Raptor Rapture

 

dream
looking down at my feet walking, through the squeaky crunch of the cold white snow, nose too busy with tingling to sense any aroma; the squish of cool mud, each step waking up those wonderful smells of everything pushing up out of the soil and reaching for the sun; the whisper swish of warm grass & dandelions, each breath filled to overflowing with green and sweet; the crisp rustle of sepia leaves, each footfall a cacophony, a symphony, and the scent of wood & loam as they drift off to slumber for a spell. through all this i see my shadow along with the shadow of a hawk flying over me, with me, casting our silhouette over winter, spring, summer & autumn.

karin-alisa-houben-red-tail-hawk-on-the-wing

since i was a little girl i have enjoyed this recurring dream. do you have recurring dreams? i love when i have them, 'tis like a long lost friend paying a visit, catching up & reminiscing. i always wake from it with a peaceful smile, feeling hugged. this dream awakened in me a realization of my connection to hawks and started me seeking them out wherever i go (and perhaps vice versa).

eye contact
Friday, August 3, 2007
on my evening commute home, a 30 minute drive along twisting turning beautiful country roads i had an amazing encounter. 20 minutes into my trip a red-tailed hawk flew in low across the road about right in front of me. no matter how many times i see one of these remarkable creatures, they always take my breath away! i caught my breath and wondered aloud, "what is your message?" (native American belief is that the hawk is a messenger).
it would seem that i got an answer about 5 minutes up the road. there was plenty of traffic as is the usual case on a weekend near woodstock. i spotted something in the road ahead of me. as i approached i noted that the cars were driving over, not running over it, as it was in the middle of the lane, so the bodies of the vehicles passed over and they disturbed it so it was made to barrel roll back and forth with the "wind" they created.
closer now, and i see that it is clearly a bird, seemingly lifeless as it rolls under each passing car. i want to stop, but there are overly anxious drivers behind me and in the opposite lane. i pass over and immediately check my rear view mirror, it stands up! it is a hawk!!!
i immediately put my hazards on & pull over. i would like to say that i thought fast, but i am not sure that my mind had anything to do with it, it all happened so quickly, it could be that my pounding heart was the guiding force.
i went to my trunk, pulled out two of the cloth bags that i use for carrying my groceries. i placed one on each hand and walked over to the young red-tail. there he sat, looking up at me, right into my eyes. i knelt down, keeping eye contact the whole time and gently scooped him up, fierce talons, formidable beak and all, into my make-shift mitts.
we maintained eye contact, i talked gently to him as i walked back to my car, my heart pounding in my ears. was i even breathing? his stare was so powerful. i placed him on the bags on the floor behind the passenger seat.
back behind the steering wheel, i drove the rest of the way home, on my cell phone desperately trying to reach a wildlife rehabilitator friend. i feel him staring at me the whole time.
once in my driveway, i get some work gloves out of the house and lift my fine feathered friend out of the car.
the hawk and i settle on the back deck where i place him down gently and try to examine wings and legs, oh so carefully. he is very tolerant, still looking right into my eyes. without any warning, he stands, stretches his wings and glides gracefully into the woods behind my house.
what an exhilarating moment! "he's okay!", i cheer.
the story continues: he appeared around the yard, waking me with his hawk cry every morning at 7AM for months and often there was the sound of another hawk responding. when i went for my walks along the reservoir, just up the road from my house, Ii would often get the feeling that someone was watching me. when i surveyed the trees at the water's edge, i would make eye contact with a young male hawk. a few times, as i walked along, immersed in my own thoughts, a young red tail would swoop back and forth across my path, taking my breath and heartbeat with it. was this " my" hawk? good luck convincing me otherwise!

karin-alisa-houben-red-tail-hawk-ashokan-reservoir
krin-alisa-houben-red-tail-hawk-branch

ink
i have a little ink, here & there. each piece acknowledging some rite of passage/ struggle & triumph. the idea of getting my third tattoo took hold of me one day while driving home from grocery shopping. a voice inside said, I think it's time to acknowledge recent hurdles, some jumped, some stumbled over. it is time! (cue lion king).

and now i am consumed with the idea of ink. but what?
then, just as i was about to drive past the local parlor, who should fly right across my windshield and land on the white line just before the shoulder.... i'm not saying this was the hawk i rescued, but it was definitely a messenger.
his message? "duh! you are getting hawk ink silly human."

karin-alisa-houben-hawk-feather-tattoo

beadwork ornament/ adornment = inspiration, homage & reverence

karin-alisa-houben-hawk-feathers
 

w.i.p. beaded red tail hawk feathers with an oh so apropos fortune

karin-alisa-houben-red-tail-hawk-nest-necklace

a well feathered nest: hand beaded red tail hawk feathers with pearls allsorts and a lovely vintage metal button clasp with double plume motif

karin alisa houben hawk feather necklace photographed by Michelle Merle Pace

in my tribe: well feathered nest necklace & earrings as imagined by the life is but a dream talents of

Michele Merle Pace 

model: Charity
oh such a wonderous & wonderful collaboration, full of magic & whimsy, more on that soon....

ain't no such thing as a senseless act of beauty

worried that perhaps some day my kids will write a tell all, i am tickling the idea of beating them to the punch.             fair warning: i am prone to 8-track* style meanderings of idea nuggets, if you follow the trail of thought crumbs you might just find yourself lost.
 

the latest embarrassing episode: this very morning's tantrum, replete with ridiculous self deprecating, book throwing (one notebook, the old fashioned paper kind), and stomping.     (not one of them, 'twas all me)
why? i awoke relatively early this morning, ideas boiling over the edge of my brain. i know from innumerable experiences, that if i attempt to get vertical before recording them outside of my head, they quickly pour out onto the floor & down the nearest drain, hopefully leaving a few droplets, but those evaporate quicker than i can locate a pen & paper
 

drain.jpg
 

whoever said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, get me to the otolaryngologist (look it up, i did, then try pronouncing it!)
'cause it's in there too! and more, i swear it! and in the fingertips, palms, around the neck, on the soles of the feet...'tis an all-sensory experience.
 

