A month or so ago, my therapist, Jeaneen, asked me what archetype I thought my mother was. I couldn't answer, any more than I could have said which archetypes informed who or what my own life stories have been. So I put the question off for "later examination".
Yesterday I was looking at a photo I had placed on my altar, next to the photo of my brother. And I realized suddenly (actually, while at the riverbend hotsprings, which is a good place to get great ideas while inconveniently wet).........that a syncronicity had supplied the answer to my "for later examination" question. Sometimes, things work that way, once you begin to notice. Reviewing much of the stories in this blog, I see that I'm always recording and wondering at such phenomenon. The mythic dimension leaking through..........
The photo was taken in 2004 at the opening to an exhibit of my masks (which I shared with artist Catherine Nash MFA). Valerie James, an artist who lives in Amado, took the photo randomly. I kept it around because it's the most recent photo I have of my mom and me together...the last photo I have of her when she was fully here, fully cognizant, to be exact. And now Jeaneen's question is also within the frame of this photo, as well, perhaps, within the frame of having placed it upon an altar and thus imbuing it with sacred attention ..... at any rate, a serendipitous truth emerges that answers the question about archetypes.
My mother has the "Corn Mother" mask above her. That archetype of unconditional, self-sacrificing, idealized motherly love, devoted to the nurturance of her children without any limitations - is the very truth of what my mother has devoted herself to, both consciously and unconsciously, with its bright and "shadow" sides. She has lived the story of Selu. And for me, the picture could not be more appropriate. Above me, Spider Woman, the weaver, higher Self, the artist and divine co-creator, dedication to a vision of ecology, my most tangible mythos of deity. And beside me, Butterfly Woman, my personal "life story" archetype. "La Mariposa" is a story I wrote more than 15 years ago. And here in this photo........is one more living metaphor, one more poem about our journey together.