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The wild twin

Standing on the shore.

Myth is a manifestation in symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each other.

~ Joseph Campbell

It was out of the dynamic of cosmic celebration that we were created in the first place. We are to become celebration and generosity, burst into self-awareness. What is the human? The human is a space, an opening, where the universe celebrates its existence.

~ Brian Swimme, The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story

Twinned.

The other day I posted a photo of the Wild Twin I created as part of the Mandala Magic art journaling course I’m taking with Julie Gibbons.  I’m not going to repost it.  It’s not a great work of art or anything of that nature, but working with the idea of the wild twin was illuminating in many ways.  Shortly after I finished the drawing and painting, I started listening to the first part of David Whyte’s 3-part series, Start Close In, and he talked about the stranger within.  He said that you always meet ‘the new you’ in the form of a stranger, and that we often push away the stranger for many reasons, including an avoidance of becoming a stronger voiced, more powerful you.  In a third piece to the puzzle I’m putting together as I write, there has been plenty of talk about the shadow and working with our shadow in the Bhagavad Gita class and other places.

Snow geese hanging out on Assateague Island.

Yesterday morning I sat down to write something in my art journal to go with my wild twin creation.  To talk to her, in a way, and find out what she might want to say to me.  It’s part of the journaling prompts, and it was something I was curious about after listening to the story of The Lindworm by Martin Shaw (see my last post for a link to the story).

Some at rest, some on guard duty.

It occurred to me as I was writing in a stream-of-consciousness way, that there is a theme arising.  I don’t think it is unusual for themes to emerge in stories, poetry, music, or any of the arts, especially during times of great stress and duress.  I’m also factoring in that where my attention goes, grows.  (Kind of like learning a new word and having it show up everywhere.)  How we interpret the themes that show up is, of course, up to us.  I have learned in my own experience and with my own art (photography, in particular), that the artist’s intention or meaning is not necessarily going to be the same as what the viewer takes away.  For instance, the message you take away from one of my photographs is, or could be, entirely different from my intention or the meaning I found in it when I created the image.  That is the main reason I never wrote up an artist statement when I put up my photographs on Red Bubble even though I was urged to do so.  I want people to interpret them for themselves, not follow my lead.

Someone issued marching orders.

Conversing with my wild twin in writing, I found my mind directed more towards the collective than towards myself.  That might have been deflection from discomfort.  I did eventually come back around to myself.  But it was interesting to look at the collective first and then zoom in.  We are a product of the collective, of our culture, of our society, of the conditioning that comes with being part of this collective.  We are the result of our ancestors (stating the obvious, but I’m not sure we spend a lot of time thinking about this).

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.  All of them are alive in this moment.  Each is present in your body.  You are the continuation of each of these people.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Time to leave.

What struck me at first was the idea that what we’re seeing is the result of all our exiled wild twins coming home to roost (metaphorically speaking, of course).  It was eye- and heart-opening to look at the situation in this country (the U.S.), maybe even in the world, in this way.  It helped reduce that sense of “us and them” or “othering” that often happens when we don’t see eye-to-eye (and in this case, we are not even close to seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to insurrection, coups, and social justice).  Understanding what is happening, why some people are so filled with fear and hate and rage, has been beyond my grasp.  Reading all of the explanations and interviews doesn’t seem to help.  There are those who say it’s economic.  While that might be a factor for some, I don’t think that’s the whole of it.  There are people who joined in the assault who are quite comfortable and quite well-off financially (Private Jet Realtor Lady, for instance, who was recently arrested and is now asking for a pardon because she feels persecuted).  Some are considered leaders in their companies or states (at least one state legislator was caught on camera and has had to resign as a result) or communities.

Not as chaotic as it looks.

