Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Movement of the Moon: Camille Claudel: Life Phases of the Feminine in Art, Madness and Love

One more opportunity to see the above play, written by Elizabeth Clark-Stern and Lindsey Rosen, and also featuring: Laila Rosen, Ann Blake, Kevin Filocamo, Time Nelson, and Dylan Hansen. Sound by Donna Lee, lighting by John Stern.
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8 pm (tickets on sale at the venue at 7:30 pm; $20 general; $15 Jung Society/JPA/NW Alliance members), Good Shepherd Center Chapel Theater, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle, 98103).

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SPRING QUARTER, 2016, WEEKLY POEMS I



Final academic quarter of full-time teaching,
Chronicled each week as I wish I had notated entire life—
71¼ years of breathing in and breathing out
And all simple yet complex functions of animated existence—
Especially stellar events:
Friendships, relationships, graduations, jobs,
Beginnings, endings, middles,
Transitions of all sorts, kinds, and flavors—
Shiny constellations and reflective planets,
Brilliance, not mine, but of collected experiences and collective events.

This current bright event,
Indicative and insightful,
Thought-provoking,
Discerning,
Cause for pause,
Commencement, indeed.

Another, now final, chapter:
Old endings,
Middling middles,
New beginnings,
Looking backward while looking forward
In anticipation of nuances,
Newness, novelty,
Innovation, discovery, invention,
Adventure, creativity.

This shining moment,
And so much more.

Ann Beth Blake
© April 5, 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016

PENULTIMATE QUARTER: ELEPHANTS AND BODY OF WORK



Almost threw them out today,
But, upon input and reflection,
Retrieved from Lisa’s recycle box,
30-year stack of course syllabi,
To carry around for a while,
Like elephants’ respectfully and lovingly
Circling and carrying dried bones of their kin,
Perhaps celebrating and mourning their dead,*
As I now celebrate and mourn impending loss
Of beloved career, primary relationship of my life.

Syllabi, symbols and signs of my body of work,
From Introduction to Psychology to Advanced Theories: Jungian,
And ‘most all stops in between;
Four institutions of higher learning,
Cherished colleagues throughout,
Mentoring and shaping students headed toward service to
Sentient beings and systems across populations, diagnoses, and contexts.

Noting retirement of two dear colleagues in past two years;
Now my turn to dance off the academic stage.
As Stafford described elephants’ recognizing
A need to be clear about finding the park,**
My turn to discern and change direction in path and journey,
Shifting focus toward quasi-neglected people and interests:
Opportunity to schmooze and hang out;
Generatively read and write;
Complete bucket-list travel adventures;
Endlessly putter and create;
Sleep until naturally awakened from within.

But first, a final quarter replete with
Multitudinous tasks and responsibilities,
Continued clearing of paper and books from my office;
Valuing past and completing present, prior to glancing toward future.
All too quickly, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and the last quarter
Will pass,
A door closing behind me
—not locked or barred, but definitely closed.

Ann Beth Blake
© February 23, 2016


*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjtrdpSwEUY

**Safford, W. (1994). The darkness around us is deep. New York, NY: Harper Perennial. (A Ritual we Read to Each Other)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

LONG WEEKS

Too many events and changes.
Another friend teeters on dire dx.

Automatic habits loosen,
Requiring supplementary focus.

Time flees, incompletions pile up,
Attention drifts, priorities shift.

Memories of past events sharpen, then fade;
Plans consolidate, then loosen and trail off.

Easily tired by unending detailed tasks;
Relaxation, naps, and retirement beckon.

Seek and welcome beauty!

Ann Beth Blake
(c) May 28, 2015

SHE RETURNS

Left early--smart child,
Slipping away from abandonment, chaos, depression.
Dad returned, briefly, at fourth month, for baptism--
She was already long gone.

Always knew something was broken, missing,
No matter others' multiple reassurances.

Worked real hard for 70 3/4 years to repair and resolve--
To unknowingly remake a safe place for her.

Last week, at first an energy hovering over me;
Then she proofed into my core, my viscera,

To take up residence once again,
At last, she returned home, just in time.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) October 13, 2015




THREE YOUNG WOMEN

Surprising new photo of mother, never seen and never described. 
No one to ask, mine to project interpretations and hopes.

A tableau of relaxed well-being, anticipatory of celebration.
Three young women sit at angles to each other;
Formal dresses, two matching, Mom in wedding gown.
Her handmaidens, unknown to me, perhaps and probably,
Friends from her job, other wartime librarians, 
Neither of whom look particularly animated.
Mom, clear star of the event, looks gorgeous and happy.
Large floral bouquet, colors indistinguishable in black-and-white,
Fulfills several purposes, one of which is to hide my presence.
So glad she is happy and, probably, relieved that I am legitimized.

In absentia: corresponding photo of male participants.
Possibly intentionally discarded in ensuing years,
Probably garbed to the nines in WWII dress uniforms,
Perhaps replete with swords, cording, metals--
But missing, reflective that Dad might not have been
As excited to wed and to become a parent,
And that he wouldn't stay around well or long--AWOL.

As in previous generation, feminine is present and dominant,
Masculine, often, ambivalent, dreamy, dependent, absent.

Grateful for new vision and version of Mom: joyful, unburdened.

Ann Beth Blake
Siracusa, Sicioia, Italia
(c) Septmber 3, 2015

IN MY BODY

I am always in my body, of course,
Until I am deceased and expired.

When beside myself, I experience being
Outside my body, although not.

Even though uncomfortable and apologetic,
Actually, cues/clues to something deeper:

Some historical hurt, some triggered complex;
Be curious, pay attention, offer attunement;

Explore inner genesis of response,
Accept all hypotheses as meaningful.

Goal: consciousness within the complex:
That I am here, present, and OK.

Even when I feel beside myself and outside
And annoyed and irritated and

Judgmental of myself and others.
Pause, count to 10, recite mantra.

I am in my body always--just a fact.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) Septmber 5, 2015
Onto, Sicilia, Italia