Monday, April 26, 2010


For years, my writing studio has been a laptop. That's what happens when the body need not be relevant in one's poetics. As a state of being, rather state of affairs, this certainly reflects the modern's separation from nature.

I note, however, that my prior comfort in laptop-as-studio had been because of linking to the internet as "world", and I'd wanted my "local to be global." That impetus towards world reflected, if unconsciously, Kapwa as Shared Life.

Still, once I name what I'm doing with Babaylan, a disembodied state of affairs can't continue. And so, as I said in this blog's very first post, I now have to recover the physical space the mountain offered me years ago for art: the Babaylan Lodge, a building away from the house, over the garage:

It was a generous gift by the mountain: a loft space of bout 900 square feet. Sure, I furnished it with furniture and artifacts from poetry projects. But I didn't spend time in it so that it just became a storage space. As I began walking towards it this past Sunday, I wondered what I would discover...

As I walked towards the lodge, I wondered about the spirits in the place, and how they would respond to my return. This is Sapphire, an oak tree on the lodge's patio which came here from Los Angeles as a baby and now has blossomed. I remember asking the ancient, scraggly oak trees on the mountain to welcome her and help her blossom -- it seems to me now that Sapphire is a metaphor for another transplant, me!

I could see signs of neglect, like the unswept leaves and other debris beneath the table on the patio. The outdoor table is bereft of chairs as it wasn't being visited by anyone.

I felt guilty as I approached the lodge and emanated a request for forgiveness.

Interestingly, I felt welcomed as I got closer to the front door...though perhaps that was partly caused by the presence of my beloved German Shepherds as I noticed the doormat gifted to me by one of the dogs' best friends. I apologized again as I saw the cobwebs about the door frame.

I opened the door, and the image was suddenly ... familiar.

Fittingly, my eyes were drawn first to a Robert Lowe painting--three women who I'd always felt were from my past-and-future. I feel these women surfaced in a painting during my art-gallery hopping days in New York City. They blossomed on canvas because I wasn't paying attention to them and others from a more "sacred time and place." Well, finally: they have my attention! And they are anitos of ... Babaylan...

Part II is HERE.

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