Saturday, August 15, 2009

perfume in a cup : tea cup memories

A toast to my passed mother who taught us to pour boiled water into the teapot,

slosh it around to warm it,

pour hot
water in the cups to warm them as the tea steeps.



A ritual that continues to pleasure.

Whether black, with cream, lemon, or without lumps of sugar, honey, barley malt, or
 unrefined
 maple
 sugar.

yakkity yakkity
 

Growing and brewing herbs, lemon verbena, mints, comfrey, hand harvested sassafras, a love of teas continues, so, thanks mom.
















Tea Time
 
respite

recharge one's batteries
refuel soulfulness
connect with others
savor conversation,
slow the rush,
steep in the history of surroundings,
Have tea with your dreams, as Del Hovda taught.
 

Scented steam as I work a sketch, read, edit, slow into meaningful imagination.

Steep and see beauty, the wealth around and within us, imbibe the world.


plump your inner tea bag
swirl your loose
leaves

 
Illustration: Cups of Heart Lura Astor

Painting: The Cup of Tea 1880

Mary Cassatt photo: Gorges Verdon Barrage Sainte Croix Benh Lieu Song

Friday, August 14, 2009

a global thank you from Lura Astor

taking a moment to thank you

I see readership from places across
the globe
I have only dreamed of
since a child
spinning a beautiful map globe
that was black with a light that lit it
from within


turning off any other light
I would study this lit lamp glow globe
of countries small and vast


beautiful pinks, yellows, greens and blues


I felt I could talk to any one
any language


just by putting my finger on the spot in the country
just beginning to find my way

dance - I could speak any language
music - I could speak any language
food - I could speak any language
scent - I could speak any language
love - I could speak any language
healing - I could speak any language
choreography - I speak any language

what gifts
these arts

what to do
with the hundred years allotted one?

this child would fit her country's land mass
inside others
see spatial relationships

get a better understanding
of the flags
that stood at the new U.N.
United Nations


people of different garb
stopping in the hallways
to talk to this little girl
barely holding her mother's hand
neck upstretched to see them
the human imagination
quite the frontier

I would like to see blood tides
ebb and flow within the body
not burst out violently

I would so like to see the blood tides
within the body
respected
allow the woman her nature
of a flow to the outside
for the world to see
not hide it with the new
birth control
blood flow control
medication
not hide it with IUD's that
perforate and irritate

understand chi and blood flow
tides of nature cycles
naturally
experience
life, death, life
life, death, renewal

we don't have to force feed
a culture of such magnitude
of death, fear, destruction
"imagination"

have a cup of tea and talk to another
an artist
I dream day dream and night dream
I wish I could soothe and calm
the irritated masses

I wish I could exuberate
elicit and celebrate
energies of new awakening
veils off the imagination
color, vivid, imaginable hues
textures of architecture
playful calm
rowdy radiance
work, play, rest

So a toast to you
join me
for a cup of imagination

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Julie & Julia yum


a pleasure to hear groans of food pleasure from the packed house audience, instead of the groans from all the blow it up movie previews prior.

Julie and Julia, the movie, doesn't miss a beat and seamlessly switches time frames while advancing the story. Stanley Tucci is wonderful as are truly, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina, the supporting cast, including zany Mary Lynn Rajskub.

It feels as though Meryl Streep channels Julia Child. A friend wrote she nails the continuous almost-drunken body swaying down perfectly.

How had I missed that? Of course, they were able to drink almost continuously cooking with (non-sulfated) French wine and Cognacs ... and here I thought she had just another odd Pasadena quirk escaping from a rigid home environment.

The full house Pasadena audience laughed heartily at the jabs given to Pasadena, just as this Connecticut girl laughed at the joke jab at the end of the newer Stepford Wives.

Stage Whisper: Butter

Watercolor: Lura Astor

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

chant mantra jewels money lotus optimism memorial

Om mane padme hum
 
or yum as I like to say it

 

the jewel is in the lotus
 
and is it ever
oh, money gimme m
 










 photo: jon sullivan

perfume hunts

Perfume hunts take you on odd adventures. Detours, misguided mapquest directions, parking frustrations, closed on Wednesdays, the occasional wry attendant, or, a man with a poodle, both French in Beverly Hills, buying Dzing!
All About Sex

In Gilly Hicks Sydney smelling their fragrance line and damn if they don't make it hard to find the cashier, who wasn't there anyway. The brand revolves around a fictitious character, an American idea of an Aussie version of a Betty and Veronica blend, out of Archie comic books.The brand is a movie synopsis, a three minute pitch. Michael S. Jeffries, chair/CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, whose Gilly Hicks Sydney falls in its lifestyle brand and company portfolio, states that AandF is all about sex.
knock me over with a fish fly feather
Previously, Abercrombie and Fitch was all about fishing. Any thigh high boots were waders. Granted, tackle boxes had gold latches, but still, a fishing and flanneled fellows fare.
 

Gilly Hicks Sydney video ad shows a young fag hag in undies prancing beach-side with a mostely nekked homoerotic boy. Made for board rooms everywhere, the video has something for everyone except for the straight lady secretaries who take minutes, bring in Krispy Kremes, and chart the quarterlies.

Recently we've been talking about the after-burp of current Woodstock marketing. This video ad is an American version of Nordic uninhibited that sent parents of American hippies off the blood pressure charts, or to their swingers club. Nixon vowed to clean us up and one teen neighbor was sent to an Irish convent to repent, only to return speaking of how truly peaceful and green it was over there.

The perfume bottles have a nice heft. I don't know how the caps hold up ... anyone who handles perfume knows caps are often flawed. Their Tamarama makes me think it is an inside joke redux on Theorema. And the La Perouse is reminiscent of La Perla, another lingerie outfit.

