Raptor Words I: Alligator and Misguided Strength

raptor words detail

I woke up from my dream trying to clear the dreadful feeling from my body and the images from my head.  In my dream, Fate had jumped into a pond with an alligator in it.  She was swimming around like a seal (she doesn’t like to swim in life) at one point I even mistook her for Lenore,  she was enjoying the water so much.  I was yelling for her to come to me but she wasn’t listening.   I knew the alligator was hungry.

On Friday before I left my studio, I decided I wanted to fill the space under the raptor eyes with words.  Not necessarily words to be read, but using them as  texture and marks.  I wasn’t confident enough about the idea to start it and left my studio unsure about the piece altogether.

On Sunday, Jon and I went to the Williams College Museum in Williamstown MA  and to see the movie The Fits.  At the museum I saw a photo by Lalla Essaydi.  In the photo everything but the woman’s hair and hand is covered in Arabic writing in henna.  A beautiful and emotional photo dealing with identity, tradition and culture, I took it as a sign to use my own writing on my  Raptor piece.

Converging by Lalla Essaydi
Converging Territories  by Lalla Essaydi

Since I wasn’t expecting the words to ever be read by anyone, they’re really  too hard to see because of the surface of the quilt, I just started some stream of consciousness writing.  But  by the time I was done I realized I had analyzed my dream in the writing.

Alligator has come to me before  as a symbol of ancient wisdom and protective mother.   In my writing I came to see that the dream  was about me being afraid of my own strength and how destructive that strength can be if unacknowledged.  Then I looked up alligator in the book  Animal-Speak and read ” The viciousness and destructive power (of alligator) was often symbolized as a mother swallowing her young.”

The alligator was my misguided strength become vicious enough to do great harm to Fate.

I no longer saw the dream as scary, but as a message from my subconscious to accept my strength and not allow it to be misdirected and destructive.

When I finished writing on the quilt,  I stood back and looked at the whole piece.  I was no longer ambiguous about it as I was on Friday.  Suddenly I had my confidence back.  I pulled most of the stitches on the Super Girl patches and straightened her out (I had sewed her on crooked and didn’t have the energy to fix her on Friday).  The piece was starting to come together and I began feeling good about it again.



5 thoughts on “Raptor Words I: Alligator and Misguided Strength

  1. Hihihi, Maria – I am very much touched by this quilt’s energy, it just flows out of the screen at me with such vehemence! Fantastic composition that keeps the mind interested as well.
    As for the alligator – for some reason l immediately thought of a tattoo you got a few years ago, on one of your lower arms/wrist l think, wasn’t that also an alligator? I am not sure now, as you didn’t mention it, but it seems to me this animal has occupied your thoughts before, hmmmm….

    1. The tattoo comes from an experience I had while doing a soul retrieval. At that time I saw an alligator slip into my body, much like they slip into the water from the bank of a river. That’s when I did my alligator research and discovered that Alligator is a symbol for ancient wisdom and mother protector. The alligator on my arm with the flower is a symbol I came up with for a strong center and an open heart. I was thinking of my tattoo when I realized the alligator in my dream was a symbol of strength.

  2. I wonder if recent events at Disney World might have influenced this dream. The alligator on your arm seems to be an evolved one, a magical, peaceful one, but maybe on a subconscious level there was some primal fear of the raw, instinctual voraciousness still inherent in the symbol, that the recent death of an innocent child (represented by Fate in the dream?)might have brought to the surface.

  3. Dear Maria, You are BRAVE to have and confront and analyze difficult dreams! Your dreams always fascinate me. I mostly never have a dream that I remember. Your dreams must flow from your creative brain, so open to the spirit world. Annie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art