Mother

For those of you who have had a mother… no, wait… let’s try this again. For everybody on the freakin’ planet, Happy Mother’s Day. We all have one thing in common, we originated from a mother. Sure, a father is involved in a technical, assisted, support kind of role. Couldn’t happen without… whatever. Mom still rules. Dad might get the whole process started but its mom who carries the project through. And that’s why we look to Mother’s Day as the major holiday celebrating a family member (a limited category for sure… Dad got his day just to be sure we weren’t caught napping on the whole “family picture” thing).

My Mother passed away about two years ago so I am officially in the “Remembering Mother on Mother’s Day” category. It still serves this purpose very well. No card to send or phone call to make. But a time to remember, and if family emails are any indication, still a large part of the family’s survivor conversation.

Our conversation today has been about memories and dreams of our Mother. We all know in our bones how she connected us to life on this earth. How she gave us a sense of being; physically, emotionally, ethically. How she lived her life as she hoped her children would, by offering her services and her love to all who called on her. By teaching the things she held dear; her faith and her own insightful thoughts on life.

My brother recounted a dream about her which had him thinking of Mother’s Day with her and sharing tears together. It reminded me of my own dreams about Mom and how we use dreams to connect emotionally to her. The world of dreams offers what we deeply long to have in waking life, a magical interplay of all possibilities. My dreams of Mom are emotional, powerful , instructive…. and too infrequent because they hint at coming regularly. And these dreams are our portal.

Its no wonder the ancient Chinese developed ancestor worship since the loss of loved ones creates this whole absence/presence kind of thing. And that is exactly how God appears; absent/present. Easy to think they are in the same place now.

On Its Head

An item of conversation this year in the Lower Town art community has been the record level of high-end art sales around the world. This fact is usually mentioned with a note of irony since many of us struggle with stagnant or declining sales. The other note is obviously a jealous one since we all know “The Land of High-End Art” exists out there somewhere. To get there seems to require some archetypal journey through Jungian forests of doubt where we meet Joseph Campbell minding the gates. There we will present our art in the form of the perfectly shaped key to fit the lock and which will open the gates where we enter an land filled with rich and exotic Chinese buyers.

The high-end art market was awash with renminbi in 2011. In part, Chinese currency flooded the art market in a reach for cultural legitimacy as it snapped up art with pedigree, both East and West. After a long march of another kind, the success stories of the Chinese economic miracle are now ready to enter the international art market in a frenzy to purchase the talismans of refined taste. I consider myself part of the working class here in America and I thought I had it tough competing. Imagine the outrage you’d feel if that prized Pollack you were eyeing got price-jacked at the Christie’s auction due to another round of nasty Sino-based inflationary pressures.

But give it time. China has its own problems. We thought mucking our way through exposure to international labor markets was rough on our financial picture. China will soon face a billion workers who feel that they deserve a pay increase and better working conditions. A Chinese contestant on a popular reality show where a panel of women interview potential date material said it well. She was offered the opportunity to take a romantic bike ride with an eligible bachelor. Her response shows her to be perfectly in tune with western sensibilities by offering this nugget of capitalist poetry, “I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bike.”