The stirring has begun….the edging up to, the winding pathway, the journey through the labyrinth. I am having creative urges. Sometimes, they walk in the door (though I have never met them) as if they have lived here all my life. Other times they seem to lurk in the shadows for a while, fading in and out of my attention for many years. It’s like catching a glimpse of a mermaid under my canoe. I am being visited by inspiration right now….some folks don’t like to mention it when they are, afraid to frighten it away.
I’m not afraid, this one is a stranger I have known for ever. Longer than my own life. The River.
I have been quite fortunate in this life to have spent plenty of time living near bodies of water. In my early youth, it was lakes…olive green and warm and opaque. I had small shallow goldfish ponds in the back yard of one house I lived in.
In my adolescence, I lived beside the rich murky waters of the Cheaspeake Bay, and Hampton Roads, deep slate gray and blue in the winter months….smelling strongly of crab and other fishy things in the summer.
In my early adulthood, it was the vastly beautiful Carribean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean… a deep cobalt blue on the horizon, and warm turquoise shallows and pools….and that barely describable shade of the deep waters turning in the midst of a rollicking hurricane.
I have had a recent run of living in towns that grew up on rivers. Frankfort, Kentucky and the deep green waters of the Kentucky river, the crystal clear streams and rocky streambeds… the bridge I would cross every day after picking up my daughter from Kindergarten, and we would toss a few twigs off the side and watch them slowly drift along on the smooth verdant water.
Lethbridge, Alberta sits upon the Oldman River, framed by soft river stones, and partially frozen for most of the winter months (which is long and unpredictable, except that it will certainly be cold). The shores of the ancient river are lined with beautiful rounded stones of all colors and textures…and surrounding them are the coulees, which are the corrugated earth shapes that trace the eons-old journey of the Old Man River as it winds its way through Alberta. If you are familiar with photos of my jewelry, you’ve seen a few of those treasured river stones.
Now, I live at the mouth of the pristine San Marcos River. Aquarena Springs, where the water bubbles up from hundreds of yards below the surface, holds pools of crystal clear turquoise waters rich in calcium and teeming with history. It is fed by the Edwards Aquifer and is incredibly clean, and sanctified by many Native American tribes. In fact, this specific spring has provided artifacts that suggest this site has been consistently inhabited for over 12,000 years. TWELVE. THOUSAND. YEARS. Whoa…..
And here I rest, at the beginning of another investigation in metal and stone. I get into this river archetype and explore its realms. My aim is to begin think like a river, like THIS river. I have long revered the waters of this planet as the very blood of the organism which supports my life. I adore the shapes, moods, and colors on rivers, on water. Water feeds a need in me to associate with the changing tides, with the ever shifting sand of the very grounds of our lives.
Water cools, calms, purifies. Water also has great powers of destruction…it can rage, submerge, erode. And it nourishes, it feeds and protects. It has all the best features of any great Goddess in any culture. It is the source of so much muchness. I can only trace a few of her contours, and I can only capture a shadowy glimpse of her true nature…but this is the way I float now, imagining I am clothing myself in her waters, offering the prasad of my heart and hands. Down the lazy river, to inspiration….
Stay tuned to see how she unfurls herself to me now…..she will surface soon. www.etsy.com/anitashultz