To look at this from the perspective of the wild twin thrown away at birth might not be the realistic or factual way of looking at it.  However, what it does do is make me think about what it might be like to feel as if you’ve been discarded and exiled from the day you were born.  I think many of us have felt that way in some regard and at some point.  Usually when we’re teens.  So, another interesting take on this is the idea that there are people, particularly white men, who have found that life is not what they expected it to be.  Usually these are people who peaked in high school and seem to be stuck in those so-called glory days.  They are bored, dissatisfied, and maybe they need more to do in life.  I’ve often thought the idea of some kind of mandatory national service would be a good thing.  Perhaps if we spent more time helping each other, we’d be less inclined to want to commit violent acts upon each other.

Rising up.

I wonder, too, what it might be like if we all had to serve in the government in some capacity, even if it was just locally.  Instead of parties and voting, everyone takes a turn.  The way things are now, only those with money run for higher offices.  Local offices, at least in my area, are generally taken up by two kinds of people: those who honestly want to help and serve, and those who are on some kind of petty power trip who are looking after their own interests.  That might still be the case if we were required to take turns, but it might shake things up a little and make us appreciate those who work hard to do what is right.

I’m pretty sure this is not an original idea.  Someone, somewhere, has probably posited the same thing.  No doubt there are a gazillion legal reasons why we can’t do it this way.

It is the most amazing sound, that of a large flock of birds rising into flight, wings whooshing.

Once again, I’m rambling with no real point.  Just a lot of pondering and wondering.  One other thought before I wrap this up.  If I were a Republican (for the record, I make no claims on either party), I’d be seriously thinking of starting a third party.  The sore loser in the White House and his enablers have soiled the Republican party, perhaps beyond any possibility of cleaning out the stains.  If I were a smart and moderate Republican, I’d join with the Lincoln Project to create this third party, a party more centrist that might attract those who are somewhere in the middle.  Leave the name “Republican” to those who have soiled and spoiled it.

And in the meantime, while all this stuff is taking up the news cycle and the energy of a lot of people, the pandemic rages on.  More than 23,663,000 cases in the U.S. have been reported.  More than 393,000 have died.  10.6 million have been vaccinated.  That sounds like a lot until you realize that’s only 9.6% of the prioritized population and only 3.2% of the total population.  We have a long way to go.

Up, up and away.

People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

~ James Baldwin

Somehow they work together.

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.

~ James Baldwin

Beauty in flight.

Thank you for visiting with me today.  I know there are some who prefer to ignore politics and much of what is happening in our world.  I understand that, to some degree.  I’ve learned, though, that it takes a lot of privilege to be able to do that.  I’ve learned that by sitting on that privilege, nothing is going to change.  The healing starts with ourselves and with awareness of the conditioning we did not chose.  I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about how we might heal our lineage, so to speak.  But that’s another post for another time.

I don’t think we’ll see much at sunset this evening, but I’ll be glad to meet you out at the dock to see whatever shows up, if it’s not raining.  Sunset is scheduled for 5:08 PM.  It’s damp and chilly, and I’d suggest wearing boots.  It gets pretty muddy by the dock after it rains or after a super high tide (and we’ve had quite a few of those lately).

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.  ♥

Sky-full.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,681)  The sound of hundreds of wings as a large flock of birds lifts up into the air.  1,682)  Flight.  How amazing is it that some are born with wings and the capability of flight?  1,683)  A haircut.  I haven’t had a professional haircut in a year.  My lovely daughter-in-law cut my hair when we were in Ohio way back in July.  Bravely, M took scissors and comb in hand and cut my hair yesterday.  We are both shocked at how well he did, and I am thrilled to get rid of the hair that was driving me bonkers.  1,684)  Good learning and good rest. 1,685)  Coffee sent to us by a friend who lives in Hawaii.  It’s tasty stuff.

