Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"A Blessing Way" Synchronicity

In the house made of dawn
in the house made of evening twilight,
in beauty may I walk,
with beauty above me, beauty below me
I walk with beauty all around me,
I walk with beauty it is finished.
.......Navajo (Dine) chant
 The Navajo word for sand-paintings means "place where the gods come and go." 
Sand-painting has been used for centuries in religious rituals and healing ceremonies performed by Navajo medicine men.  A sand-painting is made  in the ceremonial hogan and destroyed at the end of the ritual, in much the same way that Tibetan sand paintings are also destroyed.  In order to preserve this  tradition in the 1940's, Navajos began to create permanent sand-paintings, changing the design slightly to protect the religious significance when these paintings were shown publicly.
I've been feeling very unsure, this summer, about where to go from here.  I putter around the house, take care of my mother's needs, and spend a lot of time looking back, since I don't know what is foreward. 

Yesterday I was listening to the Ode to Joy, of all things, pondering The Question, when I felt something crawling around my mouth.  Wiping my mouth with my hand, I found a tiny spider, which quickly disappeared when I set her down on the table.  I've had many strange synchronicities with Spiders, and tend to think of them as Spider Woman's little reminders.  Perhaps the meaning of this is to speak - and indeed, I've been thinking that the next step for me is to teach and share whatever bits of wisdom and experience I may have.

I turned to the very beginning of this Blog, which was the day I began my cross country trip  to pursue my Spider Woman Project.   I found this little article I had written just prior to leaving for Michigan (I began my Community Arts Project "Spider Woman's Hands" in Midland, Michigan with a fellowship from the Alden B. Dow Creativity  Center.  Midland is the home of Dow Chemical.  It was a strange place to end up weaving a "Web of All Life" ritual art project..........but, maybe not........)

Friday, June 1, 2007

If synchronicity can be the touch of the Spiderwoman, if a synchronicity or two could be touchstones along the path,  I'm off to a good start as I pack my car. Just two days ago I was helping Randy Ford to move.  I was reading that morning about Spiderwoman as She occurs in Navajo mythology, reading as well some of their beautiful chants that are used by Singers in various curing ceremonies. Randy needed boxes, and so I went to U haul to purchase a few. Standing in line, I saw I was behind a couple with a little girl.  They were heading for Window Rock, Arizona, and I could hear that they were speaking in Navajo.

"As opposed to the other Navajo [Diné] Chant Ways, which are used to effect a cure of a problem, the Blessingway [Hózhó jí] is used to bless the "one sung over," to ensure good luck, good health and blessings for all. It is sometimes referred to by English speaking Diné as being "for good hope." The name of the rite, Hózhó jí, is translated as Blessingway, but that is certainly not an exact translation. In the Navajo language (diné bizaad) the term encompasses everything that is interpreted as good - as opposed to evil, favorable for man. It encompasses such words as beauty, harmony, success, perfection, well-being, ordered, ideal. The intent of this rite is to ensure a good result at any stage of life, and therefore the translation of Blessingway.”

So, let the journey begin as a "Blessing Way".


Post Script in the Now:   I remember that when I got back to Tucson at the end of that summer,  as I headed for my house, car still packed, I had a very sudden need to go to the bathroom and stopped at the nearest convenience store.  A young woman was standing by the entrance when I came out, and she begged me for a ride.  Of course I took her, and on the way to where she was going, she told me she was Navajo from Northern Arizona, and she wanted to go home.  It's not that common to meed Navajo people in Tucson.  That kind of "wrapped" the trip for me.  A ritual, a Blessing.


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

To me, spiders have always represented creativity, on an esoteric level. On a personal level, they kind of freak me out. But back to esoterics - this little spider found a spot at the corner of your mouth. Wow. And you set her down in front of you. Lauren, my friend, it's time to start creating. One step at a time.

Lauren said...

Thanks Trish...........a wise interpretation. The spider does, indeed, spin her web from within herself.

The truth is, I've been creatively blocked for several years. Being an artist seems lonely, and at least where I live, and will have to live as long as my mother is alive.......I don't have the resources anymore that generate energy for me. I'm too isolated........I know I have to do something. I have a lot of synchros lately that pertain to spiders, and the Spider Woman project........

I'll ponder your words, thank you!

Lauren said...

Looking at this post, and thinking about your comment, I realize that at this stage of my life, I profoundly wish my art could, like the Medicine Man who creates, with others, a sacred sand painting, serve towards healing in some way. Restoring the Balance. I just plain can no longer go into the studio and essentially "talk to myself" in a lonely artistic monologue, or keep generating pretty consumer objects for people to buy. I long to create with others, and in service of the common good. I think you're right, the time has come to do something..........