Tag Archives: art

Belonging: Receiving the Self

Lucy Pierce and I (Lucy Pearce) discovered each other as people kept mistaking us for each other – we create art and words on the theme of the sacred feminine but on other sides of the world – she in Australia, me in Ireland.

Belonging - Lucy Pierce

Belonging – Lucy Pierce

This image is an offering to all those who have carried within themselves an experience of woundedness, who have harbored within a place where no sun can shine, where the shimmering of the stars cannot find its way, where the rain does not fall, nor the Earth nourish. To all of those of us who, because this woundedness is a hidden thing, a thing for which we might feel shame, because this hiddenness we do not even show to our own self, when we are with others, still we feel alone and even when there are eyes upon us, still we feel unseen, and even when a hand of love is extended, still we feel unloved, and even from within the raucous celebrations of our tribe, that deep hidden part of us remains untouched.

This is a picture for all those who have struggled to be seen for all that they are in this life, those who are timid and unsure of how to bring their love and their gifts to commune with the world. For all those who have hidden their light or felt they were alone within the midst of the many. For all the times we forget that we are the centre, however we find ourselves, and that this is the place to start to plant our seeds of love, carefully tending them with our presence, so that that which is still hidden within us may become a bountiful wellspring that feeds the hearts and souls of the all, so that we may find our own unique place in the circle of life.

As we deeply honor the grief of our perceived separateness, we find our connection to the whole, for the world needs us now. Our mother Gaia needs us all, to bring our gifts out from the dark corners of our own unworthiness, into the light of our collective becoming. You have never been alone dear heart. No longer believe the shame, it is a lie you whisper to yourself to keep yourself small and you are so far from small, you are a magnificent human being. We may need to endure the terror of exposing our own magnificence. It is true that to begin with it might feel deeply uncomfortable to be seen, but it is time, tender one, hiding in the shadows, to offer love to your own un-livedness, to become the safe place to land your heart in the world, with its vast medicine bundle of beauty.

As we each turn within, to offer our limitless capacity of love to our own true selves, no longer giving any other being the authority or responsibility of keeping us small or safe, or to give us permission to shine, knowing that what we carry within us is ours to give, no longer believing those that might once have told us our bigness was not wanted, was not welcome.

By loving ourselves, caring for and tending to the aliveness of our own interiority, we become strong and deep-rooted in our capacity to give of ourselves, the newborn nectar of our own true purpose.

I pray that we may each come to know a place of belonging completely to our own selves, surrounded by the tribe that would have us be all that we are. From the edge we become the centre, as the deep listening to the soft within becomes the rich, fertile compost which mobilizes our capacity to worship the divine creative essence of our own healing, of our own belonging, to self, to tribe, to Earth, to Cosmos. We receive ourselves and are home.

BELONGING

Such a tender crippling to the deep within

So young when the question arose

Around love and trust and the violence of absence

So that all that remained was to fly

or to trust this timid listening

at the dark edge of things

seeking the answer that might one day flower

on the inside of things,

longing for trust,

something without strings or bitter consequence.

So hungry for the bedrock of something true,

a love free from violence,

something whole and reciprocal.

Honing the impulse to fall inside

until one finds the love that should have come

but did not.

The hungry nose of instinct

always leading me in and away,

so mute and trembling the terror of not being loved

as mightily as a part of me longs for,

sifting through the self-loathing,

making piles of the not-known,

in search of something known,

that one smooth, warm river stone,

amongst the mountains of others.

That one stone that I can nestle in the palm of my hand,

passing it’s surface across my tear-stained cheek

and know it as belonging,

know it as something I have earnt,

know it as something that is my own to hold onto.

pure and clean,

warm and true.

Keening for the vision of self and other

and life that existed before the wound became the lens

through which the world was viewed.

To be born to such a blind grief,

that deflects our understanding

and evades our coarse penetrations,

that the world does not resemble flower petals,

that the world has lost its tribe and language,

that we have forgotten to fall with the rain through the sky,

fall with the rain across the golden mountain,

fall with the rain through the sun-drenched trees,

fall with the rain to the sweet and hungry mouth of Earth. Ourselves and the rain,

the mountain and the trees

and the Earth

golden in the last rays of the day’s ancient sun.

My heart has always been betrothed to this elusive bride,

always seeking her with my vow

that I would feel that which was given no name,

that I would ride into the dark night of my own interiority

and keep the silence company,

courting the tender embrace of the universe.

lphead

Lucy Pierce

Trained in Fine Art, majoring in Ceramics at RMIT, I now live in the beautiful Yarra Valley, not far from the river and overlooking the mountains, with my beloved partner and 3 beautiful children. I feel my creative work has led me on a journey deep into the psycho-spiritual realms of my being. Through my creative impulse I feel wooed into a deep engagement with the poetic interface of life.

