Vayux

Hi! I’m Anastasia Wasko. Thanks for visiting my nabe of hyperspace. I’m here for transformation practice, which includes reflection, creative expression, and talking ’bout the world as energy. My practice makes me happy and free. So make yourself a fresh cuppa and pull up. I’ll share some things to think about, learn, and do. I’ll show you how to change yourself by changing your relationship to the world. BTW: I love tattoos and coffee.

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Vayux

This piece of speculative fiction was birthed over a year-long period of isolation during the pandemic 2021/2021. I experienced a deep sense of rage and betrayal at watching the Trump administration mishandle the public health catastrophe. It was a series of events that shattered a semblance of normalcy in life routines and the last iota of logic and compassion in a government administration. It seemed like the United States was coming apart at the seams. Then I lived through the chaos of a housing crisis and a mental health crisis as a result of the housing crisis. I went to a dark place in my mind but came back and then experienced ego death. I learned that my world that fell apart was a world that I didn’t want to live in anyway. I was ushered into a new landscape of hope when I stepped into the idea that the psychological and metaphorical death I experienced was a gateway to another way of being, another form of being in myself, that was new but built upon the old. Vayux is written in four iterations of the same material to reflect this.

Vayux is a collection of four flash speculative fiction pieces. Each is an analog for psychological breakdown and breakthrough. Each contain an essence of rage at the betrayal of the feminine force by the masculine one. The idea is Earth as a sentient being has decided to cast off humanity for its rape of her and her resources. Underlying this is fluctuation of dynamic intrapsychic forces—my own, which led me into a period of shadow work.

Each time I read Vayux, another layer, facet is invoked. The process of psychological change is multifaceted. Likewise, this piece is incomplete and complete; it conveys a human process, even though the characters are nonhuman forms when you meet them. Vayux is a materialization of the psychological processes that shaped my experience of transformation during the last year. I had no other choice but to surrender to the chaos and let it lead me to a new place inside. When I make art like this, it is deeply personal but also, in my opinion, resonates on an archetypal level. I sought/we seek connection but lived/live in isolated inner worlds. I/we die everyday in different ways. I/we have the chance to start over again and live.

Performance Art: The Crown Cycle

Hi! I’m Anastasia Wasko. Thanks for visiting my nabe of hyperspace. I’m here for transformation practice, which includes reflection, creative expression, and talking ’bout the world as energy. My practice makes me happy and free. So make yourself a fresh cuppa and pull up. I’ll share some things to think about, learn, and do. I’ll show you how to change yourself by changing your relationship to the world. BTW: I love tattoos and coffee.and coffee. And I drop a lotta sci fi refs. Let’s boldly go to inner space.

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The Crown Cycle

This piece titled The Crown Cycle was completed during the week that contained summer solstice, transition to Cancer season, Capricorn full moon. The energy is full of considerations of the masculine, feminine, emotions and permission to express, connections to patriarchy, the old identity structure that makes a woman’s identity only visible through a male’s gaze—his terms, his shapes, his boundaries.

https://youtu.be/ziGLifn1fag

This piece addresses my desire to redraw boundaries between for feminine energy. Often, those boundaries are drawn through what isn’t able to be expressed. We exist in constricted shapes created by heavy emotional burden. I need a ritual to honor the cycle of a woman’s experience—as a child full of vivaciousness, a woman full of vitality, a crone full of wisdom—in it’s pure unadulterated state.

The Child

As a young girl, I spent hours planning what I would wear. Time was forever and planning outfits was the most important thing because I wanted to make sure to express who I was through the way I dressed. My mom drew pictures of my clothes on small cards so I could have an inventory. She was incredibly creative and had a talent for art and drawing. This is a cherished memory of mother-daughter bonding. But vivaciousness turned into internal turmoil. There painful memories reflect that the household in I grew up in was unstable. I didn’t receive the emotional nurture I needed. My dad implied her problems were all in her head. She was never really seen by her husband, my dad.

The Woman

I’m named after my maternal grandmother Anastasia. I seen pictures of her from her early twenties, wearing fashionable clothing and hanging out in Branch Brook Park in Newark and posing in photo shoots at a studio on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. With those images, I conjure up a zest-filled woman. These are cherished imaginations. But my mom didn’t know her mom like that. The vitality of womanhood was snuffed into depression–my mom remembers her as a fearful woman who wouldn’t leave the house. Anastasia lived in the shadow of my grandfather’s mercurial moods and bursts of rage. It was best not to be seen. She grew old, never learning to drive and being allowed to manage her money. The potential for wisdom from a life well-lived became a subtle bitterness.

Anastasia died in her early 60s; my mom was mid thirties. I was 7. Child, woman, crone.

When do we change from the carefree child to women with too much burden? When does my grandmother’s problem not be my mom’s problem, and when does my mom’s problem not be mine? We pass them along to each other in body and mind. The crone came to the woman and the child before her time.

When I was in my mid thirties, I recognized a pattern. I dated men from hetero culture who had expectations of who I was supposed to be. The inability to express myself, or, the lack of permission that they set up, was a huge burden to me. So, I set up strong boundaries. I ended or didn’t pursue relationships based on what I needed to feel seen and be expressive. I found myself more often single than in partnership. It was the lived experience of just how strongly the patriarchy has a hold on how women are seen—women’s identities are seen through men’s reflection, that is, what they see as permittable and valid.

