I've spent a good part of this week exploring the phrases "my hands are tied", and "the ties that bind". My hands have been hurting a lot recently - trying to grip a door knob, pick up a pice of paper, turn a page in a book. All of these tasks can be difficult and need to be done with both hands at certain times of the day. The joint between my thumbs and wrists in both hands have deteriorated, due to lupus, with bone on bone grinding - basically it's arthritis, which my hand doc says can only be resolved with joint replacement. We have tried less invasive approaches, as well as other surgeries, with no success. I've also tried acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, energy work... believe me - seeing a hand surgeon was my last choice after all else failed.So, as is my way, I look at these hands that are bound by pain and some use limitations -these hands that create things of beauty, hands that surprise even me, and I admire them for what they can do. Mostly this exploration has been done with thoughts, but an image has been haunting me for days and I have finally finished creating it, using four pages to spread it out.Seeing bound hands is not an unfamiliar image to me. A number of years ago I had a recurring dream of myself being hung by my hands and thumbs. I know, sounds pretty dramatic. I was in a dark dank room, hanging - I remember little else before waking. I'm not sure about sharing this story at all, but what the heck...
click on images for closer view
Not long after the dreams began a friend was telling me about a woman she had done a "reading" with, for something called soul retrieval, or soul memory. Soon, another friend had a reading, and the more they talked about it, the more my curiosity was peaked. This was about - wow, twelve years ago. (yes indeed, time does fly!) Long story short, I made an appt for a reading with Ellen, which was done over the phone, since I was living in Tucson, and she was in the San Diego area. At the time I wanted out of the desert and southwest, so my husband and I were searching for someplace to move to - that's where my primary focus and hope for guidance was when she asked what I'd like her reading to focus on. That and the source of my then undiagnosed pain.We set the appt for a week or so later, and when I called her back, at the pre-arranged time, one of the first things she told me was that she "saw" me in a past life, as a very young woman who did hands on healing in tibet. She claimed it was in the beginning of a time of political upheaval, and I was taken and tortured. Ellen said she "saw" my captors beat my hands and hang me from my thumbs and wrists, in an attempt to get me to confess to where the healings and worshipping practices took place, and to give names of other healers... I had told Ellen nothing of my dream (actually, I hadn't shared it with anyone at that point), giving her only my name, birthdate, what I did for a living, and a few questions I wanted answered - the usual stuff. Whether I actually had this past life experience or not doesn't matter to me. What matters is there is a powerful unresolved image that I carry with me, feel in my body. One with so much energy in it that someone else, sensitive enough, was able to pick up on it, too.
One of the reasons I choose to explore things symbolically is that it allows me to not take it all so personally. This removes me from ever being in a place of victim, and allows me to detach and see a situation from all angles - past, present, and potential. I have a lot more to learn from my hands and all the energy and creativity that flows from them.In the mean time, I am experiencing a great deal of pain in these hands of mine currently, but I am aware that the ties that bind me are linked to the Divine, so as I work with and learn from them, the output of artwork may be coming at a slower pace, but it is coming. Shifting gears, adapting, accepting, and remaining in a bit of awe about it all, I will be posting my journal pages when I do them, as I do them - but rather than daily, as I had been, you may see a slower stream.
Then again, I may start doing other work altogether!
There are a lot of ideas percolating, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see :)