There is no collage, no 2021 collage. For the past two years, I attended a day long, ceremonial event with Starfeather. We completed large picture images that would speak to us from the walls.
Pictures were cut from inspiring calendars and magazines. Some people incorporated words. Joy, peace, dream, or even more specifically, words that reminded them of someone that they were honoring, with picture images or small possessions mounted to the foam board.
My 2019 collage became a string of three circles, with lacing and beads. The bottom circle honors my mother, brings an image that makes me think of her Spirit, her love, right there in the bedroom. The smallest is the most important.
The center circle honors a group of spirit animals, images I see in my life, or have seen in dreams and visions and feelings. They symbolize areas in the four directions, keep an etheric quality. A particular animal may draw my attention and my thoughts on any individual day.
The top circle has a ring of hands, the way we reach out to serve. Figures in that ring are touching water, holding a book, reaching others in assistance, holding another in love… It could be seen as observation of my role, our roles on the planet. Or it might be an honorarium of gratitude, a place to be thankful for how we touch others and are touched.
The lacing is always about ancestors. A lot of my creations have lacing. I have amazing ancestors. (If you aren’t fond of your own, trust me, there are ancestors that do ring truth to your spirit. They are there! There are no mistakes. And all of us have inspiration and support from those in the generations of history.) The beads are prayers, caught in the glass, held and loved and prayed.
That was 2019. I did not abandon one for another. It still hangs in the same place, still catches my attention and brings me spaces of awareness.
In 2020, my affinity for larger art exploded into four panels, one for each season. The way it went up on the folding doors of the closet started with the darkness of fall in blacks and deep blue, and moves to winter in white, spring in reds, and summer in green. The colors were taught by White Horse Woman, the Pacific Northwest interpretation of her spiritual wheel. They do depict nature scenes, in twisted, collaged imagery. The ancestors are represented by a large round piece, shaped like the sun, with faces of elders in the center.
When I roll over in bed, I see the sun first, the sun of the collage. It is directly in front of my vision. Guidance, support, love, healing. We generally look to the North for that. But the sun is at the base of the summer. This power encompasses the full year, all of our time. I stare into the faces. I don’t use my mind. There are no thoughts.
So 2021 is socially distanced. I do not have stock piles of magazines. My old calendars are pictureless, as I’ve moved to the versions that are kept in a drawer. Most people are using apps and google.
I am pondering a new version of collage, something more three dimensional. I have definitely watched January be more connected to 2020, the closure incomplete. February might be the best time to breathe energy into 2021. Is it fool hardy, in my situation, to face a year without a collage? What will it entail?
People often begin with a vision. I haven’t. I generally don’t know what the collage means, even as I hang the finished product for observance. I listen to it. I watch it. Each time the collage calls to my understanding, my internal self, shifting.
They evolve. I evolve. 2021 needs to declare a format, since traditional collage is out. I’m excited for its unveiling. I can’t wait for it to speak. I am grateful for the powerful intertwining, for God in my fingertips, and the physical representation and speaking that comes from on high.