Flight

Well, I knew this day was coming.  My baby robins left the nest this week.  Today it is suddenly very quiet in my studio.  I did not realize how frequently I heard the babies chirp, chirp as Mom and Dad Robin flew in with a meal.  I found great joy in seeing the reaction of people as they walked down the street and noticed them so close to the sidewalk.  One evening a family watched for several minutes asking each other if they were “real”, and yes, “I think I saw one blink!”.  And  I found it facinating just how many people walked by oblivious to the miracle of nature just inches from their face, because they were too busy on their phone to notice.  On Monday the four little robins had gotten so big they barely fit in the nest and I knew the time was near.  I also could tell that Mom and Dad Robin knew it too.  They became pretty aggressive at “dive bombing” anyone who came too near or lingered for too long.  I was not in my studio when they took their first flights.  But I don’t believe the Mother Robin pushes them out of the nest.  No, they spent many days stretching and testing their wings.  They just finally got too big for the nest and had no other option but to fly.

I too am feeling a little like that.  Like my current nest doesn’t quite fit anymore.  So, what to do?  I just keep testing and spreading my wings.  When the time is right, I have faith,  I will be ready to FLY!  Enjoy this little video on my Facebook Page of my babies the day before they left me.  See it HERE.

And, I urge you to slow down, stop and enjoy the miracles of nature just inches from your face everyday.  It puts things in perspective and teaches lessons about life you just can’t learn on your computer and phone screens.  For a great way to learn how to do that I recommend my friend Sallie Wolf‘s book, “The Robin Makes A Laughing Sound, a birder’s journal”.  It has great lessons for watching, documenting and enjoying birds and the natural world around you.  Perfect for children (and adults!).

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The Robin Makes A Laughing Sound, by Sallie Wolf

 

 

 

Shame (Part 1)

Oh, Dear.  I may really be just about to step into “it” today.  But, here I go.  I intended this blog to be an honest insight into where I am in my head and heart.  And the last few weeks have led me to questioning our collective and personal “shame”.  So, what is it?  Why do we have it?  Does it still serve us?  If not, how to we rise above it?

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“Shame” a work in progress.

So, how did I get here?  Well, the last few weeks I have started a new piece for the She Said/He Said exhibit coming up a the Groshek Gallery in Chicago.  I had an inspiration to do a Tree of Knowledge/Adam & Eve/ Paradise piece.  It has caused me to explore my memories of my childhood Sunday school lessons regarding the origin story (myth?).  April has also been a month of reflecting on a turning point in my own relationships.  I don’t want this to get too “long and involved” but, I do want to share enough detail that this makes sense.  So, I’ll do my best.

So the story of Adam and Eve for me is about “shame”.  We learn shame very young and, I believe usually from our parents.  (Confession: I’m a parent, I know I’ve fallen into my shadow and used shaming to attempt to solicit the behavior I desire from my kids).

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Every book contains a lesson.

Last Saturday I went to see comedian, Jen Kirkman where I bought her new book, I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself.  As I was listening to the Prince soundtrack and waiting for her to come on-stage I started reading the introduction to her book.  She starts out with “Ugh, my parents are going to read this.”  (I know what she means!) She then goes on to quote another of my favorite funny people, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul).  He once said that people should make their art, whatever it is, “as though their parents were dead”.  And why is that?  I think it is because we worry about “shame”.  Not that we will cause our parent’s to be embarrassed by our work; but that they, our first source of “shame” will bring on that bad feeling within us again.  (Please Note:  I love my parents and don’t wish to cause them any embarrassment here or elsewhere nor do I wish they were dead, but when I stated I might “step in it” this is it. I just believe that we must rise above this concern for feeling shamed in order to “grow up and evolve”.

And how appropriate that only a few days after the death of the musician Prince while listening to his “Pussy Control” I was reading this book introduction and ruminating on “shame”.  Prince was a successful artist who by all outward appearances, rose above a concern for self-shame.  In fact by many recent reflections on his life his ability to be his true self and express his true artistry is greatly admired (and envied) by his fans and others.  And that is my point I guess.  Can we really do our best most creative work if we are in a place of shame?  And can we really bring to the world the healing and solutions needed if we are not creating from our highest, best self?

Well, I have gone on here for a bit, and while I have a lot more rolling around in my head and heart regarding the story of Eden, I think I will continue on another day.  You see the story of the Garden of Eden includes another figure,  Adam’s first “wife”, Lilith.  And she takes me on another “thread”.  So, rather than try to cover too much “ground”, you will have to wait for “that stitch in time” and for the rest of this story.  In the meantime consider the role of “shame” in your life.  Is it holding you back from being the highest, true-ist expression of your “self”.  What would you do if you didn’t fear (the feeling of) shame?

