Interpretation by Susan Gaustad
This week’s poem and the interpretation inspired some questions. Who better to answer them than the interpreter? Susan Gaustad agreed and her commentary is right here and ready to read. Enjoy! —MM
The invitation from Michelle to join with all of you in the “Book of She” project brought me back to the art that I did as a child before I found words as a way to express myself. I left making images behind for decades. Somehow, I developed the cockeyed belief that I could only be a writer!
The poem Michelle gave me,”Compromises,” I wrestled with for days. It even came up in a session I had with a somatic therapist I’ve been working with.
I thought about all the compromises women make from childhood through old age. Compromises within—about our bodies—health—emotional and physical. Compromises in relationships with spouses, companions, lovers, parents, children, friends, employees. Society. The media.
I sketched. I read poetry. I looked at images of women’s bodies, of the goddesses. I took long walks among the trees. I thought about how content must find its own form. Something a “writing me” to told the rest of me years ago when I was working on a memoir.
Nothing seemed to be emerging. I could feel that discomfort inside when something is getting ready to be “birthed,” when I write. And, then one night I dreamed of her. The Goddess of the New Earth. I didn’t know that’s what she called herself until later.
She was vibrant. Glowing. Reverberating. She was Light and Vibration of Energy. If only I could have painted all of what I saw!
She showed me that her purpose is to show us how to listen to ourselves in our bodies, and in turn, to the Living Beings of the Earth. This is done through listening with the entire body—the Heart, the Passion of the belly.
By doing this at an even deeper level than we may have before, we more easily embrace the choice of not compromising Self, of not being caught up in Distractions of the world.
She insisted on a BIG canvas, which scared the crap out of me. I have NEVER worked on canvas that large before! In retrospect, it felt freeing to use my whole body as I drew her at the easel.
At a key time while working on the piece, I got a message from Nina Verin (another SHE interpreter). That message changed the course of image, and I dedicate the glowing trees in the piece to her.
What looks like a clock in the tree is actually a drum! That’s where I was guided to put it. The symbols on it show the lunar cycle. Also, Warriors. Women. Hunting. Deer. Home. Peace.
They come from the Saami, Native American, and Aboriginal tribal traditions. The Goddess uses her drum to connect with the beating of the Heart of the Earth, to encourage us to feel the vibration of chanting and dancing, which connects us to the Earth.
The poem I wrote is channeled directly from her to us. The Light you see in her and around her is in you as well!
She has no name, yet. I have been told that her name will emerge from someone in this group.
I am inspired by Michelle’s poems. I am inspired by the art you each have created and by who you are. I feel so deeply that this group of women has created something beautiful, wise, and life-giving. Our work together has just begun.