"STAR of the SEA"---Mothers are Stars that lead us to safe harbors from the stormy seas we find ourselves navigating sometimes. Someone at a show asked if I had a dragonfly available but I did not. Shortly after this I found a dragonfly postcard among Geri's belongings. It fell out of book and landed at my feet. I took that as a clear sign that I needed to do a piece with a dragonfly. I never considered doing one before. I read, researched and looked at countless images of dragonflies. The more I looked into what a dragonfly means the more ideas came flooding into my mind. I asked my aunt what a dragonfly means in Lakota/Dakota culture and she said it represents, "...a woman's values in life....that design is on women's dresses that are a part of the traditional dresses. It's seen on the lower side near the bottom." That gave me a starting point. Of the countless values women are imbued with I focused on the nurturing value. Women are nurturing because of motherhood. Mother's nurture their children from the beginning to the end. From the beginning of life to the end of life. Regardless if our mothers are not physically with us anymore their life lessons and teachings continue to NURTURE us. The design on the wings represents the lessons we learn from our mothers that can be found in nature. The sun nurtures us during the day and the moon nurtures us during the night. The wings to the left represent our lives if we do not live by the lessons we learned from our mothers. Our lives become dull, difficult, dreary. The wings to the right represent our lives when we live our lives according to those lessons. Our lives are filled with peace, joy and love. Around the neck of the dragonfly is a breastplate that are worn by native women traditional dancers. That symbolizes the important roles mothers have in protecting their children. My aunt also mentioned when we see a dragonfly it is our loved one who has passed on coming to see us. Each flutter of the dragonfly wings is the heartbeat of a loved one that is no longer with us. The eagle feathers in this piece symbolizes family. The feathers on the bottom of the piece represent the people still with us. The feathers on the right that are faded represent the loved ones who have been called home. We never forget them. Our love only grows from the pain we feel from their loss. This piece has opened my eyes to appreciate the time we have with our families in this life and to look joyfully to the times we will have with them in the next life.
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