Full Moondance of The Pen

Belly dancing, Drumming, fire, wine, children, howling dogs under a full moon Saturday night on South Lamar, courtesy of Lucila’s Dance studio. Lucila is a beautiful women “of a certain age” who teaches belly dancing and sells related exotic clothing and acoutrements in her shop. On the weekend of every full moon, she hosts a drum circle on the lawn outside the strip mall in which her studio is located, and fire dancers, drummers and belly dancers create a gypsy-esque gathering that one might describe as “keeping Austin weird.”

Since my husband became a born-again drummer, he has sought out such gatherings to which, on occasion, I accompany him. I am not shy about grabbing one of Clark’s drums–or the thing I keep calling a cow bell–to join in the rhythm. Nor do I hesitate, when the spirit moves to get up and writhe around alongside the more sophisticated, skillfull and interestingly clad belly dancers. This is a friendly crowd; all are welcome to dance, sing, drum, improvise in expressing ones self in whatever way one chooses. Indeed, what great joy it is, for an evening, to be part of this exotic, colorful full moon tribe, where one meets people by the name of Hawk whose livelihood consists of fire twirling/juggling, and where one can participate in an age old human ritual of gathering around a fire at night, even along a busy South Austin street!
I want to write like Hawk fire dances. I want my calligraphy to be as full and embodied as the belly dancers who move hips and bellies so sensuously, the girth of which by vogue magazine standards would be considered fat. Not in my estimation! They are beautiful, these women, whose example–in both body and spirit–teaches me to stop sucking in my gut and to move it in interesting and sensuous ways as I dance through my days. Like these belly dancer goddesses, I want my art to be rooted in the earth, to arise from the lower chakras, to sway and move with the knowledge and love of all undulating and curved forms.

For several years I have spent time developing a script which was inspired by my love of such forms in nature, including my own female form which I rediscovered an appreciation of in my life drawing classes. My script became one which could best express what I wanted to say in the way I wanted to say it, in feminine terms. Indeed, seeking to reconcile myself with the masculine Western calligraphy tradition, I even “feminized” Roman Capitals in another script I developed, and use it for words I love:

…O and that awful deep down torrent, O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire….
and I was a flower of the mountain yes…and yes i said yes i will yes
(Molly Bloom in Ulysses by James Joyce)

Inspired by Hawk and the exotic dancers, my husband and his motley band of drummers who come out every full moon just down the street, I root myself in the lower chakras, breathe deeply and freely, and happily continue the dance of my pen, curious and unknowing about where it will lead me next.

1 Comment

  1. Oh Sharon….a girl after my own heart. Calligraphy, Lettering Art, Dancing and drumming. Bonfires, full moons, candle labyrinths and camps….bliss….what more can a girl want in life?
    your calligraphy is fantastic, so free and spirited….keep up the good work….I love it!
    Love Sue
    in rainy North Yorkshire, England


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