I wrote the following on 14 August 2014, in response to a class I was taking about finding my voice.
.. I let it sit for a while (I think I am ready to share it now) it's personal, and yet it may be anyone's story.
Mary, Mary, I’m Contrary
Apparently (based on evidence all around me) I have been ‘calling in’ this energy of Mary.. the Madonna, Black Madonna,.. the Divine Feminine.. and Goddess... what that all means for me in my life is currently a wonder in progress... but sometimes the openings to my consciousness around it bring me insights.. like this week when I was so drawn to paint a Madonna & Child/Black Madonna.
Seeing the image I’ve been painting this morning.. the Feminine.. holding the masculine with such tender love .. and the little hand around the tender part of a woman’s neck ...
A tender part in myself is touched.
I got that it wasn’t Mary’s fault that my catholic upbringing did nothing to instill in me the concept of a divine Source of love, without hell and damnation at the forefront of the message, with huge doses of fear and guilt thrown in the mix, for ‘good measure’.
Right now, I don’t believe God is a Him any more than I believe God is a Her, thanks to the head fuq, that I experienced two forms of christianity to be (catholicism and born again fundamentalism) I don’t always know exactly what to make of it all, except to say, I want none of it. So.. my paradox.. being drawn to this Mary/Madonna energy whilst rejecting the ‘container’ ie the church/religion that she was always presented to me to belong inside of.
* Another observation, is that my parents home was filled with statues and images of Mary.. and Jesus.. and I witnessed my own Mother place enormous amounts of faith, time and trust in her blessed virgin Mary. The effects of alcoholism in my father kindof took over the energy in our home to a large degree growing up, so.. I did not experience a huge amount of peace from the religion or from Mary back then... as far as I can remember, looking back. Although, apparently when I was 4 I wanted to be a Nun? (and I realise, memory is a trickster and will call forth perhaps what it wants to.. and leave out bits) yes this smacks of judgement & victimhood, both true, I would add to that.. resilience, discernment and taking responsibility for my now.
I also bump up against my ‘what will people think’ button... the ‘I don’t want people to think I am a christian’.. just because I am painting the Madonna. You see, I think/thought the two are/were inseparable. I am exploring the idea that they are not mutually exclusive. An awareness with that too... I can be as judgmental about christianity as I perceive Christians to be about the rest of the world. The I’m right you’re wrong standpoint is not the most expansive view I can take.
My concept of Mother is a comfort and a deep soul truth … interestingly (or not surprisingly) the “Father” part has been really tainted .. and so... the idea of “Loving Father” and “God” in the same sentence - you may as well be speaking a foreign language to me. My head wants to tilt and I get a blankness in my understanding .. a void lives there. (thinking back to imagery of a white haired old man with a stick railing against everyone with fire and brimstone)
Perhaps this is why I gravitate towards the feminine so readily..
I TRUST the feminine.. and deeply MISTRUST the masculine...
because of my experience ... it doesn’t mean the masculine is untrustworthy it’s (just) my perception - not ‘just’ it’s a big fuqing deal. to me.
WOMEN HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED, A LOT BY THE MASCULINE/PATRIARCHY
OF COURSE I DON’T FUQING TRUST THAT.
I am of the opinion that FEMININE/MATRIARCHY is not the complete answer either
.. but a balance of the two.
I can feel I have a lot of rage around this.
more time will be spent with this.
* with respect, these are my views, I have no way of knowing the entirety of the beliefs of my parents, this is more about my own healing journey and less about judging them. I do have issues around religion. obviously. - Denise.
A lovely lady came to me for a private class seeking to paint Mother Mary… here is what we created, without having an end in mind.
Acknowledgement to one of my recent teachers Shiloh Sophie McCloud, she paints the Lady in many many forms, and it was during my time as a student of hers last year; Color of Woman Teacher Training that I learned a way to paint her, and to teach others a way to paint their divine feminine imagery.
For the longest time (my memory tells me age 15) I started to believe I couldn't draw.. it haunts me still. Sometimes I even believe it. I prefer to paint rather than draw, any day. (or is that just drawing with a less precise implement…?)
I want to speak of this because I think (and I could be wrong) that it is a very commonly held belief by many. So last Thursday night I took myself for the first time to meet a (new to me) group of local artists and joined their warm invitation for an evening of life drawing. I had a chat to my inner critic/s on the way there in my car… out loud… "listen guys… I am going to need your kindness and love tonight please, other times I have experienced a small hell in life drawing classes where I compared myself to the others and felt like I was constricted, a fake and absolutely hopeless at drawing.. so … you guys have the task to take notice of the details that I may be able to use at a later date.. and otherwise… leave me alone to experience this in a very positive way please".
As it turned out.. the group were amazing, the model a delight and the experience for me held a profound moment that I did not expect.
How 'right' this image does or doesn't look is not the point here… the magic.. and the moment that happened.. was that as I drew that chin.. I had a wave of emotion hit me, overwhelm me, and spill out of my eyes.. I was stopped in my self.. for me.. something in that moment/line/page/model/space/time reminded me of my sister Min… (she died in June 1997) and I was struck by the gift that was. … and that it came to me in the midst of something I have avoided, as I believed 'I couldn't draw'.
the note I wrote on the page says:
"Min's chin …
it stopped me in my self…
tears came to my eyes…
a capsule of emotion.
So unexpected a gift,
to let it go again
is painful …
but I have captured it
with my pencil."
I don't think it really matters how well we can draw… it's what the opportunity of creativity can open up for us that matters to me far more. I might even go again. … to life drawing. Drawing life… what a gift to even be able to give it a go.
bye for now,
love Denise. xo
Books I Love
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”