Advent painting and two poems

“Advent”, watercolor, Cat Charissage (c) 2019

Dear friends,

On tomorrow’s New Moon in this month before the hectic Winter Holidays, may you have a little time to ponder the bigger questions in this busy time of the year. So often we’re waiting for the time to do the things we really want to do, but feel as though we just don’t have the time to try for those things we’re yearning for. While some times that’s just the unfortunate truth, much more often we do have the freedom to choose how we will spend our time — at least a little bit of it. Choose how you will spend —- or rather, invest — those 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there in what you really love. There’s no other way than to do it. You don’t know what will happen when you make it happen. Give this gift to yourself.

Here are two poems that complement each other. I had finished the first, and was on a role, but stopping to check accuracy ruined the poem I’d intended! But I still ended up with a story! I hope you enjoy both poems.

With much love and many graces,


Colors of Transformation
Cat Charissage, November 2019
*Note:  Alchemy often includes the color yellow; here I include only the three primary colors of red, black, and white.

The medieval teachings in alchemy
spoke of three stages of transformation:
The nigredo, the rubedo, the albedo.
The black, the red, and the white.

The black of descent, confusion, despair,
the red of the flaying of skin, the blood letting, the anguish of life poured out,
the white of light, the ability to see, the possibility in a blank page.

I’ve noticed that the alchemists’ search for the Philosopher’s Stone, 
lead transmuted into gold,
is the story of all of us:
getting through THIS crisis to find the light tomorrow,
surviving THIS day to resurrect again tomorrow,
moving through THIS despair to write poetry with my life’s blood tomorrow.

Well, today has turned into that tomorrow.
And I’ve waited a long time for this tomorrow,
this black and red moving into the white.
The danger has moved into opportunity.

Many times through this cycle
I’m now noticing that life
is always including these three colors, 
always including transformations:
the black of a velvet night’s quiet rest,
the red of sunset, then of sunrise, 
the white of noonday sun.
This reflection of light allows me 
to see more than just my own crises.

This, the alchemy of the black, the red, and the white,
accompany the hard times, the good times, the ordinary times.
These three colors —- and dozens more:
the alchemy of the rainbow of life.

How Google Highjacked A Great Poem; or, If You’ve Got Something to Say, Don’t Check the Facts
Cat Charissage, November 2019

Here’s how the poem started:

“Throughout the world, throughout time
the colors red, black, white, and often, yellow
appear together over and over.

Had I created the world,
and the creator must be an artist, for sure,
I would have chosen red, blue and yellow,
the primary colors out of which every color ever seen can be created.
Needless to say, Creator did not consult with me.

Instead,  it’s red, black, white, and often, yellow 
that show up
in the alchemy of western Europe,
in the embroidery of eastern Europe,
in the medicine wheels of North America.
They show up in the colors of soil, 
and even in the colors of our skin.”

Not too bad, eh?
Then I decided to check Google for more ways these colors show up, 
And --- Hold on!
There’s lots of meanings for lots of colors,
even more meanings for combinations of color!
Red, black, white, and often yellow
aren’t necessarily universal at all
and red and black connote evil as often as not.
Different cultures, at different times,
attribute different meanings to different colors.
Turns out we humans are . . . . well . . . different.

Oh well, probably not the first time
Google has ruined the premise of a poem. . . .

Still, red, black, white, and yellow
ARE the colors of soil
And ARE the colors of our skin.

Maybe it means. . .  
but does anything really mean anything?
Well, how about this:
at least we can CHOOSE  it to mean, 
and I do so choose,
that we all belong here,
on this earth, 
Made of this earth,
molded of the clay of this earth,
Red, black, white,  yellow . . . and oftentimes, brown.

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