Hollow Bones

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My eyes they sting
The fan it spins
The cat is in the yard,
The water’s hot
The room is not
And I find breathing hard,
My lip is split
My jaw is stiff
It’s grip is on my brain,
The sirens ring
The men walk in
My soul begins to drain,
The scans are fine
Blood trails a line
From vein out to a sack,
Just if you knew
What i’ve been through
I want my old life back,
If not the old
If not the bold
Then one that’s new and calm,
Where lights stay bright
No need to fight
Sunlight for the moons balm,
I pray this stops
The room it hops
Oh no it’s just me twitching,
I can relate
to the debate
scholars thought it a bewitching,
One bottle down
I’m frantic now
It was blessed by a priest,
Yet every night
I sit and bite
Down on a rich pill feast,
I must admit
I never quit
Yet the exhaustion battles,
With all i’ve got
At times my thoughts
They cause my mind to rattle,
God save me now
I don’t know how
To make this all less frightening,
Without your light
To break the night
I feel the rope is tightening

Water

 

 

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Swell of the ocean building
Energy spreading like grains of sand
Giant wave of antiquity barreling towards the edge of the Earth, grand
Between shore and tide
veins of magic reside
Little glimpses behind the veil
Betwixt mist the power trails
Blood of the planet, clear to sight
Strengthen spirit, cleanse dark, make light
Liquid salt strip the aura of weight
Flow of water break stagnant state
White illuminance, protect and shield
Repel dark currents, make them yield
God and Mother guard and bind,
Shelter spirit, body, mind

 

 

All artwork was done in watercolor by Sarah Gomez for the collaboration of the Nature Series project. Follow her on Instagram: saraheliart

Fire

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Fire

Awaken from your slumber, simmering one,
Old friend I know so well and miss
Brimstone has surrounded you for far too long,
Let your anger cool like waters kiss,
I need you more than ever now to warm my frozen heart
stuck in between a beat and stuck between breaking apart
Set my soul ablaze again, let faith run through my veins
Reawaken what sleeps now, take away old putrid pain
Purify me of the darkness I allowed to chase you out
Illuminate me with your warmth, chase the snakes out
Unburden me of banked flames seeking within me release
Let your passion flow through me, giving way to peace
I know I may have locked you up in fear of burning away,
But without some fire now and then I seem to lose my way
Walk with me again, I ask you take me on your wings,
Where swords are forged to win the war and dragons always sing

 

Art by Sarah Gomez

Follow her on Instagram: saraheliart

A Journey of Self-Love Through Belly Dance

 

 

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(Though the show just recently passed I still wanted to share this blog about my little journey of dance and how it inspired me to feel whole again. Enjoy. It was written prior to showtime but with all the rehearsals and running around I present it to you now). Photo by Bradley Marshall or dancer hubby.

I’ve never felt so included and so part of a team as I do now. I have been belly dancing since I was fifteen years old, that makes it ten years since I fell in love with Egyptian dance. I learned all I could from my early instructors, Samay of Mid-East Performing Arts Company and then for a brief time once I left Florida with Alexandra Smith of the Alexandria Dance company in Knoxville, Tennessee. Several workshops between by instruction of either school helped me to gain more of a respect for the art form. I went on hiatus for a few years after this due to medical issues. Once healthy enough to try to pick up where I left off I joined the students of Belly Motions in fall of 2015 after having moved back to Miami, Florida. I was so nervous to start again. Getting to know new people, being afraid of overly competitive dancers, and trying to keep up when I was so out of shape felt like a giant weight on my shoulders the first day I walked back into class. Though I’d been at advanced level years prior I forced myself to start from beginners again and work my way back up (as I’ve done every time there is too long a gap between training).

I attended several classes held by Miss Alexandra on the weekend to try to catch up and although terrified couldn’t pass up a challenge that presented itself only two weeks after I began. I was told choreography programs were soon to commence for a theatre production being held in spring 2016. Taking a leap of faith I signed up for an advanced level baladi choreography knowing I’d been two years out of practice.
This is how I came to join eleven other dancers under the direction of Yesenia, our instructor and choreographer extraordinaire, who has drilled us for the last six months. Alongside them I was able to prove to myself I could still step up to challenges, face them dead on, make new friends and be humbled by amazingly talented people. I was stunned at the inclusivity  I felt from the other dancers and staff and can honestly say I have never felt so appreciated, so part of a team as I do now. My expectations of diva type dancers who degraded others were bashed. My old conceptions of the dance community in Miami were re-aligned to a more positive frequency. With the guidance of our instructor the students and I were able to learn an advanced level choreography we are due to perform only three days from now on stage. It has been such a humbling, positive and strengthening experience. I’m a more mature woman compared to who I was years ago when I first started Egyptian belly dance. I still have a lot of studying and training to do but I can finally say I am proud of myself for falling back into something I love so much while battling bouts of depression, anxiety and medical issues that kept me out of commission for so long. I have Miss Yesenia, the Belly Motions team and the wonderful students I dance alongside to thank. Your strength and dedication were and continue to be an inspiration. (One of our girls showed up to rehearsals with I.V. needles taped to her arm so she could receive treatment before &/or after dance when she discovered she had Lyme disease. Talk about dedication, strength and drive. You go Nancy!) Thank you all for helping me believe in team work, art and myself again.

Raks On,
Kat
If you live in the Miami area and are interested in taking a class at Belly Motions click on the link below or stop by the studio.

