108 Days of American Sentence ~ Day 16

Church lady sucker punch,  didn’t see it coming and I’m still spinning.

~

remember the exit is behind you © holly troy

Hey folks ~

The original plan was to write a sentence everyday for 108 days. Plans got derailed – since I began 108 Days of American Sentence, my sweet man had emergency open heart surgery. I’ve been with him along the entire journey – from being in the room when he was diagnosed with an aneurysm in his heart along with the prognosis, to the surgery and the excruciating days directly afterward, and now along the slow forward and back and zigzag course of healing. This experience has been intense and terrifying and deeply human – and despite how scary – there is the gift of deep love, trust, warmth, benevolence, and comfort along the path .

These sentences were to be a meditation of sorts, I’m glad to be getting back to them.

I’m sure I will write more about this open heart passage – I’m mostly exhausted right now. I do know this – if you love someone: tell them, show them, be kind everyday.

Your friend,

Holly

 

108 Days of American Sentence – Day 9

I am surrounded, supported, and loved by strong, beautiful women.

Mom © 2013 Holly Troy

Sisters Walking into the Lion’s Mouth

Stories about the Dakota Access Pipeline have been troubling my heart for some time now – this story by Victory Lonnquist especially moved me, brought me to tears, touched me on so many levels. Maybe it’s the moon, or my moon – or that water, the earth, women – are so powerful and yet, so repressed that we forget the power.

And of course, what’s happening in North Dakota right now is absolutely horrifying – and a huge civil rights travesty – not to mention an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Here’s Victory’s story:

prayers-at-the-frontline

Women Praying at the Frontline – photographer unknown

Today I joined Starhawk and other women in a prayerful walk to the front lines. We held each other arm in arm, hundreds of us, bundled in jackets, wearing long skirts to show respect for prayer camp, silent. Absolutely silent.

We walked from Sicangu/Rosebud along 1806 to Oceti Sakowin, to the Seven Fire Council. Faith Spotted Eagle wanted to talk to the native woman leading us. She was concerned about us going to the bridge. There were questions on who gave blessing for this action. I heard Dallas’s name. The men murmured, increasingly agitated. I was concerned. Arvol had just said – no actions without the blessings of the elders. I have deep respect for this protocol.

One of the men started saying we needed to go back. The native woman in lead banged her drum in front of them and motioned us on. We started walking, hundreds of women.

I told the sister I was walking with I was concerned. It didn’t feel right, going forward without the blessings of those elders. I stepped away from the front. She joined me. “What elders? ” she said. “There are many elders. A native elder is leading us. ” This is why we are walking! Because too many times women are stopped, our power oppressed.” I nodded, and fell in with sisters who opened their arms with a smile, and walked ahead, trying to understand and feel all of this out.

strength-card

The Strength tarot card symbolizes inner-strength and determination to overcome obstacles, and self-knowledge and self-discipline, as only when we know ourselves and act in a responsible manner will we be able to deal effectively with challenging situations and overcome our difficulties successfully. Yet this card does not only represent physical strength – moral and emotional strength are included in the meaning. {Tarot del Imaginario – LA FORZA}

We neared the bridge, and I could feel the heaviness of the energy, the warning of danger. “What am I doing here? ” I thought. “I’m walking into the lion’s open mouth! ” Yet I would not leave my sisters.

The last time I was here, I was treating water protectors at night, dropping around me like flies. It was a place of violence and war by the police. Now, it was day. It was quiet. We came softly.

Men met us at the bridge, some stern. Male security guards that had made a line to stop us. Some telling us not to go forward. The native woman at lead banged her drum. Some of the women cried “Men! Do not tell the women what to do! ” Some pushed against the men. Some men were aggressive and dominating. A native elder (female) next to me muttered ” Why are they policing us? We have enough police here. ” Some women yelled “Men! Let us through! Stop blocking us! ” Some men looked helpless yet resisted. One of the men said “We are trying to protect you! “

I became aware that this struggle was the mirror of the world.

The women who are tired of men speaking for us. The women who want to walk peacefully without men telling us where to go or what to do. The men, who think they may be helping us, but are still oppressing us. The men who genuinely wish to help. The men, some of whom are learning themselves how to be. We are all learning how to be.

In the end, the men stopped us. A small group of elders were allowed through, which was good. They prayed there at the front lines with the police. We women sat down, kneeled, silently, as the female elders walked to the razor wire, as police with guns and large militarized vehicles looked on, fingers on triggers. The women looked so small against the large fence and weapons just on the other side.

They held ceremony. They smudged. They went to the river and prayed. Quietly we looked on, sage and copal smoke floating around us, only the sound of our “Mni Wiconi, Water is life” flags billowing in the wind.

When it was over, we walked back, silently. Hundreds of women, arm in arm, returning to camp united, in prayer.

Stone House, Wine, the Forest, and the Sea

amanda

This is stunning. Fantastical beauty by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack (and friends).

This video is a lush dreamscape. Just watch.

 

I originally saw this video on Pitchfork.

What Moves You?

This moved me this morning. I miss David Bowie.

 

sunset from the studio © 5:13:15 Holly Troy

Shine a light on your fear

Fellow Jersey-girl Marie Forleo has some great advice about dealing with criticism.

She says:

  1. Everything that you love is disliked by somebody.
  2. It’s a whole lot easier to critique a thing, than to make a thing.
  3. Do not give anyone the power to make you feel worthless.

Watch the video on a great technique for vanquishing your own inner-critic.

I took a short break from painting since the Matter(s) Collective Mama Terra opening at b.e. yoga about a week or so ago. I’ve lately had a lot of visitors passing through – which means I’ve been needing to catch up on rest. Picked up my work yesterday – and it feels great. (pic of me in my studio from last fall)

me in the studio © 2015 Holly Troy

Constantly juggling work, cycling, and creating. Sometimes you just need to stop and look around. I took a break to see this a few nights ago.

sunset from the studio © 5:13:15 Holly Troy

Baby steps on the next piece – an hour or so of work here and there after 9 hours a day at my day job is what I can do right now. So glad I took the time to get this going – Monday night Magic.

showin my work © 5:15:16 Holly Troy

Have a beautiful day! And don’t let the critics get ya down – let yourself shine!

 

 

There’s Always More Where that Came From – Snow, Art, and Money

I hope 2016 is treating everyone well so far! I know for me, life feels like I pressed a reset button. That reset is such a relief!

Holly Troy © 2016 SUnset with Snow on the MasaFlagstaff has had a few good snowstorms in the last month – getting around via bicycle has been a sometimes precarious adventure. Bella (my bike) has been treating me well. Besides getting me to work, since the new year I’ve gone to Black Canyon Trail and have had an escapade or two in Sedona. Also, I’ve done some snow biking and wow, it is fun!

Just before the new year, I found out that the Flagstaff Arts Council accepted me into the ArtBox Institute. I’m learning how to set goals and better manage my time so that I can make art, have relationships, and mountain bike (while still maintaining a full-time job). Time management is a never-ending process; a subject that is a constant in my life. I would describe ArtBox as business school for artists – stuff you don’t learn in art school. I am learning a lot and making new friends while I’m at it. Oh – and I’m also making art!

The most exciting things to me about ArtBox are the creative community, learning and creating new habits, and taking myself seriously as an artist. I would like art and teaching to be my work, and a big part of making a creative life feasible is consciously shifting my beliefs around what makes art valuable, my self-worth, how I use my time to make art, and, how I view money. (It turns our all of these things are tied together).

Fellow Jersey-girl Marie Forleo talks about making small changes that have a big impact on your money mentality. Check out the MarieTV video below.