Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Archetype of the Death Mother

There are fine lines these days between doing nothing, doing anything, and proceeding mindfully along the path of compassionate disinterest doing the next right thing with intention. As I sit at my writing table and gaze out on the Los Padres foothills, I have lots of mentors for the path of compassionate disinterest. The trees keep growing, the birds keep lighting on the branches, the late afternoon sunlight falls across the hills defining them in light and dark. Soon the sun with throw up the pink glow of the end of the day and I will feel fully instructed in the art of personal smallness in the big picture.

I finished painting the mandala on my studio floor. Really, what's the point? It's an act of faith in the Creative Process, the idea for the mandala came to me and I followed through. So what does this have to do with the Death Mother? She is an archetype that whispers to us "What's the use?" Why paint the floor? There's a war in Iraq. Why write stuff in a blog? maybe I'm only talking to myself. That, I have decided, is actually enough. If I have a place to wrangle my thoughts and feelings into consciousness and don't tar others with the brush of my unresolved anxiety, yes, that is definitely worth the effort. As it turns out, there are other amazing benefits. People write to me and commiserate from all over the globe. Another wonderful lesson of the art of personal smallness.

But, the Death Mother also lives in me and made a recent appearance. Her image was my fairly constant companion at the AATA (American Art Therapy Association) conference in New Orleans in November. She had a lot to say about trauma If you'd like to read more about that, go to the 'Writings' section of the website or click on

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Finally, the Creative Source has a great sense of humor. Here is a photo of the blossoming agave plants in my backyard. This is the plant that tequila is made from.

1 comment:

Susanna said...

Depression has no currency with the dead.

Life and death are the.
Same, This is our mistake,
To think otherwise.

To be alive we must be
Dead to the world.
To be dead we must be
Alive to the world.

Is this not simple
Enough to follow?

Susanna Ruebsaat April 27/09