Definition of Family or Legacy
12 X 18
Life has been pretty rough on me lately and I am in counseling right now. My counselor is a wonderful lady who is helping me find balance and define priorities so that I can make some informed decisions and get my life straight again.
This drawing came out of this experience and is part of my healing. I find it extremely helpful to draw out my feelings and thoughts and then put them into words.
The back story:
Out of the chaos that is our society and is some families; there emerged a small boy, age five. Despite feeling very much alone, lost, and battered, he was in fact a part of a very dysfunctional family. And the fear of his family prompted him to make a series of decisions that would be the corner stones of his life.
Of these decisions the only one he would regret was choosing not to have children.
And thus this drawing is meant to define family and legacy.
The base unit of any family (healthy or otherwise) is a partnership. In this case it was a marriage. Symbolized as the couple center to the drawing.
At the lower edge of the drawing is an extension of the couples partnership. There is found two muses... they are still two but at the same time they have merged it to one. They function independently and yet their thought, ideas, philosophies often blend together.
Both muses are nude to symbolize their innocence. Both muses are pregnant with the ideas, philosophizes and values that form the couples souls and bond.
His muse lays on a foundation of artists, people, and cultures who came before him. There is the blanket wrapped Diné spirit; whose people and weavers have a very special place in his heart. And there is a Rabbi/Scout Master, A Mother Superior, artists, pastors, and important members of the community. There is also the pottery and petroglyphs of the Anasazi, Mimbers, and Mogollon peoples. And there are historical writers like Brother Lawrence. There even some fictional characters like Vash the Stampede who said “Life is a blank ticket and you have the free will to make you own choices”. As well as his own original characters like Mouse, Barbarana, Bang Bang and the blue people. Artists that are important to this development were Frazetta, Vicente Segrelles, Jean-Claude Forest, Aubrey Beardsley, Maxfield Parrish, Moebius and Paul Gauguin and his Tahiti. And of course the bear paws represent the growth of Bearness.
His muse is multifaceted. Her muse is paisley and flowing. She brought paisleys into his world.
At the top are a series of complex elephants. They are deliberately hard to separate from the background. The elephants are all the elephants in the room that no one wants to talk about. They are deliberately camouflaged because society does not wish to see them. But the far left elephant is his family and the facade of a perfect family they lived behind. For years no one talked about the real family behind the mask. Many of the elephants have feathers.
Descending down the left side are a series of Zuni Bear totems that symbolize the stepping stones on the path to Bearness.
The elephant feathers are a sign of wisdom plucked from from the honest discussions of things that society wishes to hide and ignore but the individual need to confront it if they are to grow and heal.
His muse has a few elephant feathers in his foundation as well as flowers from that garden that is the metaphorical Tahiti he has built for himself and for his family.
But her muses foundation is built primarily of elephant feathers. Her muse proudly wears elephant feathers in her hair because she has made her life out of helping other people face their elephants and pluck whatever feathers of wisdom they can find there. She and her muse have been a key factor in his healing. Mutual healing has been a form of bonding between both the muses and the partners.
Down the right side of the image is a trail of elephant feathers that mark her path to this place.
All the members of the family are nude not only to show their innocence, but also to show their transparency and honesty before all of society. A family is more than a man and a woman or a pair of partners; it is a community, a village. The village is a garden built by the families that live with in it. And this metaphorical Tahiti is a place where the young can live and grow safely. It is the responsibility of the family to build its garden. It is the responsibility of the village to maintain and protect the garden. This is often the family's biggest failure.
Outsiders can and do come into the garden. The goods one come to teach but the others just come to judge and tear down. The village needs to be careful who they let into the garden. This is another common failure of both the family and the village.
Here in the extended family we call the village, we have the lovers. They are mentored by the village as they try to grow into a family of their own. But they also add to the strength of the village. And they teach the young as they are taught themselves.
And there are the single friends. They also teach the young and protect the village as they seek a partner.
To the high left of the village is The Old Wise Woman. In this sense she is not a goddess but the collective wisdom of the village elder or elders. She exists both within the society as a whole and as a safe member of the village.
Beyond the garden that is the metaphorical Tahiti is the society as a whole. They tend to be watchers that judge harshly and often unfairly.
Ethnobotany and ethnobiology teach us that there is an interrelationship between society and the environment. You can not pluck a leaf from a tree without consequence. So each action has to be carefully weighed for its consequences and decisions of actions taken carefully.
You can not build your own Tahiti without consequences. If you push back society too far, the child become sheltered and unable to deal with society when their time comes. But by the same token if you do not hold society far enough away the child is damaged. A balance must be found.
I do not intend at this time to have a biological family, and to have an adopted one is impossible. But I do plan on getting myself financially stable and then expand what I already do with mentorship.
I feel I have to much experience and to many skills to be lost.