I had a dream around the time the oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Neptune, Roman god of water and sea, appeared to me deep beneath the ocean, powerful and brandishing a trident. He gave me a message I wasn’t sure I understood, something about the sea, about gods, myth and metaphor.
Meanwhile in my studio, I had three wooden painting surfaces, and I knew I wanted to make a triptych. I have a Stream of Consciousness series where I take house paint, dribble it over canvases or board, then stand back and try to imagine a picture in the dribble then paint that picture in. The process helps me bypass my difficult, critical brain and get to the soul. The dribbles create a backdrop of flow and movement. If you get close to Neptune, you can see the texture of these dribbles behind the figures in the painting.
So, I poured the paint over the three surfaces, stood back, and of course, my soul went immediately to the haunting image of my dream, Neptune, turtles, fish, seahorses, a mermaid. It was all about the metaphor of the ocean. I don’t know what happens to our souls when we kill so many fish and birds, but there’s a message here about brutalizing our metaphors. Along with the horrific tragedy of losing so much sea life, I worry we also fatally wound our magic.
I can only hope I’ve given a powerful enough voice to the sea, to the creatures who do have a voice but humans rarely listen.
Voice. It keeps coming up for me. My deep intent, my core soul’s work, seems always to be about voice. I was born to poor folk, none of whom had any real voice, as if the rich rob the poor of the right to speak. I can’t believe how people tune women out, so feminist voice is also my passion. The earth’s voice, too, fills me. It is wailing, it is singing and nobody seems to be listening. I can only hope in some small way I’m giving voice to the soil in writing my novel Earth.
I did a meditation recently to more fully align myself with voice, so that my art, my friends, my life, my work would more fully reflect my deepest passion. What happened after the meditation? Four different clients (I’m a writing coach, www.artofstorytellingonline.com) seemed to have breakthroughs in their writing. Two who were too freaked out to ever let anyone else read their work, told me passionately that they were ready to share their writing with others. Then I heard from a workshop participant who without me mentioning voice wrote that she worked with plants and wanted to give them a voice in her writing. Exciting stuff!
Voice is not about screaming louder than the others. It’s the sound of your soul singing and wailing.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, at about the same time I’m channeling Neptune, in Croatia a friend of mine finds her artist neighbor, Koraljka Remeta, is making a stained glass Neptune candle holder. Light burning behind the glass image of the god of the sea. Beautiful. She actually gave me the Neptune as a gift. So, if you think you’re a solo voice in a world that’s not listening, just know there are voices singing your tune. Whether we can hear it, our voice joins others in divine orchestral harmony.