Sunday, January 31, 2010

Real women IV "Grandmother Moon"

"Grandmother Moon"
12" X 12"
Acrylics & Mixed media on canvas

This painting embodies Gold and Copper foil (Representing Life energy) falling from the moon and embracing all women.
The seemingly awkward pose of the woman signifies the females desire to "Soak" up and embrace the moons importance into her life.
I began this painting with a specific idea in mind. I have been aware for many years that the Moon and Women have been closely connected since the beginning of time.
Almost every culture has a story passed down through centuries about the connection of these two.
When I had completed this painting, and posted it @ "Wet Canvas" for comments & critique from my fellow Acrylic artists, Bell Byrne recognized what I was trying to say and sent me an oft told story from her (North American) Native culture.
Her story connected so well with my painting that I am posting it here as a description.
So much of what we do in daily life is based on folklore.
I have gifted this painting to one of the best friends a gal can have....
Sharon Glover, a remote area nurse in the Northernmost settlement in Canada...Inuvik!
She, is a Native Canadian Nurse (extraordinaire) in this remote settlement.
We have planned to get together in April this year and catch up with each other and just be near for a while.
I miss you Sharon!

I hope you like it!

Grandmother Moon
(As told by Bell Byrne)
In a time before humans walked the earth and the spirits roamed the skies there was the daughter of the Creator. She loved the spirit that held the power of to create fire and wanted to mate with him. The Creator did not want the daughter to be near fire and asked her to leave the love she had for the spirit on a star and forget him.

The daughter disobeyed the Creator and secretly wed the fire spirit. The Creator was heartbroken that she had disobeyed and knew that nothing good would come from this union. The Creator had made her the spirit of water and the beginner of life.
Fire could bring water to a boil and at the same time, water could douse the flames of fire. There would never be any balance in the union.

To help, the Creator gave his daughter two babies to birth. Two sons to balance the femaleness and one to each carry the spirit of their parent. One son was to be the father of all humans and the other son was to be the father of all animals.

The twins fought constantly in their mother's womb. The brother who was to father all animals was impatient and wanted to be born soon. The brother who was to father all humans was patient and wanted to wait for his birth so he would know what his humans had to do to come to life.

One day, close to the day they were to be born, the anxious brother could wait no longer and pushed to get out of the womb. His brother was blocking the way out so he pushed against the side of his mother. His brother sensing that his mother was in grave danger, pushed his way out through the birth canal in the hopes his brother would follow. His brother didn't notice that he now had a clear path out the birth canal - he continued to push against his mother's side.

Finally, he pushed so hard he split his mother in two. As she lay dying, her father and husband held each part of her. Her husband's last gift to his wife was to make her burn bright as a star and her father - who was grief stricken could only mold her into a cold, dead ball. When all life left her, the father and husband took each part of her and placed her in the sky. Her fire part shone brightly and cast light on the earth and the desolate ball her father had placed beside the earth. Her husband called it the Sun.

The Creator grief was appeased when he saw how brightly the ball shone, he called it Moon.

Both the father and husband were angry with the twin that killed his mother. He was banished and made walk among neither the humans or the spirits. Because he has supposed to be the father of the animals, he tried to make one. It came out a mixture of all the ugly animals. It had a duck's beak, an otter's webbed feet, the fur of a squirrel and did not birth live children but laid eggs like a bird or lizard. It lived in neither the water nor the land but in both. We still see that animal today. The platypus.

The other son went on to father the humans and he lived a good and happy life with his wife and children. He was given a gift by the humans of an animal helper, the rabbit. In turn he gave the rabbit a special place in the universe as it would gladly sacrifice itself to keep the humans alive, it's meat was sweet, it's fur kept them warm.

The mother looks down on her sons from the sky. During the day, her moon half is always there and at night her sun half is reflected in the face of her moon half. She is there always.

This was told to me as a child by my grandmother in the winter times when stories were told. We'd only tell stories until the sap started to run in the Spruce trees and the geese came back. Then it was time to stop the stories and start hunting and building the salmon weirs.