“Whether a woman is efficient or brilliant in spheres hitherto deemed masculine, or whether she remains in a traditionally feminine role, modern woman must discriminate and relate to the image of the spirit, while at the same time maintaining her roots in her basic feminine nature – that which receives, nourishes, and gives birth on all levels of being through her awareness of the earth and her ability to bring up the water of life from under the earth. All her true creativeness springs from this.” ~ Helen Luke
Lately, the pull of the power in my Hara is strong. When I read these words, the pull intensifies. The darkness grows. Some glimmer of knowing shines.
My real work. Down in. Deep down in. Where dark pools shimmer and eternal springs flow. There is a work here that is not work. Not the way we think of work. It is a returning to the deeper images and symbols that lie in the dark waiting to reveal.
I lie in my bed and feel the pull of the tide wanting to take me out to a place of no destination, no ideas, no thing. I can feel it is a place of deep life, before ideas. It is life prior to. I feel a bit like salmon, following this deep call to return to my spawning ground.
Images call to me from below. One is a single flower, with few petals, open to the light, and a single root, feathery and long, reaching down into. The image comes often. I stand in front of my easel, paints on one side still in their tubes, tubes still in the plastic bin that keeps them tidy, brushes circled up in the old spaghetti sauce jar I’ve had for decades just for the purpose of corralling my deep ache to paint. I stand in front of my easel with the image calling and I cannot let the horses out of the corral. My mind has reasons – reasons I do not note. I know the reasons are lies. I know they deceive. But the image is strong. Rising up out of deep water. Wanting to come into being. In its own way. A clear image. Pulsing. Rising up out of the deep water of my own existence.
There is so much that exists prior to the word. And the only way I can find my way to paint is to set the words down, to let go of their structure and supposed definitions. For they are only symbols, too; nothing other than symbols for this experience of life that is ultimately only deep water images finding their way to the surface, reflected onto an existence no one can name.
I will go and stand again in front of my easel, this image before me. What I no longer want to do is impose myself onto this image, forcing it into some idea of what I think it should be. I’ve done that most of my life – except for the early years before I learned about ideas and control. The early years when I simply painted what wanted to come.
I am learning to open to the symbolic realm. I am not good at it. I’m used to trying to understand with my mind rather than letting the symbol itself guide me. But, I want to learn again how to offer myself to this image. The flower wants to come. Only these hands and this heart can bring it to life.
Writing Raw, my six-week circle for women, begins tomorrow. We are going to dive into this place of no thing, this place that is before. At least we will lead ourselves there.
It’s a beautiful experience of learning to listen to the world within, trusting what you hear, and bringing it out into the world.