Flowers for Mourning, Living, Loving

We lost the musician Chris Cornell this past week. Also I was assaulted near my home; I was spat on and yelled at for no reason, just walking by. You can tell me that this was not a big deal, but I won’t listen to you. The week ahead is supposed to be the tough week, though, full of tests. Ultimately, every time I blog is a test. I’m not sure why I do it. Why am I trying to sell my book? Who needs to see this, this is me, living quietly? Trying to live quietly. My book: Can she stand on her own value? What about my other creations, will they have homes in the future? Will there be creations? I still have my old paintings, most of them. They mean more to me than they would to anyone else. They collect dust; I love them. There are questions that aren’t mine to answer. Why did Chris decide to go? He was a teenage Soundgarden crush – but while in my twenties there was a revisiting with this particular song: Be yourself. A friend reminded me that Chris was still out there, making music. He had all of the tracks and gave them to me.

Have you ever lost touch with a musician that you enjoyed? Focused on your own work for a while, and then was happy to look up and see him or her, still out there, Still going?

Because that’s what we expect.

I’m glad I still have my guitar to play on every now and then. My friend. We make friends with the continuous. I just wish Chris still had his continuous…

Well, maybe in the other life. May his family heal really nicely.

I took these pictures to share with you. Now, I commemorate them for Chris Cornell. No longer a big fan of grunge – I don’t forget where I came from, and certainly not, where I am going….

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32 thoughts on “Flowers for Mourning, Living, Loving

  1. Ka, these are a wonderful commemoration. So much color and life when you’ve had a week like this. It is a damn big deal what happened to you. I’m so hopping mad I’d like to come over and get hold of the person and I would not just set the dudes on them either. I think we all have times where we wonder why the hell we are doing anything? For creative people it is often a daily struggle. BUT never forget where you are going. Those you touch in life, are why you do these things. And no matter how much you ask why am I doing this, just think of how uncreative your life would be not trying. That is a different kind of death. Keep the candle burning my beautiful Ka xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Shey,
      I am so ever grateful for your presence in my life. The really sad thing is when you see a survivor get knocked down by something from within themselves. Chris Cornell saw so many of his friends go down. We often see so many of our friends get plunged by the dark. This is why, this is why – somehow – it must be why, why we do. I will likely be reading quietly to myself a little bit more after this post. But who knows? ❀ Thank you my dear Shey x
      My life would be uncreative without you and blogging.

      1. We do indeed see so many go down. I also think life is a funny thing in that you get one blow and then you get another and another, all at once, the karma is just not good. Like– you are being slapped from all sides (Okay, what we say here over in Dundee is , ‘ just when one door slams in your face, another opens to bang you in the pus.’ A bit cheeky but sums it up.) I always think that is the time to take the step back and be kind to yourself cos the good does come again and in the meantime you can plunge further by removing the creative poles from your life with a knee jerk reaction. I absolutely believe that true creative people all go through this several times. And, also think, how much simpler my life would be if I just quit all this. But I don’t know I have met any creative person who finds that it is in the longer run. Creative folks are driven. Because of that they are also driven to go through all sorts. Being dissed where their work is concerned, often by their family, (Shot in the foot by their publishers!!!…LOL) ,suffering petty jealousies from those they thought of as pals, thinking what is the point of being out there, etc etc etc. Remember though, you are the titan and these things are but badly aimed peas at your ankles. xxxxx

      2. Appreciating your thoughts, Shey. I like your cheeky Dundee style. Made me πŸ™‚ smile. Self-kindness is all we really have, you know. We do our best to get through our days, and ultimately that’s inspiring – amiright?! Good always does come again, and we are ultimately reminded that by the repetition as we spend our years on the planet, just existing. Yes, just existing, is a virtue – neither light, nor dark. If i knew before what I knew now, I would have spend more energy developing myself when I was younger – and not being so concerned about what ‘everybody else was doing.’ Creative folks get an urge, and that urge best be followed πŸ˜€ Well said, “and because of that… driven to go through all sorts.”

        May we all survive the petty jealousies. It would be hilarious if the random “not personal” assault on my person was a matter of jealousy. This person didn’t know I existed before they took those two steps and spat into my face. lol

        I adore the characters that are created from ‘being out there,’ especially yours. I am happy to be your titan, Shey. Your reminder to help me find my true grit. A phrase I love from the movie, “True Grit, ” the remake – I didn’t see the original. Alright, time to get back to work. I love how now more females are showing up in media as the heroines; and they are setting the stage for the generations to come. xoxoxo

      3. My darling Ka, having a wee giggle here just thinking that person WAS probably jealous. That is the way to think anyway. It helps lick the wounds quicker. And it doesn’t matter that you didn’t spend time developing yourself when you were younger. You are the self you are and that is a beautiful self. I do now the movie True Grit. I also know you have it in spades. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Hey Ka,

    I was both saddened and dismayed to hear of a personal attack on you and stopped by to ask how you are? I am so very sorry you were the recipient of mindless ignorance and anger and hope you’ll find strength not to be discouraged from walking your path with your head held high and your pride and sense of self not weakened.

