I’m attending a workshop today–well this afternoon and evening to be more accurate. A felting workshop offered by Jude Lally, friend and artist. A workshop for women. We will be creating shields. Our own shields. And as i write this, the idea of shield takes on a different meaning. Not “shield” as in protecting against something–but shield as in manifestation and expression of. Shield as in that which holds and represents our strengths. Shield as in essence. Figurative essence. There will be fire, tonight. It’s all very outside the arena of my normal activities. And I’m excited. Here are two links to Jude’s artwork.
As I’m writing this, I’m looking at a photo I took at Mesa Verde–Cliff Palace– many years ago. 1979 I believe. We had three weeks at the end of the summer to travel. Kids would have been 6 and 8. They are the two littlest people in the bottom left corner. I know them by their walk. Their legs and feet. How they move across the earth.
It was a camping vacation. A budgeted vacation whereby as a family we spent $5 a day for food. And it was, in the best sense of the word, a “trip.”
I’m looking now at these kivas in this picture of Cliff Palace. At the towers. All the structures that held life then and hold memories still. The pared down pure bone, skeletal essence. That which remains after everything else has been removed. It is beauty full. And impossible not to think of this as metaphor for our human lives. The awareness that at the core of each of us there is an immutable presence, a structure perhaps, and it is the one true thing.
So as I’m thinking about this, and imagining today’s workshop, I’m curious. There will be guided meditations. Sharing. I’m thinking it sounds like a vision quest of sorts. And then those visions will be felted into personal shields. And wondering what will arise. Yesterday morning, early morning, I started this:
not thinking what it was or where it was going. But now I’m seeing it. It’s a shield I think. Twelve sticks. Twelve ribs? The pared down essence of my bone self. My own Cliff Palace. Today I’ll be looking for the more figurative expression.