Saturday, January 14, 2012
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.
or we can dive into a lake to catch a reflection
Gary Buffalo Horn Man