Saturday, August 7, 2010

holons & totems

I was thinking about totems today, and how the most important figures are placed at the bottom stabilizing and supporting the ones above them. I was thinking about families climbing up onto each other's shoulders - like acrobats balancing and reaching up toward the sun.

It was a visual reminder that our individual strength and wholeness is essential to the structure we hold so dear. When I proposed the title, holons for MamaCita's last group show (which after group discussion became, (w)holon) I was reading the book A brief History of Everything by, Ken Wilber. It was here that I was introduced to the word. I liked how holon summed up the expansive ideas of the web of life, reflections, and infinity. Simply put, a holon is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part. I remember observing this truth even as a child, but not having the words to explain the satisfying understanding. Now when I see it illustrated with such simple beauty - like a totem, or the cells and organs of the body - I am reminded that my full effectiveness comes from my spirit being healthy and strong.

The strength and power of a mother is often chipped away at by the very things that are supposed to display her competence. I witness women struggle to stay true to a parenting style they secretly question, or look to prove they are selfless, as if this is the greatest gift they can give their children. I don't remember seeing many creatures at the place of honor in the totem looking exhausted and lonely. If fulfilment was truly expected, I'm sure our minds would find a balance, an elegant, honest balancing act - individuals supporting each other as they reached toward the light.

It's noisy out there; we humans have created a cacophony leaving us vulnerable to doubt and guilt. Silence it. In this stillness we find strength and we can trust where our hearts lead us.

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