Monthly Archives: July 2005

inside the victorian mansion


OUR ROOM

in this old victorian house, wooden spiral staircases creek and bend. dead moose heads with eyes that follow eerily as you walk by… flattened cougar bodies at the entrance to anton levy’s tower, the carved pentagram now gone, his lion’s claw marks still visible… brady and i giggle and roughhouse in our stolen posh suite, ours because today is his birthday… our giggles stir the others and soon the bed is filled with mutayntz like a big sleepover party, kj in her underwear, monica balancing on my feet as i fly her around the bed. then matty comes in and he got his ankles bit, then bryan comes in and his hair is my new play toy, as it is moldable like troll hair from all the junk he put in it from last night’s kick ass show. kat comes in to announce that crunchy’s on a plane home… people prepare to leave but brady and i got our eyes set on the hot tub. matty teabagged eric’s brother as initiation into our crew and i snapped a hilarious photo of his horrified expression… poor kid~ we all spin into our separate rooms laughing about it. my pants keep falling down and bryan offers me his stud belt… the morning is a haze… my dreads are hung up on the door, my crinolin skirt ripped from too much pogo stick hyperness. the fillmore show was amazing… just unreal… today i plan a birthday for brady… we stare silently out from our victorian tower at all of san fran… the city, a bright and silent thing beyond the window… he opens his birthday present… i can feel jim morrison’s energy here… this is where he partied, slept, hung out… him, janis joplin, the grateful dead and more recently the cocteau twins, marilyn manson… i like to stay real quiet in rooms here and listen…

san francisco


soundcheck at the fillmore… an audience of lone handdrums and me… everyone else went back to the satan house for proper glittering and gettin their rockstar on. instinctively earplugs go in and i watch these eight boys drumming their talents and i look out into the lobby and i see the history of this venue. 1967 jefferson airplane, janis joplin, jim morrison… and i look back to the stage… mutaytor is playing the fillmore tonight!

instead of toiling in the drums this morning, i had a photo shoot with vau de vire dance troupe in the most unfaerie of places, a gay s&m club… i shot dancers, contortionists, some dressed as ponies on top of cages in dungeons… the cages were so skanky i had to wear gloves to move them into position. i gulped hard upon entering this place… i can’t believe i came up with this idea… i’m going to the bog of stench for all eternity, thazz fo SHO! i hoped the fae gods turned their faces this morning… regardless, i got what i set out to get… amazing images capturing the spirit of vau de vire… i lit the dungeon with softboxes thru chains hanging from the stone walls… i washed my hands ten times and then i was driven to the fillmore to help toil… while downloading this morning’s photo shoot on buck’s laptop computer next to his drum setup on stage, i joined in on a jam session with stark raving brad, hambone and brady. matty laughed when we were thru and yelled from the audience to twirl my sticks. ah, the chaos of ride, crash and snare… good times… it was the fillmore! i HAD to~ lol!

i lay down now on historic wooden benches and drift off with these songs that are now burned into my memory, along with the movements on stage, the cues in the songs and i flip thru my 40+ shows of images i shot of mutaytor so far and play a game to pass time, matching them up to the songs being played at soundcheck. emiliano from bat makumba shows up. john avila slides in just in time for his soundcheck, hair all tweaked and proud childlike eyes. visuals go off in a kaleidescope frenzy and our san fran horn section blares out their playful interpretations of some new songs. lighting is checked and the chandeliers switch on. john looks more boyish than ever… with cut off pants and white socks. on the last song for soundcheck i squish brady’s head and gather my stuff to leave… 3 hours before showtime…

creeping up california’s highway 5

destination san francisco, the fillmore… a van of mutaynts, bright sky, tribal drums, empty redbull cans… cibbo matto comes on and steve tells us secrets of the sounds. hambone invites us to a michelle shocked show on sunday in berkeley that he’ll play drums at and hopefully i’ll photograph… “gee, my life’s a funny thing” i sing along with the cure covering ‘young american’, tapping toes on the dashboard, rolling hills, brittle trees. churning arches, sprinklers weaving over rows of plants just grown. a stop at taco bell in cowschwitz and we’re half way to san fran. pastures filled with black & white bovine ignorance. we all inhale and turn away the vents. steve’s hair glows pink in the late afternoon sun as he leans against the window. brady plays drums on my bare leg. it’s too hot to wear pants…

golden hour now… rubber siding on truckloads shimmy against the wind and speed. sunset makes the ends of my eyelashes blurry like birthday candles. sylvie sifts thru my ipod finding treasures. a granola bar sticks to the nether regions of my cheeks and the sun continues its rapid descent. sigur ros’ agaetis byrjun comes on… “this song reminds me of childhoood,” i tell them and we all smile and they turn it up… watching the golden road laid out in front of us. more cows, more smiling silence, rolling smooth terrain melts away like day. deep shadows, hazy and blue. i squint to the horizon and wonder how far the ocean is…

