Friday, December 14, 2007
Secret Number Ten
Secret Number Ten
Honor thy grandmothers as much as possible.
Now taken literally, being a grandmother, I like this idea.
However, I was taught there are many grandmothers. Grandmother of the
earth, sky, sea, heavens, and animals. Being a storyteller, I learned
early on to respect the grandmothers. By doing so, we learn to respect
each other and ourselves.
Lately,there have been a few folks who have not responded to the
moderators about swaps. Holding art that has been created lovingly by
others, yet keeping for themselves. It saddens me that this is
happening with this magical creative group.
During this season filled with miracles, it is a good time to honor not
only our grandmothers, but our creative sisters and brothers.
The story behind this secret came from an art therapist in British Columbia and my own experiences teaching at NYU. There was once a young woman who came from a very conservative religious community in rural British Columbia. She was a lesbian and felt rejected by her community because of this. She headed for VanCouver and ended up in therapy with an art therapist. He was very interested in the strength we gain from finding something in our history to identify with. So he asked her to bring in old family photos. She had one of her grandmother that was particularly interesting. Her grandmother had moved in with another woman when her husband died. These two women lived in the bush on their own, and were supported by the other women in the community. Suddenly the young woman realized she had an ego ideal and a story of strength about her grandmother and the women in the community. Knowing her grandmother and the women that supported her grandmother would have affirmed her sexual orientation and supported her made for a wonderful feeling of empowerment.
In my teaching experience at NYU, I would ask the students to pick a character from their cultural background, or from their own family history to create a puppet and narrative around. The students that created their own ancestors, usually a grandmother, were always surprised and delighted by the process!
So when I created this secret I was thinking about looking for ego ideals and stories of strength and affirmation in our own history, from our own grandmothers.
To this, Lore added:
I posted a photo of a shrine I made to honor my Grandmother. I uses an old sewing drawer, some of her old knitting needles, her soap dish holds a photo of her. The background is a painting I started years ago of some of her flowers. Nan was an amazing woman and the best Grandmother ever!
In ART, Lore
To this Lynn wrote:
It's beautiful! I love that you have so many of her things in it. What a wonderful way to honor her and display those things that were hers! I'm almost ready to start working on a couple with some of my dad's tools and other small items from his workshop. I love what you did and it's giving me the nudge to get going on mine! Thank you so much for sharing! I love what you've done, as always!!
And Lore answered:
Thank you everyone for you comments on my shrine for Nan. I make shrines all the time with clients and they really benefit from them. So I encourage you to make one for you. It can be for anything, healing, creativity to a memory of someone. I have some others posted on my picture trail.
Be well, stay warm and Make art! Lore