Monday, November 29, 2010

Step Forty Four: A postcard from the sweat lodge

Dear Fi,
You might remember (or not ha, ha) that I’m currently enrolled in First Nation Healing Practices class at the U of C (I need to pinch myself from time to time because this is my last class towards my degree and sometimes I cannot believe that I’m almost done!). Because of this class on November 21st I had the opportunity to participate in a traditional Blackfoot sweat lodge ceremony. 

In short: it was a HOT and AMAZING experience. 

I agree with Ed McGaa who wrote that “[w]hile the sweat lodge itself is simple to describe, it is beyond any mortal writer’s ability to adequately convey the ultimate culmination of spiritual, mystical, and psychic expression of the Sweat Lodge Ceremony. Everyone that I have seen experience [it] agrees wholeheartedly: the Sweat Lodge Ceremony is impossible to describe fully. You have to experience it to truly realize its fullness and depth”.
Dear Fi, it would be really hard to try to describe what happened to me as I was sweating through approximately three hours (with breaks of course!) and yet I would like to share this experience with you somehow... 
So I hope that the paintings below will help.
The first painting illustrates my perception before the sweat lodge. I didn’t actually paint it before the “sweat” but as I had been working on this post I realised that the process of transformation of this painting would be a perfect illustration of a change that happened “in me”. 
The second piece is a “new view”, an alignment in perceiving myself, my life, and the whole world after the ceremony... and as you can see, Dear Fi, the adjustment is quite huge ha, ha ;) 
It truly is...
Love :*

1 comment:

  1. wow! this post was absolutely fascinating to read. I've never heard of a sweat lodge before, so the description on wikipedia had me spellbound. I LOVE your transformation painting! The use of white paint really inspired me. I'd never really considered it, till your Step 39, when you experimented with "expressive painting". I can't really describe my feelings properly, but there's something about being able to go back over things with the white... and yet, instead of it then being pristine white, the experience of what was beneath still shines through, but in a more mature, deeper way... I can't explain it, but for me, it makes for a really wonderful painting. Fi xx