Monday, July 30, 2012

HOLY SMOKES! Is that a G-G-G-GHOST?!

When (and How) It All Began 
(((part 1)))

I see dead people. No, really, I do. I have since I was 8-years old. Before I was 8, all I knew about ghosts  was what I saw in cartoons such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, or what I'd see in kid's TV shows or kids movies- people under a white sheet with holes cut out for the eyes. And then something happened.

My grandfather (pictured above with me) died when I was 8-years old. He died of cancer in Chicago, where I'm from. His name was Thomas and was from a coastal city in Mexico (though his ancestry is from England and France). I was his only grandchild (he was my maternal grandfather) and he loved me very much. He was an amazing man, but, boy did he have a temper.

I remember the day that he died. I was in school when it happened one April afternoon. My mom picked me up from school and said, "Your grandfather died today." I asked her, "Is he still there?" She said no. We went to my grandmother's house (my grandparents lived next door to my mom and dad and I) and I went up the old green-carpeted stairs and went inside his bedroom. All I could see were the creases on his white sheets from where he had been laying down. He wasn't there anymore. But the next day, he was.

 My mom and I spent the night in my grandmother's bedroom on the floor which was next to my grandfather's bedroom. There was something different about that night in there - something in the atmosphere, something wasn't quite right.

The next couple of days were a blur. They sort of meshed into each other. We were busy with funeral arrangements. In Chicago, it is typical to do an Irish style funeral - 3 days of an open casket wake and then the burial. There I was, in the front row at the funeral home, right in front of his body. When it was the first day of his wake and the first moment we all saw the open casket, I whispered to my mom, "Are you sure he's not alive in there?" She looked at me puzzled, "Yes, Christina...", she said. Something didn't seem right. I felt as though his soul was still trapped in that body. I still can't really explain how I knew that at that moment, it was just a feeling I had, an overwhelming feeling that I just couldn't shake off and still can't. We came home that night and the next day...

I saw him. I made my way up those stairs (and about a few steps away from the top you can start to see inside his bedroom) and the closer I got to the top, the more I couldn't believe what I saw. I saw him sitting there, in his bedroom. He was sitting on a rocking chair that his grandmother made (we still have those chairs in my house right now, here in El Paso) and was wearing what he was usually wearing toward the end of his life - a white tank top and pajama pants. He looked confused. I was confused. But it made sense to me. I put 2 and 2 together - he truly wasn't "gone" yet. His soul had been stuck.

It made me scared. My heart was beating hard and fast. Why is my grandfather still here? As the days passed, there he was... in his room - either on the rocking chair or sitting on his bed or even laying in his bed asleep. He never looked at me (or so I don't think he did), but I felt like he knew I knew he was there. He never tried to communicate with me. And some days, it didn't bother me, I'd just pass by with a quick glance and other days I would run past his room and not even THINK about looking in. It would scare me most of the time. But some days I could handle it and others I couldn't. He never left his room.

I told my mom about it and all that I remember her telling me in response was, "Oh, really? Hmmm..." She never really told me any more or any less. I also started to have dreams about him. Dreams that I still remember to this day. In these dreams, he would appear to me as when he was in his spirit form. And this time, though, he'd try to communicate with me, but no words ever came out of his mouth. All I could tell was that he was lost. He would have this distraught look on his face, mouth words that I couldn't understand and would cry (but no tears would come out). I would tell my mom about the dreams and she would tell me that it meant that I should pray for him. And so I did.


Fast Forward

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. My mom and I were talking about my grandfather and how I would see him there still in his room. To this, my mother told me a story. A story that tied in everything that I had experienced with his spirit.

She said to me:

"Christina - That day that he died and we spent the night in Ma's room (her mom, my grandmother), he came to me. You were asleep. He was right above me, floating. He was trying to tell me something, he was mouthing something to me, but I couldn't tell what it was... He seemed lost and confused and sad..."

For a few minutes, I had no reply to her. I was taking it all in. Knowing this made me sad. Ever since we moved to El Paso, Texas in '96, only here and there would I have a dream about him. It has been a long time since I've dreamt about him. Many years of prayers, many years of hope, many years of love have led me to believe that he finally found his way. And in 2008 when my grandmother passed away, I am convinced that they found each other once again.


...Which Leads Me To My Next Little Story

My grandmother (whom I was very close with) passed away in December of 2008. Being in front of her casket though, was a completely different experience from being in front of my grandfather's. I felt like what was right in front of me was a beautiful, empty shell. There was no soul in that beautiful body of hers. Her soul had risen straight to Heaven. In the house that we live in, there is no such thing as her ghost. The only times I see her is when her spirit decides to contact me. And when she does, she's beautiful as ever. She has a constant big smile. She's happy. She is happy where she is now. She isn't lost in this plane that we call Earth. She has moved on to brighter pastures. She is with her family. And she smiles and smiles and smiles...

