Photo for George’s Book. Story for Mine

KODAK Digital Still CameraThis is George’s photo for his new book.  I’m still working on mine. I think of the legendary Eve of the Bible,  a great-spirited she-woman because she was so strong so helped others along. Giving birth to all humanity.

There were great-spirited she-women who were real proven people.  They received letters from their mentor in gratitude for their offerings. One woman was known as the “mother of Oto”.  Like Sacajewa, she strapped her infant daughter to her back and set W on a  journey of weeks, on horseback.  She endured unpredictable storms, discourteous service, risked bandits and pirates and shipwreck to seek guidance and offer reassurance to her mentor who had been exiled to a remote island off the coast of northern Japan.

He was so impressed by her struggles and pure seeking spirit that he wrote her a beautiful letter of instruction and encouragement that I read today,  “It was almost too amazing to be true,” the Daishonin wrote of his deep emotion on seeing her there on his remote place of banishment.

Then he wrote to her about a half dozen stories from the literature, showing comparable seeking spirits of individuals who had been incarnations of the Buddha.  They were stories of unbelievable resolve to seek the Way despite incurring painful results or tests of fortitude.
These stories showed her how much she measured up to previous Buddhas,and also showed her that in her day, her sacrifices had been of the right kind for her times. He said, she was unsurpassed “…the foremost votary of the Lotus Sutra among all the women in Japan.”

To be called a votary of the Lotus Sutra was high praise indeed,for that was how he referred to himself, and he was known as the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.
He gave her an honorary name that she was to be known as, “Nichimyo” or SunWonderful”.

I would say she was a she-woman of great spirit, comparable to Eve of the Bible becuase she was the “foremost” or the first among all the women of Japan and gives us modern day people someone to look up to and emulate and think about.

march voting

george on our way to voting

george on our way to voting

george driving Baby Blue on the way to the voting booth. I’m sitting next to him capturing the auspicious moment of civic duty fulfillment.

voting day

wisdom and compassion

wisdom and compassion

today, march 18, 2015 if village voting day. Like the image, compassion and wisdom are requirments for casting a well-thought out ballot.

Former Pres. Bill Clinton affirms that his presidential library museum makes certain that all viewers inescapably believe that whom one votes for does make a difference. I believe in voting.

The Salem Courthouse Exhibit

Successful. A steady stream of interested people. Welcomed and feeling happy. Some sales. Explanations. Open daily Mon-Fri.9-5.

I explained how all the ten most recent works with archival prismacolor felt-tipped pens are a result of requests for the images from my book, Growth Is Inevitable to be reworked without the text. I post an example.

Show is up through March 24th. Contact me if you’d like me to accompany you when you can go. We’ll work something out. donna

page from Growth Is Inevitable

page from Growth Is Inevitable

reworked 30" x 22" Wisdom and Compassion        available at exhibit at Salem Court House  $120  framed

reworked 30″ x 22″ Wisdom and Compassion available at exhibit at Salem Court House $120 framed

Invitation to all to reception party to celebrate beginning of my solo show at Salem Court

he looks pushable  to me

he looks pushable to me

sleeping hill series: after all danger is past

sleeping hill series: after all danger is past

Friday, March 6,2015, 5-7 PM reception with wine and cheese Salem Courthouse Community Center

Hope you can attend and bring friends to help enjoy the fun. Show is up until April 18, 2015.

Dream of Aliens in the Elevator

cheryl horning sculpturealien portrait ny barbara beckwith rec' geo. feb 2015

In my dream the rockefeller center bldg. spokesman came to see george and me and told us that – UNBELIEVABLY the aliens wanted to talk to me rather than good ol’ george, their chief champion.

Well, nobody quite knew what to make of it but i dutifully trotted after the aliens’ liasion-man to the elevators from whence the aliens would exeunt and speak to me. But when the elevator door glided open there were three Cheryl Horning sculptures on the elevator carpeting and they were not alive.

The man tried to shoo me into the elevator but I resisted and Mickey was there behind us, tagging along as additional troops, so the representative didn’t force me any more and I was safe, staring in horror at the misrepresentation in the elevator.

End of dream. Are Cheryl Horning sculptures like aliens? I can’t figure it out, but they are definitely unearthly and otherworldly. And thank goodness for Mickey. We should have been on our guard at any news that aliens would prefer to speak to me than to george who has been their best ally for years.

mythic creature with mythic thought

Winged creature Egyption luster ware ca 1000

mythic creature with mythic thought

This mythic creature stands as a good image for today’s difficult blog. It’s a complex creature of feathers, claws, circular body parts and an elephant trunk-snout.

