Monday, March 19, 2012


THE INSECT GOD OF THE UNIVERSE (THREE PERCEPTIONS). Perception 1: A poet friend of mine envisioned the Golden Praying Mantis God during an ayahuasca healing experience in the jungles of Ecuador. Perception 2: As I listened to his hallucination, I "saw" my own image of the insect god and had to paint it! Perception 3: Ty Butler imagined how my painting of the poet's vision would glow in Tylight, his patented lighting system for photography!

Hallelujah for OTHERNESS and for the OPPORTUNITY to expand beyond our own BORDERS OF BEING! Sometimes the BORDERS that define who we are as individuals and separates us from everyone else becomes permeable and the OTHERNESS enters our consciousness and travels deep inside, changing and transforming us forever! One way the boundaries can be made transparent is through travel to another country and participating in a ritual with a shaman using a hallucinogen. Boundaries can also be penetrated by us artists as we listen, look, and take in the stories our senses and connections with OTHERS and OTHERNESS bring us. 

My Chiboogamoo and I have a close friendship with a poet who has spent his long life exploring the vast ranges of consciousness with mind altering drugs. Soon after his visit with a shaman deep in Ecuador's Amazon jungle, where he had an ayahuasca vision, we met and he related his experience to us. His envisioning of "THE INSECT GOD," captivated my imagination.

After his session with the shaman and taking the ayahuasca, he returned to his tent.  A plant based infusion, ayahuasca is Quechua for "spirit vine" or "vine of the soul." Our poet friend was overtaken by the "spirit vine" and had the vision of a giant golden praying mantis. This inspirited insect kept repeating to him,"Everything is Going to Be All Right."  My understanding is that the simultaneous beauty of the golden spirit and its threatening  embodiment in an enormous praying mantis produced an uneaseful awe in our poet friend. At home in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the mantra, "Everything is Going to Be All Right" continued to echo in his head. The power of his ayahuasca recollection resulted in my painting bearing the same name as the vision's mantra: "Everything is Going to Be All Right."


Fast forward into the future, post ayahuasca vision, post painting, post painting purchase by poet friend. Now we are dining in the spacious home of our poet friend and my painting, "Everything is Going to Be All Right," informs our presence by the table. I have only just met Ty Butler, who is explaining his sense of "light" and subsequent invention of a lighting system, "Tylight." After Ty's showing us some of his dazzling photographs that also grace the poet's home, he points to my painting, "Everything is Going to Be All Right," and exuberantly proclaims that it would look magnificent in Tylight. The oxygen exits the room! He doesn't know that I painted "Everything is Going to Be All Right"!
FOSSIL SPIRAL. This photo is one of  several by Ty Butler that our poet friend has hanging in his home.

Thus began my acquaintance and deepening friendship with Ty Butler. We started our art-photography connection with him making photographs of "Everything is Going to Be All Right." Then we proceeded to photographing, "Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur." Over time, we have developed a deep friendship with respect for the way we view the world. 


Hallelujah for OTHERNESS and the permeability of the borders that only "appear" to keep us separate. Hallelujah for poets drinking ayahuasca and meeting insect gods! Hallelujah for painters, photographers, and poets who go deep into the MYSTERY OF LIFE and return to engage with the physical world and OTHERNESS of those who do not JOURNEY.

PILGRIMS! I adore Ty Butler and his connection with the MYSTERY. How bountiful is BEING when I have the experience of learning about how another SOULMATE sees the LIFE we inhabit! To learn about Ty's quest to observe the "visual essence" of things in this world, read my interview with him.

That's Coffee With Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me about your experience of OTHERNESS, your JOURNEYS into the UNKNOWN and back!
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT...FROM WHOSE PERSPECTIVE? As a  teacher of  English as a second language, I am required to teach verb tenses and the meaning associated with tense as we use it. When we use present perfect (have + past participle), we imply an action started some time in the past and has continued until the present. There is no guarantee that this action will continue into the future. In the instance of this painting, I had fun thinking playing with tenses. The language of the vision was future tense. But think about it...we are never certain that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT--even if it has been up until this minute! I added simple present and present perfect tenses to begin to erode the prospects of a merry future. Then there was another aspect of this vision I wanted to examine--perspective. If a GIANT GOLDEN PRAYING MANTIS is telling a human, "EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT," how do we know it is a message intended for the well being of the human? Look at this partial image excerpted from my painting. A winged insect is flying into the arms of the praying mantis and most definitely will be consumed. Certainly, this is "all right" for the golden insect god, but for the eaten insect--ah--well too bad!
PRAYING MAN. I hammered this Mexican milagro of a "praying man" (look between the words "all" and "right") onto this painting, having much fun with the word "praying mantis"! Is everything going to be all right? 
VISIONARY PHOTOGRAPHER TY BUTLER LOOKS AT HALLELUJAH'S ART. When I first started drawing every day,  I used micron pens on watercolor paper the size of greeting cards.  My policy was 3 images a day. No erasing. No mistakes. Not good. Not bad. Just is. I completed some of these images by water coloring them. Soon I had numerous small drawings, many of which I sold. Here in this photo Ty took his time one evening looking through various images of mine, some were of mermaids swimming with ammonites whilst on a shopping spree.

1 comment:

  1. This has lead me to my personal fascination with knowledge of self and the universe we inhabit. Shamanism Ayahuasca I share my experiences, opinions, and information I have come across with the world.