let the blue bottle tree from your Holiday 2020 ward of 2021 blues

Holiday 2020

The times they are a-changin’.

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Holiday Blues

I wish I can wrap a layer of protection around the world... and yes prayer and meditation seems like the only recourse but sometimes we need a representation of this concern! a note, a card a candle... or for some a talisman. For me its drawing its art, expressing what I feel on the inside in a unique manner

Cobalt "haint" blue" should have been @Pantones color of the year for 2021 and the only tree folks should have this year is a Blue bottle tree! The world needs all the luck it ca n get! Lol!

Yes bottle trees exists and so do Christmas trees, but I've never really seen a blue bottle Christmas Tree and so I digitally sketched one!

Bottle trees are meant to be outside and guarding the home form evil spirits or bad luck! Let's just say it can't hurt and in the least its just pretty!

My inspired reverie was a passing referral to a childhood memory that has expanded my tolerance of different cultural practices and connects to my deep-seated believe that we are actually more alike than we are different! According to web research bottle trees can be found across Europe, Asia, Americas and the Caribbean But originated in Africa!

Milk of Magnesia bottles-
I was about nine or ten when I first recollect noticing the upside down (milk of magnesia) bottles on a tree near my elementary school in my native Trinidad. A class mate informed me it was because the house owners practiced OBEAH. Looking back I think she meant to scare me but in my budding artistic mind I was fascinated by the way the sun played with the bottles and the sound made by the unsteady dance as the wind gently rattled the glass! I had been taught that obeah did not exist so I did not fear it!

Fast forward to 2005 as I was pulling together a holiday store display of "evil eye" Moroccan charms & suddenly dawned on me that these cobalt blue eyes and the glass bottles were connected . Atim Oton of Calabar Imports who sold these patiently informed me of their history. and that in fact in some instances there were actually blue glass bottles on trees in some parts of Africa! Earlier this year in one of my outdoor décor groups on Facebook I again encountered these Glass bottles hanging on trees and learned it was a centuries old Southern Tradition!

My understanding so far
The bottles are placed upside with the mouth of the bottle facing the trunk to trap evil spirits and/or intent. Blue connect to the sky and waterways suggesting other realms. Some believe that the spirits trapped during the day were destroyed by heat of the suns rays on the bottles during the day! understanding the viral nature of some contaminants, I often wonder if there was some logic to these "tall wives tales".

That belief soon travelled from bottles to paint with doors as well as ceilings of homes painted that he for protection! The trains of though led me to contemplate the realm of talisman object and modern design. A topic for a design project.

Are they still relevant?
Do they even exist?
Who is doing them?
What does one need to design these
What about clothing?
Can or does clothing and accessory design have room for talisman pieces. In a sense we all have that outfit or jewelry piece we wear to give us an extra boost of confidence. A lucky suit or dress
What would you design as a talisman piece?
Do you have any special talisman garments or accessories what was the process of procuring them!

In the end though the theory is that it keeps away evil thoughts and spirits. By that logic should we not be able to collectively ward off the malaise by projecting protective thought and actions to impact each other. going the extra mile to wear a masks even f uncomfortable. to curtail travel for a sew weeks... if we as people made a concerted effort to refrain from such malice of thoughts and actions we create a layer of hope and protection!

By the end of my reverie I had created a Holiday card to bring in the new year and express my wish that 2021 would see some relief! That you find some way of expressing your hope for protection!

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kwanza2020 musings

Dec 26 Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Dec 27 Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Dec 28 - Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Dec 29 Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together

Dec 30 Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Dec 31 Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
January 1 - Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.



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