Monday, August 10, 2009

Dancin too fast

The weekly challenge to the mixed media artists by the Melange Team this week is ‘archetype’. This quote from Clarisa Pinkola Estes (and the poem by Anne Sexton below) fed into my response to the challenge. The great healer archetype carries wisdom, goodness, knowing, caregiving, and all the other things associated with a healer. So, it is good to be generous and kind and helpful like the great healer archetype. But only to a point. Beyond that, it exerts a hindering influence on our lives. The “heal everything, fix everything” compulsion is a major entrapment….While archetypes may emanate through us for short periods of time….nobody can emanate an archetype continuously….they are ideals not achievable by humans, and not meant to be….one must learn to say “Halt” and “Stop the music,” and of course mean it. So those who are tired, temporarily sick of the world, who are afraid to take time off, afraid to stop, wake up already! Lay a blanket over the banging gong that cries for you to infinitely help this, help that, help this other thing. It will be there to uncover again, if you wish it so, when you come back. If we do not go home (soul home) when it is time, we lose our focus….I advocate using those methods that require no props, no special location, and that can be accomplished as easily in a minute as in a day. This means using one’s mind to summon the soul-self. In a state of solitude we can assess on a continuing basis: habitat, work, creative life, family, mate, children, mother/father, sexuality, spiritual life, and so on. The measurement used in assessment is simple: What needs less? And: What needs more? Over time, as you practice, you will find yourself designing your own queries to soul. Sometimes you may have only one question. Other times you maybe have none whatsoever and just wish to rest on the rock near the soul, breathing together.

Above is my assemblage piece. A textile curtain hangs in front of a hollow glass vessel that contains a single candle. The red fabric, hand embroidered with shoes, a photo of three generations of women, and a quote from the Anne Sexton poem ‘The Red Shoes’, acts as a curtain hiding the solitary candle inside - the place of rest and contemplation that is necessary for all of us who often dance out of control, trying to do too much, trying to be too much.


1. Perfect Mixed Media Original on Canvas by Marstrand 2. Snow White Mirror Mirror Original Watercolor by Darling Woods 3. The Nymphs Print from Restless Things 4 The Red Boots Original Watercolour from Geritom 71

I stand in the ring
In the dead city
And tie on the red shoes…
They are not mine.
They are my mother’s.
Her mother’s before.
Handed down like an heirloom
But hidden like shameful letters.
The house and the street where they belong
Are hidden and all the women, too,
Are hidden…
All those girls
Who wore the red shoes,
Each boarded a train that would not stop.
Stations flew by like suitors and would not stop.
They all danced like trout on the hook
They were played with.
They tore off their ears like safety pins.
Their arms fell off them and became hats
Their heads rolled off and sang down the street.
And their feet---oh God, their feet in the market place---
Their feet, those two beetles, ran from the corner
And then danced forth as if they were proud.
Surely, people exclaimed,
Surely they are mechanical. Otherwise…But the feet went on.
The feet could not stop.
They were wound up like a cobra that sees you.
They were elastic pulling itself in two.
They were islands during an earthquake.
They were ships colliding and going down.
Never mind you and me.
They could not listen.
They could not stop.
What they did was the death dance.
What they did would do them in...
(The Red Shoes by Anne Sexton)


Chrisy said...

Just letting you know that all those who entered the capelets comp will be getting a prize! Hoping to get my act together with the emailing later today...or maybe tomorrow...

ArtSnark said...

very thought provoking post & assemblage

Jetta's Nest said...

I have a great love of red shoes. Someone once told me that the only people who wear red shoes are whores and their children! If that's the case maybe I'm a shoe whore because we're a family of red shoe wearers here!

The quote you chose is very interesting but I think I need to read it about half a dozen more times before it sinks in properly.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I have heard of the red Shoe poem but have never read's fabulous!

Linda S. Socha said...

Breathtaking assemblage of post, poem and thought. You are incredible here today

Hey Harriet said...

