More of this story is told on Book of Blue.
The Moon conjunct Mars: that was an intense night.
I was very happy to wake up to the light streaming into my studio. I didn’t remember that the Moon had just gone rolling over Mars until I looked at the chart this morning, and I understood a little better my experiences of the past eight hours: this mix of ripping fear, passion, sadness, loneliness and plenty of erotic energy.
After spending the past two days at a funeral for a 20-year-old who overdosed, I was in a pretty strange mood. It was cold, that is, too cold to feel like bundling up, warming up my car, and going home. The wind was howling past my windows. So I decided to lock the hatches and stay in my studio…and before I knew what was happening was creating these images that I had never seen. Very Mars-Moon-Pisces.
Then I started looking at the photos of Kaila’s funeral and could not believe the visual beauty that was pouring off of them, despite the obviously horrific nature of what happened, this stark quality they have. I will post a few of them later.
What I do like about funerals is that for the most part, they are get-real experiences. Not entirely so; but a community acts like a community, people express care for one another openly, and we get a window into how life might be on Earth if we took life seriously. Apparently actual death, in our faces, is one of the few things that temporarily snaps us out of the trance.
The other thing I noticed last night was feeling like I was psychically slimed by being in the presence of some of Kaila’s heroin people, who were at the wake and the funeral. There is a vibe of desperation that stuff has that erodes any possible ethics or morals. This is a drug that takes on a life of its own and I think acts as a kind of demonic possession. True, I have not spent a lot of time around cokeheads, but even cocaine seems more civilized than heroin (perhaps because it has a productive quality, to a point), which energetically resembles a fast tug into the underworld.
Her story resembles Persephone, the daughter of Demeter (in astrology, Ceres), who ends up kidnapped by Hades (in astrology, Pluto) and ends up the queen of the underworld. Kaila does indeed have a rough Ceres aspect: Mars conjunct Ceres, on the Aries Point. For the days of her funeral, the Sun was going right over those two points. This is the eternal grief of her mother, most of it public; the heart surgeries were indeed a public event and Kaila is a вЂ?famous personвЂ™ as a result of them вЂ” and now, as a result of her death.
Throughout KailaвЂ™s whole life, her mother, Tobi, was threatened with losing her: first to the multiple heart surgeries and then to a two-year spell of severe drug use, though it was on and off; so it was another one of those roller coasters. When I would see Tobi (usually when I was placing a classified at in Woodstock Times) she was as calm as she could be about it: calm, but edgy. Then one day I figured out what was really going on for her when she suggested that doing more photos with her daughter would be a good influence on her. You donвЂ™t usually think of a mom (even one youвЂ™ve known for a while) being totally encouraging and positive that an older guy should photograph her 20-year-old daughter nude. Then I got it.
I flashed to the most recent time I had visually seen Kaila вЂ” living in total squalor, in a house full of dogs and cats and garbage and wasted teenagers, stealing from one another and stoned into a semi-catatonic state, playing a video game with her boyfriend. I was there giving someone a ride вЂ” the friend of another model I work with, who was in a phase of going in and out of the local mental ward.
What happened to Kaila opens a window into another universe, one that (like most of the other universes) is all around us, closer than we want to think. Doing these photographs that I do, IвЂ™ve never had the chance to meet more young women in their late teens and early 20s. Then I started hearing about the guys they hang out with. Then I started hearing the stories of their lives.
Add this to naivetГ©, romanticism and having beenВ brought up in denial of their own power (this is the Say No generation weвЂ™re talking about here), itвЂ™s a real mess. Oh, I forgot to mention that most of the time, I can discern skills and many talents, but not the actual, connected desire to do something. That could serve as a bearing, providing some kind of inner guidance.
Kaila, for her part, was talking about going back to school. She was supposed to come visit her mom a week ago Sunday to take some photos for a project that Kaila was doing. Then the ex-boyfriend called her, and she went to hang out with him.