The Originary Child
Hermaphroditism of the child. Conjunction of female and male.
Initiation by Holy Bird. Drawing with oil pastels. April 2021. One of a sequence.
In a new drawing (in my sketchbook, not yet developed) the phallus has energetic fields which move beyond itself in a looping, orbiting way. Like a slingshot of energetic dust, a force field of attraction, with a pulling power, a gentle stroking towards its erect self. It is like a planet which is elongated, in a solar system which is not open on all sides.
And when kissing in the drawings, the faces become open, like a cove/beach/land/ receiving the sea.
I draw the Song of the Navel. It calls the hand of the Man into its sound bath/field/site; as the young bird opens its gape, she finds the parent-lover bird has thrust his beak inwards. The point of the bill tickles my throat.
In the drawing the wings are folded or pointed forwards, they protect the front of the body.
Electricity snakes from my nipples, charging the air with fire.
The tongue from the navel. The serpent emerging behind her, her arms hold it between her shoulders. She opens herself to the ground. She reflects the spring; the waters gather in her, she holds them in a bud inside.
The serpent’s head smooth and ancient, a rock painting remembered; it travelled here in dreams, in the breath of ghosts, in mineral dust and fingerprint traces. ‘How did it get here?’, A child might ask. Her little animal sculpture, bowing in grace, body decorated with flowers and love:how did that get here? How did she know it looked like that? The beauty bud emerging through the movements of her fingers, moisture, and clay. She made the creature, her teacher could not believe she hadn’t copied it from books. But no. It arose spontaneously, there is an uninterrupted line of energy/messages between her consciousness and that of the ancients.
The song of the navel, it calls his hands into her field. They open and cup the airs as they emerge. Dappled they drift like dusty motes, then caught on his palm he presses onto paper, the voices of the old ones call to us once more.
The child in the school room makes the sculpture, she’s visited by spirits through her little red hands. They shape the clay. Her love for animals pours itself into the creature, and her fear, and her alone-ness. She doesn’t understand what she has made. She doesn’t understand that it’s come through her navel and her pores. It’s genetic and spirit. Her teacher doesn’t believe she’s made it alone, without help. She didn’t make it alone; she had help. She didn’t know it then.
I think of making a painting of a couple holding a fire in their hands, it’s a shared fire, one they share, they hold it up, they breathe into it. The tiniest speck of dust blown into it becomes a furnace:they can’t help themselves. The fire is there, it’s the life-force that burns in the heart of the damp, rounded early life forms walking over the mud, on all their tiny legs.
I spoke of the silver dagger in my throat, before remembering today that it was a needle, for sewing.
I spoke of the dream of the primordial beings, the twins, the caterpillars together beside the spring, in the dark woods, in the mud, the beginnings of new life. You spoke of how the dream is uncovering what is already there (and hidden), and it’s what I do in my art too, and my work as a shamanic practitioner: it’s all the same. And you spoke of the thing between us, the life-force – it’s bigger than us, it just is. And we’re the same, the same soul in two bodies. And I’m so grateful to you for what you reflect back about my work. You give voice to the mythic third.
You speak of sacrifice, the making sacred, the silver nail driven through (me). And death, transformation, metamorphosis. Piercing, the mirror, being able to look at something, see something, through a mirror – used when gazing on the gods….something unbearable, unsee-able. It’s too much, too vast, unknowable, too godly. Also any image can be a reflection of something (we can’t yet see?).
In the painting I showed you, you wondered if she is melting….the red, the flame-riddled flesh below her navel. She’s melting with desire, sexual fluids, literally? Or with power, the power of desire, its force is transforming her into something else, another creature? Or emerging from another state of being, of desire, of being fluid, only just held in a membrane as she builds another body which even now is rising up and filling up her breasts, making them potent, swollen…new
Is she being cooked by her desire, made ripe?
She would draw him like this, as he laughs, as the skin is gathered on his face, sewn by the spirits who are happy, they’re gathering it up like nets or skirts and holding it for a moment or two; so she can glimpse the inside of his shining mouth.
Yesterday two drawings: Meditating Angel with forward-facing wings (in this one your phallus flowers; it’s budded, germinal); and Baptising with an Eye, which became the Unspeakable Girl supporting the bird as it grew from her heart; and weeping, his tears making a baptismal pool between their feet. The tip of the bird’s bill pierces the upper chest of her father-figure: he is initiated.