Visual Journal 5: Going Feral, the Longship and the Feather

Norfolk Gull Feather Bamboo Driftwood I June 2016Going Feral explains my long silences between blog posts – I’ve gone it (feral), which means reconnecting more profoundly with nature.

Feather is the feather in the image. It’s a feather from a young gull, I think. Enlighten me if I’m wrong.  I found the feather shortly after finding the piece of driftwood into which I’ve placed the feather. The driftwood is an internode of bamboo cross-sectioned by time and tide to expose its characteristic empty interior, which is called a culm.  The stem of a bamboo – you will undoubtedly know – is segmented. Each segment is called an internode and the swellings at each end of an internode are called nodes. I found the bamboo; I found the feather; the feather fits neatly into the hollow culm of the bamboo driftwood. There is meaning in this. I pondered and here is what came to me.

The bamboo driftwood reminded me of a Viking longship. The feather is its cargo. Feathers and I go back a long way. I’ve surely written about them elsewhere on my blog. Symbolically, feathers can represent upward spiritual evolution. Of course, a feather will have meaning specific to the individual to whom it arrives and the context in which it appears. In my case, I was on a beach and arrived there because I am at a junction in life.

I’m going with the idea it’s a gull feather. “In Native American spirituality, seagulls are regarded as spiritual messengers that indicate a higher communication with spirit guides is taking place. Because seagulls see above situations with a higher clarity, they can teach us that there are many perspectives to consider. Gulls shows a sense of friendship and community and the cooperation that is needed for the whole to operate successfully. They demonstrate how to ride the currents of the mental, emotional and physical worlds.”   (From Animal Totems)

The feather I found represents me, of course. Now, it was a Viking custom to use the ships of chieftains as their burial vessels. It was believed that they’d sail away to their afterlife. Was I to die? In a way, yes. Evolving into a new spiritual dimension must be preceded by a casting off, a shedding of an old skin (or in this case, a moult of feathers).

Without going into personal detail, the above makes perfect sense to me. Finding the bamboo longship, then the gull feather to fit perfectly into it, speaks wise and encouraging volumes to me about the journey I have embarked upon. It also gives me further direction. In doing so, it has shown me how to express this visually and to progress some long-abandoned artworks. Talk about killing two birds with one stone (which I wouldn’t).

PS  Vikings turned their longships upside down, sometimes, when they then became refuges and places in which to secret themselves before springing attacks.

Do objects fall at your feet?  Do you ponder their possible messages?  I’d like to know.

And … I think we should. Ponder. Objects that are placed at our feet.


About AnnIsikArts

This entry was posted in Art, Art Journal, Artist Sketchbooks, Creativity, Inspiration, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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