Love what you've come up with for the 'archetype' theme Chrisy!!! Your inspiration and creativity never ceases to amaze me!

Julianne said...

Funny how simply looking at a lit candle is calming! Very nice Chrisy, well done : ).

I *love* the poem, I have never hear it before, I will def. be looking at more of Ann Sexton's writings, thank you for sharing it.

PS: Did you enjoy the Death of Bunny Munro??

Renee said...

Chrisy this is a powerful post.

I love what you have made with the single candle. How we all need to rest.

When you come to stay and give me a hug, I hope you know you I will want you to stay forever.

Love Renee xoxo

the paris apartment said...

So true about taking time to return to our soul homes. We all rush so fast we miss the beauty of the moment. Thanks for this wonderful post.

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Chrisy, how profound all of this is...I so agree...that "we" singlehandedly cannot save the world, so to speak,.. we dim the flame of our spirit by trying to do so.

Thanks so much for posting about the archetype. There truly is a regular time that we need to
"Sooth the Soul,
Heal the Spirit"

That is an affirmation that I keep close to me to help "keep me in check" :0).

Your creation is lovely and the poem is very interesting...I guess I do not know of the Red Shoe..I guess I'm out of the loop on a lot of stuff. :0/

Have a lovely day,

The Stapelia Company said...

I love the idea of taking a moment to slow down and realize that you're not a human "doing" you're a human "being" (that just being is enough). Your assemblage piece emphasizes that; taking a moment and re-focusing on yourself and your life. Nicely done. :)

Splendid Little Stars said...

love it all! great assemblage piece! Placing it in front of the candle is genius! The three generation piece (along with the heirloom shoes) has me teary-eyed because my mother recently died.
I remember getting a pair of red shoes when I was very young, remember wearing them out of the store. Oh, they were so beautiful.

elsiee said...

you have outdone yourself!!

Rose said...

Christy, that is so sweet of you to give us your pattern! It was such a suprise email! Thankyou very much, I must print it out for future use :)


Sam said...

Yippeeee! I won a capelet PDF!!!!! Thank you soo much sweetie!! Very chuffed indeed!!

The poem here and the assemlage is very lovely Chrisy - thank you for thbe time and effort you put into your beautiful blog - I think I'm lucky to have found you!! XXXX

a.a.g @ moonlight said...

What an inspiring blog u have! Thank you for visiting us :)

LindaGJ said...

Such a very beautiful post with the fabulous pictures too! A wonderful way to start out my day!

LW said...

Wonderful art piece for this challenge, it is beautiful.
Wow, does this post hit home.
I have struggled with this for more years than I would like to admit.
I have begun my journey to correct this in this last past year…

I am going to print this poem out and read it over and over again as a reminder not
to fall back into old patterns..


Meikoningin said...

Blimey ! This is very beautiful and deep and stimulating. Thank you for this input, much appreciated :)

studioJudith said...

Once again, you have just the right words at just the right time. I'm passing this post on to my daughter .. . who's going through a major life change / fork-in-the-road. Hopefully , she'll hear these words and be kinder to herself.

Beautiful assemblage, Chrisy --- - -

Renee said...

Dear Chrisy:

I am so happy that you wrote that on my blog. Just so you know I wrote that in 2006 when I was just diagnosed and I do not believe that I have given myself cancer or that stress gives it to someone. I was doing the book and responding to the questions it asked as real as I could.

I am the biggest promoter of conventional medicine and don't believe I would be here without it either.

I am sorry though to hear that you have a chronic illness. I am over the moon that you are here though. I hope that you don't suffer too much.

My oldest daughter Angelique has lupus and when she was 21 had to have chemo for three years, so even then, I knew that a chronic illness is something that happens to our body, we didn't do it to ourself.

I love being your friend, you entertain me and amaze me.

Love Renee xoxo

Renée Gandy said...

I really enjoyed reading your post and very intriqued by your 'archetype' piece..