Another reason the Solstice celebration was special for me this year was because this is the year my friend Gisela Wendling, who lives in Australia, brought the painting she has been working on for me since we launched her blog/site Liminal Songlines just before the last Solstice.
The name of this painting is "Businesswomen Doing Women's Business", and it reflects our collaborative efforts to support each other's work in the world. I had asked Gisela for something that would inspire me on a deep level, and to do that she drew on her experiences in ceremony with indigenous women in the deserts of Australia, powerful spiritual practice specifically described as "women's work".
While Gisela makes it clear that what she does is NOT Aboriginal painting, she uses some of the same iconography, which in Aborginal art is very literal, figurative and descriptive rather than abstract patterns as they may appear to a Western eye.
The two figures in middle of the central circle of my painting are Gisela and I, and we are surrounded by other circles of women sitting in ceremony. The circle in the top right is of men, also sitting in ceremony, and the circle in the lower right without people is what's "on the edge", or horizon. The flowing colored lines that frame the top and bottom are reminiscent of the snake that plays such a central role in Aboriginal creation stories, while the flowing lines in the background are the shifting sands of life at this time on earth as we come together in a sacred way while everything in our external world is changing.
Gisela and I were able to sit together for a few hours after the Solstice, reflecting on this beautiful painting and how it came into being. She was asking how what we did by supporting each other - me by helping her articulate her work through a web presence and her by creating a place of inspiration for me - reflects a way of being together as women that could inspire similar forms of relationship and mutual generosity in others. Unwilling to separate the sacred and the secular, together we recognized and affirmed that our work is sacred and that's the place we want to stand in the world.
I am blessed to wake up to this vibrant call to life every morning. Thank you, dear Gisela.