Moving on.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

25 thoughts on “The wild twin

  1. Thank you for these deep and loving thoughts. ” the artist’s intention or meaning is not necessarily going to be the same as what the viewer takes away. ” – I love that, Robin – what a freedom you give us.
    I have my own theory about the Donald: after reading about the kind of brutality his father had, i can well understand that to “lose” is to get caught in his childhood-self – this was a father who had learned that you have to be STRONG and GO FOR what you want. I hear his child each time he speaks -and his followers and hooligans had now a big chance to invade the space where all the people that are rich and powerful live and “reign” –
    I think “not winning” is the worst thing for Donald – then you are that kind of worm that his father made him feel like – despicable.
    Its a bit like Hitler’s father who ranted about his son being vermin and needing to be exterminated – and then he turns that horrible perception to others and exterminate them – but he will never succeed, since his inner child has identified with it –
    we all are doomed to play out what we haven’t seen and forgiven and love
    in that generation, almost nobody learned how to do that – “sissy stuff”
    but we have learned it

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you for your thoughts on it all, Leelah. I keep meaning to ask — do you have a blog I can visit?
      I know that Donald had a difficult childhood, but I also know many others who have had worse, been abused and traumatized, and have somehow overcome it. I think many of us grew up with abusive parents (and there is a theory floating around that trauma is why so many have been drawn to Donald and the conspiracy theories). But he also needs to be held accountable. Without some kind of accountability, there is no growth or change.

      Like

  2. A thoughtful post, Robin. I’m also participating in David Whyte’s Three Sundays in January series. Quite powerful. I appreciate all of what you call rambling. I suppose it appeals to my thoughts which have been all over the place and are beginning to land or come into clearer focus for me. I’m looking forward to posting something soon. It’s been a great challenge to know what to say and how to say it. It’s a lot to process after such a long period of time in which my nervous system felt so hyped up. It’s nice knowing you’re there in the Whyte series. I’ll think of you tomorrow. If you follow Ali Grimshaw’s flashlight batteries blog, she’s there as well. Be well, dear Robin. 🙏🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. 🙂 It’s wonderful to know that you’re also participating in the series. I’ve had to rely on the recordings (due to my internet issues — we have limited data which is typical of rural internet service, if you can get it at all). I watch in the early morning the day after. I do follow Ali’s blog and love her poetry. I’ve wanted to join one of her writing circles but the timing hasn’t worked out (conflicts with yoga class or the data issue).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Thich Nhat Hanh quote about ancestors — so true. Most of the time I think the outgoing president is a super “successful” cult leader. Understanding how and why people fall under the spell of cult leaders would be another way to get to the bottom of the problem. Hmmm… I wonder how snow geese choose their leaders…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, what a wonderful thought. If I was a goose, I would have to trust that leader that s/he always led us to places with good food and clear water and whatever ducks love. And I would also look at the leaders feathers, i think – are they well groomed? ♥

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, he’s definitely a cult leader, Barbara. All the earmarks are there. There is a wonderful podcast, Conspirituality, that goes into a lot of this, including one episode on how to “deprogram” people from a cult although “deprogram” might be the wrong word. Basically, it’s about holding space for them, asking the right questions (so that in their own answers, they can begin to see the lies), and just being there so they have a place to go when they wake up (so to speak). People who don’t have a place to go generally stay with the cult because at least there is a feeling of belonging there.

      I wonder how the snow geese choose their leaders, too, now that you’ve asked… 🙂

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  4. You make very valid points, points I hope lots of people ponder. I think there would be a big step toward cleaning the Republican reputation, if the Senate, including many Republicans there, vote to convict even if it’s after 45 has left office. And then we all will be watching to see if they can all work together, or if there will continue to be obstruction from one side or the other. LOVE “some at rest, some on guard!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 I agree. A bigger step would be for those who continue to push the Big Lie to admit the truth. I’m not sure people would believe them at this point, but it might help to calm things down at least a little.

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  5. I love how you go so deep, Robin–and am thinking about the wild twin image as well. And how much of our beings get exiled in the process of “becoming civilized” and the spiritual/human journey is one of reclaiming those energies and bringing them back into Oneness. Your rambling is like sauntering, is it not? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Instead of parties and voting, everyone takes a turn.”

    That’s an interesting idea. I think I’d like to see that happen, but there are some really not smart folks out there so maybe I wouldn’t like it. Something to ponder.

    I agree with you that it takes an amazing amount of privilege to feel no need to be interested in/aware of politics. I find it difficult to deal with people who say they refuse to vote because they don’t like the electoral college. As if that absolves them from what has happened these last four years.

    Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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