(Maureen Simpson, 2 gennaio 2014) This kind of follows on from yesterday’s blog about my Mondello Run. The vague intention of that blog, at it’s start, was that it was meant to be a way of writing down, and thereby making more concrete, my New Years Resolutions. But, as it happened (as is the way of writing with hands) it sort of ended up delving into all sorts of sparkly toy boxes full of daimons and acorns and circles and synchronicity, and then there were the voices of hands and feet, and of course anything to do with resolutions, is ultimately going to be about us, Me Mauri and Babacino. So of course a blog about ‘a run’ is about a lot more besides!
Actually, I think I left it quite unfinished really, like a sort of a labyrinth in the middle of an exploration, and all leading to some sort of ending, but at the same time to a beginning. I think as soon as it was ‘written’, it started demanding more attention! And here we are again today!
Low and behold (I do sometimes think Mauri has a sixth sense) Mauri had the grand idea of us going to Altavilla today, with Tata too. Of course, my hands and feet jumped with glee!
Today would be the last time we would visit Alta Villa before we go back to London, in precisely one week. More ‘endings’ to make up the goodbye of this phase of our journey.
We love going to Altavilla, I think it’s like Mauri’s canvas where he is for ever inventing things, fixing and making things and generally playing, and often making fires, creating some kind of order out of mild chaos (no offence but in Sicily, everything grows just like in Jack and the Beanstalk, especially cactus's, so you have to keep keep organising if you don’t want to be overgrown, like the story of the princess who fell asleep for a hundred years in her castle over grown by thorns, until a prince found her and free’d her and then her whole family also came alive again!) and also very often making the most yummiest of things to eat!
For me I guess it’s just the epitome of what I love, it’s a home in the middle of nature, surrounded by mountains, and trees and space and sun and colour. I love being there with Mauri and Babacino.
We are going to plant a tree for Babacino, we are finding the right one.
Lately, on our visits to Altavilla, me and Babacino have been making little sculptures and temporary ‘land art’ just for fun, from the things found on the land. The images are never intended to last, they’re just made for the moment, with no real agenda other than to just enjoy the senses and perhaps also, to listen to any messages we might get from our hands or from the land. I like the idea of Babacino being in the midst of creativity and nature and all those types of energy. It’s also a great environment for him to do his gazing at light refractions and shapes and touching all sorts of textures (with mummy’s beedy eye watching, of course!)
In terms of our temporary land art creations, I must also say that I do admit to sometimes getting quite curious as to what may have transpired with these images, when we return some days later. (I like the idea of temporary art, as it kind of takes away the notion of ownership, or the feelings of protectiveness or possessiveness we - or at least I - can sometimes get about my makings. In fact its a whole topic, often explored by artists, think of street art, graffiti etc)
And, I love to re-use some of the pieces in new images, to see how they change and to see what may happen when a meaning or symbol is transformed. I think that’s part of finding the treasure in the organic-ness of the creative process.
Ok, so about today’s sculpture. I wanted to make something 3D and a bit more solid or chunky, and also so that it could be like a kind of deity or little amulet (of a type). I wanted it to be something that could speak of protection and nurturing and guidance for us as a family, on the next phase of our journey. I felt this was really important in the processing of moving onto the next phase of our lives, definitely for me. But also for us as parents in Babacino’s life so far, given that he has now lived a full half year! And that half year (as well as the next to come) are probably two of the most important times of his life in terms of how his sense of self and his patterns of human attachment are formed.
As it turned out the creation was not something me or Babacino or Mauri could put in our pockets, but because we have the photo’s and the internet has invented blogs, then maybe it can be a kind of a virtual amulet! We shall see… you can’t MAKE something an amulet , it chooses to be so..
But also, I didn't have a lot of time, for the making. So it needed to be quite simple and intuitive and working with what the land had to give or lend us at that time.
My original idea was to create some figures out of all the chopped wood, which we have now after the olive tree cutting.
I had this idea to create our family, and to fill the figures with treasures from the land, but very organically just seeing what happens. It’s wonderful making things from the land because you just walk around and suddenly things pop up and you choose them and they fit into the puzzle somehow or if not, they - or the idea at least - is saved for future pictures! Sometimes admittedly, it is hard to find something particularly specific to fit the puzzle. I think, at least in terms of my own process at the moment, that when that happens, it is primarily because it is my mind trying to impose something on my heart, maybe. Like out of some sense of duty or loyalty to ‘the norm’ or old internal repetitive messages.
And so, for this sculpture (and in general actually) I think it’s better to let my hands decide on what to find, they are the direct link to my heart (just like feet in running, sort of, not the same, but sort of!) For me, it is better to intuit and feel the solution, rather than think it. Interesting… (maybe that’s sort of how the Olive Tree Cutters work ? Now that is something that continues to intrigue me. Maybe in my next life I will be an Olive Tree cutter, or a Tree Surgeon!)
