Thought of the night…
One grand thought
in a handful of
carefully selected words?
One grand thought
in a handful of
carefully selected words?
When I struggle with really grasping a concept, really feeling its truth in my body, then I try to look at it from different and unusual angles. Usually I stumble onto something that helps me to understand.
In this case, I looked at it in two different ways:
I looked at the word.
And I looked at my environment.
Ab bound dance ab(away from) latin
Away from – being bound
Bound by what?
Bound by the spell of scarcity.
So dance away from the scarcity spell!
Long ago somebody told me that the phrase of ‘Good Riddance’ actually stems from an old tradition of dancing when something has left your life or you want to get rid of something: a good rid-dance.
So dancing to break the spell and bring abundance into your life and dancing to rid yourself of things that you do not want in your life anymore…
So let’s dance and keep dancing!
In German it is called Überfluss.
In a way it is very similar and gives additional clues.
In the flow.
Over flow – move flowing-ly. Dance. Water. Move.
I grew up in a desert environment.
Desert is THE epitome of scarcity.
Of death, starving, limits, dryness…
Of barely surviving.
Backing down to the barest minimum.
Now I am in a lusher environment.
With forests nearby.
Forests are THE epitome of abundant life.
Of life, growth, exuberance, lush-ness, humidity, flow.
So lets dance the forest…
I have to admit, that I have written this several weeks ago, and just found it yesterday and decided to finally share it. Mostly to try to cheer myself up, to rid myself from my fears, from the pain that is keeping my body from dancing and my soul from believing in abundance…
The following would be a truer depiction of my current state:
I guess sometimes, we need to entertain the words, thoughts and images of a more positive state of being to try to get us back into that state. 🙂
Wishing you a beautiful, overflowing and abundant weekend!
Many old traditions believed that a person is guided and protected by specific animals throughout their lives. Not only the American Indians had totem traditions, but all over the world people believed in the power of spirit animals.
Some of you might already know from my last blog post, I have been doing an online ‘Totemic Arts Apprenticeship’ course with the wonderful guide-ess and teacher Emelie Archer Pickett, discovering my totem animals and how to work with their lessons and ‘medicine’ in our lives. We cannot choose which animal will be our totem animal, they choose us, according to our life lessons which we need to learn.
Believe in totem animals or not, I really think that at least considering them and their messages in our lives can help us find alternative insights and solutions to problems and added wisdom. Long before I have heard about totem animals, I often looked at my cats and thought: what would they do in this situation? (Usually their advice was to lie in the sun, stretch and roll over occasionally, watch the birds and most importantly: stay calm – unless you are hungry, in which case you go eat and then return to the sunny spot – a huge life lesson for me!)
Ok, now I have found out that we have a foundational or main animal as totem, supported by a whole gang of 11 other animals. There are many different views about this, so just stick with me on this one.
During the course I found out that the peacock is a possible member of my gang, too. Sometimes we have resistance towards certain animals, or we wish for other animals that are not part of our totem make-up, ’cause they seem so impressive. So even though some of the teachings about the peacock resonated with me, I was not really convinced. Resonance to anything is usually a good sign that you are on the right path and to start further investigations.
Some weeks ago, I felt stuck in a certain situation in my life and I looked to my black leopard for help, but as usual the shy lady was withdrawing into her cave instead of coming out and being fierce (which is what I hoped for from my totem or power animal). But I learned that black leopards are pretty elusive and misunderstood… and well, they are the smallest of the large cats, so they might sometimes really be safer off in the cave or on a tree. (You can see a picture of her snoozing in her cave here)
Ok, I could not tempt her out of that cave and I had to go my own way. Which lead me past the communal rubbish yard. In the corner of these eyes I noticed a large frame in between the bins.
I just looooove old, discarded stuff like that. Cool stuff which one can possible re-use or recycle, and so I went for a closer look. It was an original oil painting of a peacock. The painting was in a perfect condition, just the frame was damaged on one corner. (At least it seemed that the leopard has lend me her eyes to easily spot the prey.)