oregon

she spraypaints ceramic animals red with black eyes. she paints acrylic portraits from blurry photographs of rockstars. she has two cats that know the world thru slits in her open window but rarely stray far. after days of play at the faerieworlds festival, we rest and she shows me photos of her as a child… small eyes, straight blonde hair, big smiles. “more!” i say when an album ends and more does follow… and in the photos she grows taller, her hair shedding colors like rainbows. we talk of our favorite trees in our hometowns. hers is a white goliath, what appears to be made of ice, hollow perhaps. she makes shadow boxes of paintings and dried roses. she is as obsessed by the color red as i am with purple. she likes sake and lampshades, mail and vegan food, sadistic art and quiet time.

we rode bicycles exhausted yesterday thru portland, visited some of her friends, places she used to work. i bought a lavendar petticoat and a crinolin skirt in a vintage store and also a gift for danny & sarah’s next wedding anniversary… we then went to a pet store where i photographed curious reptiles while she hugged a short friendly asian man. he brought out a lizard the size of a fat cat with a snake tongue and held it like burping a baby over his shoulder. i stared into the eyes of all those displaced animals, thirsty for desert and then we continued our journey back to her place where we talked about our lives as a tv program on the davinci code played on. we looked at davinci’s paintings in art books and ran our fingers along parts of the paintings we liked most…

7am – like the cat, i skulk about in morning sun in puck’s backyard. soft rays of post-dawn take the edge off the morning oregon chill. my elbow rests into spider webs, my ankles on marigolds. i think of the faerieworlds festival, a renaissance village in a winery. familiar faces and wings of every glittering spectrum. toby froud gave me my yearly piggyback ride at dusk that last day, threatening to throw me into the mud faerie creation at the far end of the festival. robert, who manages the frouds and produced the festival, agreed to have a business meeting in a playground when we get home and see how i can add my photography or video to his projects…. the frouds, quite close to my heart, his events, faery and inspiring, his house 3 miles from mine… it all seems quite overdue…

hugging kelly and emilio from woodland, hearing them sing as winged creatures brought about the night which led to fire spinning. i flattened myself on the land, my camera like a low-lying mushroom, clicking about in experimental frenzy. sharing a campsite with my beloved chantal and redcap and chantal’s friend cyndi. meeting new friends as angels with gifts of transportation and friendship. kristen, with a talent of making ponyfalls and her friends who caravanned us back to portland from the winery… brunch at ‘cup & saucer’ where everyone overloaded on caffeine, giggling over the endless soy milk that dripped from a child’s sippy-sip cup. tofu & veggies, new faces and an exhaustion hitting us from all sides. i ordered a faery crown from a woman at the festival, all white-wired and beaded and toby gave me some free prints from his dad and a froud shirt. puck and i drank no less than 4 bottles of the delicious local wine, willamette pinot noir, secret house winery. we sat at the threshold to gardens and stared at flowers. we stumbled upon a trampoline seemingly by accident and proceded to destroy it, coming back later to see it lying dead in the dark. dave from san fran put on a puppet performance on the village stage. his puppets are magickal and intricate, his plays witty and cynical, his eyes nervous and sweet. masked in black fabric to separate player from character, he exudes playtime and purpose. chantal, my canadian lavendar faery and her co-worker cyndi were comfortable sprites, pure smiling loves taking refuge in shade during the day and dancing sweetly by stagelights at night. elemental and soft, silly and fun… on mornings we sat around our picnic table and ate organic food talking rudely about body issues. redcap brushed out his long hiar and added his perceptive chuckle and smiling energy to our gathering. curious to see what stories emerge from the weekend by him…

portland and vermont share similar energy… political, organic,creative. the hawthorne district is of particular interest, where there seems to be a big punk/goth/rockabilly vibe. all puck’s friends are like her. gorgeously playful creative kittens that pop out from corners seemingly expectant, owners of stores with big smiles… just a real comfortable vibe here in oregon… the summer weather agreeable, the breeze soft on my bare skin… a bit sad to leave actually… but i’ll be back to portland in a few weeks on tour with mutaytor… looking forward to looking forward… thankful for friendship, for travel, for art and music, for inspiration… protective now of my camera, now painfully pregnant with 700 images…i carry it with me like a fragile egg, room to room, turn it on to make sure the treasures are still breathing… between musicbox and faerieworlds i now have 1500 images to sort thru upon going home today~ it’s AWN!!!