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Ever since I saw my grandfather's ghost, I have been seeing/experiencing/feeling/communicating with ghosts. I've seen them everywhere. I've felt them. I've heard them. Some are lost. Some have decidedly come back to this plane for their "unfinished business". Some are stuck. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are young. Some are sad. Some are happy. And others are just plain silly... From this point on, I will continue my encounters past and present with these spirits. I hope you tune in. And I'd love to take Q&A with you, so please, feel free to comment.

Until then,

Love & peace,

Chrissie.

XOXOX.



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stigmata

Being raised Catholic, I learned from an early age what a stigmata is. For those of you that are not familiar with it, let Wikipedia.org explain it to you:

"Stigmata (singular stigma) are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet. In some cases, rope marks on the wrists have accompanied the wounds on the hands.
The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word στίγμα stigma, meaning a mark or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave. An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic or a stigmatist.
Stigmata are primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith. Many reported stigmatics are members of Catholic religious orders.[1] St. Francis of Assisi was the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history. For over fifty years Padre Pio of Pietrelcina reported stigmata which were studied by several 20th century physicians, whose independence from the Church is not known. The observations were reportedly unexplainable and the wounds never became infected.
A high percentage (perhaps over 80%) of all stigmatics are women.[2] In his Stigmata: A Medieval Phenomenon in a Modern Age, Edward Harrison suggests that there is no single mechanism whereby the marks of stigmata were produced."


From my knowledge, in order to get a stigmata recognized, there has to be lots of testing not only through religious orders, but through scientists as well. The Vatican has a team of renowned scientists that works with them on all sorts of cases, from stigmata and other miracles to a team of astrophysicists that comb the sky every night (including Stephen Hawking).

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Below is a picture of Padre Pio. He was a Catholic Capuchin priest and was venerated as a saint. I will feature a video of him after these photos.

((http://www.swotti.com/tmp/swotti/cacheC3RPZ21HDGE=RW50ZXJ0YWLUBWVUDC1NB3ZPZXM=/imgStigmata4.jpg))

This is a photo of Therese Neumann, a Stigmatatic.
      
((http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Qe1wgxDiEdU/TLEsEWIPvSI/AAAAAAAACUQ/G3I0fh0szg8/s1600/Therese_Neumann_von_Konnersreuth3.jpg))

Giorgio Bongiovanni is another famous stigmatatic.

((http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pashdf8IiYY/SvyxBhA7prI/AAAAAAAAAwE/pDcuDv-Gc2Q/s400/Stigmata_Bongiovanni.jpg))

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Here is a video.

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Scientists think they have discovered a scientific (redundant, I know) explanation for the Stigmata. Take a look.

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Either way you look at it, what an interesting phenomenon! And as someone of the Catholic faith, I am definitely a believer. One cannot measure the miracles that God brings upon us!

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love,
Chrissie.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Erotic Papyrus.

Erotic Papyrus, Turin Museum, 2003


http://pixhost.info/avaxhome/17/f8/0013f817_medium.jpeg

http://www.oocities.com/zoser8/03-1052a.jpg

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I've always been fascinated by the ancient Egyptians, for as long as I can remember. My mother instilled it in me at a very young age. When the traveling King Tut's mummy and his exhibit went to the Field Museum (in Chicago, where I'm from), my mom bought tickets and took me right away to see it and even bought me a T-shirt and several books. We would always go to the Egyptian exhibit that's already there anyway. I have my mom to thank for getting me into: art, the paranormal, ancient Egyptians, geology, archaeology and much more. Hi mom! Love you! :)

Anyway, after watching a documentary on the History channel today, my interest piqued that much more in regards to the ancient Egyptians. As if it needed to be piqued that much more! The documentary was about what is known as the Turin Erotic Papyrus. The papyrus may perhaps be the world's oldest "pornographic magazine", if you will. The first few pictures above are pictures of the actual papyrus scroll. It is in somewhat tatters, but scientists have put it together and the sketches below the actual photos are of what it must have looked like.

According to Wikipedia, the papyrus scroll was crafted around 1150 B.C.E. It was discovered in the 19th century. It is "8.5 feet (2.6m) by 10 inches" and "consists of two parts, one of which contains twelve erotic vignettes depicting various sex positions", as stated on it's Wiki article. The other section contains animals performing human tasks and is regarded as satire. It is currently in a museum in Turin, Italy.