For many years now my practice as an artist has flowed alongside my journey of being a mother and this experience has deeply imbued my body of work, as I have explored the profound embodiment and awesome expansion, the unfathomable challenge and gift that is pregnancy, birth and the raising of small humans. Alongside this and interwoven, there sits the profound journey of finding, keeping and loving a man, traversing the terrain of inhabiting a deep and real and connected love and transcending the illusions and projections that can sabotage that connection.

I am passionate about dance, poetry, song, dream, story, the blood mysteries, meditation, prayer, sexual expression, sweat lodge, women’s circling, all as avenues of exploration of the inner terrain of my being. These rich vehicles provide an ever-present compulsion to explore, create and express in physical form, that which I find in the unknown and sometimes unknowable places of the body and the beyond.

Always it seems for me at the heart of all my expression is the deep sense of love and reverence I feel for that great, deep, primordial feminine energy that I feel pulsing at the core of life, for the divine and majestic Mother Earth and her perpetual devotion to beauty, diversity and truth, her ever-present nurturance and astonishing capacity to reveal, delight, immerse and enlighten, and how we as her children are inextricably dependent on her for our well-being and our survival.

Since I can remember I have always made art and written poetry, and it feels like a wondrous thing to come to a place where I feel able to offer these ramblings and scribblings to the world. With my little people playing at my feet, sheltering beneath my skirts, I am slowly endeavoring to give back to the great river of creative energy from which I have fed from so delectably for all the days of my life. It is my hope that some of my work might find a tender place to land in the hearts of those who bare witness to my offerings and that a shared resonance of beauty, truth and goodness may come to sing in the collective soul of our kind.

You can find a selection of my paintings, sculptures and poetry on my website http://www.lucypierce.com

Nipples to the wind

Last weekend we went to the swimming pool, the whole family. It brought home to me how alive the gender divide still is when it comes to our bodies. My husband just put his trunks in the bag and went, where as I spent half an hour de-fuzzing my armpits and legs from their winter growth.

And then as we got ready to swim, I looked at my two girls, aged two and four. Each completely themselves. One in a pink floral patterned ultra girly swim suit, with frilly parts to draw the eye to her non existent four year old bust. And the other in a pair of her brother’s old pirate monkey shorts. Topless.

“You look like a boy,” my seven year old son said to her.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because she’s only wearing shorts and I can see her nipples,” was the reply.
And yes, there she was, nipples to the wind, just the same as he was at that age.

And it felt good to me. And to her. And everyone else just got on with their lives assuming she was a boy.
Because truly, there is no shame in a girl’s nipples. It feels ridiculous to even say it.
Why do they need to learn to be “discrete” with a non-genital part of their body, when little boys can bear them in public, shamelessly? It is just learning a body shame which will get worse as they get older. Something is seriously wrong with our culture, when nipples are fine on the cover of lads’ mags, and Page 3 of the daily paper in the UK, but are considered shameful to be exposed for their biological function: feeding a baby.

I see pictures of tribes’ people around the world with longing. There are the women – from 14 to 70 with their breasts, all shapes and sizes, to the wind.

Their beautiful, normal breasts.

But the first sign of civilisation, when other cultures impinge on theirs, is the covering of a woman’s breasts. I remember hearing an Aboriginal elder, one of the lost tribes, who was “discovered” by a white explorer in the 1950s. She looked back at the photographs he took of their lifestyle, this woman who was wearing a baggy T shirt. Oh look she says, we used to go everywhere with nothing on our boobies! And laughs.

And I feel a longing to have that freedom. When the sun shines, to not be tangled in a bra for support, and a T shirt for modesty, but to join my husband and son and every builder in Ireland as we whip off our tops to feel the sun soak into our skins.

Not to make a statement, or to tittilate or shock. Just because the sun is out, my body is not shameful, and I put my nipples to the wind.

The Power to Shock!

There is an undeniable power in our menstrual blood.The power to shock.

Perhaps it is truly the last taboo in a seemingly unshockable world.

It is expected that we keep it hidden – we do not talk about it, we do not show it. It is therefore invisible, often even to our intimate partners.

But even those of us who feel pretty liberated, who speak openly of it, can find ourselves shocked…

I have just discovered this website – where artists from around the world make art with, or about, menstrual blood. How does it make YOU feel?

Image credit:”My First Menstruation,” 1999, Ana Elana Pena, Spain.

It is only blood!

If you cut your finger, chances are you would put it straight in your mouth. No fear, no hang ups, no disgust.

But menstrual blood…

Are YOU unshockable?