Yesterday, for the second time I visited a cultural art exhibit titled “Word Play” organized by artist Sabra Moore at Northern New Mexico College in Espanola New Mexico.
This showing is a feast for an artist’s eyes with some beautiful and moving paintings, sculptures, and mixed media art hung on the walls, and positioned on various stands in one room by Indigenous, Mexican, and American peoples of New Mexico.
Outside the exhibit, which initially included a wonderful sculptured real life word-play see saw by artist Iren Schio and David Fant there is also an amazing dragon created out of scrap metal created by the Northern Youth Project that Iren and David participated in.
This extraordinary sculpture was created out of metal “junk” and other discarded materials that people have thrown away (I put junk in quotes because artist friend Iren Schio has given me an appreciation for discarded objects that are routinely incorporated into extraordinary art works that leave me in a state of perpetual awe). These materials litter our roadsides with human garbage also revealing how we really feel about this precious Earth that sustains us. In the picture it is impossible to see the detail but the dragon’s head is made of metal can openers! Flowers and other cut metal objects adorn the base of this amazing creation.
What I love best about this sculpture is that this is a very friendly dragon. He even has rainbow colored eyelashes. I just wanted to stay close to him!
When Iren sent me the picture of me with the dragon her caption was “Sara befriends the Dragon!” Perfect, I reflected with gratitude.
It was only later that it occurred to me that befriending our dragons is an honorable quest that I have been engaged in throughout my life. If each of us could meet with our own dragon selves and converse with them we could become friends. By doing so we could naturally reduce the dark shadow of denial, projection,* self imposed mind fog, distraction, addiction, and lack of awareness that permeates this culture of greed, hatred, and societal breakdown.
We could then open the door to genuine communication, feeling compassion towards others, human and non-human species alike, and dedicate ourselves to repairing the damage we were once unable to own or work with. By pulling back our own arrows of projection we allow others to be who they are, and best of all we become able to see ourselves in all our vulnerabilities, our strengths, and can make peace with our character flaws by honoring them as a part of ourselves. This radical act automatically opens the door to experiencing our own light as well as the light in others, no small thing in these dark days.
My dreaming body has taught me is that be- friending the dragons in my life is also the way I can continue to respect and love myself.
It is my earnest hope that we can awaken from our collective trance to encounter our own dragons. Only they can help redress our own imbalances and help reverse the effects of the planetary crisis we find ourselves living through.
Please look again!
Thanks again to Iren Schio for this photo!
* Projection is is quality that all humans use to defend themselves from their own darkness by projecting unwanted qualities onto others (humans and animals) unconsciously. Humans also project their own positive qualities onto others. It is my belief that we need to be taught as children that this is something we do naturally so that we can begin to confront our own demons before they become who we are.