inspiring passages

Inspirational Words

Once a day one should read a short inspiring passage and then take a few minutes to reflect on what you read. Think about Truth and you will become Truth. Think about Beauty and you will become Beauty. Think about Compassion and you will become Compassion.

🐚 Saṃsāran 🐚

“You become what you think about all day long.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve been at work with friends, putting together an exciting illustration group show called Dreaming In Narrative! We’ve planning it since before the summer, and we finally finished installing yesterday. Photos of the installation process and exhibition coming to you soon! 

For now, here’s my piece for the show, which is based on Isaura from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. I was largely inspired by this passage: 

 "Two forms of religion exist in Isaura. The city’s gods, according to some people, live in the depths, in the black lake that feeds the underground streams. According to others, the gods live in the buckets that rise, suspended from a cable, as they appear over the edge of the wells… all the way up to the weathercocks that surmount the airy scaffoldings of Isaura, a city that moves entirely upward.“  

I thought about how the text expressed a divide in the city’s population… but what if there was only a single god? What if the city was built on top of it, whose work to provide water for the people went unnoticed?

Opening reception for the show is on 5-7PM this Friday, November 18th in Pinkard Gallery. If you’re at MICA / in Baltimore area, do stop by and join us for the reception!

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Two sketches for @dolly-bassett‘s wonderful Blue Skies (which is a Luke/Poe WW2!AU and it is FAB), particularly inspired by the following passages:

North means Scotland, and it’ll take them five hours up by train. They pile into a compartment together, Luke, Poe and kit taking one bench, the opposite filled with the sparks, Lady Rey and the Wing Commander. Lady Rey has changed into an Air Transport Auxiliary uniform, wrinkled from wherever it had been fished out from. She and Finn begin an earnest discussion over the top of Solo’s sleeping form (who, after levering himself pointedly between the two, had promptly passed out). Poe endeavours to do the same, lulled by the other occupants of the carriage and the motion of the carriage.

When he wakes, clear, cold air is coming through the open window, and he realises he has drooled onto Luke’s shoulder. “Sorry,” Poe says, wiping his mouth, vaguely mortified. “Not going to put me in the Tower, are you?”

&

A Women’s Auxiliary Air Force sergeant stands in front of the door to the mess at breakfast time, the morning they’re back on duty. She’s holding, incongruously, a small wicker hamper. Poe isn’t expecting her to address him and starts when she announces, “I’ve packed toast and tea, sir,” as the crew passes.

“I’m sorry?” Poe’s not quite awake enough yet to comprehend. He feels Luke gently bump into his shoulder as he stops suddenly.

The sergeant looks amused. “Your new kite’s arrived. I thought you’d want to inspect her soon as, sir, so I took the liberty of packing you all breakfast.” She holds up the hand not holding the hamper, displaying a set of motor keys hanging off her thumb.

Torchwood Fest: Day 3

Extended Universe: Ianto’s James Bondathon

Pencil sketch of Ianto Jones eating pizza and watching James Bond, inspired by this passage from the novel Trace Memory, by David Llewellen:

“Ianto Jones was at his station behind the run-down Tourist Information Centre that served as a front to the clandestine goings-on in Torchwood. His bare feet were on his desk, his tie slumped like a crestfallen snake next to an open pizza box, the top two buttons of his shirt undone.

‘Taking it easy, I see?’ said Jack, stepping out through the security door that led into the Hub itself. ‘Well, at least someone has the right idea. Whatcha doing there, Sport?’

‘”Sport”?’ said Ianto. ‘Not sure I like “Sport” as a term of endearment. “Sexy” is good, if unimaginative. “Pumpkin” is a bit much, but “Sport”? No. You’ll have to think of another one.’

‘OK, Tiger Pants. Whatcha doing?’

Ianto laughed.

‘I…’ he said, pausing to swallow a mouthful of pizza, ‘am having a James Bondathon.’

‘A what?’

‘A James Bondathon. I’m watching my favorite James Bond films, in chronological order.’

‘You’re a Bond fan?’

‘Oh yes. He’s the archetypical male fantasy, isn’t he? The man all women want to have, and all men want to be.’

‘Are you sure it’s not the other way around?’

Ianto raised an eyebrow and took another bite of his pizza.

‘Hey,’ said Jack. ‘I’m sending everyone home. There’s nothing happening here. The Rift is still giving out minimal readings. Gwen’s going home, Owen’s going home, and I think Tosh is almost done.’

‘The place to ourselves?’

‘Well…’ said Jack, grinning.

‘So long as it’s not going to interrupt my James Bondathon. I’ve only just started watching Goldfinger, and I haven’t even reached the bit where Shirley Eaton gets painted gold yet.’

