Curious Birds - photo and origami birds by Jane. Greeting card artwork by a Vashon Island artist, but I don't know who, as I mailed this card a couple of years ago! I'll try to find out ....
This photo is in honor of my friend Kara, whose blog, Mother Henna has featured a number of "bird" art pieces by her. If you've never folded origami, it's worth starting with this little figure, which captures the essence of "songbird" so well, and is easy to fold. Alas, I can't seem to find a folding diagram on the web ... I may have to take photos of the folding process and post them in a later. Stay tune!.
My favorite current book is Nature And The Human Soul by Bill Plotkin. I love working with archetypes, and this book presents an especially vital blueprint for discerning healthy soul-centered and eco-centric human development. Woven as it is in the Wheel of Life -- a cross-cultural mode of holistic understanding that resonates from nature's cycles - this book describes a way of comprehending the culture and nature tasks of each stage (eight in all), and the driving qualities of various archetypes that capture the essence of each of these stages, and the realms in which they operate.
In this book we come to understand what true adulthood looks and feels like (which of course is dazzling in its diversity), as well as many important insights of all the other stages -- the two stages each of childhood, adolescence, and elderhood. Many individuals (the majority?) in our culture have not entered true adulthood (and its two stages), continuing to operated in various fractured substages of late adolescence, or merely unable to definitively find their way into true adulthood, so I find this book invaluable for clarifying the nuances of beyond-adolescence, as well as a deepening my understanding of the tasks and qualities of a healthy adolescence (important to me as my older daughter navigates her own early adolescence!). Anyway, if you yearn to welcome a soul-centered humanity on to this planet, I encourage you to pick up this book and start (or continue!) with deepening and nourishing your awareness of your vibrant soul-centered self. The earth is dreaming through each one of us! We are all needed and called for to engage in the unique soulwork of our full, unfolding, remarkable natures.
Small Though I May Be - revised post!
In honor of those charming songbirds I'll finish here with a wee song which I learned from our friend Anne Shelton a number of years ago. She learned it during her apprenticeship with RavenCroft Garden.
As Anne puts it: "The song came to RavenCroft via Starhawk ... and she got it from Taliesin! it's the translation of his first song that he sang to his foster father upon being found in the salmon weir in his leather sack after floating on the sea for a moon and a half ... and before that, being born from Ceridwen, and before that being chased by her as a hawk and otter and hound, and before that as her servant stirring the magic cauldron meant for her son ... You can find it in Starhawk's Circle Round: Raising Children in the Goddess Tradition. there's a musical companion CD as well."
For those of you who don't know, Taliesin is a sixth century Welsh bard.
Click on the title to access a very humble teaching mp3 of this song!
****5/11/08 note: my memory of the song is an example of melodic drift! In other words: I believe the tune is not Starhawk's and not what Anne taught. Learn this version at your own risk :-). I hope to update the mp3 with the "legit" tune in the near future.
Small Though I May Be
Small though I may be
Great gifts I do bring
From the mountains
From the sea,
From the river I do sing