Made of Star Stuff: The Forever Dance

Made of Star Stuff by Annette Wagner, 2014.Solstice is a day I like to reflect back on the events of my life in the last year. This year life has taken on a different sort of movement the last few months. Not what I expected given its been the dark cycle of the seasons, but then I’ve pretty much stopped with the expectation gig.

As I have written in prior posts, in late September, my mentor Sue Hoya Sellars stepped across the boundary into the cosmos and left this plane of existence. If that had been the only life-changing event in my life in the last few months, it would have been MORE then enough.

But no. Spirit, the universe, the divine one - whatever you want to call her - had other life upending plans in store for me. Love. A Man. Connection.

I met my love ten days before I flew to Paris - a trip upon which I was escorting Sue on her very first, and only, trip out of the US. Her first trip to the grand mecca of art, Paris. He and I wrote love letters to each other every day, several times a day for which I endured a large amount of teasing from those who traveled with me including Sue.

When I returned, I fell into the arms of my lover and less then two weeks later Sue was in the hospital. Then, she was gone. Suddenly I was intensely happy and intensely grieving, all at the same time. Discombobulated became a state of being rather then a passing episode.

I struggled to paint again and again and nothing flowed expect tears and hearts and ravens. I had several paintings on the easel. I’d make a few strokes. Scrawl some chalk lines. Put my hand on the painting. Then walk away. I just could not sit down and paint.

Made of Star Stuff closeupInstead, I turned to my sumi-e sketches to console myself. Maybe partly because I can do those anywhere and my love was sharing all these places of beauty he has been too with me. Maybe because I can teach sumi-e to others on nature walks in Sue’s honor. Maybe because it’s something she taught me and it comforted me.

Moving through the valleys of grief with my love beside me allowed me the space to grieve gracefully when I needed to. The connection with him pulls me out of myself and into a strong, flowing river of love and support. I treasure and value this deeply. It has grounded me, wrapped me up, and held me through boatloads of tears. And, brought me to a place where I have begun to paint again.

Perhaps that is why this painting changed so much in the last several months. Perhaps that is why his energy is in it holding space for the figure of the Divine Feminine. The painting began very differently and morphed entirely into these two figures, one male, one female. One holding space, the other creating from herself. One enfolding the cosmos, one formed from the cosmic egg. They are separate yet entirely connected. They cannot exist without the other.

The name of the painting is The Forever Dance. Sue used to talk about how we are each just doorways for the cosmos. How we are made of star stuff. When I look at the painting, that is what she is, she is creating herself from the stuff of stars, cosmos.

made of star stuff closeup maleHe is strength in his wings, in how he enfolds the cosmos, in how he just holds space, whatever may happen. They together are dancing in reciprocity which is to “move backward and forward” to the mutual benefit of each other. To live in deep connection with another is to dance in reciprocity. 

Happy Solstice! May your day be filled with winter blessings, Annette