i read this book last january. it was also during the time i took my first ever online class, drawing and painting portraits with misty mawn.
click on image to go to amazon
it's a fictional recount of the life of phillis wheatley. i was so moved by her story, that i was inspired to portray her likeness for my first ever portrait drawing.. which wasn't a very successful attempt, but it started the journey that i'm currently on, so for that reason i'm exceptionally fond of it.
what brought this thing full circle for me was when we visited boston. phillis' old stomping grounds. i had forgotten about that. and lo and behold this is what i ran into on one of our walks in the back bay area, imagine my delight
and it's this poem, On being brought from A F R I C A to A M E R I CA ...
'T WAS mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew,
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic die."
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
....that really gets me when i read it. what i wonder is... did phillis write what they wanted to hear because she knew she was being treated and held like a pet who does tricks. survival mode. renounce my origin. say what they want to hear. or did she believe it? i like to think she was being facetious and fully aware of the game she was playing.
(image taken from google HAWK search - author unknown)
through the guidance one very incredibly talented wise woman and her guidance in her soulodge, i've become AWARE of my animal totem. it's been the most interesting thing i've yet ever discovered. so much more learning to do, and hoping to take her fall online course to further delve into the world of animal spirit guides. here's how it all unfolded, between us:
Pixie, i really need your feedback, cause i'm feeling kinda crazy at the moment!!
i went into journey last night, and i'm in shock with what i came out with. a good shock. it was exhilerating. i just wanted to thank you for this experience, and at the same time i think i need some consolation that i am indeed not going crazy.... lol.
i just wanted to share a little bit of what i experienced... my totem is HAWK. it's HAWK. it was the only one to come to me. it was like it was waiting for me... patiently waiting... and funny thing is, i live in toronto canada, and i don't even think we have any hawks in the city. i don't know what a hawk looks like nor have i ever seen one in real life (that i know of). and what astounds me is that i immediately knew it was HAWK, and not eagle, or falcon, or whatever. it was HAWK. could it be?
what was even more incredible, was i became HAWK even before he presented himself to me. i was in my 'forest', my happy place by the fairy tree, and i went into the little opening in the tree, and found myself in blackness. wasn't sure where i was or what i was going to see.. when all of a sudden i could feel myself floating in the air. it startled me at first. but i kept on and before i knew it, i was up in the sky looking down into a beautiful wide open field of yellow wild flowers.. i was HAWK, i had wings and i was flying, and i had taloned feet. i then landed and was me again, and that's when HAWK appeared from above. watching me. and then flew off and i followed him with my eyes until i couldn't see him anymore. i wandered a bit not sure of what to do with myself, when HAWK came back and beckoned me with his eyes to follow him. he had these reddish/brown sparkling eyes. i followed and again it was like i went through to another portal, and this time i found myself in a very desolate, dry, windy, barren desert. the earth below me was dry and cracked, void of any life. the wind was howling and blowing wildly. i was naked. bare naked. all i could do was get down onto the ground. i found myself in a fetal position. not scared. not hurt. not anything. i just was. surrendering. HAWK was above me circling and circling and circling in the sky watching, protecting me.
ok. now that you think (and frankly i think) that i've gone completely crazy.
next thing i know i'm following HAWK back through the portal. i swear he was smiling. i swear it was like he was saying, 'it's about time', and led me back to the portal, back to my fairy house in the tree, back to the woods, and ultimately back to myself.
how did i manage to conjure all that up? am i just making this up? is it real? what do i do with this now? i feel excited, yet i must admit i think i'm feeling like 'ok, i am crazy, what am i doing?'
i guess i need to do this again, and see what happens. if HAWK comes back to me. gawd. i'd love your feedback if you have time.. and damn so wish i had talked to you at squam. but i guess i was feeling a little shy and awkward.
Ha ha! I'm laughing and crying and covered in goosebumps! I will write in depth later. My darling, you are NOT crazy. You are in touch with your primitive "all that is". I am so happy for you! It's like giving birth to yourself, isn't it?!
