I have been feeling this looming sense of obligation to my monthly quota of posts, but nothing is really calling to me. So, like the morning pages ritual, I'll just begin...
I have spent a lot of spring break in solitude or engaged in social play with my most treasured peeps. I have had time to wander, rest, sit with myself, read for pleasure, watch entire movies, model for a photo shoot and still carve out substantial creative time. It is glorious. The tension that typically resides in my shoulders melted away, the aggravation in my stomach subsided, and the crick in my neck-back released. I have been writing poetry and morning pages, letting my computer-face hibernate. And willingly.
But as the saying goes "all good things must end"...
So now I am warding off this penetrating persistent irritability with everything. I crave spring weather (where IS it?), I'm itching to travel and feeling stuck right here. I need an adventure, some spontaneity, a bit of fresh stimuli for my artist-self. My soul wants to believe that life can feel like spring break; that spring break doesn't have to be just a little glimpse of bliss we cling onto until our fingers cramp and we fall back into reality and then mourn its passing and try to climb up, up to that apex where we can see the "break" and wait for it to roll around again. My soul needs to believe that the bulk of life can resemble the gratification and contentment that coincides with [my] spring break. The percentage of enjoyable days versus challenging ones should be inversely proportional to the way I experience them now. But maybe it is just my frame of mind that leaves me trapped...
Regardless, I think I am undergoing this growth spurt of psychic proportions- growing more like an elephant in size- Ganeshian- crammed behind a tiny desk in a tiny windowless room too small for my epic proportion, eating snacks all day and glazed over by this bright white screen, hum.
|daydreaming elephant sketch, March 2011 (soon to become a painting!)|
Along with growth come the growing pains, the irritability and the agitation of shifting, of accepting something new and unknown. I am trying to take it all in and then let it rest within me; trying to acknowledge the input, the awareness, the sense of aggravation and make sense of it all as best I can.
|winnowing, 2009. print for Air Exchange- Four Oceans Press|
Suddenly as I write this, having had no direction for the content of this post as I began typing away, it hits me: I need to own and share the story of Ganesh and accept the elephant as my totem. It seems to be choosing me after all....
|sketch for totem, December 2010|
Ganesh: In Hindu myth, Ganesh was born of Shiva and Parvathi, the divine couple who lived atop the snowy mountain called Kailash. Lord Shiva went away to war, leaving his beloved wife alone. Parvathi decided that to protect herself she would birth a son to guard the door to her palace home (goddesses have the power to do this). Parvathi created him from mud or soap or turmeric paste. She gave strict instructions to Ganesh to allow no one to enter without her consent, and retreated to have a bath.
Eventually Shiva returned from war to his home on the mountain and as he tried to enter the house, Ganesha stopped him. Shiva was infuriated at this strange little boy who dared to challenge him. He told Ganesh that he was Parvati's husband, and demanded that Ganesh let him go in. But Ganesh would not hear any person's word other than his dear mother's. Shiva got angry and impatient and cut off the boy's head. Parvathi, upon seeing this, was saddened and infuriated, and she demanded that Shiva take the head from the first living thing he saw to replace her poor son's head. The first thing he came across was an elephant.
Ganesh is said to be the 'remover of all obstacles' , the Lord of Beginnings, but also the obstacle itself. This dual nature suggests a specific way of viewing obstacles: as having a purpose to lead one to a greater____(insert awareness, understanding, freedom from something...new beginning). According to some interpretations of the story, the decapitation of the stubborn boy's head symbolizes the loss of the limited individual egotistical mind- "the murky cloud of the ego", and the elephant head symbolizes the true self, or the 'universal ego' of connectedness; a Universal Self. Through the severing of the individual ego and the attainment of Universal ego, one is renewed and better able to serve "creation" (i.e. creativity). The ego certainly is an obstacle, and the understanding of (i.e. removal of) this trait is freeing. Hence Ganesha's is both the obstacle and the remover of obstacle.
|sketch for "Ganesh", completed today 4/5/11|