Seven Decades of Magic & Mystery: A woman artist's story

Celebrating Seven Decades

My White Bunny
My White Bunny
He took my cookie pushed me down and made me cry.
He took my cookie pushed me down and made me cry.

11 East 68th St

Princess of the Palace at 11 East 68th
Princess of the Palace at 11 East 68th
PS 6 Lillian Devereaux Blake School
PS 6 Lillian Devereaux Blake School
Central Park
Central Park

Decade 1 1942-1952

New Life

Uncle V named me with a V for 50 dollars
Mommy, Daddy and me – 3 bugs in a rug
Clearstream Road,
Romping through blueberry bushes,
Playing horse with Dale
Cold clear stream and the scent of pine
Chickens, goats, pigs, geese and
The big mean rooster “Oscar”
Gramma Mamie plucking feathers and shucking corn
Oatmeal, 2 white kittens and brick fireplaces
Grampa Tom on the piano

Daddy in sailor hat laying bricks, and drinking beer
Mommy lying in a hammock under the tree
Uncles, cousins, aunts, plaid coat with velvet collar
And hats with ribbons
My soft white rabbit In Central Park

Kissed a boy. He took my cookie,pushed me down and made me cry

This has been happening ever since

Princess of the palace
At 11 East 68th
Skipping on marble floors
In the mirrored walled lobby
With shinny black doors
Wollman rink, hop scotch, roller skates,
Riding cement lions, bruises on my knees

Brick school building PS 6

Lillian Devereaux Blake School

Saving my bus money: to buy a squirt gun
Singing Adeste Fideles at Christmas
Mrs. Ullman - The Wicked Witch of the West

I thought
With a big ole hangin wart on her nose
My BEST Teacher

Ankle socks that slip down under my heels
Wanting a piano for Christmas
Getting a doll carriage
Playing Peter and the Wolf on the phonograph
My dog Queenie and my friend Eddy
Cried when Eddy moved away and Queenie died

Visits to Vincent and Vincentia on Vise Avenue
Uncles, cousins, auntie’s
Jumping on the bed
Eating roast pig
Sweet aroma of pipe tobacco and lavender
First Holy Communion
Wearing the same dress as cousin Lynn HUH!!!

1020 Fifth Ave

1020 Fifth Ave
1020 Fifth Ave
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Drawing pictures of horses and dogs
Drawing pictures of horses and dogs
Piano lessons
Piano lessons
Clearstream Lakewood
Clearstream Lakewood
Pine Trees Lakewood
Pine Trees Lakewood
Blueberries Lakewood
Blueberries Lakewood
305 West 52 St NYC
305 West 52 St NYC
Chapel of Saints Faith Hope and Charity
Chapel of Saints Faith Hope and Charity

Decade 2 1952-1962

Growing Years

83rd and 5th 1020 Fifth Ave - Central Park East
8 story building and 6 snobby tenants
Green awning and doorman “Oscar”- like the rooster
Teeny tiny apartment
Super’s daughter not allowed to walk through Lobby
“Don’t let yourself be seen”
Daddy in gray workman’s jumpsuit
A servant of the rich better-thans
“Don’t talk back to us or tell us what to do”
“Keep your mouth shut, repair our broken
fixtures, clean up our shit, don’t tell how shallow we are”
By all means – No Whistling

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My playground – pretending Egyptian Princess
Drawing pictures of dogs and horses
Collecting feathers in Central Park
Playing with my dog Midgie and eating liverwurst sandwiches from the Deli
Bloomingdale’s with Mommy and me after work
Buying hideous outfits that look like pajamas
Finally taking piano lessons

Lazy days in Lakewood
Boy Scout camp next door
A budding pubescent’s dream
Playing Ring O Leavio with
Mikey, Joey, Johnny, Genie,& Georgie
My first kiss, from cousin Jan
Then Georgie stole my heart
We - James Dean and Natalie Wood
Went on a PICNIC together

Roseland Dance Hall
and off Broadway plays
Father in his glory as the king
Of 305 West 52nd St
Friday night frolics
Actors playing tunes
On our baby grand
Booze, beer, and roast pig
Accompanied the continuous party
Cathedral High School
Days of learning studies in
Theology, Latin, English, French
Math and Sciences
Dances and Balls with Georgie
Cheerleading Team and Fascination with
Saints and Mystics of the Church
Joined the 3rd Order of St Francis
Graduation in St Patrick’s Cathedral
Singing High Mass in Latin
749 girls dressed in white and gold robes
A Magical Event

Then came Marriage
Nuptial Mass at
Chapel of Saints, Faith Hope &Charity
Father so proud, mother so scared
White’s Restaurant
Cornish hen with wild rice and champagne
Cousins, uncles, aunts, brothers sisters

Illinois Maryland and California

Rays' Birthplace
Rays' Birthplace
Troy's Birthplace
Troy's Birthplace
Neil's Birthplace
Neil's Birthplace
George's Birthplace
George's Birthplace

Decade 3 1962-1972

Prolific Years

Then came the baby carriage
Ray of the Sun born September 1963
Ecstatic joy filled days of young motherhood
Champagne/Urbana Illinois
A friend once told me the word her mother used to describe her female private parts was called
Now I found out what that really meant was
The miracle of birth took me by surprise
I was not prepared for such JOY

Five years of blissful
pregnancy and lactation followed
With the gifts of 3 more sons
Troy, Neil and George
Diapers, potties and runny noses
Splashing baths and bedtime stories
The waft of gardenia through my window
Playful laughter and Birthday Parties
I, a radiant mother embraced it all