    My knowledge of music is pretty slim and I admit to not knowing much about Chris Cornell. His music was quite obviously very important to you and no doubt served you well when needed. I think we all relate certain times in our life to music/musical artists that inspired, comforted, or expressed what we may not have been able to quite define within ourselves. In reply to your last comment on my Blog I left a piece of music by a band called Iron Maiden I heard back in 1986 that had returned to my thoughts with what felt like insistence. I am still digesting the reason for its return.

    With regards to the content of your post….’We make friends with the continuous’, and also with habit and habitual practice, possibly because we are ephemeral and fleeting and hold onto a cherished desire for permanence whilst knowing our physical life will continue unbounded towards its demise. We understand the nihilistic nature of our own nature and acknowledge all life is perpetually in a state of becoming and yet still we live in hope. Permanence is a false economy, all things change, transform, synthesise or become absorbed by time, only Love and Nature’s drive towards self-preservation live on eternally.

    Your Book of Poetry (and your dust collecting artwork) is important to you for it leaves a legacy of your time here on Earth, a reminder to the larger world that Ka was here. It is no different to the motivation of the very first cave dwellers who left paintings of their hands in the dark recesses of hills and mountains. I think it is an innate drive within us all to want to leave something behind however that may be expressed creatively…with children being the ultimate act of our creative enterprise. For artists (poet, writer, painter, musician etc) the motivation to create and express is not an option but a responsibility and divine obligation…as an ‘artist he/she is β€œhumankind” in a higher sense, β€˜he/she’ is collective humankind, one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of our species.’ (Carl Jung: Modern Man in Search of Soul)

    The photographs are vibrant with colour. I wasn’t able to identify all of the plants and wondered if you might enlighten us with their names?

    Thank you for your post Ka. I hope you will continue to promote your own work and express the many wonderful colours inside of you freely without compromise or influence.

    Enjoy the last vestiges of your weekend and have a wonderful week. Be brave Ka as you rise and grow to overcome all possible challenges that may lay before you this week. With Mercury leaving it’s shadow, perhaps we will all feel impelled to embrace new thinking with a fresh perspective and seek to restore semblance of power and control; back into our lives.

    Fare thee well, and please take good care of you.

    Namaste πŸ™‚

    DN

    1. Hi Dewin –
      Thank you. I am okay, but having the cops come over is a little bit uncomfortable, to say the least. Certainly it reminded me and triggered me of events that shall remain personal. As well as the death of Chris Cornell. I listen to a lot of music. Chris’s influence in my life was during a certain era, but then again, apparently not. His music influenced me to his end. For the assault, I’m concerned about the person who took their anger out on a passerby. I want them to be okay, and I want others to be okay around them, so I filed a complaint. You wrote a lot that I’d like to reply to; I also know that you posted the next chapter from your epic poem. I’ll check out your blog. New moon in Gemini to go along with that Mercury leaving shadow period. Artists show up whether or not they are ready, maybe. There’s a lot of maybes, moreso than givens. We are all artists, every one of us. Thank you for your warm regard. We must find and make hope, continuously. Aloha, Ka

      1. Hey Ka,

        I am very pleased to hear you are okay (and hope okay becomes I’m doing great very soon) and respect your decision to involve the cops knowing you acted with absolute integrity, compassion and kindness towards your assailant. Their social attitude needs realignment with what is generally regarded as acceptable behaviour.

        Chris Cornell leaves a legacy in his music to be enjoyed time and time again.

        I’ll hope the Gemini New Moon moves you and inspires you. I read that Pluto’s current movement links with both Venus and the New Moon…no doubt as an Astrologer you’ll understand what that means/implies far better than I.

        Artists are born ready, it is the world that is often not ready to accommodate the artist. So yes indeed, if we are all creative beings, then we must continue to express a vision of hope for all.

        Should you visit my Blog, it’ll be good to see you there. There is no obligation…I came here only to ask how you were πŸ™‚

        Well Ka, I’m heading off to the Land of Zzzz, so will bid thee Nos da and wish you a pleasant evening. Take care, stay strong, keep smiling, and soldier on.

        Namaste πŸ™‚

        DN

  3. Dear Ka,
    I am so so sorry for what happened to you and would never minimize it. I hope it is behind you and if not, that you are getting help and support. I do not know Chris Cornell or his band but understand that many feel a profound loss. I offer my condolences and believe out artists are our peeps, just like our pets are our babies.

    Your photos are stunning! They are the opposite of darkness and full of vitality and joy.

