Captain Nut’s (hat 38) mum was worried about the hat maker.
“Hmmmm” she said, gently stroking her pet Nutkins. ‘She is having trouble with hat 50, is she? Difficult hat that. I believe it’s called Freedom for humanity, isn’t it? How can you make that into a hat?
“Poor woman she has been on the go for days now . How many days is it? What did you say? Nearly 60 with the face masks. Goodness. No wonder she is having a hard time with this one. When she will stop, poor love?
“I think she needs a sweet little pet like Nutkins, that would sort her out.”
This hat draws your attention to the amount of birds killed on the main route from Dover to distribution centers all over the UK.
On this road there is a huge amount of heavy-duty traffic delivering and collecting consumer goods. These lorries kill a lot of birds. They create havoc with their tall sides and high speed.
Wasn’t it King Lear who once said ,
‘Gold is worse poison to a man’s soul, doing more murders in this loathsome world, than any mortal drug’.
All the feathers and skins you see here I have collected from the birds killed on this motorway. Often at great risk.
I honor the birds by giving them new life, their lives are respected, and their beauty is restored. It is a true art of transformation.
During this period Bird Woman came into being and rose to new heights, she is still part of me. ‘Honoring the birds’ became an end of year art school presentation, where amongst other things I used the feathers to make smudge fans.
I sent it to my grandson who is 14 (it was his train from long ago) and he said ‘I dont remember the train but it’s a scary video’.
I replied ‘ We are living in scary times’.
The idea of making it came in a flash, I had all the bits required, but getting that track to remain flat was quite an ordeal and no matter how hard I tried I could not take the video myself. Brain, train, drain, sane, were words that came up during its creation.
The hat incidentally was bought from China over 20 years ago.
Earlier today I posted a nice little hat called The Garden Party. I was avoiding my feelings. I actually have a deep sense of Numbness in me today. So here we have hat 10b, which spontaneously presented itself.
Winter is long. When spring arrives, bringing with it new life in the garden, I can feel my heart leap. It is a relief to know that under the snow, there is new growth and vigorous LIFE waiting for a new year. As a gardener all we have do is nurture it.
The piece that I’ve picked out for this post, is called New Life in the Garden. She’s meditating. And when I say meditating, I don’t mean sitting still with shut eyes and blanking out. This meditation is an act of working on yourself.
Taking time to be still and to dig deep into ourselves is a challenge. Just like gardening isn’t just about picking the pretty flowers, sometimes I have to put in the preparation and hard work – getting down into the roots with a shovel and digging.
There can be a lot of talk – especially in a long dark winter (I live in Norway, I know winter) – of looking for light. But it’s been my experience over the past six months that there’s be done in the shadows and this is where meditation gives me time to look beyond the distractions.
In a busy day or when I’m surrounded by people, it’s tempting / easy / inevitable that I’ll avoid thinking about why I’ve felt and even acted out on my negative feelings.
A friend of mine described it for herself as feeling passing moments of shame, guilt or and anger brushing it aside in order to get on with the day. She takes the opportunity in quieter moments to ponder on those feelings and ‘feel’ them through to the end in order to gain perspective or understanding of them. But as she admitted to herself – really going to work on herself would mean regularly meditating and reviewing those unresolved tricky feelings.
So when I mediate, I’m not just seeking calm. I’m allowing myself to follow my thoughts, feelings and memories. It’s a deep, exploratory mediation.
For me, this kind of mediation is really important for working through a lifetime of issues because there are changes I need to make. I’m not interested in Marie Kondo’ing a few cupboards – it’s the legacy of childhood and parenting that I want to resolve.
The painting – New Life in the Garden – has had other names. At one point I called it ‘Waking Up’, because when I’ve meditated deeply, I’ve emerged with a different understanding of myself. It’s a transformation – which even in small ways, can feel significant. And you know, there are good memories in this head of mine as well as the not so good.
It’s like in the garden – some plants can look pretty twiggy and sorry for themselves in the early days of spring. But with care and nurturing, there are leaves and blooms waiting – I know they are there. I’m not digging that plant out any time soon because she’s worth waiting for.
Note: There is no photo of me with New Life in the Garden. She’s been sold and is carrying her transformative ways to a new home in Norway.