On this blog post (and FB) there are 17 pictures (+4 of a daddy and a little boy in front of a fireplace!) which show how me and Babacino made the sculpture. But I’ll explain a little bit.
First I started off with 3 nice solid wooden poles, and they represent me, Mauri and Babacino. I put them in a row standing up, with Babacino in the middle, so that he would be protected and held by us. I also like the feeling of the number 3 and of 3 objects connected, it has a calming peaceful sort of feel to it, in my world of feeling.
Then, I found some little baby pine cones, which I’d actually used in the Mandala which me and Babacino made at Altavilla one of the last times we were here. The pine cones had to act as stand-ins for acorns because we don’t have any at this time! I joined the poles together with half circles using the ‘acorns’. That links to what I was talking about yesterday about James Hillman’s myth about the acorn, and which he writes about in his book ‘The Soul’s Code’. Also importantly this intuitive process, or you could say need, is further explained, in a way in his concept of the Daimon, which is a Greek word and which is essentially our ''in-dwelling spirit''
To read more about "The Souls Code"
And this one
From there, the three ‘poles’, and the ‘acorns’ it felt as if that wasn't really a strong enough bond between us, and that Babacino might not feel connected enough or safe enough. So I added some olive branches to Babacino, to wrap him up and protect him, and of course the olive branch is symbolic of peace, and that is a good attribute for us to aim for and for Babacino to feel in his life.
I also added a piece of rock that I found which has three layers of different type of rock, to ground him and ground our family. I often speak of mountains, and that they are a sort of a spiritual home for me, and so this rock is kind of symbolic of that, stones and rocks are mighty, we need them!
So things were looking good, Babacino was getting layers and protection, but then I felt as if me and Mauri needed something too, to compliment and guide Babacino, so the land gave us some gifts.
I also decided the ‘figures’ for me and Mauri need to be interchangeable, because our roles need to be interchangeable and I like the idea of us being equal partners and sharing in all to do with the life of Babacino. I think Babacino will have a richer childhood for it, and certainly how we experience life will be that much more interesting!
First I found some rosemary to wrap around the one pole. And very strong and beautiful and pungent rosemary it was. In the meaning and symbolism of herbs, rosemary is often described as symbolic of: remembrance, love, loyalty. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, "There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray you love, remember". Rosemary also reminds me of a warm homely kitchen full of family and creative food making. So I think that’s a good one for our sculpture.
Then on the other figure, I added a branch from an Almond Tree. I like the leaves of the tree, they’re quite delicate looking and soft, and the tree is like that too, although it seems very strong and supple, as I found out when I tried to break a small branch off! I added that because it reminds me of the ‘confetti’ (an Italian tradition, used most in major life events and celebrations) we had for Gabriel’s baptism. These were hand-made and given to us by Nona Nica and her friend, and, of course, there were almonds in the’ confetti’ with little lady birds. Baptisms are meant to serve as spiritual foundations to protect and grow a child, so I think the Almond tree branch has a good place in our sculpture.
By that stage the sculpture was feeling a lot more alive, but I felt it still needed something, perhaps a kind of environment and a bit more of a stronger message. So, we took some of the little pieces of ceramic that we had used in the Mandala and to make the Gabriel sign, and made three little circles, next to each of our family. That felt for me like a visual description or message of the ‘Axiom of Maria’ which I was explaining yesterday: “One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth”
Finally, the very last addition, was to make a little TeePee in front of the figures. This I think is about grounding and a home. One of my New Years resolutions is for our family to be grounded and stable. So even though we’re in a bit of flux and there is a lot of change on the horizon, which is not yet entirely structured, we can still create a home and roots as a family where ever we may be. For me that is important, for Babacino to have that feeling strongly. I want him to feel secure and protected in this and in his place in the family.
Also the TP is made of wood, so it could also be a fireplace, to keep us all warm! (Mauri thought of that, I like that!)
As it happens, when I went to download the photos of my sculpture, I noticed that we had 4 pictures of Mauri and Babacino in front of the fireplace in Altavilla. They are like a little story in their own of Mauri carefully and so caringly showing Babacino the fireplace and sitting him down in front of it to look at the flames, but holding him and keeping him safe. So maybe we need to remember to have a ‘fireplace’ in our family and to sit in front of it and watch the flames and just be!
“One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth”
And now, time for the pictures. They are all in order. No more words… except!: what this space for the next phase of our journey, this time in London!
E' bello vedere come un percorso creativo si articoli con la storia della nostra famiglia (MC)