And, the sorting goes on. It’s a bit like fortune cookies, or gum ball machines. You never know what’s going to show up next!
Last night, it was a sign. Literally.
I love the front, pictured here. I also love the back which identifies the sign as being designed by Edward Kelly, carved by Adam Grabski, and cast by hand for The Wild Goose Studio in Ireland.
The Wild Goose, as you may know, is a symbol in Celtic spirituality traditions for the Holy Spirit and I totally understand wonder as one of those holy notions!
The back goes on to say:
Living in Athens nearly 2,500 years ago, the Greek thinker Socrates is considered the founding father of philosophy. Without a sense of wonder, there can be no curiosity, no inquiry, and no imagination – all the facets which lead to wisdom. It is wonder which inspires us to think about our lives, our world and how to make sense of our place in the universe.
Since I blew the dust off that sign last night and sat pondering wonder and curiosity and inquiry and imagination, I’ve realized, or become conscious of, some pretty amazing things.
Predictably, there was a dream involved. A dream about the sense of wonder and curiosity that led, with some helpful inquiry, to the painting in progress known as TreeWoman. You’ve had some glimpses of her before. Here’s her face.
There were faces in my dream. And the power of learning to draw a simple face.
We are all born, with ancient genetic programming, to react to and interact with faces. It’s how we survive.
And, somehow, putting a face on a tree has opened me to interact differently with the notions of tree and forest and planet and even paper.
There’s been a lot of paper in those boxes from the basement.
Paper with words I wrote and still need.
Paper from things that no longer matter in my life.
Paper from those I cherish.
Paper that I suspect Bill saved because throwing things away is not, shall we say, his strong suit.
Paper for me to sort and make decisions about.
Let’s just say that the recycling folks are going to feel really needed this week!
Let’s also notice that a whole lot of paper that might previously have gone into the recycling bin has wound up, instead, in the collage box, for collaging goes with TreeWoman and, clearly, there will be more of her!
Old, non-glossy paper works best and we seem to have lots of that. From tattered shopping bags to vintage song books to wrinkled scraps of tissue paper, they are waiting for new purpose. New wonder. Perhaps, even, new wisdom.
And, somehow, all those scraps are singing to me. Singing the lyrics of a song from the Iona community in another of those Celtic places, the north coast of Scotland.
Where are the voices for the earth? Where are the eyes to see her pain, wasted by our consuming path, weeping the tears of poisoned rain?
We are the voices for the earth, we who will care enough to cry, cherish her beauty, clear her breath, live that our planet may not die.
Words that I would not know, or share, had I not put a face on a tree in the days when forests are burning and those who care not are on the brink of gaining power over our food and fish and wildlife, our protected lands and ecosystems.
Apparently, I have become a voice for the earth, much, I suspect, to the dismay of Georgia senators. She needs your voice, too. Sometimes wonder, and wisdom, begin in small things, even a pallet painting wonder of its own.