Monday, November 14, 2011

Savior - Zhillart Imaginations, TM

As is true in reality, the world is filled with and made up of layers. As we grow we see how our physical and spiritual selves have breached the borders between worlds and as we enter our new realms of existence we are like children emerging from the womb; surrounded by pain and anguish, as well as joy and salvation. There are symbols everywhere. It is these symbols that give meaning to life and it is through the understanding and the constant search for understanding that we live.

An angel, with black skin and wings of gold, falls from the heavens passing through the clouds as a stone would fall to the earth. She is lost. Her golden wings are of no use for she has not yet learned to fly with the others. Not to say that she cannot, but if she were to embrace the grace and love that has created the worlds that she is now burying herself ever-deeper into through every anxious moment as she falls, she would rise and soar with her father. It is out of love and grace that our father, who art in heaven, pursues her through to our world, stretching out his right hand to save that which is lost. Marked with the symbols of fearlessness and bravery, it is not concerned with any pitfall that would seek to harm it, rather it is there to save; whilst the left extends to the brink of the boundary, marked with the eyes of the king, seeing all, knowing all, and loving all. All of this goes on while the sun shines down with the ladder of death, reminding us that we all shall return home one day.

(Dedicated to my loving, gracious, and ever-striving mother, Phyllis L. Johnson)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Return to the Golden City - Zhillart Imaginations, TM

Gold is often used as a symbol of wealth; it is a symbol of the wealth and life that is nourished by the sun, the generator for all that grows on earth. The bounty that flows from the heavens, the sun, is seemingly boundless and only limited by our own ability to witness it. A bridge is a symbolic and literal representation of a connection between realms; being strong enough to support its own weight and simultaneously flexible enough to withstand the changes and shifts that occur during its lifetime.
The city that lay below this mortal bridge, a golden bridge representing the precious fragility of the land of the living, is divided through both the sky and the earth. It is of one creation yet there is division, a line tracing from its summit to its origins far below. This divided land is of prophetic origin, symbolizing the parable of the wheat and weeds, stating that the wicked and the just alike will be reaped when the time comes; as it says in the Holy Bible to protect the innocent from death.
An Angel falls from the sky in an ocean of light, carrying with it the silver glow of the Holy Spirit, and its presence inspires all the true elements of the earth; the silver is emanating from the sun in the day, it reflects from the moon by night, and as the light penetrates the division of the world it anoints the heads and shoulders of those who stand outside and listen to its call. The masses, who remain outside the city gates, are those not absorbed by the act of living and are aware of a higher state of being; those that are not scholarly enlightened but spiritually awakened. They are clothed in this glow as an element of inspiration and are poised to march on the gates of the city as though seek those within the city, the land of the living, with ears that can hear and eyes that can see. One could liken them to prophets, and there is one that stands in the midst of them that is greater than them all; who could this be?
The Angel falls to destroy the Golden City and unite all creation through the Holy Spirit; the silver glow that filters through the division down to the masses gathered at the bottom of the canvass. Is it the end of days? Or…could it be the beginning?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupy Together!

A growing assembly of likeminded individuals, the no longer silent 99% gathered at McPherson Square on October 6, 2011 to continue to make their voices heard. Centered in the heart of America’s governmental and capitalist economic focal point, Occupy DC/Occupy K St has been growing steadily ever since it’s birth on October 1st and shows no signs of stopping.

As members of the once named ‘silent majority’ gathered in a circle exchanging ideas and updates from the various committees spreading the truth about the nature of American democracy and, in unison, recited the proclamation recently conceived from their brothers and sisters in Occupy Wall Street, their numbers began to grow. Passers-by became involved in the discussion and voiced their experiences and reasons for being at this gathering and what their hopes for the nation and those suffering from the pandemic of corporate greed should be.

Moved by the power of this growing movement and the strength that all the peoples of the Occupy Movement assembled in solidarity represent, one woman stepped forward to share her story and as she held back tears she painted a vivid picture of the hurt and betrayal that she endured to this point.

A handful of individuals from the simultaneous demonstration in New York, Occupy Wall Street, stood to show their support of the local, organically grown movement in DC. Where some would seek to create division, one man spoke up to clear the air.

Amid chanting and an overwhelming emotional outpouring, the assembly fortified their belief in the message of this revolution and in solidarity and oneness amongst all peoples of the world as they stand together against what they defined as an unjust, uncaring corporate plutocracy.

Shydi Evans, aka Se7en of band ‘The Villains 21’, had these words of reflection.

The image of so many people from various walks of life coming together sent a message of unity and power against the corporate power structure that holds unprecedented sway over the governing body of the United States. They again and again raised the question, “whose country is this?” and in unison the 99 percent, not the 1 percent, responded, “OUR COUNTRY!”

Occupy DC is gathered at McPherson Square indefinitely. General Assembly is held at 12 noon and 6 pm on weekdays; however, there is no bad time to join the 24 hour occupation. They welcome and encourage volunteers, donations, and an exchange of ideas and inspiration from the local community.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Topp Dogg

As you walk in through the door of the seemingly ordinary shop on 4911 Georgia Ave NW, you can feel the pleasant passion and creativity pulsating from the speakers. Imagery of art and life in simultaneous birth and animation leave the senses with a feeling of peace and self-expression. Topp Dogg tattoo and piercing studio is home to many artists and art lovers; a place they and their creativity and inspiration become one.
L. B., a native of the DMV and also formerly of Oakland, CA, delved deep into the meaning of tattoos in society. As he explains, the world is changing in its perception of tattoos and other forms of body art. What was once seen as self-mutilation or in the negative context of gang affiliation is now being viewed through a scope of curiosity and understanding.
“It is an illustration of our humanity,” he responded, “people get tattoos for different reasons […] love, family […]it could be anything.” People have relationships with the artwork that is being placed on their bodies and those relationships are limitlessly powerful. As for his view on how it feels to have his artwork become a living part of someone’s life, he likened it to much more than appreciation of his efforts.
“It’s like a lifetime achievement award every time I finish a piece.”

It is also a place of growth. Eric ‘The Perfectionist’ Scott a.k.a. Perfect, an artist and apprentice at Topp Dogg, spoke with excitement about the apprenticeships and other programs taking root in the community that radiate art’s love for learning, expression, and transference of knowledge. He also expressed appreciation to Redz, the top dog at Topp Dogg, for putting the opportunity for artists like himself out there.

It’s all about passion, according to Perfect, they keep a professional and clean environment that allows the artist and the customers to share in the creation of their artwork. The artists at Topp Dogg take their craft very seriously and it is this intensity that helps create the truly beautiful works that the people who filter in and out of the shop praise as honest self-expression.