Wikipedia describes it as:

"Not conforming the convention of bodily perfection in ancient Egyptian art, the men depicted on the papyrus are "scruffy, balding, short, and paunchy" with exaggeratedly large genitalia.[5] In contrast, the women are nubile and appear with canonical erotic images of convolvulus leaves, Hathoric imagery, lotus flowers, monkeys and sistra.[5] Overall, the artistic merit of the images is high, suggesting that the Erotic Papyrus had an elite owner and audience.[1]"

The text says (according to Wiki):

"The text appears to have been hastily written in the margins and would seem to express enjoyment and delight:
"... come behind me with your love, Oh! Sun, you have found out my heart, it is agreeable work..."[3][2]"


Experts, scientists have tried to figure out the PURPOSE of these scrolls but have not come to a conclusion. My conclusion is that it was probably a piece of commissioned art for a very horny person or persons! Haha.

You can watch the same documentary in parts here. The documentary goes into details of certain images, which is something I won't do here to keep it somewhat PG. Watch it for yourself and come up with your own conclusions!

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http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/turin_sketch.jpg

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Also, if you're interested, I found this website to be very helpful when it came to the ancient Egyptians and sex.

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Sex is a sacred, beautiful and meaningful act. It is sharing love. (In my eyes, anyway) And many ancient cultures and civilizations viewed it as a sacred thing as well. I hope this little look into something different showed you although explicit in this scroll, sex was something special and sacred.


With warm regards,

Christina Pietrowski.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Surma


http://img1.photographersdirect.com/img/16304/ps1466495.jpg


http://cache2.artprintimages.com/p/LRG/28/2810/NBYOD00Z/art-print/gavriel-jecan-traditional-surma-tribe-lip-plate-ethiopia.jpg


http://cache2.allpostersimages.com/p/LRG/30/3060/DL2DF00Z/posters/jecan-gavriel-surma-tribe-ethiopia.jpg


http://www.infohub.com/images/tours/1_8306_0.jpg


http://battitravel.com/img/tour/surma.jpg


http://battitravel.com/img/tour/surma2.jpg


http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:anntkyaZCz-rTM:http://ethiopiapartnership.org/Surma%20lip%20plate%20bride.JPG%20web.JPG&t=1


http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:anntkyaZCz-rTM:http://ethiopiapartnership.org/Surma%20lip%20plate%20bride.JPG%20web.JPG&t=1


http://www.battitravel.com/img/tour/surma5.jpg


http://cache4.asset-cache.net/xc/sb10067219p-001.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=5047FA587DE1CADEEDC6192EA7EC9A891C8B733DE2CC979479855F03A64109AB09C6EC327BB9B577


http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/sb10067218w-001.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=38FCB2103A208D774D2B44B0AC20AAE61C8B733DE2CC9794FA182AE7C1F4805ED4B40B3E875A785D


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_WoIyNH48Eec/SZ_LLJ8AvhI/AAAAAAAAE7A/SNCEM3Pqg30/s400/surma-ethiopie.jpg


http://www.ethiovisiontour.com/assets/galleries/Gallery/_resampled/ResizeRatio800600-surma_tribes_with_lip_plat.jpg


http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1164/1317482325_394a3fbf79.jpg


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_hIgmGFDbuXg/S7okZB6o07I/AAAAAAAAADQ/BIAeq6CJJ_M/s400/The-People-of-the-Lipplates-6.jpg


http://www.homeofmillican.com/cave/uploaded_images/woman-ethiopia-710136.jpg
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The Surma is a collective that resides in Ehtiopia, Africa and and it is made up of three tribes: the Suri, the Mursi and the Me'en. There are 186,875 people in the Surma.


What I find particularly interesting, is that, the females (and at a young age) have, according to Wikipedia, "their bottom teeth removed and their bottom lips pierced, then stretched, to allow insertion of a clay lip plate. Some women have stretched their lips so as to allow plates up to sixteen inches in diameter. Increasing with exposure to other cultures, however, a growing number of girls now refrain from this practice," according to Wikipedia.


Here's the full Wiki article.

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These images pulled on my heart strings. They are absolutely BEAUTIFUL people.


http://oi36.tinypic.com/erfkhe.jpg


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_yrekTwxh5wk/S693cPW7ghI/AAAAAAAAFdE/3rMtNkCy2q0/s800/HS-032.jpg


http://legacythumbs.weheartit.netdna-cdn.com/20080914084848.jpg


http://www.storyculture.com/.a/6a00d83420ecf153ef010536b26345970c-800wi


http://img.earthshots.org/2007/600/076.jpg


http://img.coxnewsweb.com/B/05/42/83/image_6083425.jpg


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4913323352_a73ebe29b0_z.jpg

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Here is a YouTube video of the Suri having their stick fight, the donga.  It is very intriguing.

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I hope you enjoyed taking a look at another beautiful indigenous tribe. There is something about living in the wilderness with a community of beautiful people, raising children together, eating from the fat of the land and most of the time, being at peace and in love with one another.

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With warm regards,

Christina E. Pietrowski

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ukiyo-e!

