Friday, April 8, 2011

Still Flowing


My art work Flow (aka Sophia) is complete. She manifested after having a part in two dreams. In one dream, a gaping river of flowing apples opened up beneath my feet after an upset, where walls came toppling down. In the other, there was a wise woman, a rushing river and a twisted tree with its limbs and roots lopped off. You can see this piece of art contains these themes and more.

She now resides in my living room. It is my hope she will become part of an art show one day, where she, and other goddess pieces, will join together.

Sophia was created originally for a specific show to raise funds for midwives at Edna Hospital in Somaliland, Africa. The criteria for the show was the art creations were to contain "themes of female empowerment and celebration of women in general." You will find these themes in the work, there is a lot in there to see. 

I enjoyed making the piece, it really flowed, as you might say, but she didn't get into the show. I knew that if it did not get accepted into the show, it would be a sign that I am to create my portfolio of goddesses and display them at my own show. Up until now, most of the pieces of art I have created have either been donated or sold, so in a way it is a treat to actually have a piece of my art on hand to admire for a while. I don't think I would have been nearly so happy to have her stay here, instead of her intended place, had I not made up my mind to "go with the flow" while I was creating her.

As I was putting the finishing touches on her, shattered porcelain pieces from my great grandmother's heirloom china set,  I recalled this dream:

I am in my grandma's bedroom. I am looking for artifacts of hers that might tell me something, hold a clue to my life. The room is vacant, the walls are white porcelain. Within the white porcelain are little ceramic faces of children. Many are broken off, they are in a row. I wonder if I can extricate them. As I come around to the wall where her bureau and mirror used to be, I rise to the top of the wall way up high and find a ceramic fountain, again white porcelain, but with some flowers in the pattern, it is old and has not been used in years. It reminds me of old tea cups. I look in the drain and see some old wood inside, as if it is the internal structure. I expect to see something living in it. From the back of the fountain comes a gleaming sliver snake, the size of a garter snake. I turn to leave the fountain,walking down a wooden ramp, and discover a middle-aged woman who has died and realize it is up to me to resurrect her.
So I added this snake skin, gifted to me by a garter snake who left it behind in my garden wall one summer.
The dream holds many layers of messages for me. But as I read it again, nine months after having it, it also speaks to me of the broken children of Somaliland, a very poor country where there is a very high infant mortaility rate. The dried up fountain reminds me of an inadequate water supply and the dead middle-aged woman reminds me that the average adult age of death in that impoverished African country is 47 years, middle-aged to us. The fact that it is up to me to resurrect the woman, speaks to me of my piece of art that was to be devoted to this cause, but also the importance of creating. The fact that my piece will not be part of the show has me confused, but I am determined to ride the waves of what is meant to be. There must be a greater reason that I am meant to discover.

The artwork, Flow, and this resurrection dream, have me reflecting more on the nature of going with the flow. I realize sometimes that is very hard to do. It is in our nature to want to have control over things. Relinquishing control and releasing our will to a greater force can sometimes feel like a slippery slope, where we are not sure we can find our footing.

And yet there is such serenity in letting go and moving with the current.

Sometimes we get caught up in the pressures of things, and life can feel scary or intense.

When we are lucky, some of life's happiest times are frozen in time, if for a little while.

But change is always around the bend and we must give in to it in order to live peacefully.

Sometimes we feel on edge, or maybe we are just on the brink of something larger than we realize.

We are all part of a something bigger than ourselves, and when we willingly give our strength to a greater force, ironically, we find we become stronger.