Saturday, January 14, 2012

medicine powers

Reading the latest issue of Shambhala magazine.
Great essay by friend Natalie Goldberg and lots of good stuff on Thich Nhat Hanh. I'm in that kind of active mindfulness mood today after a magical dream last night. Young turtles emerging from rooms and quiet corners heading west toward the sea. Their shells resembled painted circus-turtles (I once had one named Myrtle that died), but a voice told me these colors were natural. Some had tiny multi-colored checkerboard squares, others wavy stripes, and one sported a leopard print. The images stayed with me all day as I successfully made progress on the oral history manuscript I had hesitated to revisit. After working all afternoon, I checked out animal energies and other symbolic stuff. Well. It seems that turtle is a very important creature. Among other things it's an emblem of longevity and stability, wisdom and many other myths including chaos (uh, oh). As a symbol it appears in some form in every culture of the world. In Japanese folklore the appearance of turtle is an auspicious sign. I know a woman, originally from Hawaii, who considers the turtle her personal totem and for her fiftieth birthday had one tattooed on her shoulder. I gave her a small carved wooden turtle that was given to me because I didn't feel any connection to it. Now my point of view seems to have changed, literally overnight. I remember many years ago when we spent time near Narragansett Bay and turtle appeared. Walking a windy beach the morning after a wild storm, we came across a huge dead sea turtle. I took a photo of it, but when the film was developed the picture wasn't there. Turtle magic? Windswept visions? I don't own any turtle totems but maybe I should. Didn't Jung tell us to pay attention to the messages in our dreams?

other life forms
At a coffee shop I notice this paw print in a Mexican saltillo tile. It's probably a dog paw but maybe it's coyote. Dogs don't seem to qualify as totem creatures. But coyote can show you a trap that you are caught in or a way that you are fooling yourself. Coyote is there to teach us whether we want to learn or not.
just like coyote, we can work with others to get what we want in life
or we can dive into a lake to catch a reflection
               Gary Buffalo Horn Man