    Much love <3,
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you for your kind thoughts here. I’m alright and am glad that I do feel so supported. Sometimes we share here on our blog things that may help others feel less alone – sometimes there are people out there who read our messages and maybe someone else didn’t realize that being spat on is a crime – someone got in my face to do that, and told me to run away. They were threatening bodily harm. When we know what to do, we can easier provide support and self-care, as well as rely on others’ support.

      Also, many writers, artists ask themselves the same questions, so I figure – why not share my thoughts, again, and let people know that my smile comes from a place that sometimes is under a lot of challenge and I am not immune to the world. I am just focusing on, as much as I can, that which lifts me up.
      Have a beautiful day, love
      Ka

  4. Ka ❀ I was so sad to read about what happened to you! You are so loved. I was also sad about Chris Cornell as he was my high school/early 20's crush and many fond memories and parties with Soundgarden etc in the background. I may watch the movie Singles – I was obsessed with it back in the day – to commemorate. Beautiful photos, soul sister…much love to you! Aleya

    1. Aleya!!!! ❀ Thank you.

      Chris Cornell was a teacher (i think now), a crush (why yes, of course!), and completely his life had woven together many memories for a whole generation of us as well as the community of one gloomy and rainy city (Seattle) that gave birth to so much channeling through music, for many of us. I'll never forget singing, "Fell on Black Days…" when I was in middle school, and standing by my locker. The bluesy voice so favorable to my voicebox. This was the truth in my conscious reality. Lyrics: "So don't you lock up something, that you wanted to see fly, hands are for shaking, not tying…" Chris Cornell's voice was unique, and he is dearly missed, already. I adored the movie Singles, and Pearl Jam was my true favorite of the era. Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell, what a pair, and with Temple of the Dog's, "Hunger Strike " heresong. These are people who's thoughts and voices are concerned with the state of things. My favorite song from Singles was "State of Love and Trust." Truth be told, in my opinion, the album had to be consumed 'as a whole.' Those were the days when albums were "to be listened to as a whole." This was also the time that I was learning to play my own guitar and singing and avoiding being public, but also making the occasional attempt of sharing my poetry readings as a 15 year old at Java Jacks. Time has changed everything…. and we have been changed in time. Despite all that angst has mostly washed away from me, there's this special gift that his voice contained in shining a light "Be yourself." Still there are many more songs to mention. It was nice to have this time with you, Aleya. Thank you so much – as we lay him to rest. Thank you for being here. By the way, Mr. Ka and I were commenting on how strange "My wave" lyrics seemed to fit in with the strange and unusual assault to my person by what I am now referring to as "the grunge rocker." When it first happened, I thought: This person is sad that Chris died…. I don't know the truth though. That's not my business. Who knows why anyone acts the way they do. This is the song that keeps going on in my head, since his death, Show me how to live. The lyrics: “Nail in my hand From my creator You gave me life Now show me how to live And in your waiting hands I will land And roll out of my skin And in your final hours I will stand Ready to begin”
      Aloha Ka

      P.S. Sorry I was having some formatting issues with this reply, and the text is all jumbled together. Maybe I will get a chance to fix it later.

      Not only are we soul sisters, we are kindred spirits…

      1. Yes! Temple of the Dog…Hunger Strike…more memories with that song too. And I totally agree, now that you mention it – the Singles album was listened as a whole, that’s what I did. Starting with Alice in Chains – Would – another high school staple. I’ve been listening to Soundgarden these past few days and the lyrics have deeper new meaning for me. Chris’s passing has affected me more than other musicians we’ve lost these past couple of years…it’s sad…many human beings are struggling and acting out in various ways, like the man who assaulted you. But it’s true, who knows why people ultimately do the things they do. Love to you, kindred spirit and soul sister! xo

  5. sorry to hear of your being dissed & victimized by another’s pain.
    sad that Chris Cornell felt he had to die to end his pain.
    so much pain in this world.
    how do any of us manage to go on?
    the will to live, to survive despite it all
    is quite a miracle.
    and to stop and see and smell
    the flowers as they do all within their power
    to wake us up to the miracles
    & wonders of life that make it
    all so worthwhile.
    of course we forget,
    & of course we are capable
    of remembering.
    your book is an artistic
    work of the heart.
    i’m offering a copy to a friend
    who is recovering now
    from months of chemo.
    thank you for your
    healing publication πŸ™‚

    1. May Art for Art be a breath of fresh air for your friend.

      _/1\_

      Thank you for sharing a your thoughts here and for marveling with me about life in all its miraculousness. I am grateful for sharing this book. I am grateful for sharing these flowers. I am grateful for my community. I am grateful for moving music and my memories. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh Ka, I’m sorry to read of how you were treated. No one deserves that! And the death of Chris, that took the sails out of my boat too when I had heard about it. I felt driftless on the sea, thinking too about listening to his music in younger days… He was in not one but two big bands and had a magnificent range of talent. You too have much talent and I wish you all the best with your book. The hardest things are sent to us to make us stronger. I believe this! Sending love ❀

