3/10/2020 0 Comments
The Element of EARTH in relation to Art & Life, part 2
I am exploring each of the elements in turn as part of Nothing IS Immediate.
Earth, the direction on the medicine wheel, and earth the soil — all these I associate with the colour black. When it comes to the human body, however, and the energy centre known as the root chakra, the colour is red. Red for me was always the colour of life, of blood, of passion. I came to associate the colour red with the union of fire and water regardless of whether they are engaged in creating, or releasing. But sometimes you have to go back to the beginning, the roots, the ground, the earth on which you stand. There came a time this summer when Christine Dodd encouraged me to surround myself in all things red. This is the story of how my relationship with the element earth has changed during the project.
There came a time this summer when I was struggling to process my emotions, mainly because I wasn't allowing myself to feel them. I was desperate to 'go deeper' but I was too much in my head to be able to feel. Feeling is an embodied state. And there was something that was bugging me. "What do you mean grounded?" I started calling it out, asking the question: have you noticed how many people talk about being grounded, rooted, and centred? I find they don't actually explain what they mean as if everyone knows, and everyone accesses that state of being in the same way.
Ok then. I had identified I was not grounded and gone a step further.
I didn't even have a frame of reference for what being grounded meant.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to guided meditations and the very popular visualisation of extending roots down into the centre of the earth.... but guess what. I tried that, and I felt even more untethered.
That was where my irritation was coming from. This works for people?!
It's time to find my own imagery I decided. But in truth, I just needed to come back into my body. The mind, the imagination can't do that for you, just like it has nothing to do with being grounded (even if it can usually assist you in getting there). The mind after all has more in common with the element of air.
In the last six months I have noticed that instead of trying to push, pull or take energy and attention from one place to another I am simply opening to what is, the connection is always there if you notice it.
It’s not that I was disconnected from the earth but that I wasn’t spending enough time in relationship with my/her earthiness to feel connected.
I have a new favourite saying, partly inspired by Amanda Palmer's book 'The Art of Asking' which is:
Never mind give and take,
What’s wrong with offer and ask?
Now I know what so called grounding feels like for me I have realised that sinking into my body until I feel held by the earth and this moment in time is something that I don’t need to DO with my mind but simply OPEN to, physically and energetically. I am recognising AND honouring more the connection I do have with nature that is evident to other people and just relaxing a little bit more into the idea I am collaborating with nature, the weather, the elements within and without and I don’t have to force things, especially not myself.
In the natural world, that which is most 'earthy' to me is rocks and soil.
It was the treeless mountains in central Otago New Zealand that first gave me the sense of the earths body.
Each mountain range with its shadows and contours like a sleeping giant,
like the flanks of the earth mother.
Lying body to body, flat on the earth, is as connecting and soothing
as a full body hug with a human being.
When I was born I was placed naked on my mothers chest.
Body to body.
Welcome to earth.
During the Nothing IS Immediate project with @tonyspencerarts and @christinedoddart I have been experiencing the impossibility of isolating one element from another. Always they appear in relationship with one another becoming something alive in the interaction between the two or more. Today I wanted to mention the association of rock with time. These seemingly inert unmoving objects are shaped, weathered and formed through time. When I was very little I lived near a solitary mountain in Victoria Australia and the closer you got to the top the more you found yourself walking on giant plates of granite. The sheer scale and smoothness of those rock formations increased the feeling of walking upon history, upon layers of time and stories, connecting with the feet to the shifting permanence of the place. A sense of place. A standing place. A place to stand.
The photo below shows me having one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life. Walking under the earth. The ground was so boggy that I sunk into the mud with every step, the earth hugged my legs, and softened by water it allowed me to move freely but also immersed in its under layers. I felt like I was walking underground for my feet were, underneath. Added to which I have never smelt mud so clean and sweet. The black bag I’m holding is a small collection of mud I’m taking home just for the joy of it. The soil is what we grow from, that grows in it sustains us. Healthy topsoil takes something like 100 years to form, because it is not just earth but also air and other things I can’t remember to name.
3/10/2020 0 Comments