ruby slippers and murky water
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."---Pablo Picasso on retreat this weekend i had a dream about an alligator on the shore of a muddy lake: she was trying to chomp at everyone who came near, and my reason for fear was that willow (my dog) was endangering herself by jumping out towards her and inviting the alligator to spar. i saved willow from a yellow-toothed death by yanking her collar and hauling her offshore. the alligator went back underwater and swam away, with a few people standing around wondering what had just happened. my first thoughts about the significance of alligator was that water represents femininity and motherhood. so many amphibians have come into my consciousness since miles was conceived. i wondered about some of the messages coming up for me in the company of the eight women. the strongest emotion took me a wee bit by surprise-i found myself working hard to understand how i am going to be a mother and also an artist. after i shared two paintings with part of the group, one of the women stated, "so...it can be done?". it was both a question and a declaration. i honestly didn't know, though i was clearly demonstrating that it could be. i absorbed what it was like to feel both roles functioning simultaneously. it was like trying on a comfy pair of old jeans with a pair of ruby encrusted slippers-it could work, but not something i would have gone out of the house wearing before. okay, maybe. i realize i am paving a path amongst my peers with my choice to be mommy and keep doing what i love, creating. plenty of women have done it, sure, but i don't know many of them personally. as per usual, i am not full of grace in the beginning of my new adventures. but like riding a bike, it should begin to flow without me thinking on it so much. as an aside, i looked up the alligator in my bible of animal totems, and found the words: "primal energies of birth, motherhood, and initiation" and "an opportunity [will begin] to unfold". on shadowy shores she bares her teeth inviting only those who dare meet her to do the dance of the murky water woman. word to ya motha.