Monday, February 13, 2017

Word of the Week - 154

Illustrator Pablo Auladell and friend.
Writer/artist Edward Gorey as puppeteer.
Word(s) of the Week:  INNER CREATURES

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


Melissa Green said...

Ah, yes, our inner critters, the totem animals that whisper in our ear, guide us, protect us, camouflage us. They've mastered the art of teleportation and beckon to us also from the world, to the world, promising the use of their wings, talons, beaks, swift hooves to make our journey safe. You are companioned continually by creatures--the norty Choklit clan, suave M. Croc--whose daily exploits and interactions delight you. We choose our totem animals, but of course, they also choose us. Being accompanied through life by them assures us great doses of magic, mystery, myth as we follow their narrative adventures, and take their attributes and strengths as our own. Ferdinand the Bull--of course. A creature of power who has no wish to dominate or engage in wrangles, who prefers beauty always. Thank you for reminding me of mine: the honeybee and the magpie. xoxo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - Thank you. The magpie I would have known but perhaps not the honeybee. M. Croc remains an adviser, companion and muse through calm seas and rough. No wrangles if it can possibly be helped and wisdom always welcome, always appreciated. Why not avail ourselves of skills we don't possess by seeking the company of those who embody such strengths? Oh, for talons, oh, for a beak! xo

Melissa Green said...

I love this blog post, Marylinn--so much ugliness has ensued since a year ago, that I really have no recollection of either reading or responding to it. One thing FB is good at is keeping track of what we wrote when we were less distracted, or had a moment of clarity or were moved to tears by something beautiful. I'm so glad to have seen this again--Edward Gorey as puppeteer--the mind reels with delight, and that young man with his gorgeous fish! Thank you. After what seems like a lifetime in the trenches, beating back the monsters in Washington, it is so good to be reminded that the animal kingdom, of which most of us are a part, has got our back, fill us with their mimicry--we can fly, we can sing, we can sleep away the winter, we can dive underwater without coming up for air and see all kinds of gorgeous creatures there who will swim beside us. Sigh. Yes, M. Croc and the Norty Weasils--imaginations very own regents. Love you and all of your various incarnations.