Belly Motions

Question of the Bard

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Mountain, so heavy, pressed into the Earth,
Rocks die, turn to diamonds, they know not their worth,
Grapes gathered in barrels and crushed till they weep
turn into the wine that the wise-man drinks deep,
To forge a strong sword first the metal must melt,
Liquid turns to solid then blows must be dealt,
Soft sand of the ocean, abused little shells,
are broken made base to the endless sea swell

My question to you now, is it worth all the pain
to face all the pressure or is it all in vain?

At the end of it all some diamonds are too small,
The wine much too bitter, the sword much too tall
And as for the sand it’s too rough for the hands,
Too hot and too dirty for a person to stand

Breaking the Habit and Keeping the Balance

Life Magazine
Life Magazine

Human beings are creatures of habit. We’ve heard this phrase countless times throughout our lives. We validate it every time we rise in the morning to shower, brew coffee and make it to work by punch-in time. In all seriousness we as a species find comfort in routine. Until it begins to grow sharp pointy teeth, jagged claws and drives us to pulling out our hair. This of course happens in work, school, relationships and even in something as basic as an exercise routine. So it’s safe to say routine does bring comfort to humans…until it simply doesn’t.

The key to personal freedom is to find what makes us happy and run with it. If you find yourself constantly doubting weather or not you want to work with numbers for the rest of your life, then maybe accounting is not what your meant to do. Weather it be painting, writing, teaching, falcon training, nursing someone to health, know yourself enough to push towards what makes you happy and then immerse yourself in it. At times this may cause us to leave decent seeming jobs. Would you rather be a miserable artist working as a banker or a happy artist who through perseverance may become successful?

If leaving a job, relationship, or other major factor of your life seems out of the question then find other things to do. Vacations, hobbies, night classes, , yoga, wine tasting, biking, spelunking, cos-play. Pick your poison, have fun and whenever you feel the routine monster whispering in your ear bat it away with the newly made fan you bought while on your trip to China.

Balance your life correctly and it will bring you peace of mind. Learn to play as hard as you work. Do not use your major responsibilities as set backs to enjoying life. It takes strength and courage to choose happiness. Make the right choice, break from routine and keep the balance.

Try Something New

Exercise:
YogaBelly Dancing
Aerial Silks
Cross Fit
Mixed Martial Arts

Creative Hobbies:
Painting
Hiking
Craft Your Own Beer
Meditation

Activities:
Sky Diving
Vacation to ___________.
Bar Night (mid-week)
Concert
Weekend road trip

Fun Classes:
BYOB Painting Classes
Wine Tasting
Rock Climbing
Photography

The Age of Graphic Novels and Manga

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Graphic Novel, Denise Mina
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Adapted By Denise Mina, Andrea Mutti (Illustrator)

Today was a dreary, gray, muggy day in Miami, Florida. This of course gave me the perfect excuse to take cover from the elements at our local bookstore. I brought along one of my younger cousins visiting from out of state who shares my same passion for pages, words and dare I say it, pictures. Not really what your used to finding in your traditional novel, is it? Graphic novels and manga are part of the latest book craze though and are taking over bookshelves and digital libraries by storm.

My cousin and I started off in the children’s section. Nothing seemed to really catch her eye. We raked the fiction aisle on the second floor and again found nothing. It was only when we approached the Graphic Novel and Manga section that I saw her eyes grow wide and a smile creep over her face. She hurried over to the nearest bookshelf and started flipping through several titles.

Looking over her shoulder I saw bubbles and small blurbs which I already knew acted as the primary form of dialogue in a graphic novel. Instead of reading  through several paragraphs of descriptive action, bright colors and images graced the pages of characters in mid fight. It presents to readers an already visual experience versus the transcribing of them whilst reading a traditional novel. I myself must admit to having read several graphic novels before and find them very fun and fast reads.

It’s one of the benefits busy students and adults have when wanting to catch up with George R. Martins A Song of Ice and Fire series for instance, when the novel format seems too time consuming to read through. Yes, novels such as this one are available in graphic novel format. As well as Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and countless other books. This format ranges for almost every age group but predominantly  for more mature audiences.

Another very visual reading experience can be found in manga. For those of you who have not yet experienced a manga book, it is traditionally read from right to left (as the Japanese read it) and best resembles what Americans would consider a comic book. Again like the graphic novel it contains more images, although these are in the form of strips and more often than not are black and white instead of in color. The plot  is played out through visual images, the dialogue through blurbs and bubbles. Manga originated in Japan and has a sister relationship to their version of cartoons called anime. Characters traits usually consisting of big or long eyes, spiky hair and over accentuated assets of the physical form.

Publishers around the world caught on to the global graphic novel and manga movement and wanted in on it. Authors are gaining a wider audience in this manner and publishers are finding it a great way to further expand already existing franchises. As mentioned above several novels have already been and continue to be adapted or written into these popular formats. I myself am reading bestselling author Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices: Book 1: The Clockwork Angel as a manga.  After having read the entirety of Clare’s Immortal Instruments series in novel format I gave the manga a shot and found it very enjoyable and time efficient.

Weather you are a traditional reader who loves the feeling of pages beneath your fingers or prefer the glossy screen of an E-reader, Graphic Novels and Manga can be experienced in both ways. Below are some fun suggestions to get you started on what publishers and readers alike can’t get enough of.

Graphic Novels
The Sandman Chronicles by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator)
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard (Illustrator)
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, Jae Lee (Illustrator)

Manga
The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Hye-Kyung Baek(Illustrator)
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator)
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (Illustrator)