Hellenic Polytheism 101- Fallow Times and Dealing with Them

Hellenic Round Table Topic 6 

How do you handle the fallow times in your religious practice?

This is something I’ve talked about a little bit before, mostly in terms of giving advice when people ask me for suggestions. I’m going to go into some detail here and talk about all the different ways I personally have handled this, because I want everyone to understand that just because I don’t talk about it a lot, doesn’t mean I’ve never experienced these times.

Read.

The first thing I do when I’m feeling distant from the theoi and a bit lost in my practice, is to read. This can be reading new things, or re-reading things I’ve been through dozens of times. Sometimes it helps, just to let myself be inspired by the same passages that first drew me to Hellenic polytheism. 

The trick with this for me, is to treat it like reading poetry. When you reread poetry, you savor every word, you take your time over it and enjoy the words and the meaning they are trying to convey. When I’m looking up info for folks to answer questions and double check my facts, I tend to go through these old texts like I’m going through an encyclopedia–I’ll scan the text for key words and speed read passages to find the section I was trying to verify. This does nothing to help me feel connected to the theoi when I’m experiencing fallow times. It makes it a task, a chore, not an act of devotion. When I say I read and reread, I mean I step away from that mentality of searching for information, and I just let the stories envelope me.

Create.

I’m an artist. Creating images is how I express myself. When I don’t know how to convey an emotion or a problem with words, I turn to my art. So when I’m feeling distant from my practice and confused about what I’m doing, I can create images that express how I feel now, and how I want to feel. This can help me work through emotional blockages that I may have in my practice. I actually suggest this for anyone who works in visual art, music, literature, or the like in any way. Creating things dealing with your confusion in your practice, and creating things devotionally can help you find a new direction and get you back into the groove of things.

Change My Routine.

One of the biggest problems I face, and hear about, is getting stuck in the same routine every day, so you feel like you’re just going through the motions. Mindfulness is key here. Are you making an offering because that’s what you do every night, or because you are thinking about the theoi and want to offer them something in thanks and appreciation? When I find myself in this situation, I change my schedule and routine. Sure, a schedule is great! It can help me keep on track and really feel like I’m being a good Hellenic polytheist because, hey, I’ve got a system and I follow it! 

However, sometimes I do catch myself pouring libations because it’s just what I do, and not with any sense of purpose behind it. That’s when I change some part of my routine. It can be something big, or something minor. Sometimes, it’s just rearranging my shrine so that when I approach to make offerings, I’ve got something new to look at and it forces me to actually look at the space and think about the theoi. Sometimes it’s changing up the type of offering I make, deciding that I’m going to sing a hymn every night for the next week instead of pouring libations.

Do Something Extra.

Another thing I’ll do, is engage in an extra devotional activity. This is something I don’t have scheduled in advance, it’s not something I’ve been planning for who-knows-how-long. 

This is, I feel disconnected from Haides, so I decide to go spend an afternoon at the animal shelter helping take care of the doggies. It’s when I feel separate from Persephone so I go pick up a book of poems by American women authors and read through it as a devotional act. 

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Hey, hi, guess who’s working on a storyboard sequence inspired by a certain passage in Journal 3? What a surprise, it is I. 

This my favorite part of the whole clip (wow the part without dialogue, who would have guessed), it was so much fun to plan and I’m like super proud of how it’s looking. This is only the second pass, but AHAHA the second pass is finished! 

I swear I’ll be posting something other than GF fanart soon, I’m cramming in as much as I can before school starts.

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Stanley Kubrick’s personal copy of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. 

This well-worn book, normally housed in the Stanley Kubrick Archive in London but currently on tour in a traveling exhibition, is filled with Kubrick’s notes and comments. Many passages are highlighted, and Kubrick has filled the margins with hand-written notes that run the gamut from notating passages that inspired him, to crossing out sections he found silly.

Wurzen is a town near Leipzig in Sachsen, Eastern Germany, situated on the river Mulde on the main rail line via Riesa to Dresden. It has a cathedral dating from the 12th century, a castle, at one time a residence of the bishops of Meissen and later utilized as law courts, several schools, an agricultural college, and a police station including a prison. Founded after 600 by the Slavs, Wurzen was first mentioned in the act of donation from Otto I in 961. It was already a town in the early 12th century when Herwig, bishop of Meissen, founded a Collegiate church here. In 1581 it passed to the elector of Saxony. During the Thirty Years’ War (1637) it was sacked by the Swedish army and almost burned down completely. In 1768 Goethe travelled from Leipzig to Dresden and back through Wurzen. The long waiting for the ferry inspired him later a passage in his first edition of Faust.