Star Woman Painting

February 20th, 2023
New Moon

April 30, 2020

She blackens the canvas, Mars Black, the god of war.  She isn’t at war, is she?  At war with what is, at war with grief, a world turned upside down and now again by an unseen messenger?  Who stops us in our insane movement.  So many dying.  She is in the high risk group.  No kidding.

She enjoys slathering the paint, blocking out the light, the surface, inviting image, color to emerge.  Or she thinks, might she simply crawl into the canvas and curl up, wrap the holy darkness around herself and wait for illumination to enter her heart?  Hidden in plain sight she could rest.  From thought, from the ache of longing for her Beloved, for her life.

She sits.  The painter picks up the brush dipped it into cobalt and cerulean blue.  A bowl emerges under her hands.   A bowl moving with waves of color, sea moving under cloud and sun.  Inside it’s mystery, the woman’s smoldering longing ignites, flaming up, sending sparks into the star-lit sky.

A large, black, turquoise robed woman appears.  Star Woman?  The Woman Who Fell from the Sky?  She is falling.  She cradles the bowl in her generous lap, in the keeping of her large hands.  Her mouth a bellows, stirring the flames, embers fly.

The painter sits back.  A voice speaks to her, telling her the story of the Night Sea Cauldron, the alchemical womb of the Night Sky Woman.  Inside the bowl is her shattered heart, she tells the painter, and all the dead she owns.  Alchemical memory, remembering them into presence.  Remembering them into her life.  Remembering them into the web of her being.  All beings.

The woman imagines herself curled inside the bowl, surrendering finally to the Spirits of life, of death, surrendering to what has always called her.  Star light flies through the night sky, cascading sparks of light fall from Star Woman’s halo.  Not a nice neat halo, but an exploding snaking trail of lights, of life.

The painter sits back in her chair, remembering that star light reaches us millennia after the star body has died.  Her heart lifts, their light reaches us, lifts us up.  The Old Ones are there, a trail of stars to follow, to navigate the rocky seas of her life. The milky way, the road of spirits.  Her tight fisted heart opens, grabs a hold of her ribs, climbing, climbing, rib by rib, melting spilling from her eyes, raining into the night sea cauldron.


February 5, 2023

November 2019

            The woman lies on the flattened boulder, the boulder where she would lay naked under the dappled sun in her younger years, witnessed only by the leafed out Grandmother Oaks, Black Birches, while the Witch Hazel leaned over her.  And there she would pleasure herself.

            But it is Autumn now, if not Winter, both of her life and of the land.  Yellow Birch leaves rain down, cold coins of sunlight she once delighted in.  She is naked, legs together, arms crossed over her heart bleeding ribbons of blood soaking into the moss beneath her.  Two bare trees frame her while she stares into the clear blue sky seeing nothing.

            Do the trees miss him, she wonders, has this stony bed noted his absence.  And what of this trail he made so many years ago that has carried women and men and children down to the stream to float the simple boats he’d made for them?  The same trail that carried women going to pray by the water.  Does it miss his footfall?

            How does the world work, she wonders, tears pooling in her ears.  How does the world create and uncreate herself.

            The painter steps back from the brown skinned woman, from the Old Woman and Quan Yin floating above the crown of the woman’s white haired head.  The one who paints knows her own skin is pink, yet here is this woman emerging from the stone, wondering whether to un-create herself.

            The painter sees a mushroom emerge, and a little girl carrying a watermelon full of seeds, a very old woman hovers over the woman’s right shoulder and the Guardian stands in the tree.

            Is she a sacrifice, is she an offering to life.  And who wonders this, the woman or the painter?  From where did you come asks the painter.

            The woman speaks in twilight language, “from your mother, and grandmothers, your great and old ones.  I am their unshed tears upon the clay. I rose and came to you.  Your Wailing Woman, your Lo Llorona, your Keening Woman.  I rose from the soil that ran with blood and tears.

            “I saw an opening in your heart and I took it.  A precious opportunity to heal.  I have been given a place of honor.  Quan Yin at my head, Quan Yin at my feet. I thank you. “

            Rain beings to fall on the painting, or is it tears, clay runs off the boulder in rivulets, soaks into the soil.

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