Feeling my way into marrying my medicine bundle and ancestor veneration practices. Remembering plucking a feather from the Bodensee after wishing it to shore has me working with swan, wishes, desire, necessity, water, summer... and the mysterious moment when the one you think you’re pursuing turns out to be leading the way. Thursday evening T could see what was coming, and asked if I was going to work all night, I said no, but he was right. Making what spirit show me is a really important part of my practice, and they've been showing me something of this ilk for quite some time, so it's exciting that it's time to bring it into being. I look forward to seeing how they want to use this piece, hopefully not as a votive offering thrown into a lake, but you never know.
As I worked I re-listened to a recording of Sharon Blackie speak at last year's International Herb Symposium where she spoke about how the cure lies in the otherworld in Celtic folk wisdom, and to receive that healing one must bind that cure to the one who needs healing in this world, finding balance. (That’s wildly paraphrased, I hope I did her words justice.) This seems very relevant to the creative process, to me.
So here, 45 hours later, a gift for swan, and my old folks, at least for now a place to sit together. Intarsia (or mosaic), and applique embroidery with tablet woven edge, using gifted or long ago purchased materials. Wool, goat skin, gold (as well as metalic foil), acrylic size, cotton, beeswax.
This story has two parts. First. When I was almost 6 years old, my dad made us work benches for Christmas, and gave them to us complete with little toolboxes filled with the essentials. After the big day he set up the benches in his shop in the garage so we would have a place to work along with him. Once in a while he would sit with us to teach us how to do something, but much more often he just kept scraps and extra nails around, and made sure we felt welcome watching him while he worked on his projects. I love to build and figure out how things go together and to make things I need, and I love how my dad is always with me when I do that.
Part two. After reading some words a friend shared about asking the spirit of her garden what plants wanted to grow there, it dawned on me that after living in this house for almost 10 years, I had never reached out to the spirit of this house, tons of work with the spirits of the land and some general thanking of the house, but not once directly reaching out to the spirit of the house, even to introduce myself. We’ve struggled living here, and though there are things that we love about the house, and neighborhood, it’s also very challenging at times. So I reached out, humbly and with grateful heart and words, and am now falling in love with the spirit of this house and another spirit who looks out for them. One of their first requests was to have a little shelf where we can leave gifts for them, and they love it when we bake bread, and when we read.
So I used my childhood toolbox today while building the little shelf for the spirits of this house in honor of their request.
There’s a lot of work to do these days. To me, it all hinges on decolonizing my mind. It’s really fucking important. There are lots of resources out there if you’re interested in exploring an animistic world view and decolonization. The work of Sherri Mitchell and Daniel Foor have been super alive for me lately.
We’ve been walking over and around fallen milkweed stalks by the back doorstep since autumn. What looked like disintegrating yarn turns out to be retted bast fiber. So here’s milkweed cordage! And then one thing leads to another...
Practicing mother, weedwife, animist, human, who's very thankful to live on the coastal plain of Southern Maine, in Wabanaki terretory, near a place called Owascoag.