Please see Shame: Part 2 HERE

Warrior New Moon

The Warrior archetype is showing up all over the place for me. According to Jose and Lena Stevens of The Power Path School of Shamanism we all have the Warrior even if we have another over-riding personality or archetype. I am primarily of the “artist” archetype and often have a difficult time tapping into my inner warrior. The Power Path 2016 Trends forecast indicates that this year will have an energy of dominance and aggression. It could be very beneficial to utilize my inner warrior So, how do I reach my Warrior?

Well in late February I pulled the Tarot Card: II High Priestess and chose to work with it as inspiration for a mixed media sculptural art piece.  I had two 5th grade girls coming in after school and they wanted to work on sculpture boxes.   It is sometimes easiest to teach by example.  So, this was to be my example!  I like to work on process pieces that evolve over time answering some inner subconscious questions for me. (Learned through my time spent at Whispers from the Moon) This piece did just that.

I began my sculpture on an old blue box with the brand title “Crown” embossed upon its cover.  I created a tape and foil female figure with a long flowing skirt.  Each week she gathered more details.  Paint in violet and a red flowing skirt, beads, a “sea glass” face and jewels in her skirt.  Her hair was wild like vines with silver sparkles.  Her arms outstretched.  Yesterday I finished the box by collaging a magazine cutting that I had snipped and held in the box from the first day of the project.  “It’s a New Day!”  I then water-colored a sun-rising from the eastern edge of the box (This was inspired by Rebecka Eggers vision for over-coming the Domination System through the symbolism of the Great Eastern Sun of Chögyam Trungpa.)

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Last night I finished reading book that I started a few days ago, Coming Alive! Spirituality, Activism, & Living Passionately in the Age of Global Domination, by Rebecka Eggers.  (mentioned in yesterday’s post)  In the final chapter Egger’s states, “I want to address the aspects of the Passionate Warrior that are contained within the one who came to me.  Ishtar is inside of me. She is knocking around the edges of my being threatening to explode in a red-hot fountain of lava. Can you feel her too?”  Today I went to my trusty source Google, to find a comparison of Ishtar to the High Priestess.  I found this at the Tarot of EliThe Thoth- THE HIGH PRIESTESS.  The Tarot High Priestess ….represents the Supreme Mother, without her smiling mask, revealing a True face of cold yet beautiful countenance.  This “cold and beautiful continence is also known as Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna/Ananna), who is depicted on The Babylonian key 2 card. One of Her titles was Belit (demonized by the Christians) the feminine of Bel, meaning Lord. As does the Moon, which is the planet attributed to The High Priestess, she has her “light and Dark” sides.  Complex and of many roles,  Ishtar/ Inanna (Lady of Heaven), had Three distinct Functions (As does the Three Paths of the Upper Triangle of the Tree of Life).”

Yes, Ishtar has indeed come to me.  I can feel her.  My Ishtar has a face of polished glass, cold yet beautiful.  She has a skirt of Lava.  From the Tarot of Eli, “The Thoth High Priestess is shown with all veils  removed, all illusion is dispersed, and we must face the crystalline reality of our own absolute free will when facing her; a task not for the weak who fear mortality.”  Yesterday I also felt compelled to add the word “Crone” to the box.  In my mind the word Crone played off the existing word on the box “Crown”.  I believe you earn your crown as a crone!  And as the silver threads start to appear on my head I just smile and tell myself my crown is coming.  The Crone is also a female character who has aged out of the fertile years, she is a bit more androgynous.  The Tarot of Eli goes on to say, “the High Priestess is the Womb of Consciousness, but she is both Male and Female, much like a Hermaphrodite (Hermes-Aphrodite) that can impregnate itself.” 

Through synchronicity,  my dear friend, artist and writer, Sallie Wolf discussed her encounter with the Warrior at our March New Moon Meeting. (I am part of a small group of artists and writers who meet monthly to set our creative intentions, plan action steps and witness the progress for each other)  Sallie had felt some inner resistance when her yoga teacher had asked the class “what are you a warrior for”.  I’ll let you read her story HERE.

Today is the April New Moon.  I feel it is the Warrior New Moon.  It is also “a New Day” symbolized by the rising Great Eastern Sun.  Let us bring the Sun, the Stars and the Moon together, masculine and feminine, for a new Dawning.   My Warrior looks like the High Priestess, Ishtar.  I am a (Com)-Passionate Warrior for utilizing my talents and skills as a catalyst for Change through A Stitch In Time Saves.

Post-Script:  yes, the boxes that my students created turned out wonderful too.  See their finished creations at www.PamelaPenney.com.