This is my totem. 
A totem, in this respect, is an assemblage of items and symbols that represent an identity. In this case the identity is me. 
So I made this totem. I decided to use a bunch of natural materials kind of exploding out of a box, symbolizing my adoration for all things Earthy. The empty box represents the future and the path my art will take me down (woo, mystery)! 
I went to an artist party community get-together on Saturday evening, and the theme of the meeting was to create a totem. The meetings are held in an old dance hall lake house. The dance hall is made of old, sturdy wood and has every kind of eclectic charm. Tiny wrap-around porches, views of the lake, whale vertebrae stacked in the corner, a hot tub that doubles as a natural rock fountain, tables painted with murals and not a single chair that matches another... That place is heaven. The air is concentrated inspiration. You walk in, breathe, and need to make art. NOW. 

They gave us all sorts of tools and materials to work with and I went to town immediately. It was like magic. I had an idea, jotted down a sketch of it, and busily began assembling it. 
Other artists would come by to say hello, introduce themselves, share their art, and admire mine. I met a man who specializes in hand-made wearable suits of armor and a woman who makes large scale collages out of discarded cut-up Starbucks cards. The people there are so cool. 


The hermit crab made of wire was basically a last-minute addition. And when my snake, Virgil, shed his skin, I wove that in as well. 

I plan on attending every one of these monthly artist parties. As many as I can. The people there are my people. My tribe. My culture. I feel at home there, which is rare, for me. Home is a very powerful word and a very powerful idea. Home is where you belong, and I belong at that wise old dance hall in the woods. :) 



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