Thursday, December 26, 2019

Holiday memories in an shamanic photo album

Holidays create time to explore--while looking for decorations and addresses for holiday greeting cards--and I found some old photo albums with some painted drum images dating from the 1990's when I first moved to Cortes Island

Who plans as a kid to become a painter on rawhide? 

But this is what has happened.  Seeing these old print images has been a revelation about what has changed, and what has stayed constant in my shamanic paintings on the drums that I make.

I began with a timid uncertainty, 

that soon reached toward the pure unusual.  

Tension emerged,

whether the creature was solitary,

or in relationship. 

Before I added an interlacement pattern 
to the back of my drums as the handhold, 

the images themselves began to interact with the cedar rings
 that have become my drum maker's signature

Always there is the question of what to do with the bullet hole?
The doorway of death that is the birth of voice. 

The most remarkable constant across these 30 years
The story of raven catches the light
painted entirely on the reverse of the drum.

A painting of a dream journey
so vivid,
in which everything was just itself
and always something more. 

I do not know, finally, where I am going,
or why they come. 
I am only so grateful that they do.