Recently I have been thinking about how to get ahead. Not "ahead" financially - but emotionally and in my art practice. I frequently look to nature for inspiration . . . usually that would mean the trees, the ocean, the clouds and, always, earth's rocks.
But today my inspiration is the lowly and 'slow-LY' TURTLE.
According to www.animaltotem.com, having a turtle totem has the following inclinations: "Turtle teaches us to be careful in new situations and to be patient in reaching our goals. Turtle also teaches us to take things slow, for it gives us time to figure out if we need to protect our self or forge ahead. Turtle shows up in our lives when we need to go into [our] shell and wait until our thoughts & ideas are ready to be expressed. He also teaches us to be adaptable to our environment so we can find the harmony within it."
I think the most important attribute I am working on right now is patience. I want to run down the studio stairs and immerse myself in making art - I guess that art space is my shell in a sense. I can truly block out the entire world while I am lost down there. Yes, it is a true protection . . . but I also might miss something important or meaningful.
So we come full circle (woot, there is a turtle analogy), to audacity. That turtle needs a whole hunk of it to stick his neck out (this is the most dangerous time for the turtle) to get anywhere. Can you imagine not only having to risk your very LIFE if you headed out on a journey/goal, but that you had to drag your entire shell/house/studio/life WITH you!!!??????
Today TURTLE has taught me many things . . . the importance of patience, the need for risk taking, and the acceptance of life's baggage (home, children, extended families, work, etc). I am so encouraged that if nature has given TURTLE such a divine purpose and way to accomplish against all odds - I, too, have received the same potential and ways of progress.
I hope to live long, just like the wise old TURTLE . . . learning to work with and within my environment and balance the risk-taking with the necessary time of self-protection.
If you are interested in more meanings of turtles, please check here . One last item I found, which I am going to print out and use for inspiration:
Turtle is the oldest symbol for the Earth.
If you have a Turtle totem,
If a Turtle totem shows up in your life,
Turtle is a fine teacher of the art of grounding.
(excerpt from LinsDomain
So, it is happening! Can you hear it? Kind of a buzzing fly that you can't swat away, or perhaps a vibration you can feel in the floorboards? Impending, non-stoppable, inevitable . . .
It is a mystery to me how EXACTLY this happened, it seems as if it was only yesterday that I was lying prone on my back with slipped discs and a numb leg! I am so happy that the June laminectomy and discography went so well - not so happy about the pain after the surgery, though! Honestly, why don't humans just lose their minds from excruciating pain? Regardless - I am now at 1/2 way recovery and just need to work on my strength so that I can begin a fuller work schedule.
What I was able to accomplish (mostly from the couch) in 2010:
a) continuation of handicapped mothering,
b) lots of Mario Cart tournaments
c) after-school chat fests with my crazy, individual children and their numerous friends,
d) teaching piano to the girls, playing from my childhood music books,
e) watching and rating Netflix movies,
f) re-designing my closet,
g) marketing some traveling exhibitions,
h) exhibiting new work in April, and
i) ending the year with a great show in Miami, simultaneously having a great vacation with my hubby.
When I begin to envision 2011 - these are my hopes and dreams:
I would love to make some type of money, I am truly worn out from the hand-to-mouth (really, empty art accounts and charging art supplies to credit cards); I am considering doing some legal transcription or some other type of work-from-home set up . . . but something that pays! This would still enable me to be accessible to my children as they need me . . . help Dylan get settled into his 1st year of college (woot!) . . .
Artistically things appear to be building steadily, but it costs money to maintain that - thus, the money needs above . . . I am really excited about TAKE CARE's group show in January at The Renaissance Center in Dickson, TN . . . and later in the year at Vanderbilt University.
I have been designing a new piece for the Custom House Museum's Women's History Month (March), again. The idea has been brewing in my mind for years and it will be exciting to see it come into fruition.
Also in March I will be travelling with the hubby and newly graduated son, Dylan, to the Keys for his Graduation Trip, his Graduation in May . . . and the Fall will bring my 20th wedding anniversary (I hope I will be skinnier for that)!
I don't have any specific 'New Year's Goals', but I am aiming my focus on a better balance of spirit, work, and family.
2010 started with me being broken physically and I am happy to be feeling on the mend as another year has come FULL CIRCLE.
So, enough about me!
What are you planning to do with your life this year?
Your 365 days??
What will you fill your hourglass with, before time runs out????
|re·sil·ience [ ri zílly?nss ] or re·sil·ien·cy [ ri zílly?nssee ]|
|1. speedy recovery from problems: the ability to recover quickly from setbacks|
|2. elasticity: the ability of matter to spring back quickly into shape after being bent, stretched, or deformed
It is amazing to me that a view of the tree's internal rings reveal it's entire biography - the year it was born, the travail of injury, the years of abundance and nurture. I am amazed at the individuality of each scar.
Not only the individuality, but the fact that these scars are the cause of so much beauty and the site of resilience and self-healing. In a way, these trees are my 'heroes' and nature is where I can instantly receive the succor and peace from everyday challenges. It is like an instant realignment of internal and external health. See, echophsycology posting, http://sherfickart.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/01/essay-eco-psych.html (Eco-psychology and Inner-World Balance) as well as a previous posting http://sherfickart.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/10/natures-gifts.html (Nature's Gifts)
Along the Natchez Trace I became lost. Lost, literally, but emotionally as well. This sojourn provided time to dwell in the bucolic world. I saw the way nature ate away at the attempted confinement of man. The trees were devouring the very man-made structures used to tame them.
As time passed, the con-finements were devoured, but the fact of them was left behind - the trees had continued to grow about the chains of man and left behind the visualization of their conquering spirits.
I, too, seek to be triumphant and to devour my oppression and create a beautiful outcome. Just like these trees, I hope to heal and transform my internal and external scars into marks of strength.
So, once again, my ruminations return to WHAT REMAINS? What we keep and why?
What will my story say at the end?
To learn more about the Life of a Tree, visit