|Illustrator Pablo Auladell and friend.|
|Writer/artist Edward Gorey as puppeteer.|
Various sources tell us of our inner beings, the ways they inform and shape our lives. Inner goddesses, the inner child, inner chef, inner entrepreneur. I wish for us each to claim our inner creatures.
My creatures are closely tied to the inner child, their gifts the ones I wish she'd had to provide a greater sense of safety and of self. My inner octopus, a master of camouflage and squeezing into tiny hiding places. Tentacles, essentially eight additional brains, would have sensed when conditions required caution. I cannot imagine an octopus behaving recklessly. My outer child/teenager was a puzzling combinations of timid and foolhardy. The creature's ability to move swiftly yet with the languid grace found in water-dwellers speaks to my inner mermaid. The sense of becoming weightless, certainly less gravity-dominated in water still calls to me.
My inner bear, considered a light hibernator, enjoys long winter naps while being able to awaken and take part in Christmas festivities and a winter birthday, neither of which require actually getting dressed. An especially thick, warm bathrobe could transition handsomely between cave and civilization and would, of course, have roomy pockets to carry foraged treats back to the nest. There might also be an inner tortoise capable of hibernating more deeply. The three which were family pets spent their winters in a well-protected location packed with dry leaves, hibernation by concierge.
There is probably a spot at which a spirit animal and inner creature intersect. The attributes of totem forms supply what we most need: a moth, a crow, a fish and my most frequent visitors, parrots. We live in one of the Southern California neighborhoods inhabited by flocks of wild Amazon parrots. They roost and cavort just outside our windows. At times their squawking drowns out conversation. We invent dialogue for them, their loud exchanges sounding like accusation and complaint.
For at least the past 10 years or so I have identified with the story of Ferdinand the Bull, realizing that my activity of greatest comfort is a metaphoric smelling of the flowers, sidestepping conflict, declining to engage in rivalries, feuds, stink talk in general. With the goal of a quiet mind and quiet heart, I follow Ferdinand's example, growing still as I celebrate beauty wherever I find it.
In another post, we may contemplate inner fictional human creatures.
Wishing you blessings of all the Animal Gods. (Thank you, Rebecca.) xo