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Join Me for Symbolic Talk with Tanna Corona

Sunday, July 10th, 2011
Avia V. - Guest Speaker for Real Riches by Tanna Corona

Avia V. - Guest Speaker for Real Riches by Tanna Corona

Tanna Corona is the brilliance behind “Real Riches,” a popular Blog Talk Radio show she hosts every week.

Tanna’s show features superior gems of insight for demonstrating abundance, prosperity and love in all areas of life.

I’ve had such a great time talking about symbolic portents with Tanna, and that conversation will continue on her talk show this Monday, 7/11/11 at 11:00 pm.

Come join us for a chat about living a symbolic life – it’s going to be a groovy show!

Thanks goes to Tanna for allowing me to be a guest on the show!

I’m jazzed about connecting with you all ethers this Monday! :)

(click this photo or any of the links in this post to listen in!)

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Reborn Through Art and Ink (a personal essay)

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The Journey of a Tattoo

The tattoo gun murmurs its Morse code on my Manubrium, the hard bones perched just above soft curves of cleavage.  From the first tip of costal cartilage, down to the fourth Line of Union on my sternum, I feel the tattoo engraved upon my chest and the fusion is finally complete.

When I discovered the tattoo design, I knew it would be mine.  I knew where it would float above my bones and swim inside my skin.  I wondered, only briefly, about the implications of tattooing a corporate logo on my outrageously anti-establishment design.  But the Nippon Gaikku logo was born in the 1800s, and was crafted with integrity, a brand of honor that now chokes on the smog of modern-day mechanization.

The tattoo design on my chest is the progenitor of the Yamaha logo, the very first to establish its presence for proud craftsmanship of elegant musical instruments.  The tattoo-logo is a Hoo (pronounced haw-oh). It’s a Chinese Phoenix with a tuning fork clamped solidly in her beak.  The Hoo and I may have been married through ink and blood only two years ago, but our journey began many years prior to her debut on my chest.

History between this Yamaha Phoenix and I started in elementary school.  Crippled by grade-school awkwardness, I recall gimping into a tiny music room.  My ungainliness swelled at the site of Mrs. Roan.  She was my 3rd grade music teacher and the object of my youthful and bungling adoration.  Her dark beauty, her zeal, her penchant for tailored white suits and black paten leather shoes with killer heels and pointy tips – so exotic, and all so uncharacteristic of the school-marm stereotype.   I remember the silk of her pant suit elegantly shifting as she walked around the stuffy music room, rounding all her students up in a circle.  She passed out a series of musical instruments to each of us, the first of which was a Yamaha French Horn, an instrument Mrs. Roan professed being quite adept at playing.

The horn was passed from one pair of grubby hands to another round the circle.  Each child attempted, unsuccessfully, to birth sound from the bowels of the nickel-plated beast.

Lastly, the bright, silvery horn was passed to me.  Its metallic skin was bruised from peanut butter and jelly smears left by chubby kid fingers, still unwashed from consuming cafeteria lunches.  I cradled the horn lovingly and I remember whispering to it: “I know you’re magic. You’ll play for me.”

My tiny lips pressed against the cold metal mouthpiece.  With the corners of my mouth downturned, brows furrowed, mind honed on the bull’s-eye of sound, I willed my lips to putter quickly through marble-like mouthpiece.   My efforts were rewarded by a crystalline bellow, a clear herald of the horn’s brilliance, a solid ‘middle c’ note emanated from the horn.  Mrs. Roan stood akimbo in response, her cinnamon eyes glowing in approval at my victory; I won her favor, a cold rose plucked in a moment of sun-kissed glory.  I coaxed sound from this mass of twisted tubing and unlikely metal.  Magic was mine.

Standing in the center of that circle, horn in trembling hands, my peers beamed at me with tooth-missing grins.  In that moment I recall feeling gift-wrapped in attunement;  a Yamaha French horn trumpeted the surprise arrival of homeostasis, and magic.

Years passed and I continued to cut my embouchure on dented King’s and tinny Conn’s – all rented French horns of  dubious quality.  But I persistently played these metal beasts – chromatic scales groaning through the walls of school practice rooms and childhood hallways.

The Summer transitioning between junior and senior high school was one of prolonged anxiety;  try-outs for high school concert band were held the first of August, and I was struggling to spin melodic gold from a deflated, barren Elkhart horn.

A fluke of nature intervened. A serious eye infection threatened to take my vision that July, which would make my right eye a vacuous hole of non-sight.  Laying in the hospital, agony scraping at my optic nerves, my dad fidgeted by my bedside.  My awareness flickered between pain and pain-killers, but I remember my dad’s words uttered from the anxiety of his daughter facing a life of half-blindness.  “Make it through this,” he said, “and I’ll buy you the best damn French horn you’ll ever lay hands on.”

