In 1908, when Emily Carr painted the First Nation totem poles in British Columbia, she heard their strong talk roaring across the wild beaches. They were still speaking their truth even though they’d been wind beaten and faded, even though many were abandoned. This was forever strong talk.
Emily Carr was alone in the sweltering heat with the relentless mosquitoes when she talked to the ghosts and inhaled the strong talk of the ancestors. She could have wished for comfort and gone home, instead she kept on painting and that old talk spoke again through her determined paintbrush.
Sometimes you want to tell the world your story. Or maybe tell one person, just one truth.
I was scared when I was little, there were voices in the dark and they were sneaking in the window, mean and ugly. They told me that my voice was insignificant, told me I must be quiet to survive and I believed them.
What if I became a totem and told my own story? What if I was thirty-feet tall and blue, yellow, red and green and carved with the strength of my voice? Could there be strong talk in me? Would someone like Emily hear it? I’d like to think she would paint me with riots of color, thick coats of bright paint and layers of voice.
I want to be an instrument like that and make my own strong talk, spitting my words like wind on a reed. My breath would travel upwards from my roots to my heart, over my chords and out of my mouth, gaining power as it flowed over the wood to your ears, then strong talk would roar out of me.
More on Emily Carr
photo credit: Ancient Totem pole of Gitanyow via photopin (license)
photo credit: Kenting Roar via photopin (license)
How many lessons can you learn from one dog?
One complicated dog –
Patience is the one that comes to mind and of course
The art of the breath
And I can do this –
I’m laughing at your funny looks
You greeting with entirety
The strangers who are friends
And those already enslaved by your cuteness
Happy singing tail
The sad, wise eyes.
Then at home –
The nervous tears
The insistent crying, “Give me what I want!”
“You are driving me crazy!” I yell
We look at each other, the stare-off
And then I smile and surrender –
Call upon the patience
And love again –
The long, velvet ears
The kisses and licks
Short, soft fur
Now you are all spirit
I follow your path
Low to the ground
Full of heart
Yesterday, my friend and I were out hiking around a nearby lake and she pointed out two bumps on a log in the shallow water. We rushed to a better vantage point and confirmed that it was two turtles, one big and one little. Their long necks were stretched out of their dark shells. We could not make out their expressions, but I imagine they were happy to be together warming in the sunlight.
Right now I feel like a turtle taking small steps in the writing of my book. This is a time of cautious reflection. I, like the turtle, need my four feet on the ground. Inside my womb-like shell I can wade through the pages and ask myself the big questions. What is the goal of this book? What scenes matter most? What can be left behind? How do I balance the heart of what I have to share with an adventure that engages the reader?
What I know for certain is that it is a book about finding light in dark places. It is about our roots, the ones we are born with and the ones we create. It is about the magical point of light that can save you on the darkest journey. The kind of spark you see in lucid dreams. This tiny, spinning orb hums as it pulses and shines. You reach out to touch it and it radiates through you as a warm, inner blanket. I want to take you with me into this forest, transform and fire you with the elements and send you home polished and new. I want you to feel what it is like in the mysterious rabbit hole and guide you back to life.
I’ll venture back out when I’m done.
© Angela Bigler 2013
photo credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region via photopin cc
I dreamed of a blog where I would share words. Not just the big words but excruciatingly skinny words, frighteningly lucid words, gigantic, irrepressible, delicious, beautiful words.
My words. Your words. Poetry, memoir, fiction, thoughts. Pictures, drawings too.
A mishmash of the moment. Lucid dreaming. Fairy tales. Magic. Zen wisdom. Random observations. Healing consciousness. The writing life. Yoga poses. Chakra mantras. The quest for inner peace. Thoughts about cats. Thoughts about thoughts. Communion with dogs. Blessings of life. Varied ways of breathing. Tools for the path. Theories on death and the mystery and everything. Nature as healer. God, Goddess, Wind.
Pictures of pets. Pictures of trees. Pictures of birds.
Thoughts on birds and the way their quiet wings are really layers upon layers of carefully spun threads.
Words are like threads. They weave us together.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hvargas