Palo Alto, The Free University, free love
and training sensitivity
The Beatles ,Joan Baez, Judy Collin Buffy St Marie
Marijuana, Timothy Leary and LSD
Sewing dresses from Indian bedspreads
Janice Joplan, The Grateful Dead
Demonstrations of Peace
Into Chagall, Cezanne, Gauguin and Matisse
Painting replacing pregnancy
A more practical form of creative expression
I began to paint and paint and paint.
More babies to fill my walls
And quench my insatiable spirit
These, the most
Fulfilling years of my life
With dancers and children
Setting me on a new path
Self actualization

Freiburg Germany
Picnics in the Black Forest
Painting old churches
Walking through castle ruins
Parties and friends
Camping in Switzerland, France,
Italy, Spain, England and Holland
An adventurous trip to Norway
A time fondly remembered


Mothers Stroke
Mothers Stroke
Bleeding Heart Thunderbird
Bleeding Heart Thunderbird

Decade 4 1972-1982

Crash and Burn Years

Mother’s stroke
Death of a marriage
With divorce being the better option than homicide
Cumulative burdens began to replace
The sunny California days of yesterday
Bicycles, skate boards and rock bands
Filled my house
Making ends meet and quietly hiding


What I needed now was a large dose of heartbreak
To complete the recipe
So I headed directly for the goal
Did not pass Go,
When I met the love of my life (so I thought)
Who brought me to peak emotional experience
then dropped my ass off the mountain.
Who so happily delivered the broken heart
I was seeking
Seems I was running a marathon headed for
The gold cup in Martyrdom and not only
Did I need a boulder on my shoulder
An elephant on my chest would do quite well
To add to my already intense traumas

Feeling murderous rage and painting a huge
Thunderbird on the Civic Center Wall
I enrolled in psychodrama
Playing out my experience
In a safe environment
As others advised
I was
Developing strength and depth of character
When did I sign up for that?
And, who needs it?

A fire in my house branded
The experience of these years
Saved by the playful laughter of my sons
Burying myself in my art and studies
I tenaciously endured
Gathering strength and developing depth of character
From the well of inner resources
Diving into the depths
Replenishing my soul and spirit
Keeping myself afloat on the
Tumultuous sea


Decade 5 1982-1992

Healing Years

The storm is past
The days are empty
My studies and work continue
To engage my time
Yet, there is something missing
Hope of a new life seems dim
One day driving in my car a
Burst of laugher came
Breaking through the barriers of my mind
Showing me a glimmer of light

Lovers come and lovers go
At this time
Only I don’t care
about them anymore
for any man who wants me to be
what I am not for them

Sonoma State and a new direction
Mother in her last years
Feeling a heavy weight upon my neck
Painting the intense dreams
Process of Transformation
Diving deeper
And discovering the mysteries of the dream
I await the dawn

Southwest Land of Enchantment

Decade 6 1992-2002

Regenerative Years

The boys are grown
The mother is gone
A double rainbow in the sky marks the day
Granddaughter Lauren is born
My life is free of burdens now
The dawn seems near and yet far
With broken wings and shattered dreams
I gather myself up
Starting anew in
The Land of Enchantment
A time of healing deep
I plunge again into the inner sanctum
Of my soul
Restructuring my life and building
It up again
As a fish or more like a beached
whale, emerging from deep waters
Into the arid desert land
Embraced by a mystical air
And the mountain’s protective peace

Southwest Sun
Southwest Sun
Mountains Protective Peace
Mountains Protective Peace

Decade 7 2002-2012

Reflective Years

In the bright
Sunny southwestern days
I reflect
With a grateful heart
Upon the peaks and valleys
Of my life experience
Making peace with the past
I once again
Embrace the joy
Of grand-motherhood
With the
Births of three more children
Quinn, Violet and Zoe
Lighting up my heart

Feeling whole and hopefully wiser
With a new perspective
Carefully choosing my preferences
Following the yellow brick road
Toward radiance
I glide with ease and grace
Grounded and centered in
My essence
Hoping; yet afraid to soar, once again
On the wings of love

Live in Grace and Go with the Flow

Always were a crown
Always were a crown


My life is a work in progress.
Take a laughter pill daily
Stay present in the moment – be objective
Choose my perspective and obsessions wisely

Be careful whom I kiss and don’t offer my cookie to just any guy
Be light of heart and don’t take everything to heart.
Love myself as I am and as I am not.
Do what I love.

See others as one of myself – without judgment
Bring others up not down
Counter malevolence with a magic wand
Honor myself by always wearing a crown upon my head
What others think of me is none of my business
Ask “What about Goddess do you not understand?”

Be grateful every moment for the blessings in my life.
Never take loved ones for granted
Bless those who have caused me pain- they are teachers
Love others the way they are and the way they are not.
Tell myself the truth, honor my feelings; own my mistakes
Denial is useful when life experience is too painful to face

Be the author, director and actor on the stage of my life.
Laugh and find the fun wherever I am
Do whatever works. Use the delete button as needed.
Consult possible whenever possible

Believe in Magic.
Don’t give away power to anyone or anything
Allow only those I trust to take me to the heights
Dare to live my dreams, even if shattered I can make a new ones
Have an attitude of gratitude
Live in the grace of the moment and go with the Flow

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Feliva 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico Author

Writing this was so much fun. I think it was also cathartic. What I think happened is that I have discovered I like who I am and the choices I made in life. I just never sat down to think about it.

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