My thought, too, is a swirl of the child-like fun of exploring one’s identity by building friendships, and the serious business of knowing oneself.

Long discussions which resolve in my telling my friend my insights into his or her positive or neutral character-make up always refreshes both of us participants. What’s refreshing unburdens the mind with honest-speaking,receiving back for one’s vulnerability positive words furthering one’s knowledge of self in the comments offered as a fitting tribute to the story teller.

A Dream Featuring My Foibles

self portrait from feb 15 2015 day of dream featuring my foibles at a mjuseum

self portrait from feb 15 2015 day of dream featuring my foibles at a mjuseum

A group of us were visiting a MOMA like museum. We were standing around discussing movies.

Up came the disco standard Saturday Night Fever starring Travolta and the sound track of the BeeGees in somebody’s comforting speech about the appeal of white-suited Travolta, androgenous and desirable. I felt so reassured to know and feel exactly as I imagined everyone else responding to the familiar of time place and shared experience.

My foible of not recognizing faces came into play, next, as i followed a member of our group down and up the other side of a mezzanine to look at an exhibit, until I realized he was not a group member, but a stray looking for a museum pick-up. MOI? no no no i was with a group i had friends i had a different agenda today. I turned away.

I didn’t see anyone I knew. I would have to approach the museum staff to ask for someone to meet me at the front desk. But all the clerks had fishbowls over their heads and couldn’t hear or respond. They wore fancy colors and tatoos of make up, each one a distinct image but none could communicate.

Then my next foible came up to bat. My obliviousnsess to what was going on around me. For I saw a long-legged body sitting on a white-cushioned stainless steel seat so I sat on the corner so as not to disturb Ms. or Mr. Long-legged. As I say. I was oblivious. I saw a pair of long legs. I had all the information I needed. Someone was taking up a cushion. But beyond that I didn’t know a thing. After all, could it not have been Travolta, the androgenous? I didn’t care. I just wanted to sit.

But after a while I noticed a camera crew filming this creature next to me. It was an oscar nominee! being interviewed. By the time i noticed, they were closing up shop and there, behind where they had been standing were my people.

We stood around and started discussing the fish-bowl headed staff and the fact that the fish bowl faces were all one could see, no bodies because the bodies were behind the white counters. Fade out and end of dream on a happy if beleaguered note. My foibles were just that,no more. Not fatal flaws.

Considering what can happen in dreams, the whole thing could be counted as reassuring. And tonight in Oscar night.

Further thoughts on Eve and Sage Nichimyo

donna with her last book

donna with her last book

Eve is known for disobedience and motherhood, or charity. Sage Nichimyo is for her seeking spirit and her resolve.

There she was from where her mentor had lived and then been exiled, the metropolis of Kamakura, the seat of the government of their country, Japan. She heard about it from letters that had come back from their exiled leader. The letters were read aloud to those concerned. She heard about the difficulties of being arrested, the failed execution attempt, the confusion of the authorities, the decision to banish the Daishonin, and then the details of conditions of the trip to the destination, the island of Sado, the harsh conditions, and the unconquerable spirit of the exiled who penned extraordinary letters about his state of mind, his conceern for his followers, and his sureness of having fulfilled the predictions of the Lotus Sutra and thus proving his worth and his destiny. “Inexpressible joy,” is his feeling, despite his exile.

This human being, Nichiren Daishonin, who meant so much to her,the mother of Oto,that she decided, “I must go to him.”

She possessed the characteristics of youth, passion and a contemplative mind. She wasn’t afraid of death en route or on return. She wasn’t afraid of discomfort. Nothing and no one could dissuade her from her desire to seek out her mentor, show her devotion, and learn more so that she, too, could develop a solid self of happiness as he had.

Hamlet was indecisive, noting that “movements of great pith and moment in this regard (fear) their currents turn awry and loose the name of action.” The mother of Oto was decisive, determined, fearless and resolved.

She made the journey with her infant daughter and earned the admiration of countless generations.

thoughts on Eve of the Bible and Sage Nichimyo

aloe vera plant in full winter sunlight aloe vera plant in full winter sunlight[/caption

i’ve known about adam and Eve ever since i learned the english language, my mother tongue. Once I knew how to speak I would hear inexplicable sayings, such as “I wouldn’t know her from Eve.”

But should not one know Eve, our mother?t I couldn’t figure it out.

Still, even the puzzelment brought solace because the names were from my very babyhoood,my earliest beginnings:Adam and Eve, the earliest humans with my earliest humanity.

Then the Sage Nichimyo. I leaned about her late in life, and yet i hold her in the same reverence, though she is so unfamiliar to me in terms of years i’ve spent knowing her name.


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