Difficult Labor

(click to enlarge)

March, 1995
Acrylics on paper

The ova has matured and is struggling to be born into a new world.
Journal 3/25/95

The weather was still lousy – but I braved my way down to my space to launch another. I decided to paint with my left hand – intuitive, untrained. What would come up? No assignment. No preconceptions. (HA! That turns out to be a pun).

I began with the same swoopy lines [as previously done paintings]. Brown in the bottom left was compost and brown woman appeared standing – headless. Color rained down on her. Belly got bigger and bigger. Pregnant. Very pregnant. Better have a midwife. And a blue figure to steady from behind (thought of Gunvor Lane, my actual midwife, and Tom – also my Allies painting done the day before). The woman needed to be headless so she could labor without her brain – one needs to let go and let it come. A huge bugaboo for me.

Left hand working well. Not sure anyone would notice. Picked up brush in right hand to do head – seemed appropriate somehow. A screaming, wild looking head – terrified of being out of control. Green frogs danced around feet of laboring woman. Helper frogs. A hawk drifted in. A large moon appeared. Full. Babies are born when the moon is full. Its edges are smudged like the clouds and mist sometimes do when the moon rises out our east window.

A line appeared – light green across the midwife, making me think of the famous drawing of the guy reaching his head between the two worlds – cosmic and prosaic. The midwife reaches to deliver a baby into the new world. At the very end I added a snake remembering reading about the snake often appearing in Goddess drawings though I’ve never liked snakes. What is tangled and coiled in my belly seeking for a way out? Snakes coil like that for safety and warmth. What is trying to be born here?

Journal 4/21/98

Across time three years later I am just back from a massage with Dana Zia. My left side felt paralyzed and then ached all the way down to my weak ankle into my toes. Petrified. Like a tree that has turned to stone. Stone to protect something precious. Dana said my longing for deep occult was palpable – making her dizzy. As I read the words above about my old painting I know that it was then that the longing was first really spoken, known. It has been growing ever since. Dana and I have done a lot of work on my belly over the past two years. We found the Green Seed that I know is the ova from these paintings. We tried to loosen it or at least to read the ancient script upon it to no avail. And the snake is often there for me. I writhe and wiggle with snake energy. Kali has continued to be present and Evelyn Lee [family caregiving angel from my childhood.] Today it was Pele who came forth.  “How do you melt petrified wood?”asked Dana. I tried water and it helped a little, seeping into my pores. A double Cancer would try water first.  But then I said, “ Lava! Volcano!”  So  Dana filled me with fire - “You need some fire energy,” she said, “to counter all your earth and water.”  She warned me to be careful as I left.  But I don’t need to protect all that mystery any more. Indeed to be able to get hold of the knowledge of the buried seed. I am ready to use the power of my other lifetimes of work.”   But it is so amazing to see the words in these journals. To feel the tangible glimmerings of the work of the last three years - and, of course it goes back farther than that.