The first memory jugs were made by African Americans for grave adornments. Memory jugs are mosaic vessels covered in mortar and encrusted with shards, shells, and various found objects. They were popular in Victorian times as folk art but the idea is believed to have originated from African mourning vessels. “ These were memory laden mosaics…three dimensional scrapbooks. In essence they are fascinating time capsules that link the past to the present as poignant narratives.
What would you put on a memory jug? Contemplate a narrative that might spring from making this art form.
Burnie has taken up residence with me and she is lighting up the house and stoking my creative fires.
She has all of the power of Game of Thrones Melisandra but her dominant aspect is that of Hestia, protector of the Hearth.
I have felt the influence of this ‘Red Woman’ immediately. She has altered the feel of my home and we have been cooking up a storm.
Yesterday I went out in the autumn sunshine with a friend and we enjoyed collecting ‘food’ for this vivacious companion.
Today is a public holiday here in Australia and we will gather more kindling and pine cones to stock up for the winter that is coming.
Meanwhile I have had a load of wood delivered, brewed a delicious soup, cooked sausage rolls, test run a roast and a fruit crumble dessert, made porridge and basked in the warmth and company.
Winter is coming and I am looking forward to days indoors with my Red Lady.
Gangs of cockatoos have been marauding around town, leaving a trail of debris. I have been battling to protect my ornamental pistachio tree from them. Flocks have descended and been stripping off great chunks, dropping them on the ground below. At times I have felt like a mad woman as I rush out and hose the tree. Invariably these hooligans fly off screaming expletives at me and letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that they ‘will be back’ with friends.
Perhaps I need to take a moment to see them in a different light and come to understand the medicine they offer.
They are absolute characters to watch. They will hang upside down and drink from the gutters, playing games, daring each other to do the next funny thing. They really have a sense of entertainment! They bring us so much joy to watch.
The cockatoo is a member of the parrot family. They hang out in large ‘gangs’ or family groups, and communicate using bobs of the head, squawks, and the movement of that wonderful sulphur crest. Not all cockies have this crest though – the large black and red cockatoos we also have a crestless, although they still communicate using very obvious body language. It is a very funny dance that they do! They are affectionate birds, and mate for life.
In captivity, the cockatoo can be taught to mimic so very many sounds. They are intelligent and inquisitive. Taking the lids of jars is easy! They bond strongly with their owner and can live for many years.
The cockatoo is a symbol of change, and light and the end of a tunnel. Communication is a gift of the cockatoo – making oneself understood, understanding the communication of others, and being heard. You should hear the loud cry of the cockie!
Joy, friendship, community, communication, and the ability to survive the harshest conditions is the medicine of the cockatoo.
30 Templeton Street
Open 9am – 5 pm
Monday to Friday
T. (03) 5472 3299
I have always been fascinated by Clarissa Pinkola Estes idea of making a full length scapecoat to detail in painting, writing, with all manner of things pinned and stitched inside. But I really love what Alice Wellinger has done here. This beautiful piece truly resonates and fuels the desire to do something using a grey coat that I have had hanging, unworn for many years.
In order to come to know them better it could also be good to explore what the inside of a character’s coat looks like