Thursday, 31 May 2007

The Trickster way

Some time ago, I began reading the autobiography of Chief Archie Fire Lame Deer (in French it is called "Le cercle sacré"- "Gift of Power" in English ????). Two sessions of holotropic breathwork had made me see unexpected aspects of my personality, and had encouraged me to learn more about the Native American culture. This, by the way, is also what encouraged me to get into beading seriously.

Reading Archie Fire Lame Deer's book gave me a great lesson in what courage is all about. Also this book introduced me to the notion of "Heyokas", the Sacred Clowns. For a long time I said jokingly that this had something to do with me. I am left-handed, clumsy, hold two nationalities and generally have a habit of saying the wrong things at the wrong time, dressing up inadequately for the occasion and often making people laugh unintentionally. Feeling inadequate is something I have known all my life. And funny things happen to me all the time.

Musing about what to do for my June BJP page, I found a remarkable essay by Larry Ellis entitled "Trickster : Shaman of the Liminal". It tells about the archetype of the trickster, of Coyote and thresholds. Well, I had been losing my home keys and access card for work all week so it made me smile. However I was deeply moved to find out in this article a Nez-Percé version of Orpheus and Eurydice, as this is one of my favourite myths, and this is what had brought me there in the first place. So I decided to do something around this Coyote story, including Nez-Percé style beading.

But Coyote is a weird protector ; yesterday evening I got fired two days before the end of my work assignment and asked to hide from my boss by staying at home. The reason ? I almost made a cockup. Anyways, later that evening, I was called for two other job interviews. Hey, calm down, Coyote ! lol

Another great essay on the Sacred Clown is here.

Back to beading, one of the first book I bought was "Beadwork, a World guide" by Caroline Crabtree and Pam Stallebrass, closely followed by "North American Indian Jewellery and Adornment" by Lois Sherr Dubin. Awesome stuff. I was immediately attracted to Native American beading, especially from the Woodland area, and wanted to copy flower patterns but didn't dare to. It soothed me to think that Europeans immigrants bought two good things to Native Americans ; glass beads and horses. Time has now come for me to dare to bead one of these flower patterns and to heal the grief and shame about human follies.


freebird said...

Helene, I feel a little out of sync myself at times. Right now I am hoping I did not offend you with my comments on copying and borrowing other's works (BJP blog). Maybe I did not but I just have an uncomforable feeling in myself and want to apoligize if I did offend you. I think you brought up a very good topic for discussion. I had a woman literally drawing, in front of me at my craft fair table, one of my creations! I didn't caution her not to copy but only borrow the idea and I was a bit annoyed. Then I told myself she probably just liked the idea. I hope so, anyhow. I have been enjoying reading the comments you leave on blogs; you are very supportive, encouraging and kind. Also, I thought you couldn't get fired from a job in France; that's what our news would have us believe.

Hélène H said...

Oh, no you didn't offend me at all, Freebird. I love exchanging ideas and experiences, hearing about other people's lives.

Yes you can be fired in France, although I believe it's more difficult than in most countries.

Take care, kind regards, Hélène