People often use the onion as a metaphor of life – you peel back the each layer of onion and it makes you cry, and you get closer to the center. You get to the center and that’s it. I’ve always wondered if that means you’re at the end of the road. I like the idea of an artichoke – you peel back each leaf and you get a taste and you evidentially get to the center and you find the heart of the artichoke.
I believe, like many, that we’re all on a journey. Part of that journey is being responsible for what we create as we struggle to heal. We are looking for what is real, who we are, what we want, and above all, we are Looking for Heart.
When I first created these images, they were work prints made as I processed, mentally and emotionally, the feelings that would later become a different body of work, Inside the Belly of the Whale.
Above is my version of a griffin. I have come to embrace the symbolism of being a guardian, protector and keeper of the treasure and learning what that means for me. What’s your inner guardian?
The griffin has it’s origins in the ancient east. It was said to guard the gold of India. In Christian iconography it symbolizes the dual nature of Jesus – the divine represented by the bird, and the human by the animal.
For more information about the griffin check out the Folklore Thursday
I don’t know the answer to these questions but I’ve ended up Entering the Belly. Which is the third section from my work Inside the Belly of the Whale. (The first and second sections are also on this blog – Blue Dream and Taking a Long Breath)
I don’t think going to hell is a once in a life time event, I believe that we can return several times in a life time but as Dante Alighieri suggests there are levels.
Throughout literature, the whale has been visited many times. The few I know of are, Jonah – Old Testament bible story, Moby Dick, Pinocchio, and Finding Nemo.
In each of these stories, the hero is stuck. They may receive divine intervention or just physical motion that gets them out, or they may need to live side by side with the whale, Moby Dick. Each of these options seems to be a paradox.
Acknowledging the pain and hurt that brought me to Inside the Belly of the Whale and out again. Each trip has been my guide.
If I walk along and an obstacle is in my way I have a few choices.
I can stand there and wait for the obstacle to “go away”, or take another route, maybe climb over it, or maybe dismantle it. The path is messy and slow and it’s hard to stay interested in the task of dealing with the obstacle.
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings. Wendell Berry
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