long hot night…

Posted: January 8, 2013 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s still hot here at 4am with lots of wild memories floating in for the next crow drawing of “Postcard”, a song Old Man Crow wrote when I was undergoing radiotherapy for throat cancer 8 years ago
you can listen to the song here
wounded Dec 2004December 2004 10 days after surgery, my “necklace” is stapled skin, almost beautiful in a punk gothic sort of way
Mo by Wayne Snowdon Jan 2005Mo Crow painted by Wayne Snowdon January 2005
Wayne caught my focused determination to stay alive through the burning… his painting hangs here in the studio to remind me every day that these extra few years are not to be wasted
tree stairsI would pass this very small & mysterious set of stairs each day on my walk to receive the radiant rays at the oncology centre, they helped me to keep focused on the process and the magic that is all around even on the toughest days
crow feather giveaway 05this was the first of the crow feather giveaways just before the rounds of rays
cacophony of crowsa gathering of crows that arrived the day Chester Harris gifted me with the Crow Deck of hand printed Tarot cards a few weeks before I was diagnosed
A Matter of Time by Glenda JonesThis painting spoke to me so strongly at the opening of Glenda‘s show Lustre at the James Harvey gallery the night before I was diagnosed with the cancer, she gave me the painting when I was strong enough to ride my bicycle around to her studio, it is a huge canvas taller than me, she’s the queen of the painted edge & a crow woman extraordinaire!
Hand March 2005even my hands were so weak I couldn’t draw or garden for a few months but it was a great realization to find that I missed the gardening as much as making the art & feel blessed every day that I can still do both… so here’s the first rough sketches for Postcard a lovesong from Old Man Crow written when I was deep in the dislocation of the morphine dream… I wouldn’t have made it back without him so this drawing goes way deep and yet it’s really just about the power of love and how we hold each other up…
postcard beginningsa few hours later & in reply to Michelle’s mentioning of the crow’s stairs here’s a sketch from back then
raven and peppercorn by Mo 2005NB ooops! I got so carried away yesterday morning with making this post that I forgot to link back to Jackie Morris’s international desk day which got me going with this one in the first place… funny where you end up ahe?!

  1. The fortitude and bravery is humbling Mo. May you long continue to thrive.

  2. Michelle says:

    I’m sitting up straight. Who knew….O Mo, I’m so very glad you stayed on in the world. The thing with feathers takes on a new depth for me now .

  3. Michelle says:

    I’m back from the song–heart a little heavy–but it was eight years ago I remind myself–the quavering tenor of his longing and love affects me in the moment, and I think of you two together in a brand new way.

    • Mo Crow says:

      The man was just saying how he felt odd about allowing that one out in the world with his voice so shaky but it’s a record of where we were then… & how it makes us both feel so very grateful to be where we are now

  4. Michelle says:

    and about that set of stairs–there was, I think, once a tree house. I hope you include that in your drawing…stairs leading up to a nest of crows.

    • Mo Crow says:

      the crow’s staircase I like that, have added an old sketch from back then! I helped one of the crows with a plastic takeaway container on that very spot! he was piercing it with his beak but couldn’t get to the food so I said, “Hey Mr Crow let me help you out there, I have opposing thumbs!” took the lid off for him and offered the container back, he was rapt! the tree and the stairway are long gone, there’s a fancy apartment block there as the area gets increasingly gentrified…

  5. dinahmow says:

    I read the stairs as a metaphor. Now, you say they’ve gone. Perhaps you’ve already ascended your metaphorical stairs and no longer need them?
    Good fortune (old sense of the word, as fate) to you, my lovely friend.

    • Mo Crow says:

      ah metaphor… that is something that I always draw so literally… trying to distill the experience… listening hard to the song & trying to get that feeling of longing from Old Man Crow’s point of view… this post is helping to get my side of the story out of the way to focus on his… this set is “The illustrated lyrics of Old Man Crow” after all!

  6. Els says:

    You totally look like the STRONG woman you are Mo !!!! A real survivor ! (Yes Michelle, glad she stayed on …. ) I loved that photo with Jude’s 3 hearts piece in your beautiful dress/nightgown !
    Love that fun stairs into the tree !
    (eeeh …. happy, healthy and creative new year, Mo (and loved ones) I think I can still say that on the 8th ….?!)

  7. deanna7trees says:

    a rough road you’ve come through so beautifully. i’m grateful for your presence.

