Magic Windows #4

by angeliska on October 9, 2009

Summer’s dwindling has brought the storms:
this one was coming for me before I began my journey.
I outran it in high-heeled boots, the wind lashing at my
leftover locks, head newly half-shorn, walking through
the drive-through at the bank. A vagabond.
I went to the marvelous Observatory Room for an opening
of James Walsh’s show regarding plague clouds.
“A series of letterpress prints, the black cloud, will be presented in the gallery.
Late in life, the English writer and art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) became
obsessed with what he called variously the black cloud or storm cloud
or plague cloud or black wind or plague wind or evil wind or black fog,
a new and unexplained weather phenomenon that cast a pall over nature
and human affairs and had something to do with the advent of modern times.
It was a purely meteorological occurrence, to his mind, though no meteorologist
had noticed it, and it was not produced by his loneliness, his failure in love,
or his increasingly common and sustained bouts of madness. He brought
all these observations together in his essay “The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century,”
and his journals from this period contain minute descriptions of this phenomenon
and its effect on the landscape and his mind and spirit.
Working from his journals, fragments of text relating to the black cloud were traced,
made into printing plates, and printed in an edition of ten on a Vandercook proof press.

I found a strange correspondence between the apparition of looming
thunderheads above and Ruskin’s black clouds, as far as my sudden
malaise in New York was concerned. It was brought on by a vicious
encounter with cheap, poisonous incense and sustained for weeks
by an acute wind-fire deficiency. It really put a cramp in my style.

This pretty much sums up my feelings for the duration of my journey,
sad to say. Between falling horribly ill and being hog-tied by one of
the most brutal Mercury Retrogrades in recent history, it was kinda
one of those trips – with incredible flashes of magic and wonder
interspersed amongst the chaos and stress. I met and connected
with some incredible new friends, and that made it all worth it.
Also, I had a gift from the universe in being blessed, every single
time, with the kindest and most magical taxi drivers. It was amazing.
They helped me over and over again, even if we were totally lost.
Thank you, universe, for helping me flag down the most generous
and convivial cabbies in all of New York. They consistently
under-charged me, were great conversationalists, and showed
me much sweetness. Thank you, especially to the Tibetan lady
who gave me a yellow rose at 5am – it was an honor to meet you.

Public transport, I have not so many nice things to say about.
Usually, I love the trains. This time, well- they were not functioning
properly, and it was enormously frustrating. I did love crossing the
Brooklyn Bridge everyday, and seeing the sun shining on the water.

Speaking of kindness, my wolf-nurse-magic-friend-sister, Miss Shine Earnesty
made me brunch in bed! She took care of me when I was sick. I love her.

We went to see the new works at Socrates Sculpture Park
on Governor’s Island. There were many fine pieces there, my favorites
being the huge flensed vinyl whale, the subway stop and David Brooks
wooden path through a copse of trees. Still, it was this sloppy concrete tower
of cakes that stuck with me- mainly because of the lyrics inscribed on the side:
“MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down…
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
’cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, no! “

Well, it was only a tiny excerpt really, but it was enough to jog
my memory… Miss Violet used to rhapsodize about that song,
which is constantly stuck in my head lately.
It is so weird, and so great- especially when sung
by Donna Summer, in an insane disco extravaganza!
I also really love The Three Degrees,
performing it live in London, 1975.

Headed out to Disko Nouveaux, for a night of dark-sparkle
dancings. I met the fabulous Shien and Miss Allison, as well as a whole
bevy of beauties. This is one of the only pictures I took of myself while I
was in New York, except for the languishing in bed photo, and one I took
of myself in Frida Kahlo’s mirror, which really didn’t turn out, alas.
There’s this one, though, taken by Gabi, in which you can see my shaveness better.

I love the beavers of Astor Place.

Oh Topshop, why are you so evil? I so wanted all your insane platform shoes
and sequined leggings and beaded shrugs. Why can these minty metallic
sorcerous shoes not be mine? There were so many things there to drool over…

While we’re on the topic of shiny wonders, if you happen to be flying into
or out of Austin anytime soon, check out my sweetie’s amazing organisms.
His nickel plated hand-forged steel sculptures are on display at the airport!

Coming home in my silver capsule. Flying is so surreal.

Oh New York, next time I see you, things will be better.
We’ll have coffee, and talk and it will be like no time has
passed at all. You know I still love you, right?


thanks for sharing.
the “my sweetie’s” link is le broken. fyi

by ry on October 9, 2009 at 9:59 am. Reply #

Did you take that storm cloud photo? Wonderful!
Ruskin was such an interesting character. I’ve been very curious about him since reading Joanne Harris’ dark fictionalized portrayal of him & his ill-fated marriage in “Sleep, Pale Sister.”
Your post brought back both the misery and the ecstasy of New York. Since I’m moving back soon, I’ve been trying to figure out how to sustain myself emotionally & spiritually there. (New York offers you everything on a platter, but often leaves you very little energy to enjoy it.)
I’m excited to see that the Observatory Room gallery is in NY. I won’t be there early enough to see On Clouds, but look forward to their other exhibits. (I have such a long list of places to explore once I get there – I will be an enthusiastic & unabashed tourist for as long as I can manage it).
A friend of mine does sky paintings inspired by her childhood experiences flying the family plane (life is so different in the midwest – imagine growing up with a family plane).
You might enjoy them:

by OdetteO on October 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm. Reply #

Oh Bunny,
New York knows you still loves it. Please don’t forget you did accomplish very important things while you were here because this here Miss Shine was awfully deficient in vitamin A(ngel). I’m not sure if you know that you provide a certain friendship and insight that cannot be replaced by any other…and then there’s that thing you did fur two special folks that was so generous, sweet and intuitive of you…perhaps some day I’ll be able to repay you by sending you up here on a healthy trip?
Gros bisous pour tu,
Mlle. Earnesty

by Whiskey Deer Wolf on October 9, 2009 at 4:58 pm. Reply #

Yea , as tempting as ‘ pussy ‘ ( incense ) may be , I’ve always steered clear of that , myself !

by dougling on October 11, 2009 at 6:06 am. Reply #

I just took the time to catch up on your goings-ons and was duly inspired. Your life inspires me to set mine on fire!

by Jeannine on October 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm. Reply #

how did you make your life so full of love and magic?

by Dannielle on October 12, 2009 at 11:52 pm. Reply #

oh, lovely! your adventures are vicariously fun.
I didn’t know Colin’s work was at the airport, that’s exciting.
email me, i have a question for you.

by carrin on October 13, 2009 at 7:48 am. Reply #

I love your blog, and your haircut, and your photos, and your makeups and your style. I’m so glad we’ve been friends for most of our lives now already. Let’s be friends forever!
And also have tea soon, please.

by Nicole Labry on October 14, 2009 at 8:27 pm. Reply #

Hi Angel! its the time of the year when i want to head down to new orleans and eventually run into you. this will not happen this year, although it pains my heart…i just wanted to say hello this way. i have had such a tough but also eventful year and just come back to my mind. it is interesting to hear other people’s experience with the mercury retrograde. I feel its true: so many fateful things happened in my and my friends lives in that time! and now it feels like things are ok again. I am so thankful, although the loss of my oldest friend is still very painful. I am gonna be in Berlin for a while, maybe i will make it to nola by mardi gras, maybe i have to skip this season, i will see. i hope you have a wonderful winter! much love, Lisers

by Lisers on October 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm. Reply #

Organism specimen 3
Wow! He knows how to charm metal!

by Sue on October 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm. Reply #

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