Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Paintings from "Shamanic" Series

A long time ago I had a dream about a man who offered me fire.   In fact, I had the dream twice, and although I never fully understood it, I remember the dream still.   It is a beautiful metaphor for love, for courtship, for sacred sexuality, for a longing I must have felt then for being offered all of those things.

I rediscovered this painting in the process of looking through my files (I seem to be engaged very much in contemplation of my life these days).  I always loved it, never showed it, don't remember anyone ever saying anything about it to me, and finally it was destroyed, as so many of my paintings were.  It is hard to have opportunities to share paintings, and it is hard to store paintings, especially when they come off the canvases.  I am sad that it's lost, but glad that I have the image still.

I remember when I painted it, during a magnificent, magical residency at the (now defunct) Cummington Community, in Western Massachusetts, not far from where Emily Dickenson lived.  It was 1989, and I was reading Journey of the Wounded Healer by Joan Halifax, and was very much thinking about the way shamans and healers find their callings.  All of the paintings I did then were based on the concept of the Shamanic journey, and on my dreams.  The painting below was called "Fire Heart".  Now that I think about it, all of the paintings were also about Fire.  Which has always been my friend, and my Element.

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