By Talia Peckel
“Being is not passive; it takes focused awareness.”
― Maureen Murdock, The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness
I have a spider tattoo. It represents fear and creepy things. Just kidding. Those are qualities that many humans project onto spiders. Here’s my projection: a spider always carries her home inside of her. No matter where in the world she is, she has this magical substance inside of her, which she uses to build a web that not only serves to catch her food and lay her eggs, but is a mandala-esque geometric wonder she intuitively knows how to construct with her delicate, yet strong 8 little legs.
The first week of my artist residency seems to have already dissolved into thin air. And yet, even though I don’t have much physical material to show for myself, it has been a very substantial time already. I had time to be still, to be alone, to wander in silence and contemplate. I know this sounds like a rare privilege, and it definitely is, but it also required a certain awareness. I experienced the inner voice (we all know so well) telling me to be productive and stop “wasting time”. Thankfully, after a few days I was able to respond firmly that I will not be rushed and pushed around, thank you very much.
This time that has been gifted to me of quietness and solitude is, I have realized once again, necessary and sacred for the creative process. It has given me time to weave a new web in slow, meditative steps so that now, as ideas and inspiration fly in my direction, I have a structure with which to catch them.
Yet something that I’ve felt about Gabriola thus far is that it is a matriarchal island. It is a feminine mother-like space. I personally have felt nourished and safe through the kindness and generosity of everyone around me (as in people have been so kind and helpful that I feel disoriented in the best way) as well as experiencing the natural landscape.
The web has been woven, and the weavers are not me, but the many around me. Patience now teaches to be here, be aware, and be ready to receive what comes flying into this wondrous Gabriolan web.