    1. Hi Christy ❀ Thanks, every good wish and love really helps. Yes, Chris – Listening to "Higher Truth" album now because I didn't listen to it before… He formed "Mother Love Bone," "Soundgarden", "Audioslave," and did numerous solo projects from what I understand. Even his solo projects were collaborations – afterall, we artists know, we try to do as much of everything by ourselves, but always exist in the support of a community and increasing the inspiration with our friends – (even if we are total introverts) if we, and our art, are to survive. Chris said goodbye to people, his friends who got lost, and I think that made him a big survivor in my eyes, so it hit hard. Seeing all these tributes in the youtube feeds really touches me, too. He still has my deep respect and just wish to be more aware of what we can do to help one another. I'm glad that we were all influenced by this person, Chris Cornell ❀ Thank you for your best wishes with my book. Thank you for also taking a moment to share how Chris also reminded you of some of your foundational years. Yes, we get stronger – as we go. It seems, it really does. I just want to do my best to help as many people get stronger (myself included!) Lots of love write back to you, dear πŸ™‚ xo Ka

  7. Hello Ka,

    My heart goes out to you following your stark encounter with violence, which is always upsetting. I had oral surgery last week and found out about Chris Cornell’s passing while my body was in shock-rest-recoil mode. And then I saw your note appear on my phone. It was a strange time. But I mention it all because what I was processing when I first read your post is how violence affects the body directly. The surgery wasn’t violent, of course, but it was, you know, a violation of the way the body is put together–like kicking an anthill–and so I think it is similar in a way. And I felt my whole being change during the recovery process, which is all to say that a moment of violence is nothing to dismiss out of hand, for it impresses itself on us at the cellular level. It is intense and ugly and it makes a mark. (Not to get over-dramatic either, as your authority to respond in beautiful and healing ways, as you have already done, makes all the difference…)

    Anyway, was sad to see Chris passed as he did, but love your beautiful flowers and the message of his continuation. For certain, he is making beautiful music even yet. Life can be stunningly difficult, and we are reminded in so many ways that the things we think will lessen the difficulty simply do not. Hard to imagine all the success and opportunity someone like Chris Cornell has experienced, and still being unable to maintain a solid footing. But so it is.

    I took the opportunity of my forced downtime to read a few books, and one that stood out for me was Trans Atlantic by Colum McCann. Of the books I read, his was one I would describe as beautiful, and the way he captures the tenderness and fragility of simple human experience was really powerful and resonant for me. It seems like when we feel connected we sense the scope of love and beauty present in these moments, and when we are feeling disconnected they add up to something insurmountable and isolating. Perhaps what Cornell wrestled with.

    May we find our way to the grace of it all…

    Sending love, Ka,
    Michael

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you so much for your words of sharing and kindness. I am sorry to hear about your experience of surgery as I do know that the good often comes with the bad. This last week has been a very challenging one but bursting with creativity and a return to music in my own way with the passion that I thought had long gone away. Chris Cornell, as all of us, and no one is not vulnerable to the pitfalls of a human life, and all its trials and sometimes its hardness. The assaults that come from seemingly nowhere can hit. Sometimes life is so stunningly difficult and yet so brilliant and shining at exactly, precisely those same moments. I’m glad, to be honest, that you had some downtime, some time to reflect and rest.

      I’m not even scratching the surface of downtime at the moment but just 1 month ago, I had about a week an a half to read about 8 books, and I couldn’t believe it! Thank you, always, for sharing what you are reading. I had been reading a few memoirs and now I am absolutely in the thick of things in my own world – the art is what fuels and provides an outlet for me in various ways, and especially in ways to explore what is unfolding. We can feel connected even in tragedy, in beauty, and as if these things are completely opposing, yet completely inextricable from one another.

      Yes, may we find our way with the grace, and thanks to that grace,

      I really appreciate your thoughts and feelings here. Let’s thank Chris for being a human who just couldn’t hide from all of who he was. I admire Chris for surviving, and I know his works certainly will, and I imagine his beautiful family will survive too. Tonight I spent listening to my favorite audioslave songs and a large dose of Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder as well, who goes on to play in Amsterdam at this time. He always appreciated his audience. I’m thinking of his words at Pinkpop (1992) as he leads into the song, “Alive.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJT3vIMsCQo

      Nowadays, I can watch the live shows from 1992 on youtube.

      Heal very well my friend, the body is a miraculous thing. Just look at all those performers who go on for years and years…. with full physical fruition of their songs, in sweat, blood, and tears. May your healing bring new ground for a better state of health going forward.

      aloha, and with gratitude,
      Ka

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