my most vulnerable

sometimes i am a storm.
i churn senseless and kick viels under brush.
sometimes my self-imposed exile proves useless and
pent up fireflies burst seamless from an endlessly mistrustful heart.
sometimes i’m afraid to care too much so
i force myself not to care at all…
when viels are thinnest i am at my most vulnerable
and care is all i can do…
but in the wrong way…
i succumb to tone and inflection.
i analyze the cores of people that i have no right to
wishful hopes of proactive qualities not possible.
i am no one’s alarm clock.
i’m scared to fall into days, one after the other, predictable.
i’m scared to believe all the nice-nice,
i don’t handle compliments or criticism well.
i turn to nyc friends to tell me how it really is.

i must be careful not to skip ahead.
the chapter is not yet conjured even.
but i crave… wonder… project myself out over my future
like a wren from a distance,
skimming thirstily the lakes of unwritten pages with a spoon…
to taste my future would calm me…

for now, my life is my work…
yet i want to create a family…
these cravings for challenge and security seem to clash boldly in my mind.
one feels so permanent, instinctive, responsible.
the other feels to me like a beautiful window where if i lay all my crystals out right,
wait patiently by the light of the oven, i get to create a new universe to learn from…
i wonder which desire will yield first… or if both will strengthen in time,
compliment and feed off each other…
ah, a woman in her thirties… i’m textbook.

purged by Sunflower and Pen,
i try hard to smooth out my pursed lips.
i follow the gentle turning of cylindrical stained glass
in a stagnant breeze beneath my magick tree.
branches turn golden. they bend around me,
shield me from expectation.
my feet get more calloused in time.
i’ve gone to many places… maybe another quest is in order…
travel is always the answer… the discovery, the survival, the people i meet.
for now, portland will suffice.
a weekend with friends gathered from canada, sacramento, seattle…
chantal, redcap and friends i’ve kept in touch with from faerieworlds last year,
new friends met on tribe… and time spent with puck, my like-minded flicker girl.
curious the energy away from playa dust…
excited for forest playtimes and all i will shoot and see…
tall forests, a faerie gathering, much energy to spin and leap off from…
must to shake the heavy girl away from doldrum thoughts.
the time for that is a decade passed.
armies of brattishness, lay down your weapons slowly…
brady will arrive soon… for now, i spin in my tree and breathe…

high

when a shoot ends in swing dancing and sore cheeks from laughing, you know it’s all good. lol! damon, this wonderfully friendly guy, a burner, who flew by private plane last night just for the shoot, knew all my photos by heart. could tell me who everyone was in the photos hung around my studio and when i shot them. amazing! he needed shots for his website… a model with such a positive, open attitude makes all the difference~ i’ve had some shoots lately wrought by cancellations, tiredness, and a general difficult vibe and i really needed this shoot to set me back into a better mindset. his friend was making him nervous so i put him in my magick tree where he instantly fell asleep as my hammock enveloped him and the faeries kept him busy in dreamland til we were done, well into the night… and he paid me well… more than i asked… and we made plans to fly over burning man in his plane at sunset one night! yay! it’s 12 hours later and i’m still high on this shoot…

of age and expectations

i went to a museum and i read all the fine print on note cards underneath paintings and photographs and it struck me how important it is to have a community… artists without a safe place to be themselves is a difficult road to endure… manuscripts collecting dust in closets, photos in albums brought out only on special occasions, ideas swimming about our brains with no reason or method for sharing…. as i read these stories of artists and their various movements and communities, i was filled with gratitude for my friends… most of all what is happening in my life right now is directly because of my mutaytor family as well as countless friends that wring this out of me by just being amazing and free, supportive and loving without judgement. i’ve found an accepting place to experiment, be inspired, to take risks, and hone my skills… below, written by a mutaynt celebrating her birthday, captures exactly how i feel as well…

“When I met you I was a different person… rather a cocoon of myself. It may possibly have happened over time or perhaps in some other way, but I have found myself in you. All of you. And this friendship-thing we have.

Supposedly these days your 20’s are about finding yourself. I read (in TIME?) about a study done about the perceptions of age and expectations… something like the 50’s -VS- the late 90’s/00’s. Then, you were expected to be married w/ kids in your 20’s. But then there was this shift in the 90’s and suddenly your 20’s were the ‘experimental’ years. Suddenly a career is not expected until late 20’s/ early 30’s. Now we figure out who we are before we commit, is the theory.

When I met you I had no idea who I was. I was running headlong down the only path I knew, my job. My career. But there was so much more just below the surface. And so I eventually hooked a left. And suddenly I was thrust into the most dramatic learning curve ever. I’ve learned to imagine again. I’ve learned to yearn for more. I’ve learned about the different facets of love. I’ve seen friends behave as family. No, not family… Family like family never is, or rarely is. And it’s you. And it’s made me strive to be a better person. And you can’t ask for more than that.

