Friday, June 1, 2012

Pirate Friday

A few years ago, I was blessed to embark on an experience that changed my life completely. I attended a School of the Sea, Piratical art retreat hosted and taught by now dear friends, Lou Ann Granger and Juliana Coles. At the southernmost point of Florida, I met my soul sisters Captain Morgan La Fey, First Mate Falcon La Grange, Fearless Iron Gem, Pinky La Rouge, and Juana La Loca. We lost Juana La Loca only a few months later, and Alvida Black Viper joined our crew and filled a void that was so deeply felt. These women are my Brethren, know me, and just get it. It was at this retreat that I recognized that I was an artist who had abandoned her art, and not long after that, I accepted my fate and left my day job to figure it all out. I am Quartermaster Jessie Starling, the namesake of this blog where I helm me ship and sail open waters.

I am a pirate, it's true. A pirate for love, life, and art. It is possible that my love of all things pirate and of the sea would wane after that trip in 2009, but as the friendships and artwork grow deeper, so does my pirate soul. The extension of this is of course, pirate art and a healthy obsession with all things skallywag. I stumbled upon a blog that celebrates Pirate Fridays with piratical blog posts. In true pirate form, I decided to commandeer the idea for me own!

Here are some new journal pages, the first is about the Devil Whale. Pirates are lured to it and embark upon it thinking it is an island. Once they realize their mistake, the Devil Whale takes them down. This got me thinking about being capsized, and the truth is, sometimes we have to sink in order to sail. Sometimes the pieces of our life that just don't work anymore have gotta go. It is hard to let go of those parts of ourselves, we feel stripped bare, but it is the only way to grow and move forward. As in life, one thing lead to another, and the Devil Whale lead me to the next page. I have realized that I have been the rock in so many of my relationships. The calm grounding force. It is who I am, but not all that I am. This last year and a half journey through pain, and change, and health questions has been a trip through stormy seas. I have only recently gleaned any clarity, and am learning so much about myself. I can see now that things had to fall apart, I had to be forced to let go. My whole life I have wanted to be freer, to surrender. I just didn't realize that sometimes something has to happen to get you there. Iv'e really had to learn how to say no, and to teach myself how to ask for help and to surrender to the helping. I have also seen that you can be reaching out, without the proper words, and people still miss it. So where words have often failed me and walls have served better, I am trying to let the guard down and speak the truth more. How can anyone know you, your brightness or your pain, if you are unwilling to share your truth.

Needless to say, this comes after what feels like a long muddled time of questions, confusion, and searching. Sometimes my pages have more wisdom than I do. Sometimes the answers are lost until you can read the clues. Sometimes it's about so much more than just liking pirates.

"The only way out is through."


  1. Amazing haunting and gorgeous like my Quartermaster...I am so honored to be your sister of the Sea and I will sail the seas forevermore till I find the Key to everything and it always is in the next page...
    Pinky La Rouge
    the Pinkiest of Pinks

  2. Always on the next pages, so true. You touch my pirate soul, Pinky la Rouge.