I am gifted beyond belief to be surrounded with friends who are artists of one kind or another. my friend heather is a renaissance woman of the highest order. self taught musician, singer, teacher, writer, poet, artist of all mediums, plant whisperer, communer with bees, all round good witch and now stepping deep into encaustic magic. what better medium for such a girl, than to work with bees wax…?
a few months ago, I approached her about doing a piece for me. marking this time in my life. I put total trust in her and asked her to let her own inspiration drive the project, asking only that butterflies be included, as she has called be “butterfly” for as long as I can remember and I gave her a bag of my hair, (post shaving) saying that if she felt drawn, to use it in the piece, other than that, it was her process. the result of this is astonishing.
I chose a triptych format. past, present, future. maiden, mother, crone. she delivered it 2 weeks ago. I was speechless….every element is loaded with meaning….
the moon. a huge constant in my life. she is part of my moon circle and the poignancy that it exists no more in it’s original form. she and I the last two standing. the x-rays of flowers, mimicking the x-rays/tests/science experiments of my existence, the last two years. two years…. we are coming up on one year from my mastectomy…might as well be 20 years ago…..lifetimes ago…
these strange sea creature/ ameba like creatures with the red nucleus, trailing tendrils of my hair….like cancer cells…?
the embedding of basil and thyme seeds….basil, representative of mars, a fire sign…that would be me…love, protection, good luck and a potent anti-cancer herb.
thyme,: love, purification, restoration of physical power and frequently used in healing rituals. especially powerful coming from the master magical gardener…
the third panel pulling away from the other two….their connection, a constellation, a subconscious constellation, she says….what does it look like to you? made up of string and nails….hmm….not sure….but there are 15 nail heads…15 in the tarot is the “art/temperance” card. “the creator, the alchemist” one who achieves balance and integration through the creative process. the ability to balance and blend the masculine and the feminine. merging fire (spirit) with water (emotion) which makes a new element, steam (mental and spiritual creativity with passion) integration and synergy. in order to come into the artistry of who we are, we must balance the apparent paradoxes, oppositions or polarities within our nature. the union of opposition to create something new.”
15 : 1+5 distills down to 6, “the lovers”. “the synthesizer of dualities, polarities and oppositions. the art and craft of relationship. the highest card of balance in the deck. the love of truth and beauty for its own sake. the highest art form is that of artful relationship.”
the butterflies….well…enough said…..transformation doesn’t get much bigger than that…right after I had my mastectomy, she gave me a precious necklace, that is one silver butterfly wing. I wear it all of the time.
lastly, “I am not like I was before.”…I am all that I was before, and yet not arranged in the same way, so i am not like i was before. I am something more. somehow there is more power, strength and passion and yet also more softness, quietude and tenderness. not sure how that works, but there it is. take the paradox and create something new and beautiful from it. fire/water/steam. creating something new each day. making and remaking.
thank you heather bee for creating something so beautiful and so powerful for me to look at every day and remind me “i am not like i was before”. you are a true artist and a true friend. i love you mermosa.
(interested in having her do a custom piece for you…? )