Well, this came fast and furious.
Inspired by a guided meditation as part of my beloved Treesisters and this image became so clear to me I had to have a go at drawing it out!
Seems to fit, too, with my new series committed to ‘Giving the Earth a Voice.’
Below I include an edited version of my written response.
Response to November, Beaver Moon, call.
(working from my notes)
“It felt like I’d had a good , good day as I found myself ready and clear to join you all this month of #Belong. I had finished a piece that had been causing me some trouble and the family was catered for…I had peace. I’d done it, not always easy. Yay!
Happy about the coming of rain to California. Felt relaxed and could viscerally smell that rain ….such gratitude.
Breathing and sinking in. Very aware of whole self and HEAT. So hot, especially my hands again.
I became uncomfortable and tears pricked when asked to receive others gratitude. I am constantly in a state of gratitude these days,so reciprocally, constantly in giving mode, so much to give in return for life! But deep down I know that the act of grateful receiving is an act of giving in itself. I have to work on this. Truth is I feel I need nothing. I am someone whose fierce, learned, self sufficiency led, eventually, to a complete lack of expectation….expecting nothing and generally, through my life choices, not used to being asked to receive. It takes a kind of practise that I simply do not often get! Getting pretty expert at giving to myself, though rather embarrassed to admit that! I HAD to learn this long ago….which I guess is the root of where the tears are coming from….
Then, unexpectedly and quite absolutely, I became a BEAR!
I am no stranger to BEAR, but that was not called or in my psyche in this moment.
I WAS BELONGING THE WAY A BEAR BELONGS.
A HUGE BEAR OF BELONGING!
Feeling every hair and pad and claw and tooth. Could feelmyself sitting like a bear, the way their legs fall open when they sit. Very grounded. Solid. ‘Saw’ my own eyes morph into the eyes of a great, grizzly, bear. My muzzle twitch. Feeling that power and strength in my entire body and yes, such profound belonging in this forest.
Sometimes I became a small human nestling and cuddling into bear’s soft tummy like a cub.
Sudden images of a human egg, nestling in a womb lining.
So soft. So comforted.
Then BEAR again. Yawning big bear yawns. Stuck my longtongue in a bee hive and felt the delicious honey dribbling down my fur. Tasted so good. Needed nothing more than this, and a few berries, fish and other omnivorous snacks to sustain me. Not much of a giver in other than simply being bear….
Creeping awareness that I could become any creature I chose….but BEAR is where I am at.
Then I was outside and watching as the huge grizzly stood and slowly, on all fours, stepped back into the forest…she stopped and looked back and me…we locked eyes and there was a powerful exchange.
While I was bear, bear was also me.
I watched as the bear’s huge, powerful hind quarters as she sashayed into the shadows. Such power in that rump.
Found myself feeling the loss of habitat vividly as bear experiences it. Her fear and lack of understanding of our human ways.
Somehow the need of BEAR to try and understand her own connection with me.
I experienced the relief of feeling her forgiveness as she assimilated that I, also, am innocent of these wider crimes. That so much is done against my will. That I would rather live in harmony with her.
And as the tent grew around us again I had a very strong image of a BEAR holding a candle in its paws and praying with us all.
Woah….tears coming again as I transcribe this simple story…
Big Love As Ever to all who walk this Earth in gratitude x”
This work was done in a straight 5 hour intense, all consuming, ‘sitting’. It under went so many extreme transformations I thought it might be interesting to some if I include Bear’s Journey here!?
I am very happy with this piece.
I love the way there is an emotion in the bear’s eyes that I cannot quite place. Is this me as ‘bear’ praying or is it ‘bear’ as human praying? I was intending on putting a burning forest skyline behind this or in ‘her’ eyes….but on completion felt this was unnecessary.
I am normally drawn to working in line and monochrome, but from somewhere deep in a forgotten drawer my old pastels found their way into my hands! I worked as a pavement artist for many years in my 20’s and I was surprised how much fun it still was.
My studio and feet were covered in pastel dust after though and I am still getting it out the carpet and my ears!