When I was taking Art History I was ecstatic (well, I was ecstatic in general) to know we'd be going over one of my favorite types of art -- Japanese prints! In Japan, making prints was something an artist would do as a trade for money. And during those times, the prints were just that, prints and ads. They weren't viewed as pieces of high art. Awful, right? Though, now, we all (at least lovers of art) view the artifacts of this old Japanese trade as beautiful, influential pieces of high art. 

Many known artists of the 20th century have been inspired by these prints, such as: Toulouse Lautrec, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Whistler, Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, Mucha, Gustav Klimt and even architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, to name a few.

One of my favorite artists of this time, was Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Or, Kuniyoshi (his first name) Utagawa (his last name). What an AMAZING artist, to say the least. So, who was he? Let Wikipedia tell you:

"(Japanese: 歌川国芳) (ca. 1797 - April 14, 1861) was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. He is associated with the Utagawa school.
The range of Kuniyoshi's preferred subjects included many genres: landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors, cats, and mythical animals. He is known for depictions of the battles of samurai and legendary heroes."

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http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01374/kuniyoshi1_1374872i.jpg

utagawa-kuniyoshi-kaidan
Ghost Woman || http://www.bobkessel.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/utagawa-kuniyoshi.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3136/3030565233_f033858d67.jpg

http://www.davidsongalleries.com/subjects/edo/kuniyoshi-22492.jpg


http://www.pinktentacle.com/images/kuniyoshi_tanuki_141.jpg

'Graffiti On A Storehouse Wall' || http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/40558-large.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3187/3030560729_16353786c4.jpg

http://25.media.tumblr.com/eA3a4vBpOp1ga8tt2IWtccedo1_500.jpg

'The Priest Nicherin In The Snow' ||
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_zp6YgZPHXOI/SPZ9cbDcNHI/AAAAAAAAErg/1OPq9jkOv04/s400/UtagawaKuniyoshi%2BThePriestNicherinInTheSnow%2Bc1831%2BWashburnUniversity_KS.jpg

http://www.andrewgrahamdixon.com/article_images/KuniyoshiManFace.jpg

'Earth Spider Conjures Demons' (detail) || http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3205/3030546949_3a2fdecfc9.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/fffloating2/ukiyoe_neko9.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/fffloating2/utagawa_kuniyoshi_cat-2.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/fffloating2/ukiyoecats3of3.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/fffloating2/ukiyoe_neko73_2of3.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/fffloating2/ukiyoe_neko-1000463.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/fffloating2/ukiyoe_neko47.jpg

http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/images/hirano-lrg.jpg

http://www.printsofjapan.com/images/Kuniyoshi_oni_honing_lightning_dtl..jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3161/3031404184_6e2e08f47b.jpg

http://www.rekihaku.ac.jp/kikaku/index82/img/02.jpg

'Arhat Handaka' || http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6a/Kuniyoshi_Utagawa%2C_The_arhat_Handaka.jpg/220px-Kuniyoshi_Utagawa%2C_The_arhat_Handaka.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c3/Kuniyoshi_Utagawa%2C_Tiger.jpg/220px-Kuniyoshi_Utagawa%2C_Tiger.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/Kuniyoshi_Utagawa%2C_Hawk.jpg/220px-Kuniyoshi_Utagawa%2C_Hawk.jpg

http://www.trappedbymonsters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/earthspider.jpg

Kuniyoshi_skull_cats_pattern7e
'Skulls Made Out of Cats' || http://printsofjapan.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/kuniyoshi_skull_cats_pattern7e.jpg?w=344&h=632

Kuniyoshi_skull_cats_pattern5
http://printsofjapan.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/kuniyoshi_skull_cats_pattern5.jpg?w=260&h=367

http://www.printsofjapan.com/Image2/Kuniyoshi_Datsueba_neck_wrestling5.jpg

Kuniyoshi_cat_made_of_cats5
http://printsofjapan.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/kuniyoshi_cat_made_of_cats5.jpg?w=384&h=433

Kuniyoshi_cat_head_made_of_cats5
http://printsofjapan.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/kuniyoshi_cat_head_made_of_cats5.jpg?w=384&h=512

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Nissaka_Man_receiving_a_child_fron_a_ghost.jpg




And last but not least, my ultimate favorite for a few years now --


File:Mitsukuni defying the skeleton spectre invoked by princess Takiyasha.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Mitsukuni_defying_the_skeleton_spectre_invoked_by_princess_Takiyasha.jpg

http://www.japansociety.org/resources/legacy/event/Kuniyoshi25_Large_450.jpg

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Sometime in the future I may put the artworks of other Japanese print makers, as well! In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed these unique prints and learned that art truly is in the eye of the beholder!

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With warm regards,

Christina E. Pietrowski