and I found it to be true. I lost track of time and space and everything else while I meditated there, getting as high and as positive as I have ever been.
I keep the photograph in my office to remind me of my personal connection to The Universe in those moments — and these.
That's Pookie on the right. A gift from my mother, who knew I wanted a Teddy Bear some years back. The yet-unnamed, furry Koala came from Australia when my parents visited there to look at Citrus.
From the looks of the cuddly Koala, he could be called Curmudgy. He's definitely whom I identify with. He has velcro on his hands to make long-term hugging probable. We won't talk much about that plootching belly.
I like the two of them as soft entities, gently together and touching. Sitting on the biggest, most massive, heaviest thing in my bedroom, all over textured with amazing wood patterns, and among my favorite images by other artists. Nor is it an accident that the door they're leaning on is pink.
The clock just happened to be there, but it's nice that it ticks, even though it's electric.
Truckstop Tabletop Temporary Sculpture/Prayer
According to Feng Shui, chi (the natural energy of the universe) tends to settle unsettlingly in certain spots in our homes. To keep it active and flowing — and for the fun of having brightly colored and noisy dangly things floating around in doorways and other entrance apertures, I have these strings of bells and beads suspended all through my house.
Yo loves to play with them and has destroyed several in his short lifetime.
I run into them all the time. It's kinda meet and just to have to keep running into one's interconnections with the Universe and God and everything.
Gentle reminders of my place here.
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