Over the weekend I participated at a movement medicine workshop. It was called ‘This being human’ and was facilitated by Catherine Wright.
During a meditation about the tree of life I had this really clear image in my head of a human figure as a tree trunk with a black heart or hole where the heart should be. I have had a tight chest recently and palpitations as menopausal symptoms. I danced the feeling out. I am aware of being in touch with my head and my stomach – but there is a numbness where my heart is.
During the workshop we worked with a poem by Rumi called ‘ The Guest House’
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
We did an exercise on Saturday where we welcomed a ‘guest’ and worked with a partner – talking, witnessing and using dance. I chose the idea of ‘disappointment’. As I danced I became aware that I was relieving ‘something’ but it wasn’t disappointment. So I chose to revisit my confusion on Sunday.
I am still unable to verbalise what is exactly present but I realised with relief that the hole is not black or vacant but a conduit that is not to be frightened or scared of.
I needed to revisit this experience today through art making.
Sketches for ‘a black heart’ – I wrote in my journal ‘ figure rooted but with a hole where the heart should be’
As I was dancing , holding my heart or the feeling of my hands up to my chest was important – drawing hands that don’t look like claws or sausages is always a stretch of my ability – I also needed the tree/body to be a real rounded shaped woman
Conduit / portal heart sketch – there was such a sense of relief at the realisation that what was going on felt like a portal. As I was at a dance session it was important that I tried to convey movement.
Black heart – in my head the tree trunk / body was red – the background is newspaper that I used as protection paper. It is advertising a film and it has amused me that my figure could also look a bit like an ‘Oscar’ there is no way I would offer to be the mouldy for any figurine 😂😂😂😂
My mandalas seem to need to be in everything I do at the moment. The conduit doesn’t feel draining and the energy feels like it is not restricted by time and space.
During the dance workshop we did a session where working in groups of 3 we witnessed , danced and or meditated , wrote or drew. During my first role as ‘meditator’ I doodled , the portal was very strong in my head and I produced this
Very interesting techniques for dealing with those inner demons and menopause! Love the products! Thank you for sharing this unique process!
It’s a pleasure Barbee thanks for your comments , they are always appreciated
Love this piece of visual exploration and it really resonated with me too 👏👍