Thursday, August 19, 2010
I love to bead and I love aboriginal art. I appreciate the notion that my creativity can be the expression of nature and the stars moving through me. In aboriginal culture the idea behind creativity is to be able to touch the experience of Creation and Creator. It encompasses the awareness that we have of ourselves, our environment whether it be nature, the stars or our human world.
When I create I fall into an introspective trance; which allows me to float in a state of pure potential. Time seems to move at a quicker pace when I’m in this reality and it suddenly feels like everything is possible. I have this strong impression of being in tuned when I’m in creative mode. I can honestly say that my journey of creativity brought me to understand what God/Goddess medicine means and offered me the experience of omniscience and omnipotence.
Creativity from my perspective is actually a process and can also be a journey. At first when I started doing crafts, I remember disliking the silence. It was almost oppressive. My thoughts would get tangled up in dark spots and all that circled my mind were old, painful memories, daily tensions, and unresolved issues. I started noticing that with the conflicting thoughts also came more knots and lots of mistakes. So many projects ended up in the wastebasket just because I couldn’t let go my limited, linear thinking. Learning to be more patient, more attentive and more committed to my work was part of the discipline. With time I came to understand that the slow and steady development of any kind of crafty skill is helpful to bringing balance, wholeness and wellness to life.
Recently I had the pleasure to speak to two MicMac women who were on the pow-wow circuit. They were mother/daughter partners who had a tent and table where they sold all kinds of crafts that were made out of sweet grass. They also sold sweet grass braids. They were two beautiful women who were humbly forthcoming with stories and information concerning their craft.
“Always wet the sweet grass before working with it,” explained the younger woman while holding delicately one of the braids between her fingers, “this way it won’t break or mold later on.”
Behind her sitting on a lawn chair was an elder lady, her mother, who spoke the traditional Mic Mac language. It was great to watch these ladies basically chat at the same time, in two different languages; both eager to answer my questions and share their stories. At some point I was just waiting for the translation with keen curiosity. The young woman lastly said: “It’s like anything in life. You have to wet it to bring forth the perfume, the experience and the lesson.” It helped me remember all those times where I needed to cry to be able to reason out why some experiences were so painful and to understand what they were helping me learn and change in my life.
Lots of aboriginal artists see their artistry as a kind of cultural or spiritual attitude. When I learnt to do beaded rosettes I was dealing with chronic kidney infections. I had lots of time on my hands and I absolutely wanted to stop wasting time worrying. I could have chosen to learn how to do peyote beading for example; but NO! – what came to me in a dream was a beaded rosette. When I asked around to find a teacher I was told by a friend who learnt every aboriginal stitch out there before she was 10 years old that rosettes were traditionally done when people were ill. It was said that the symbol that was intuitively stitched with the help of beads expressed the experience of a particular illness. When the rosette was finished it was usually given to the healer who helped cure the disease. The rosette would protect the healer from the disease it represented. I was so impressed and moved by the story behind beaded rosettes that I decided to not only learn to make them; but also get to know the different symbols and the diseases they speak of. I’m someone who suffers with chronic disease and the idea of giving form to my experience; sharing it in beauty; and giving it a purpose is priceless to me. I’ve given my rosettes to caregivers, nurses, medical doctors and people who have supported me in my journey with illness. I’ve also been petitioned to make rosettes for people who struggle with disease. Making rosettes for me is a profound experience.
I thought it would be great to share some of my artistic projects with you and at the same time give you some interesting information on how they connect to Spirituality and the Sacred Circle Tradition. I do hope you like the pictures and the crafts.
Also I’ve been collecting some of your ideas for blog entries. Thank you to everyone who sent me messages. Keep them coming. I do plan to cover many of your suggestions.