  8. Deb says:

    Goodness Mo! 8 years ago – I had no idea you travelled this path. Very glad you are still travelling. x

    • Mo Crow says:

      your thread about make + living triggered a lot of thoughts about the whys and hows of where we’ve been & where we are now… & that made me brave enough to bring this up here when in many ways I would rather just leave it all back there where it belongs!

  9. Lynda Merry says:

    July 2002. It changes you forever. My guy made fly fishing rods for me and him over those many months. And each time my appetite returned, he made the best spaghetti ever.
    I can’t wait to see your postcard drawing, especially knowing the backstory now. What a pair you two are!

  10. margaret johnson says:

    Ahh the Rocky Road of Life, it sure does define who we are. You are such a wonderful caring, creative, and optimistic soul. Thank you for sharing what must have been a tough time for You and Rod. Love to you both, oxox

    • Mo Crow says:

      there was some really beautiful bits in there too, we met a real live angel one evening near the lifts & it forged our connection with the crows!

      • Mo Crow says:

        just a poem about angels that I found a few years ago
        Questions About Angels
        by Billy Collins

        Of all the questions you might want to ask
        about angels, the only one you ever hear
        is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

        No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
        besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
        or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
        or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

        Do they fly through God’s body and come out singing?
        Do they swing like children from the hinges
        of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
        Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colours?

        What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
        their diet of unfiltered divine light?
        What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
        these tall presences can look over and see hell?

        If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
        in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
        filled with silent letters of every angelic word?

        If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive
        in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
        the appearance of the regular mail-man and
        whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

        No, the medieval theologians control the court.
        The only question you ever hear is about
        the dance floor on the head of a pin
        where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

        It is designed to make us think in millions,
        billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
        into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
        one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
        a small jazz combo working in the background.

        She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
        eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
        to glance at his watch because she has been dancing
        forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

  11. Carol says:

    Mo, you have travelled with such grace, such generous creativity, you are an inspiration and so is Rod. May there be many more years of magic for you both.

  12. karen says:

    a truly inspiring post…..on another note.I hope you are safe from the terrible fires….

    • Mo Crow says:

      we are safe here in the inner city of Sydney & the temperature dropped 20˚C here yesterday but the bush is still burning in so many places, it’s been a very hot year so far for the Land Down Under

  13. spiritcloth says:

    there is so much here, i am overwhelmed!

  14. nadia says:

    A thoughtful and touching post…you are indeed courageous. And thank you for this reminder that we are here only for a moment–but what a moment we may have…

  15. deedeemallon says:

    a truly packed post. its revelations help me understand the strength and wonder that comes through your incredible drawings and constructions. I am so happy to ‘know’ you here, and to have one of the hope feathers for my very own.

    P.S. The Chester deck is beautiful! I keep thinking that ‘one of these days’ I’ll collage me a deck. And when I read your comment on my blog recently about the Cat Cards, I got a real sense of what would be required to set the intention to do so. Do you hear? You inspire!

    and lastly, the poem is one of the loveliest I’ve read, ever! I tend NOT to read quotes or poems included in posts or comments, but this one so utterly drew me in. Reminded me in part of one of my favorite movies by Wim Wender –
    Do you know it? “Wings of Desire” about an angel who because of love decides to incarnate.

    oh, not lastly – b/c one more thing
    I swallowed radioactive iodine about thirty years ago for an overactive thyroid, so I am kind of in this club.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Thanks for the good words of encouragement & the recommendation for Wings of Desire I have always mixed that one up in my mind with Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and have never seen it so just put a reserve on it at my local library, gotta love this 21stC but yikes!! did you have to do the week in the isolation room for the thyroid problem with the food slipped under the door? i wouldn’t be very good at doing that… I need to be able to get out and about & walk around, stir crazy is an apt description when I have to be still with no creative outlet! Chester’s Tarot deck is magic,it was created with impeccable spirit, he gave me the one off crow deck to look after on the proviso that I never use it to make money and when it needs to go to the next caretaker I will pass it on. It has a screaming crow printed on the back of each of the cards to honour the crow that he rescued by putting it out of it’s misery when he found it pinioned with a broken wing by a farmer to protect his crops or lambs or whatever it was he thought that his cruelty justified… we humans can be so brave and marvelous and yet also so cruel & heartless…

  16. Judy Martin says:

    Hello Mo!
    So glad that you are here to shine upon us all with your generous spirit. thank you – and thank you for this brave post.

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