8-track
 

with my head still on the pillow, i typed them as quickly as i could on my ipad & emailed 'em to myself. whew! i think i got them all.
up, dressed, pancakes on the griddle, coffee in hand, i look to my inbox to keep the inspiration train chugging along. not there! not in any inbox, sent messages or drafts. GONE! arrgh!!! (insert aforementioned tantrum here)
herein lies an attempt to exhume/preserve the details from the rapidly fading memory stain, aided ever so kindly by the syncopated music of clacking keys & carriage return dings. bows &
curtsies to you wonderful typewriter app
hanx writer (unsolicited praise/plug) tangible wonderful sensory delight, you will get those memories off the wall, on their feet & dancing!
 

tourmaline

gems
a flashback i experience pretty much anytime i am around gemstones, which is pretty much all the time: corrine & i are at the tucson gem show, pavlovian drooling over tourmaline. (of course tourmaline! I dream in tourmaline!)   we both experience the same visceral desire to place our tongues on the sparkling, colorful, juicy wee faceted chatons...(omg! try google image search "chatons" take note of your reaction for later on in this rambling essay. now realize that my intention was"gemstone chatons")...so that we may pick them up thusly and let them rest on our taste-buds as to savor them more fully. like children with pixie sticks or pop rock coated tongues, we look at each-other and can imagine the gems twinkling on one another's outstretched tongues. those twinkles are reflected in our eyes and smiles.
 

pop rocks

the gem dealer overhears us with obvious discomfort, he looks as if he is going to wrap his treasures up in an embrace held close to his chest, or at the very least throw tablecloths over his display in an attempt to keep these 2 ravenous beasts out.
 

van gogh
growing up in & around nyc, i am ever grateful to my parents and elementary school teachers for introducing me to the wonders of oh so many incredible museums. at the met & moma guards would keep their eyes trained on me as i would draw precariously closer and closer to a van gogh canvas. the intense color & motion, those luxuriously textured brushstrokes, i wanted so badly to touch them/ feel them (sound bite: tommy) I guess it was written/ painted all over me...
 

karin-alisa-houben-starry-night-suite

see me, feel, me, touch me: starry night made oh so tangible by my grand hands, a wee thin needle, a delightfully celestial specimen of lapis lazuli &about a zillion(give or take) itty bitty glass seed beads

 

mcqueen: savage beauty
you can imagine how excited i was to take in this exhibit, i wanted to attend every day, wished that the met offered sleepovers. now that it has opened at the victoria & albert, i am sorely tempted to hop across the pond. my first visit was during opening week, i usually try to wait out the first couple of weeks, as they are too crowded, but for this i could not stay away. was it crowded? more crowded than i had ever seen any of the galleries. it was like trying to walk through subway cars during rush hour, with a select few of the passengers enrobed in art that everyone wanted to get closer to.
 

i had many years of honing my subway skills. i waited. i jockeyed for position. i persevered, determined to get as close as i could to each specimen of beauty. and each time i stood my ground for as long as i possibly could (elbows out & growling). my inner child, the little girl in front of van gogh's paintings for the very first time was dancing as if she had to pee desperately. my breath would catch & my heart stop for a moment, then i became keenly aware of the blood coursing faster through my veins, my palms were itching, i looked down to see my fingers rubbing together, involuntarily, as if possessed, it looked as if i was feeling the quality of some imaginary silk. the need to touch was in my bloodstream. this beauty was too great to only be appreciated with the eyes. so, shhh, please don't tell on me, but i did! i gave a gentle, honoring, giving obeisance caress to a few fibers of as many pieces as I could, thanks to the crushing amount of people present, i got away with it and was able to serve my drooling senses a few extra tastes.

mcqueen:savage beauty
heartbeat

drumbeat
i know several drummers who have been diagnosed at one time or another with having an irregular heartbeat/ slight arrhythmia. do they feel the music that much more, such that it enters the bloodstream & heart? how common is this amongst musicians? what about dancers?

what sets your toes a-tapping/ heart a-fluttering?

 

 

kittens (insert requisite kitten cuteness here/ recall chaton reference)
why do i have to squish them till they complain & then some? do you? is this senseless? or sense-full?


babies - see above ;)
and sniff them, my nose on my babies' scalps, inhaling their wonderful sweet aroma, like a freshly opened 64 box of crayolas. yup, today i smell those crayolas and am transported back 20 plus years, to when my children were wee babes, it's a kind of comforting euphoria.

crayola64
 

if you haven't savored this morsel yet, i give it five stars, quite the tasty feast. after reading it i noticed a marked heightening of my senses, the "normal" 5 at least. i'm about to read it again to see if the effects become exponential. i sure hope so!