Why Grouse? This bird signifies the Sacred Spiral Dance in the Native American Tradition. According to author, Jamie Sams in her book, Medicine Cards:
“Many spiritual disciplines ask that you cease all external movement in order to recognize the inner life. Grouse medicine, however, is an invitation to the dance. Grouse celebrates the Divine Source through its sacred spiral dance…you can spend a lifetime learning…how to harmonize your dance with…” the cycles of the earth.
Jamie Sams recommends that you “Analyze the way you move through your world…In the final analysis, is your movement compatible with your greatest desires and goals?”
It is interesting to consider these things in this time of slowing down and sheltering in place. How do I conduct my dance when I’m at home, alone? Or in relation to my
family or housemates? Or out in nature? Or when social distancing with a friend on a trail? Or when on a Zoom Call? Or when in conversation over the telephone? This forced slowing down is an opportunity for me, for you to observe how we move in the world in the midst of a pandemic. And, how are we going to choose to move in the world when the virus has run its course? Is it going to be different? Reverential perhaps?
What did this painting mean to me? At the time I painted it? Of course, it’s whimsical. I typically use an actual image, or several images, of who or what I’m painting to ground it in some recognizable reality. Then, it becomes fanciful. I call this Grouse Takes a Walk. Doesn’t he look purposeful. And even like he himself is a celebration of being.
Thomas Berry talks about The Great Story. He talks about life celebrating itself. The universe loving expressiveness through all of its variety of manifestations. That’s what I feel when I look at this grouse! CELEBRATION.
The question for me is how am I harmonizing with a celebratory universe? Or, am I adding to the devastation of our earth home within the universe? I feel that these are the questions that are before us in this time of pandemic. What am I going to do differently to preserve our earth home for future generations? I feel that this is our job at this time, to give this some serious thought.
“…the universe, by definition, is a single gorgeous celebratory event.”
from “Returning to Our Native Place,” in The Dream of the Earth p. 5