Council for All Beings

(click to enlarge)

September, 1999
Graphite & Charcoal on Paper
40”x 32”

Written for Living Out Loud Show, Bay City Arts Center, November, 2004.

The wildness swirls around and within us.

In September 1999, Gwendolyn Endicott held a workshop at Wanderland using a process designed by Joanna Macy for getting in touch with the earth called “A Council for All Beings.” At one point, costumed as different earth aspects, we spoke, drummed and sang our truths, dancing in the woods. Others were birds and trees, herbs and compost – all personae I am at home with and even in love with. But I got a strong urge to take on Metal – a more problematical element for me. At the time, I was deeply immersed in the first year at Cartm Recycling at the Dump and the daunting piles there of aluminum, steel and iron were often the stuff of my nightmares. I associate metal with the move towards industrialization, away from Earth, our Mother. Even the feel of it on my hands is jarring. Yet beautiful things are made from it and without it much that is familiar in our present world would crumble. Literally.

I wanted to get in touch that day with where the metal beings came from in the earth – to honor them and beg their forgiveness for our profligate use and horrendous waste of the gifts they give us. I bedecked myself in aluminum foil streamers and other odd bits and felt deep into the earth’s core where metallic materials are born.

Soon I could feel the ancient beings that come forth through fire into the air to give us their gifts. I could feel as well as the ancient power and magic of the smiths – Hermes himself – and the dwarfs.

The day after that sojourn, I headed into a three day painting and drawing workshop with California artist Susan Keizer. The first assignment was to draw without stopping and this piece poured out of me.

Today this drawing symbolizes my call to be Living Out Loud. Speaking and drawing and writing my beliefs, experiences and longings as I uncover them, that I might find kindred souls. Expressing my passions and my fears in my search for my deepest Self – and in so doing to help others find theirs. We all need each other – all the beings.