The Crown Cycle: I am inside

I created the piece “The Crown Cycle” to honor the cycle of child-woman-crone, the stages of a female experience. Who we are (and were), how available we were to each other, how we took care of ourselves and beyond that, each other. The transition of child-woman-crone has not been straightforward. I wanted to see us clearly. 

I just entered my woman full-moon, mid-life stage. My mom has entered her crone stage. I have watched her heal, and become young again in her older age. I have healed and grown up into a woman that I am proud to be: happy, healthy, and free from thinking that I should be anybody but myself.

My mom and I worked on this project as an exploration of healing across generations. Mom painted the paper-mâché heads, and I attached flowers that are reminiscent of spring, summer, fall/winter, symbolic of child, mother, crone. Anastasia, my grandmother, was always with her rosary. I added one, plus 3 silver-painted quartz shards to evoke a cemetery-stone image, at the end of life. The eyes are absent from the skull heads but are present. Anastasia is absent in form, but always watching; I as a child was always watching the adults; my mom is always watching memory. And we are all women who had different levels of visibility. I at times want to be unseen, like my mom, and Anastasia, through her agoraphobia, was literally unseen—a far cry from the smiling face of her youth that was always posing for cameras.

The candle is reflected in the mirror; it is lighting the way to transformation.

I asked my mom why she made skulls with half hair, half skeletal attributes. She said the “the skull is the vessel of the brain, the part of us that perceives and translates the exterior stimuli. Hair is so visible and SO much an exterior judgement factor.”

The performance was done in front of a mirror as I wore the child-mother-crone crown and reflect. I reflected on the image in the mirror and also memories of me, my mom, and my grandmother. I recited “I am me, I am she, I am her” and rotated the heads, passing through the stage of child, woman, crone.

My mom and I are not in current geographical proximity, so I offered the performance to her online. I share it now with you. The performance is a healing transmission across my matrilineage and honors the cycle for all women who constellate the seen/unseen child-mother-crone.

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Dillidallier: Skellies and Bones

Hi! I’m Anastasia Wasko. Thanks for visiting my nabe of hyperspace. I’m here for creative expression, expansive conversations, and transformation. These three things constellate presence in me, in you, and in the world. The higher octave of presence is the ability to write your own story. I did! And I still do. How does that work? You align with your dharma narrative and place in the cosmos. Your authenticity becomes currency. You go into life and return home to yourself. You are happy and free. Sound like a flight of fancy? Show up for it. Imagination is a powerful force. Inner work is the hardest work. The practice is a journey, and it’s my job to bring the practice to the world. So make yourself a fresh cuppa and pull up. I’ll share some things to think about, learn, and do. I’ll show you how to change yourself by changing your relationship to the world. BTW: I love tattoos and coffee. And I drop a lotta sci fi refs. Let’s boldly go to inner space.

Dillidallier: Skellies and Bones

Dillidallier is a mother-daughter team who like skulls, oogly eyes, and brightly colored things. They are Anastasia Wasko and The Mama. Dillidallier explores art-making as a transformative psychological process. Connection, disconnection, and life cycles are recurring themes.

The Mama (Pat Wasko) is based Kingston, NY, where she scavenges thrift stores, tag sales, and curbs for pieces of kitsch to corrupt. Anastasia is based online. The Mama does most of the crafting, and Anastasia does most of the concept drafting, photo- & story-making.

 

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Anastasia: I love bones. I love them because they carry our sacks of goopy organs and blood and shape the body, this wunnerful self-contained life unit. Bones hold up our physical shape, which gives us physical boundaries. I love the way the bones physically look, long or short and knobby and usually white—separate from the body system. I’m intrigued by the visual association of bones with death-things—bones are pieces that say nothing but “life” to me. But my experience of selling bone-themed pieces has only enforced a sense of a gaping hole, you know, a hole that leads to things-we-don’t-talk about. I want people to look at my mom’s skellies, the skeleton-re-painted figures, and be knee-jerked into contemplation about life via a visual of what we usually associate with death.

The Mama: I started making them a few years ago. I woke up one morning and just really needed to paint a gnome as a skeleton.

Anastasia: One warmish afternoon a few months after mom’s artistic super-impulse, I decided to take a long ride. I was in Kingston, in the Hudson Valley, New York. I turned off my GPS and just the car zoom south, zoom along route 52 through Pine Bush. I happened to pass by a large-ish farmhouse with a few concrete garden gnomes out front—they were unpainted and I was feeling daft enough to ask if he would sell me one—so I turned around, parked across the street, and went over to the front door to introduce myself. Turned out, the man who made them—Kentucky Bob, he said his name was—poured the molds his’self. He took me out behind the house, showed me his collection, his gnome séance, or, what he called the permanent arrangement of six gnomes in the garden; he said set them there, together, so they could talk to each other at night. I spent the afternoon listening to Bob’s stories and ideas. He sold me a gnome, too. The Mama was elated when I returned home and showed her. She named him “Darden,” the dead garden gnome.

 

Anastasia: And then the Mama couldn’t stop. She wanted more and was willing to branch out in forms. Most of the pieces the Mama uses for Dillidallier skellies are cheap, porcelain mass reproductions of mid-century and later kitsch—discarded or unwanted material made by machines, I just love that provenance.  Some are full skellies, some are havvies (part bone, part “normal”). I love that Dillidallier skellies are things, new life for dead-to-someone-else stuff. I often say that the skelly finds you, that is, it finds its home when the right person sees it and needs it. That person usually coughs up a very personal story for needing it; I’m fascinated by the ones I’ve heard. In other words, Dillidallier skellies are your friendly reminders to tell your stories.  

Fuck yes, bones!