Warmly and more soon,
pixie! i'm crying just reading your message. giving birth to myself. holy c**&&^!
i've never felt so 'awake' in all my life.
funny thing, now that i think about it. the whole time i was at squam, and during my wanderings in the woods, my eyes and head were always looking up. like i was looking for something. i even used my iphone and video taped up to the sky and up towards the trees. and what's giving me the chills as i type this, i did hear one very loud 'rwaaaa', don't know if it was a HAWK since i've never heard one. but i now know it was.
thank you wise woman xoxx, you don't know HOW MUCH this means to me.
elisa: "mommy, when i grow up i want to be an artist like you"
me: "baby girl, you already are an artist"
i was reading this very powerful manifesto that really resonated with me, from a very talented and spiritual squammie sister, and it just gave me goosebumps all over when i read this particular piece:
"i have faith that my creative babies know how to birth themselves, that i am the carrier and the nurturer, but ultimately they have a life of their own to live, and i must give it to them"
it only took me almost 35 years to finally figure out what it is i truly want to be doing with my life. i vow to help nurture and listen to my creative babies and act as a vehicle to help them birth themselves and their own purpose in life.
sky, air, soar, transformations both inside and out
earth, roots, grounded, reality, responsibility
infatuation with bird, and his song
the sky, the head, the heart, and earth
daily affirmation. i know i am. i know i am...
reminders, messages, uniting with 'all that is'
a space for my viewers to add some journal love of their own
ideas, dreams, visions, messages coming at a dizzying pace
if you squint, perhaps you'll find her
a hummingbird: legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. the hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.
here's my little sketchbook that will be included in the tour:
back cover front cover 5.25 W by 7.25 H 100% recycled paper 70lb text stock 32 pages
since i've been super inspired since coming home from Squam Art Workshops, i've revisited my sketchbook last night and lost myself for a good two hours or so just filling it up. it was good solitude time. dom was out for his usual long walk; the kids were quietly reading their books and samson was curled up on his blanket in his usual spot just outside my room door.
i could hear the whispers of xavier sounding out his words; elisa's quiet ramblings of making up her own little story guided by the pictures; and samson's occasional yawn and the licking of his paws. this is the kind of solitude i love. the solitude of being together, yet in our very own quiet little worlds.
i will post a few of my favorite (work in progress) pages thus far :
if you'd like to participate, you still have time to sign up. the deadline is October 31st. so go ahead. what c'ya waiting for!!
thanks to http://craftside.typepad.com/ we got these little journals free at squam upon our arrival. front and back covers have images from misty mawn's book 'unfurling'. and how fitting for my adventure. here is a little sampling of what i did with mine. i call it art journaling, guerrila style.
altered cover with b/w photo and various word art
'P' made from a twisty twig i found outside the cabin for our handlettering class with penelope dulligan
photocopies of photos and then transferred onto clear tape, using clear shelf lining. yup, cool technique, thanks to sarah ahearn bellemare.
handmade tag from my 'bum skirt' purchased at vendor night from emily falconbridge
more b/w photos. clear packing tape on top of photo. lots and lots of packing tape on top of everything. my new obsession. and a favorite quote, 'you must give birth to your images. they are the future waiting to be born -- rilke
vintage playing cards used as breakfast, lunch and dinner passes. love it. and some bark from outside my door, and some wall paper i was able to get 'free'...
i kept all the business cards and collected them in this journal. and even some email correspondence tucked away in little glassine envelopes for posterity. and washi tape. lots of washi tape.
more business cards. more b/w photos. more washi tape.
the poem read to us by elizabeth on the last day... and the dining lounge where lots and lots of conversations and meetings happened.
the magic of the first night in the longhouse. found me tucked away in a cozy rocking chair stunned and in awe of where i actually was. more word art that describes some of my emotions.
ah. sommers. i miss thee
another glassine envelope with a pretty yellow flower/weed that i found outside tucked away for good, and a sticker from a store in town, 'the comman man', where we went on saturday afternoon. my name tag and some notes from new found friends.