I made it out of the procedures with eyesight intact, and dad made good on his promise.  He bought me a Yamaha 668, the elite of the fleet for its day.  A professional horn with seamless nickel streaming like smooth ripples of water in my hands.   It resonated in my arms.  Within this bright horn, there was music tingling, aching, itching to be released.  I was reborn after playing the new horn for the first time.  The sound I could produce was tangible lusciousness, like being robed in musical satin. That horn took me to 1st chair all through high school, prestige in college years, and even serving as a free-lance musician for both symphonic bands and chamber orchestras.

Now, decades later, sitting in a battered dentists chair doubling as a recliner for tattoo initiates, I think on these memories mixed with melodic overtones.  As my friend and tattoo artist coaxes life from ink, etching the Yamaha Chinese Phoenix on my breastbone, I reflect on the appropriateness of the symbolism.  Reborn indeed.

Was it happenstance that my eyesight was saved?  I don’t think so.  Rather, I believe it was the restorative power of my heartfelt devotion for creating good music, and my love of the French horn rescued me from  living a half-blind life (physically and metaphorically).

Thankfully, it’s not the first time artistic expression has lifted me out of a pile of life’s potentially suffocating ashes.  Good music, played rightly, is nothing short of pure enlightenment and I’m lucky (despite my uber-awkward youth)  I found illumination that day long ago while rendering clear tones from that sticky silver horn in the third grade.

The tattoo gun finally ceases hammering at my breast plate, and I walk to the mirror to behold the new scenery on my skin.    Looking in the mirror, I could swear the phoenix winks back at me – a knowing wink, a shared acknowledgement of restored vision, a confirmation how the drive for creative expression can give way to ascension, leading a willing heart out of the dark.

Avia V.
11/28/10

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Heralding Spring in Vera’s Garden

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Friend, mentor, teacher, compatriot.  I’m talking about Vera, a fellow “walker-in-the-woods” of life’s winding and wonderous paths.  I adore her perspective, and her writing.  You’ll see why in her guest post below.  Please warmly welcome Vera as she takes us on a journey through her garden gates, where wild things romp and wisdom hangs its hat on every blade of grass.

Vera's Garden

Vera is my chosen name, belonging to my grandmother, who lamented never having someone named for her. To remedy, I call myself after her…. besides we look so much alike! Imagine Hobbit hill woman, hands on hips, elbows out, hen-like, poking and scratching the ground, yep that’s me, with the pointy gnome hat, magical shoes with shiny buckles cobbled by industrious elves.

I’ve been invited  to guest blog ….. so here goes……

Morning’s these days are a riot of noise, coming from the bush outside my bedroom window. In gladness, birds sing up the sun and call forth the newly greening of the ground. Spring’s herald in my neck of the woods wears a robin’s red breast, the yellows and purples of April’s harlequin fool…(violets, crocus and daffodils are first to leave the gate) and the starry undeniable presence of the Orion over head in the early evening sky.

I’ve been blessed with my own little patch of earth to steward, and once again, it’s time to take stock of all the merry volunteers making their thrust toward the light. This is also the time to survey what was lost, as sometimes even with best efforts, some thing’s just don’t take. (oh no! Not the new roses….. Good thing the nursery has a one year guarantee!)

Tedious chores like tossing gravel back into the driveway that was shoveled into all manner of nooks and crannies of the yard and lawn from last winter’s snow management, or gently removing the odd chaff collected here and there demand attention. What shall I do with the tree limb that fell during a particularly vigorous wind?  Cut, stack and burn in some sacred fire when ready of course!

I’m struck by how many different shades of green there are. Dusty sage, kelley, chartreuse, teal and all manner of the afore mentioned variegation to name a few. I’m blown away by what’s already a foot high, tulip…dock…crown imperial. It’s like welcoming back old friends, and I’m so glad to reacquaint!

Tiny splashes of green do this magical Monet-like spotty appearance as seeds fulfill their promise, that take on familiar patterns and shapes, most are welcome, some not so much (may all your weeds be wildflowers!).

Where I’m from, most trees are still in stasis now, with the exception of the globe willows that now sport the faint blush of leafing out. That welcome green of living color grows stronger every day.

Sunlight feels different now, sweetly stronger, warming like a lover’s kiss as it teases in playful hide and seek behind clouds pushed about by winds that still have a bite.

I have an endearing nickname for pansies. I call them “smiling faces.”  They cheer even as they shiver in the breeze. This year I chose a wine-berry mix for the box by my door and yellows and red for the bowl by the street.

Heck, all blooms and blossoms to me have that effect…their beauty is their smile. Can you tell yet that out-of-doors is my element? That my personal hero was Tasha Tudor? That I’m partial to “flowery” language with a hint of tongue in cheek?

My prized possessions are perennial in nature like peaches, strawberries and apples, and the smell of roses or shade from my favorite tree on a hot day.  My constant companions are chickens and a couple dogs.

My heart’s desire are for wild things to drop by for a visit, like quail, cock-pheasant, martin and wren. Owls and hawks are welcome too, only if they behave themselves with peaceful intentions.

In closing, I am so pleased to meet you all through words. To those who may have been sent into a diabetic coma, I beg your pardon. I’m new at this. :)

Welcome to my garden, and kindly tread softly, living things grow below.

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