The company writes that this store is designed for moms to feel safe taking their daughters to shop for undergarments. I saw teens and college girls, and a chic-ly dressed couple. Maybe the brand targets male teens with its Down Under Undies.
Bras come in one-foam-for-all molded crap, like so much out there these daze, with fake whale bone inserts in some of the Gilly Hicks bra lines. Each rib has heavy seams on each side - real discomfort for forming or formed bodies.
















this is copyrighted baby

and set my soul free

The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has a call out for Woodstock memorabilia / link click here
click here for a bird seed of my Woodstock experience.
 

News photo: me top left, New York Post 20 August 1969
 

A bit unsettled by Macys displays, Time magazine, Barnes and Noble, Target, fashions branding The Summer of Love, and the free rag L.A. Weekly cover Funk Spirit Rising, because frankly, I don't see either.

In part I see the humor within branding, "innovation", marketing and advertising, It does not have to be true, it just has to seem true. It is effective to hit nostalgia, especially for gained market share.
 

QUESTION
... is the magic of Woodstock the topnote of Age Aquarius a different whiff when smelled archivally 40 years later? Have we reached the couer? the heart? the heart notes? I know we have not reached the basest of the base basenotes.

How did we bake ourselves?
Did the souffles fall?
The dream changes the dreamer and the dreamer change the dream?
Preferably, nostalgia is used as touchstone, to keep qualities growing into the future, with heart, not frozen in the past and mass-produced, with a replication that takes out the experiential.

What is sold today can be tomorrow's proven fallacies, theoretical, rhetorical, or, what is "good" for us. The joke is to get it before age 80. I think, at least today's thought process.

Is it all about the image? Do you think/feel?


Joni Mitchell's Woodstock
and I dreamed I saw the bombers
riding shotgun in the sky
turn right into butterflies
above our Nation

video here from Monterrey Sur

Today

what
what is it
what is it that feeds?
what is it that feeds your soul
Today
today
this breath.

 
left: Author in 1993 out of the mountains after weeks camping out with the Konnarock volunteer work crew moving huge boulders, building stairs on the Appalachian Trail. Who knew I would like rock picks so much? Our leader, a young woman, had just finished pointing out the Queen's Truss on the bridge outside this sultry Southern pizzeria.


1996 arrive in Los Angeles
and create the Portable Altars, Goddess Hats, Moon Masks series


California 2004-05
Skins series, part of the Fragrance in paintings series, begun in 2002 which continues to this day.

I was working hard as a massage therapist, including educating Caltech geeks, staff and administrators that a body carries their brains around. I asked scientists why epsom salts relax muscles and what the newest in artificial cartilage research is, as we talked far galaxies and nanotechnology. 


Contributor to early online perfume boards, writing creative non-fiction, editor, painter, teacher

Stretch: my synthesis of Tai Chi Chuan, yoga, dance, body re-education and re-alignment.
Stay healthy, courageous, creative, with humor intact.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

to laugh is human ... and then some


Laughter is the best medicine
urban legend


Just a spoon full
of sugar
helps the
medicine go down

Mary Poppins


Sunsets are medicine of the soul
Lura Astor


Medicine is the best laughter

junkies, heads, pharma, others 
 

Meet me under the fermented tree
elephant to the monkeys

Moon Mask Series Lura Astor 1996

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ah, T, how we've loved ya

Oh, Tyrant Lizard King
T. Rex
Tyrannosaurus Rex


This diagram is the
Olfactory Tract of T
(almost 8 inches long, see below)
your sense of smell was evidently quite astute
funny to think your blood runs through our cars

and of jim morrison singing I am the lizard king

Regarding Olfaction
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum has this to say about their nicknamed Scotty T

Scotty’s skull is an average size, for a T. rex. It is slightly over 1.32 m (4 feet) in length. T. rex had about 50 teeth in its mouth; the largest tooth is up to 30 cm (1 foot) long, although about two-thirds of that is root. The teeth have serrated edges and are curved backward, and are obviously designed for grabbing, stabbing and crushing.
T. rex’s teeth were large but its brain was small—approximately 17 cm (6 3/4 inches) long. However, the organs responsible for smell are huge—approximately 20 cm (8 inches) long. This would have given T. rex a very keen sense of smell and, as a result, palaeontologists think that T. rex was a scavenger rather than a hunter.
LA's tip o' the hat to Monty Python's Spamalot:
Huge tracts of smelling and smell


The article click here reveals new finds on the environment of T rex and other flora and fauna 65 million years ago with interesting information on environmental changes in Saskatchewan as fossilized. This, if you believe in life on earth before 6,000 years ago.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

rip Merce Cunningham


Merce Cunningham
(April 16, 1919 – July 26, 2009)
is responsible for my transition from ballet into modern dance theater.

Watching the floating silver balloons and hearing John Cage's chance/change score transported me as the magic of snowflakes, Tchaikovsky and Balanchine's bourree'ing corps in earlier years drew me into ballet magic.

A solid foundation was laid by the training, repertoire and temperaments of wonderful, fiery, Russell Fratto (Fokine plus) and patient Jeannette Lauret (Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo).


Sandy Broyard teaching us Shaker choreography to the Iron Butterfly's Inna Godda da Vida bridged the classical, traditional and modern.


Learning to spin in place for thirty-plus minutes transposed Shaker, Sufi, and fun, transportive traditions.

The list is long of gifted, visionary, incredible teachers, mentors and colleagues. Their life lives on in many.

Merce's impish quality danced people into the future.
Illustration: Lura Astor