Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three Eagles and A Twisted Tree

Right in the midst of the peace I had been experiencing, a tsunami of chaos hit. It rushed over my life with a cadence that it becoming familiar.
Calm, peace, all is well, WHOOSH. Calm peace, all is well, WHOOSH.
Bowled over by a series of events, I called my dear friend trying to sort out it all out. (Let me just say, it helps tremendously to have someone who “gets” me,  sails with me across the waves, and does not judge me. Gratitude. <3)
Finally this morning I glimpsed some rhyme and reason to the anxiety brought on by the chaos and it lit up my twisting path, that had abruptly forked, helping me to see things better. 

My clarity focuses around three eagles and a dream.
The first eagle is the one I remembered when I awoke . My astute friend said to me yesterday, in my panic as I was swept into an uncharted course I felt unprepared for,

“Kellie you are soaring like an eagle.”
When she said it, it calmed me. To me an eagle represents a steadfast power that cannot be messed with, cannot be altered by paltry energies that attempt to get in its way.

photo by M. Mentrup
Then this morning, the eagle recollection summoned up a BIG dream that I had a year ago:
 I am in my backyard looking at my gardens. It is the end of summer and I have not once stepped into them to perform any kind of maintenance. This is uncharacteristic of me;  I fear it will cost me heavy labor to rectify.

 Accompanying me is an older, faceless woman with white hair. She is here to support me. I feel comforted by her presence, glad I won't have to tend to these neglected gardens alone.

I discover my rosebush, usually prolific and showy, is completely black. I realize it needs to be removed, it is dead, it must go, and there is not a lot of regret around it. I ask for help.

My helper reaches in, grabs a sturdy cane, and managing not to get injured by the pronounced thorns, gives one hefty tug. She removes the rose bush.

 I see its black roots, very sparse, dangling from the bottom of the bush. I realize the bush probably did not absorb enough water. We decide to toss it in the brook that runs behind my house. We go to the brook and I find we are standing above it. A fence separates us from the brook; the water below is rushing by very fast.

From my left I see a large tree coming down the brook. Its trunk is smooth and twisted, it has no bark, the tree’s exposed wood is light in color. Its branches and roots have been neatly sawed off by someone. I realize this rare gem could be a lovely piece of art.

 I think the older woman should retrieve it for her home. I envision it standing in the corner of her family room; what I see in my mind's eye is actually my own family room. I wonder how we will get this large tree out, it will be very heavy, and it is moving so quickly. I think of my husband's Subaru, is that the only vehicle that will hold it? I am not sure that vehicle is large enough. I feel panicked, the opportunity to seize the tree is moving by quickly. But the elder woman is not interested in the tree and she makes this known to me. She has no regret letting it float by.

 I am comforted by the wise woman’s inaction; I was not sure she and I together had the strength or the means to carry the “art”. I realize the idea that she was supposed to have it was an imposed one.

We return to my gardens and I assess them. I am in awe that they changed very little over the summer though I did not work in them.

The dead top layers of plants that had been touched by winter remain, and need to be pruned. However, no weeds grew or, took over as I had feared they might. The borders of the garden though needing a little care, have remained pretty well intact.

As it turns out, the rest has been good for me and my gardens are fine, it will not take a great deal of energy or effort to get them back in shape.

This dream continues to unfurl and brings me awareness in so many ways I have lost track. Some things cannot be tracked, I suppose, try as we may to memorize the sign posts along the way.
Then, another eagle came and reminded me, yet again, of the dream. It arrived at the brink of an emotional tsunami, and though I tried to hold them it at bay, it was rushing in fast and I felt I had no means to hold it back.

I was at yoga class and my teacher prodded me playfully, “Alright, Kellie, let’s go for Eagle.” Finding balance, we giggled. I shot back, “Because I am twisted.”

The image of the twisted, exposed, and limbless tree of my dream became apparent in that moment. 
Was I the tree?  
Contorted, rushing, cut off...

The third eagle came to me when the wave of the tsunami actually hit. WHOOSH! I stumbled and twirled and flipped as my unconscious mind trolled the dark undercurrent. No longer was I just on the surface.
While in the forest walking my familiar path, I tried to touch down as my mind flipped about madly. Amanda, an "Eagle" reporter, was on the other end of my phone asking me to reveal my process for making my art to her, for an article she was writing that would essentially be my coming out article as an artist. Happy for her interest, I found it hard to put into words, my process is an intimate one. It is a process I describe best when I say it is not linear, instead it spirals.
Jungian therapist, and author, Marion Woodman , describes her process similarly when she says, in her keynote speech, "Conscious Femininity" at the Women and Power Conference in 2004, hosted by Omega Institute,

"I’ve given up trying to use logic. I don’t think that way. I think with my heart. And so it goes in spirals."

She is a gifted crone and champion of the feminine spirit, the human soul.

I am not sure that I  succinctly summed up my process to the Eagle reporter. I still feel a bit unsteady; the ground has sprung open, rich and gaping, but it seems fertile with possibilities.