Everybody needs an altar…
Well I said
“Lily, Oh Lily I don’t feel safe
I feel that life has blown a great big hole
And she said
“Child, you must protect yourself
You can protect yourself
I’ll show you how with fire”
( – Kate Bush, Lily, The Red Shoes)
Have I told you that I’m sharing my studio with a little man now?
In the past weeks we found some precious objects by the sea and I had rather randomly put them in my beautiful cabinet. But then, after a few days, the objects began to move. A little bit every day. Until today, I noticed that they were no longer just precious objects. Look who grew inside my cabinet….
What a miracle! But actually it’s no wonder! My cabinet is a sacred space in my house. Not only is it filled with the most beautiful picture books and books on painting techniques and a fine collection of beautiful art journals, biographic graphic novels and facsimile editions of diaries…it also harbours, in its core, a little altar.
My altar is not so much a religous place, as it is a place where I’ve gathered ojects of importance to me. An eclectic collection of autobiographical paintings, sacred gifts that friends have given me over time, precious objects I found in nature, a handmade wand, a few holy objects, a handmade ceramic ammonite representing the ever ongoing circle of life and death, fossils I’ve found over time, incense and a very tiny saucer with salt in it…to remember to take life with a pinch of salt, every now and then.
My altar is the starting point of a work day for me when I light some incense while water for tea is boiling in the kettle. I love its scent spreading through the studio, the house. My cabinet is in the center of my studio and every day when I enter my studio, lighting the incense is like bidding my studio good morning before opening the curtain. It is, however small it may be, a place full of treasures and perfect to welcome any day and offer wee bits of peace throughout the remains of those days.
Not all of my precious gifts are in my altar just yet…but to all of you who’ve ever given me a little something to represent something bigger…thank you so much. If it’s not in here already, it very soon will be. It means that much to me.