I love the book, “Women Who Run With Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. So envious when my painting mentor, Shiloh Sophia McCloud got to spend five days in a workshop with this amazing teacher and storyteller. In Clarissa’s “Dangerous Old Woman” audio series she talks about the “Tribe of the Sacred Heart”. While the Sacred Heart is typically considered a Catholic symbol, it speaks to me as an archetypal symbol as well. When I heard Clarissa call the “Tribe of the Sacred Heart” as her own, I jumped up and down with excitement knowing that she had named me too.
Last night I took the opportunity to do some art journaling with the idea of the “Tribe of the Sacred Heart” . As it drew me in through its flames, it spoke to me of a time when I was a young girl of about twelve. Back then, in my neighborhood we had three races..White, Black and Mexican. I’m Filipina, Native American and White. I was brown. End of Story. My belonging was predetermined.
If you were brown, you hung out with the Mexicans or Whites. Later in high school we would draw divisions by social activities; Stoners (mostly whites but a few of the others), Jocks & Do Gooders and Low Riders. But back in junior high school I hung out with the mexican girls. I wore crisp khaki chinos and mary janes, dark wine lipstick and lots of black eyeliner.
By the time were in eighth grade, many of my girlfriends had gotten involved with gangs. Here in California they are divided in to territories; North and South. There was a moment there when I could have followed them into another life. I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog and really never wanted to ‘hurt’ anyone. Sometimes in gang life, you gotta hurt people just because. I opted out. I’m grateful I did.
I sometimes think of those girls, now grown women . I watch them on “Lockdown” and wonder if they found some way out – through religion or education. I wonder if we had a way to express ourselves more constructively like through art journaling , if maybe our woundedness , anger, passion =fire could have a way of healing and empowering us rather than keeping the cycle of violence moving ahead. The fire with all of its power to transform us!
So this Sunday morning sending a prayer out there for all of us who have been wounded looking for the fire of salvation. Hoping and praying that we find it in the church of art and creativity and that it leads us on to the path of health and happiness! And thankful that I have discovered a new place of belonging within the Tribe of the Sacred Heart.