One of the first emails I received from Carla Sonheim for the 2013 Year of the Giraffe online class last year was a link to the meanings behind the giraffe as a spirit totem. While I cannot put my hands on the exact words now, the general description stayed with me throughout: Giraffe's medicine includes seeing far into the future, having an uncanny ability to reach things that are unreachable to others, with excellent communication skills, intuition, and an ability to keep one’s head above the mire when required.
Well that got me right between the eyes… I had never, really, even, well, thought about giraffes much up until that point, but working as an Intuitive Counsellor and Consultant this, even for someone who lives, breathes, and teaches synchronicity, was a one heck of a coincidence!
Because it turned out, this was what my year was all about. Relinquishing a whole lot of mire that I had got so bogged down in for a year or so previously (taking on bullies and abusers in our local community, much to my own detriment and allowing it to affect me very badly health-wise.) It was a year of remembering, once again, thoroughly who I am, embracing my intuitive and communication skills, both written and artistic, and recommitting to my life of sharing what I know with others in the years ahead.
What does this have with drawing giraffes? It was all about exploring new avenues and ways of interpreting a concept through paint, mixed media, fabric, sculpture, writing, photography and motion… it was taking an idea and finding different ways to say the same thing, appreciating that each way has a language all of it’s own, and a means to reach another person on their own terms. It was about exercising our muscles that tend to settle into one way of expressing ourselves, thus relinquishing the potential of touching another through a way that would make more sense to them, than to us. It was being willing to make mistakes, and try again, one more time.
The first of each month I would wait up till just past midnight, awaiting the new video, and share quiet moments with Carla doing what she does the absolute best: letting each and every one of us watching know that we matter, that us having fun and learning and sharing her love for art matters, that she really does give a damn about whether we enjoy and learn or not.
And I would be inspired… SO inspired. As my year unfolded, an different priority reared up, took over and my own work was abandoned (Never again... that in itself a valuable lesson thoroughly learned.) I took forever to get going on the tasks, getting further and further behind. Three months in, out of desperation I confessed to Carla on the phone one day my neurotic tendency to procrastinate over choosing the “right” sketchbook for the project, only to come off the phone and find some pieces of cardstock trapped under my chair….
Look what the wheels created….Great sense of humour, that Universe!
and am still inordinately proud of a quick, memory sketch,
which is still one of the more honest pieces I’ve done...
I had a wild time photographing a grape that looked like a giraffe
(work with me here...)
discovered several pieces of driftwood mascarading as giraffes right in my backyard...
and started a series of accordion collage booklets
(I got distracted when looking for paper to do the timeline project at the end) …
Soulfelt thanks to Carla Sonheim for an amazing year...
a wonderous, magical, caring and talented artist we are all the far better for knowing.
So much learned, so much understood and gleamed from the process.
So much fun!
So much more to see if only we are willing to look further…
It begs to wonder what would have happened
if I’d actually done any of the exercises fully!!!!
I have that to look forward to in the future...