A peacock… well, well – animals have strange ways to make themselves noticed in your life. And as an artist, I could never ignore a painting like this!
So I rescued the peacock and painting from the dumpsters and took it home, knowing I will now have no excuse to not look deeper into this totem animal. I also wanted to share my findings and excitement with the fellow tribe of people who are doing the course with me.
When I opened up our Facebook group’s page, the first thing I saw, was a picture of a peacock with the person who posted it saying: I just found out that my totem animal is a peacock – any other peacocks out there? And while I was writing about my experience, another person also shared that she found out the peacock is one of her totems. Three peacocks in one day… not bad. I just love considering this to be signs from the universe.
What is a peacock’s medicine you might want to know?
Here are some teachings: For one the peacock most resembles the descriptions of the phoenix, so it is considered a symbol of death and resurrection. The Peacock can also help you on your spiritual Path, and breath new life into your walk of faith and they can increase your self-esteem levels.
(Showing my true colours is the reason, why you suddenly get to read so much about totem animals and other magical stuff, visions or fun ideas from me.)
Because of the many ‘eyes’ on its tail it is connected to wisdom and vision – i.e. ‘seeing with a thousand eyes’.
You can connect to or use this animal medicine through meditating on the specific animal, wearing or surrounding yourself with images or objects of the animal or its colours, paint them or alternatively incorporate their lessons in whatever way makes you happy and feels right to you. There are no rules.
Even though most of the peacock lessons resonate with me, one stood out: the rebirth or phoenix aspect. Why? Since this bird (painting) got rescued from certain destruction, risen from the death and now has started a second life in our kitchen. A real phoenix!
Now he is playing with the other members of the gang, adding its strength and beauty to the mix. 😉
They are my hands.
Yes, I have killed several living beings in one go. Some would be proud of me. Some might smile. But I, I am in conflict.
Killing is wrong. We all know that. Yet, we go on killing in so many ways. Often not even thinking about it. Alternatively we differentiate between who and what may be killed for what reason. There are big issues like the illegal slaughtering of rhinos or trophy hunting that gets many people (including me) upset and protesting, but most of those protesting happily sit down and eat a steak. There is a difference most people seem to agree.
I realise that even if I am not a trophy hunter or rhino poacher, I am still senselessly killing many beings. And I wish I would not. So I am trying to at least minimize the damage, by becoming more and more conscious about when and where I am directly or indirectly killing.
Ever since I read the beautiful German poem ‘Die Mücke’ as a child, I had difficulties with killing mosquitos, but I still did. (I copied the poem below and updated the post with an English translation.) Some years ago I tried the approach of ‘making peace’ with them, and asking them to not bite me and I will not kill them. With limited success… on both sides.
But I did kill less and became better at ignoring them. This year there are so many, that ignoring them did not really work anymore.
Recently several of them made it into the mosquito net during the night and had a feast. In the morning they were all bulging red with our blood.
To appease them, I took photos of the crime scene, ie my hands. Making art about the conflicts ranging in my soul and mind is usually the best medicine, and often leads to surprising insights.
And to be fair to myself, I also took a photograph of my leg with, what seems like, hundreds of mossie bites. This made me think of star constellations. Maybe the mosquitos are from a different planet? Or their bite patterns form secret messages for us or for them? Something like: this persons blood is really yummy, you should try it too! Who knows? (I just love considering all different possibilities once my mind is set loose on a new mission. 😉 ) So I decided to work on this idea too.
While I was making the ‘Mosquito Constellation’ (below) I searched the internet for a picture of a mosquito to trace and found one on Conversations with Don Machinga and Other Beings – Musings from the Peruvian Amazon, in a post titled: Three Visits to the Mosquito Spirit King. What an interesting read!!! If you have a moment and are curious, pop over there to see what the Mosquito Spirit King is saying.
I will ponder on this for a while and try to refrain from killing those little buggers.
Mosquito Constellation by Imke Rust (Digitally manipulated photograph)
Wishing you all a beautiful week!
