Nov 22, 2009

Dys-Integration (#14)

Child Interrupted (#13)

Intuition (#12)

Wrong Mother (#11)

This is a silent Witness card that has no words for the "I am the one who...".  This card witnesses my inner knowing that I am not, nor was I meant to be, a mother. In this card I am the leopard, afraid of the needs of the baby birds, knowing that we are not a match.  It is painful - because I want to provide for them, not consume them.  However, it is what it is.

Laura Apis

This is the first 'Community' card I made.  Laura is a friend who was a chaplain with me at a hospital in my town.  She had just been ordained at the First Baptist Church of Oakland - and the pictures came from the celebration at her home that night.

The 'Apis' became part of her name when she was having an allergic reaction to walnuts and I gave her a homeopathic remedy - Apis - to help her.  It worked, and she was Laura Apis thereafter.

I am the one who... is passionate and playful and loves to play dress-up. 
I cry when my heart breaks, then laugh with joy at feeling love in the first place. 
I am a magical child/woman/goddess/sprite -
the Shekina's little sister -
Sophia's best friend.

Core meaning: Delight in color and magic

Heart and Soul (Ter)

This card is of my husband.  The first time I saw him was in a picture at the dorm (left) when I was moving in as a college freshman.  It was love at first sight for me - and we started dating about 4 weeks after we met.  The image on the right is about 30 years later.  The leaves in the background mark the passage of time, and the desert sand represents how he grounds me.

There are no words to accompany this card.  My love for him is ineffable.

Love My Way (#10)

I am the one who... feeds on the high of love.  Because I am afraid of losing this feeling, I imprison us both.

Core meaning: Addiction

I admit to a bit of obsession in my love for my husband - especially in the first 25 years.  Part of that was due to the massive number of divorces in my family, and my desire to have a lasting marriage.  Part of it was that I experienced increased anxiety levels and overall emotional discomfort when we were apart - not when we were working apart, but when we were apart outside of work.  For example, I almost didn't go to seminary because I would have to spend 3 days a month away from him.  It was a test of my willpower to make that first trek.

This card helped me understand the power of the addictive component of my relationship with him - which I have worked on in my Al-Anon group.  I was surprised, however, to realize how my need for him trapped/confined him.  That was a revelation that I credit to this card and my work with the images.

Me & My Shadow (#9)

Dream Team (#8)

Good Enough (#7)

Living Water (#6)

I am the one who... drinks from the deep well of the Universe - to re-member, re-juvenate and re-inspire myself.

Core meaning: Tapping into Spirit

Here is the second appearance of the Tiger, and the third appearance by a Big Cat.  If not the Tiger in particular, clearly the feline is one of my major totems.

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,
will never know the source from which we drink -
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find n the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.
~ David Whyte " Where Many Rivers Meet"

Daddy (#5)

I am the one who... longs to rest in safety and be released from hypervigilance.  I will give away pieces of myself for the illusion of security.

Core meaning: Longing to be safe and protected

This is the first card that made me cry when I finished it.  It speaks to the relationship I never had with my father or God - and a longing for a feeling of safety.  The eyes speak to my vigilance toward and distrust of what the future holds.  The tigers are me - my inner longing and my inner anxieties.

Attend me, hold me in your muscular flowering arms, protect me from throwing any part of myself away. ~ Audre Lorde

Love Story (#4)

I am the one who... believes in the alchemy of love.

Core meaning: Love is more than the sum of its parts.

This card is about Alchemy.  I almost called it "I'm a believer" - because I do believe that one can be transformed by love - the frog turned into a prince.  Spirit, for me, is always represented by water, so the two streams of water pouring onto the frog (which as an animal lives in both the spirit/water and the everyday/earth worlds) represents not only a pairing, but the 'juice' that powers the transformation.  They are the spirit pair that come together to create love.

Love has the innate ability to look past the human and see the godly. ~ Colette Burnham

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. ~ Margery Williams, "The Velveteen Rabbit"

Great Heart (#3)

I am the one who... perseveres through the winter, knowing that spring will come again.

Core meaning: perseverance, hope

This card came out of my days in hospital chaplaincy training.  I used the lion picture as my totem for working on the floors - a way of calling on the power of the lion spirit to give me 'gravitas' as a fledgling chaplain.

This card was originally titled "Warrior Heart" and I dedicated it to my mother's perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds - both in her past and present life.  When I took the card as my own, I renamed it "Great Heart", after a song by Johnny Clegg, since it is more about the persevering great spirit than the warrior going into battle.

Courage does not always roar. 
Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow." ~ Anonymous

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. 
You wait and watch and work:
You don't give up. ~ Anne Lamott

Great Heart (Johnny Clegg)

The world is full of strange behaviour
Every man has to be his own saviour
I know I can make it on my own if I try
But I'm searching for a Great Heart to stand me by
Underneath the African sky
A Great Heart to stand me by
 I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
To hold and keep me by
I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
Under African skies

Sometimes I feel that you really know me
Sometimes there's so much you can show me

There's a highway of stars across the heavens
There's a whispering song of the wind in the grass
There's the rolling thunder across the savanna
A hope and a dream at the edge of the sky
And your life is a story like the wind
Your life is a story like the wind

I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
To hold and stand me by
I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
Under African skies
I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
I see the fire in your eyes
I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
That beats my name inside

Sometimes I feel that you really know me
Sometimes there's so much you can show me

I'm searching for the spirit of the Great Heart
Guk a 'mzimba (body grow old)
Sala 'nhliziyo (but heart remain behind)

Montage of Lion pictures - recommended
Johnny Clegg performance - see the man behind the song

In the Bones (#2)

I am the one who... uses survivial skills that should be extinct, but are still a big presence in my life.

Core meaning 1: Outdated survivor skills

This card was originally done (2005) with my mother in mind.  At the time I was processing how the survival skills that helped her grow up and stay alive and sane as a child were getting in the way of her life and sanity today.  The skills (dinosaur) were now petrified - no longer alive or able to be of service - old and outdated.  Yet they were such a huge presence in her life (scale of child to dinosaur) and she was not aware of them (behind her).  However, anyone looking at her could see them.  She's doing her best (dressed nicely and clearly pondering and inquisitive) but does not see the baggage behind her or how it threatens her serenity in her present day life.  That was the original intent in this card.

I am the one who... sees conflict as an overwhelming and frightening threat.  I forget that the threat is not real, that it cannot harm me, and that it is my imagination that gives it its power.

Core meaning 2: Every conflict seems overwhelming

In 2009 this card took on a new and more appropriate meaning, because it is focused on me instead of someone else.  I realized that this card described what my supervisor told me one day about how, in interactions with others re conflict, I see myself as a bunny rabbit and every conflict as if I was fighting a dragon - and how my internal imagery would explain why I work so hard to avoid conflict.  With that new understanding, the dinosaur took on the role of the scary dragon of conflict, and the little girl my inner bunny rabbit.  The fact that the dinosaur was long dead and petrified helped me see that my fear of conflict is not based on what is real, but rather on a false internal construct.

It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are. ~ e.e. cummings