Sometimes I feel like a Duck

Our little black bear.

The image of this sweet confused young bear’s face is burned into my mind.  A week ago, we raised the deck door window shade, and much to our surprise and delight, there she was – sitting sideways under the pine tree, looking back at us with as much surprise and confusion as we at her.  We shared a few quiet moments before she ably lumbered over the fence into our neighbors’ yard.

We excitedly followed her progress over the next day, hearing that the DOW was going to let her find her way back to the mountains as long as she didn’t become a nuisance.  And then we got the news that 3 overzealous men from the DOW had shot her full of tranquilizers, causing her to fall out of a neighborhood tree, ultimately dying from her injuries.

What to do with that news?  So much anger, sadness and helplessness.  I cried a lot.  I keep seeing that sweet inquisitive face, and wondering why people have to be so hurtful and well, stupid.

Bear Medicine: Introspection

I kept thinking about this bear visit all week, and the gift she brought us.  It slowed me down from the usual daily race, and helped me remember that with all the crazy things going on in the world that we encounter, the only thing we truly can control are our individual reactions to the craziness.

I also started re-developing some focus again on myself, on routines that are healthful for my own body, mind, and spirit.  Thanks to my bear visit, I’ve been awakened from the trance yet again.

Ducks on the Long Arm machine.

What’s on the Long Arm Machine?

One of the routines I’ve been redeveloping this past week is to get into the studio and do some art each day, even if it’s only for a short while.  I had forgotten how much of a stress relief it is for me to have that daily meditative time, creating my art.

I’ve been focused on finishing a piece I started several months ago.  I finished constructing the top (pieced and appliqued fabrics which I hand-dyed and screen-printed) awhile ago and now am adding the drawing/stitching on the long arm.

The idea for this piece came from one of my vivid night dreams.  As I’ve worked to turn that dream image into a physical work of art, it has become a bold and graphic representation of how I felt in that dream.

Reconnecting with this piece, spending a little time each night in the studio working to finish it has helped me get back into a meditative rhythm not only with my art, but with myself.

Ducks getting stitched on the long arm.

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12 Responses to “Sometimes I feel like a Duck”

  1. Ruth Briggs Says:

    Never call DOW……………I live in the mountains and we have lots of bears around. It just leads to heart break. If they cannot get food they go away. Make lots of noise (I use copper bottom pans and bang them together.) I am so sad that you lost a young female bear.

    • Ayn Hanna Says:

      Hi Ruth, yes I know, I’m totally on board with you. Unfortunately, a neighbor called the DOW. The DOW were fine to leave her alone on the weekend. It wasn’t until the boys showed up at work Monday morning and needed to occupy themselves with important work that everything went bad.

  2. Christy Martell Says:

    Hey Aynie,
    Love reading your thoughtful writing! I’m still furious about the young bear dying after your whole neighborhood watched with pleasure while she explored.

    • Ayn Hanna Says:

      Hi Christy – Thanks so much. It has been a week of weird emotions, and contemplation, recognizing the gifts in her visit and appreciation for this experience.

  3. Heywood Williams Says:

    I love your comments this morning though the bear made me cry, and I love your imagery. Sometimes I feel like a duck, too, but I hadn’t put a name or image to it. You nailed it with the shooting gallery ducks. I’ve only made two paintings in the past month – usually I paint four or five a week, but one of the women who stays in my house has been ill and it’s been errands without end. I’m grateful for her sweet spirit, nevertheless, and glad I can help, but I’m afraid when I pick up the brush again, I’ll be back to the starting point. Not that that’s a long way. Anyway, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy getting your posts. Much. I enjoy them a lot. love and hugs, h

    • Ayn Hanna Says:

      Hi Heywood – So good to hear from you. I had a feeling this post might strike a chord with you. I’m sure as you pick the brush back up it won’t take long to get back into the groove again – you’ve developed such a consistent approach that whenever you start in again, starting from right where you are will get you right where you need to be. Love and hugs to you too!

  4. bean Says:

    Thanks for sharing your process and insights.
    Love the ducks!

  5. Sally Says:

    Really appreciate you sharing your contemplative self and love the “outlets” you continually discover. Your creative visualization is so enhanced by your life experiences, “go forward and share your art”……love, mom

  6. Mary Roberts Says:

    Thank you for your words on compassion and confusion…it seems that it has become our daily path…and practice

    • Ayn Hanna Says:

      Hi Mary – It has become a daily path and practice, hasn’t it? Requires lots of energy & focus. Happy belated birthday and sorry to have missed the party! Namaste

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