My paints like a chaman’s drum.
I have a friend. Well she is not really a friend. In fact, we were in the same performing arts school at the same time. Well almost the same time. She came one year before I left. I was in the cool group. Narcistically fussing around with each others, we used to see people but not really watch and observ them. Except for her. All dressed in black, Claire was looking like a black and white movie star with her tiny hat and its fishnet trowing a mysterious shade over her pointy face, and her leathery mittens. She has those shoes with those strange heels. And she was so skinny. She was noticeable for sure yet very shy. The word on the street was she never ate and for diner had vodka only. She was also supposedly involved in black magic. She was a poetess. Well, Claire was the mystery we were I think, to impressed to try to solve.
This enigmatic woman is now a screenwriter, a gifted one, she indeed won several prices. She teaches the art of writing for the movie industry and tv and is also a talented novelist.
Her path is so interesting. She found a way to lead us book after book to this one. “ Pourquoi je n’ai pas écrit de film sur Sitting Bull”. A book about the way she learnt that she was a natural born chaman. And the journey initiated by the ethereal apparition of Sitting Bull in her kitchen. She gave us a key to unveil the Claire’s mystery. From her chilhood, through the Cours Simon (where I met her) to her encounter with Ernie Lapointe, Sitting Bull’s hair. French people are very cautious with such litterature. So cleaverly, she used the homeopathic approach of dropping ideas, quotes and images in her books, like a subconscious trail wich lead us to accept the incredible story she was about to tell us. Her red thread.
If you can read in french and you like to know about transformative journeys, read this book. Follow Claire in her visions and a-ha moments.
Even if it felt familiar to me, she gave me an element that I was missing. One that shook my world a little bit and my art a little more : The native American drums’ beat as an opening to the other side.
Those last days, most of the conversations I had was about trance and what came out of it. A while ago, I practiced a Congolese native’s trance called Ngunza. I had the honor to reconnect with my spirits and let them take my body through precious healing trances. Those trances helped us ( our practitionners’group) find what was going on with patients in need of a cure. But I never used them for my art.
Then in Bali, I have been introduced by a former ballet dancer to “the 5 rythms” intitiated by Gabrielle Roth. I could feel my body pulsing with life and sensuality. This dance is a fantastic portal to creation and freedom. So every day I used to let my body feel the rythm, dancing my pain and my fear away. But because I had an heavy surgery, on september, I couldn’t dance anymore on a daily basis. (7 months recovery).
So I needed to find a way to explore my psyche. After a very intensive workshop, in a fantastic group of strange inspired creatve women, I joined for six weeks, the feeling I had of myself had deeply and dramatically shifted. I was curious about what was laying inside of me that I wasn’t aware of and how to convey that through my painting. For me, trance and meditation always have built bridges between me and myself. I wanted more.
I started by using the app Timer. Before falling asleep I would listen to Tibetan singing bowls. Then after a few days, I turned to the sounds of nature, water flowing most of all embeded with binaural waves. It helped me experiencing very vivid and insightful dreams that I was reporting on a notebook on my bedside table as a friend, Mirjam told me to do.
Every dream and vision was about painting or acting. My brain was boiling. I couldn’t stick on an idea. I had so many. With Mirjam I talked a long time. She can travels between worlds and she was able to give me good advices. After the last conversation we had, I was inspired to work on a “hand of Fatma” or Khamsa with an antic Egyptian feel…It is also known as “The hand of Miriam”! ( I learned that today!)
Then I began to read Claires’ book and things went deeper. She attended drums circles for her trance led by a Chaman woman from Siberia. She had vivid and very precise visions. It talked to me in a way I couldn’t develop here. Let say I always felt a deep connection with first nations, pygmies, aborigines, native American, Inuits, maoris, gypsies … because of the communion they still have with the elements and the universe I guess. And the words she used were familiar.
So I started to listen to drums, even recorded, the sound got me and my meditation was so intense, that my cats as my son told me, stood in front of my door ( wich was open) in a solemn silence, waiting for me to finish. Beautiful mystical guardians. I was listening to the drums with headphones on. And nevertheless, they felt the energy. I had insight about where my paintings were going to, and how to play with lines and shapes and dig deeper into my roots.
And yesterday, a friend I have not seen since two years ago, sent me a message. She wanted to see me. As a matter of fact, she is the proud owner of a chaman’s drum and used to be part of a drum’s circle. Interresting.
The path is just starting. I love the connection between my art and this energy.
When I’ll be able to, I will go on with the soul dance. I feel that using dance movements for painting would be such a wonderful experience. I would like so much to be able to convey the joy and the sublime energy that rise from dancing through my paintings to the observant. A sweet and passive transfer of energy.
My paints like a chaman’s drum.
Did you experiment such a thing? Losing yourself to find… You?