You all are more family than I’d ever wished for, more inspiration that I could’ve imagined in so many way. And I now have a life that I couldn’t have even dreamed of before. Thank you.”

there is a buzz stirring for the show on friday… a build up, a giddy anticipation… there’s nothing like it! new songs will be performed, new choreography…. so excited! i’m attempting to commit schedule suicide again though… the show ends at 3am saturday morning and 2 hours later i’m on a plane to oregon to shoot faerieworlds for 2 straight days… only to come back for a few days and then head to san fran…. and then back to l.a… and then to portland and seattle… i’ve always thought being on tour with a band would be more dysfunctional/selfish/excess/deprived but the truth is… it’s nothing like that. mutaynts are starting to marry, talk of babies, a trusted group of hilarious, talented people… i’m most alive when i’m traveling with my mutayntz, most alive shooting people that i can anticipate their movements, tune in to what they will do next, feel their energy, feel their focus, feel the stage vibrating with percussion and collaboration… i’m so happy to be a part of this project…

swirling in the garden

from dawn til dusk with wide-brimmed hat and broom i swat at wild eucalyptus branches, clearing the spiderwebs and accumulation of seasons since my garden’s last exfoliation. my mind buzzing with intention of clearing, cleaning, centering… i take a break, lean on my broom and look up at the sky above my studio door as dawn turns to morning… amazed at one single butterfly wing¬†vertical there… i blink, look away, look back… it’s still there. i smile… a gift from the fae. i run to wake brady to come see… he encourages me to find the whole of the story… and so i climb a ladder and there tucked on the overhang is a full swallowtail, wingz perfect… just amazing… dead center above my studio like a totem… i put it in a heart dish and keep it near…

from root to furthest branch i delicately sweep my magick tree, laying my green man out in grass, in the sun, sending a damp cloth over his face. while he dries, i fight again the eucalyptus tree, fighting each web, willing the spiders grip away so that each branch may grow to its fiercest potential… and then on to the vines against worn red barn wood… i take each vine and twist it around the two trellis leaning against my photo studio. between them, a sun… for each vine i pull from a knotwork of low-trodden earth i ask it to grow tall, towards the sun… with cocoon hammock hung as a finishing touch and dragonfly lights strew about my tree, i turn invisible, spending dusk silently with the scent of vines in my lungs, elbows and ankles stained with earth, fingers kissed by cacti… i sleep early… and awake at dawn to swing in my tree…

exiled from the world

rich chocolate cake, a bottle of firefly wine. i’ve exiled myself from the world this evening, banned myself from phone, from computer. i sit crosslogged where i landed after flipping thru tv stations and seeing a glimpse of the buzzcocks, one of my favorite bands. interviews with people who inspired me long ago, now aged… siouxsie with a double chin, members of the clash, the damned, clips of the pistols, the slits…. ‘the filth and the fury’ comes on and i’m tickled, gathering more and more soft blankets and kicking my phone further and further under my bed, putting my computer chair in the backyard lest i be tempted to work on photos instead of be a musical sponge this evening as is my intention…

hours pass and i study music videos, catch up the latest, revel in techniques of past and present. i am sparked, still, unblinking. i sip my wine slowly, bite the glass…. music videos are where i will be… this, the reason i named my company as a production company and not just a ‘studio’…. to remind myself where i’m heading, to not get stuck in just Photography. writing will require time. video will require innovation… for now, Photography suffices, defines me… it’s comfortable, effortless…. moments converted to images that flip, tell a story… moments released thru words. that’s really all i want to do.

as a child i remember recording ‘friday night videos’ and spending all of saturday mornings curled up in the dark of my parents room studying them, obsessed by the countdown while my sisters watched mindless cartoons downstairs. the only cartoon i liked was ‘the little prince’. i liked how he could walk the circumference of his planet. family trips had to be scheduled so i wouldn’t miss casey kasem’s countdown on the radio… i liked the stories that he told about the origin of band names and songs. in old home movies i have either a record or a camera in my hand…. realizing all this, i wonder why i waited so long to live out my obsession… music and moments that are moved because of music… music in my head as i shoot, music videos, all of it… why did i think i had to make a life other than what i was doing already?

no matter… i have it now… and i’m not going to let it go for anyone or any circumstance…

belonging

sometimes i feel as if my time in israel never actually happened. sometimes i feel as if i’m still there, staring at the mediteranean sea, waiting patiently for something to make sense… i shake my head quickly and poof! here’s my life. everything makes sense now. i belong in the world, i’m living my art and i’m accepted for who i am, challenged by what i do, surrounded by positive people… i’ve come a long way from israel… BECAUSE of it perhaps…