Albrecht Haushofer (1903-1945)
Ein leises Gesurr. Auf meine Hand
sinkt flügelschwirrend eine Mücke nieder,
ein Hauch von einem Leib, sechs zarte Glieder –
Wo kam sie her aus winterlichem Land?
Ein Rüssel … schlag ich zu? Mißgönn ich ihr
den Tropfen Blut, der solches Wesen nährt?
Den leichten Schmerz, den mir der Stich gewährt?
Sie handelt, wie sie muß. Bin ich ein Tier?
So stich nur zu, du kleine Flügelseele,
solang mein Blutgefäß dich nähren mag,
solang du sorgst um deinen kurzen Tag!
Stich zu, daß es dir nicht an Kräften fehle!
Wir sind ja beide, Mensch und Mücke, nichts
als kleine Schatten eines großen Lichts.
I have tried to translate the poem as best as I can. It might not be very elegant, but I hope you get the idea
Here it goes:
A soft buzz. On my hand
decents with whirring wings a mosquito,
a hint of a body, six delicate limbs –
Where did she come out of this wintry country?
A trunk … Will I hit? Do I begrudge her
the drop of blood that nourishes such a being?
The slight pain that the sting gives me?
She acts, as she must. Am I an animal?
So just sting, little winged soul,
as long as my blood vessel may nourish you,
as long as you care for your short days!
Sting, to that you have no lack of strength!
We’re both, human and mosquito, nothing
than a small shadow of a great light.
(Just as an explanation: In German the mosquito has a female article, so it could refer to a mosquito in general or a female mosquito. I decided to translate it in the form of a female mosquito, because that was easier and to me she is female. But I think he meant just ‘a’ mosquito.)
(c) Imke Rust
I took this photograph on a rainy day just a few days before the great floods in Meissen, Germany. The Elbe, the river running through Meissen was already filling up more and more at that time… Now large parts of the old city center are under water.
So I am posting this thinking of all the people who are affected by the great floods in Germany at the moment.
Bird of darkness, you are back again,
nesting forcefully in my crown.
Thrusting your claws into the depths of my heart.
Stubbornly refusing to be shooed away.
You spread out your wings
not to take flight,
but to cover everything under your gloom.
You stifle me.
pounding your angry beak against my head.
Oh, when will you leave my branches again?
Lift your heavy weight of me
and let the sun flow back into my emptiness?
And why have you chosen me
To make yourself at home?
Oh, when will you return to your own darkness
and give me space to breath?
(Sometimes I get overwhelmed by feelings of depression and on the advice of my friend and healing facilitator Jutta Dobler I decided to try and embrace the feeling instead of fighting it. And this is what came out of it – the text and a few days later I made the quick sketch while waiting for the dentist. I am no poet, but still thought I would like to share these scribbles with you.)
Text ©Imke Rust
There is something begging me
To give it a life.
Something it can relate to
So that it becomes part of our human world.
Again and again they urge me.
I know they need me.
I hear them calling, begging….
But often I am too busy with less important stuff.
Or too scared, doubting if I can do them justice,
Too scared of trusting the process….
But when I allow myself to follow their calling
Opening myself up to their wishes
Having enough faith to just get going
Having enough peace to listen to their soft voices
Speaking in no language known
Trusting what I do not understand
And following even the faintest notion,
Then they guide me softly, intensely
Telling me about the exact way
In which they would like to be made manifest.
I follow their instructions as best I can.
Sometimes we are finished after a few exciting moments
Sometimes they keep me waiting forever before each new step
Occasionally it seems so simple, so obvious
At other times it is a long struggle
But in the end we always agree.
Now they have a chance to meet you
Talk to you
If you care
To listen to their soft humming.
In a deep inner dialogue
I am standing in front of them.
Amazed and intrigued.
Grateful that I could help them to come to life in our reality
Giving them a shape to be recognized by
Or a line, a colour, a texture…
However much or little they need.
I am humbled to be their midwife.
Although they tell me many of their secrets
I still cannot grasp them,
Or fully understand their complexity…
Yet they are part of me.
They tell me all I need to know
and sometimes they tell me their names…
(Thoughts on how my artworks come into existence)