The inspiration for this series came from a recent time when I was challenged to confront old emotional patterns.
I found myself in the grip of a palpable fear; almost unable to face the situation that was scaring me. There was a degree of self-assurance and personal power that I needed but didn't have immediately at hand. I was astonished to realize that the situation called for courage in ways I had never contemplated before.
It required a lot of deep breathing and hours of looking within to overcome old responses. It seemed hard to grasp cause and effect. There were times when the way forward was very unclear, and I doubted that I could move past my difficulties. I would get glimpses of understanding, and then they would seem to disappear.
Ultimately, I was able to come away feeling stronger. But the process caused me to observe myself as never before, which took me into a new area of art development. How could I translate what I had been through into a format I could share? I began to wonder about Courage as a progression of concepts, and if I could translate the components into images.
What emotional tools were necessary for personal bravery? How was I able to use what I discovered about my past to help myself in the current moment? I pondered how Courage could help me grow and the root instances where it is nurtured and developed.
I started with the idea of emotional support. What was necessary to bring myself to a place where I felt strong? Where did my center feel most solid? What brought me solace and a strong sense of self? I had some ideas about what I wanted to say, but how could I convey them with images alone? This is always where my talisman work takes me, to queries about how to represent our inner journeys with visual symbols.
I worked on conceptual drawings for several months, allowing myself different ways to express what I was feeling. As I did so, the ideas became stronger, more developed and refined. A pattern of imagery was emerging, and I let myself run with the ideas.
Eventually, I came up with more than two dozen variations on the theme of Courage, and these will form the basis for work to come in 2020.
As always though, my intent and the reality of time doesn't always match up. This winter season of 2019, I was able to complete six pieces in the first part of the series. I hope they resonate with you.
The first one that I was able to finish and photograph is "Resource"
Resource is the literal expression of available energy, whose symbol could be a river. Whether it is a lively waterfall over a rocky edge, or a quiet eddy in midstream, it feels as if the supply of water will always be available; the essence of support for all living things.
The rushing excitement of a waterfall is a powerful symbol of this element's most energetic phase. It seems as if our own joy in life is echoed in water's hypnotic journey from the sky to the ocean. In this pendant the active vitality is shown as burst of spray along the rocks and the dancing waves at the waterfall's base.
The continual flow of water from one height to another appears so abundant that it is possible to lose sight of the river's origin, which builds up slowly, one drop at a time. The opposite side of this pendant is meant to remind us of the gentle process; the renewal of water as rain gathering in pools. It replenishes the source, beginning the cycle once again. Rain brings the possibility of relief for resources that have diminished. It can aid us in recovery from whatever dry spell we are experiencing.
Yet even a hard rain can take many months to fill a cistern. We have such a need for energy and abundance in our modern life flow, we forget that its outpouring needs careful regulation. Conserving what we have stored can be challenging, and replenishing our Resources can take time.
Wear this piece to be in tune with your own energy, available in all its forms; be it sparing or abundant. Recall the thoughtful attention needed to care for your Resources so they are available when you need them most. Revel in your power; yet remember to refresh the quiet places in your soul.