Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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Interior Cartography: A Woman in the Desert

“Interior Cartography: A Woman in a Desert”

I first read the book Women Who Run with the Wolves over twenty years ago.  I did not like it much back then.  I thought it was an epic mixing of metaphors, offering me no personal insight.    However, something has compelled me to read it again.  I guess a life time makes a difference since I am learning much from it now.

As a response to my reading of the first few chapters, I made this quick collage of some found images.   I may use it as a reference for a painting.  Maybe.

My interpretation of the image:  when one experiences the “dark night of the soul” and her inner world becomes parched and barren like a desert, the archetypal “Wild Woman” will emerge in that landscape to bring it back to life.

More to come……..






My Barbaric Yawp

“Yawp” is one of those old words that does not come up in everyday conversation.   It means “to cry out” in a loud voice, and  is akin to the more modern word “yelp.”   Walt Whitman used the word in his poem Song of Myself:

“I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”  (Verse 52)

Sometimes we all need to act a little untamed so that our true selves can burst forth with a mighty “yawp!”  When we break through creativity happens.

This “crying out” is illustrated in my favorite scene in one of my favorite movies




I came across a definition for the word “vintage” that appeals to me.  It went something like this:  vintage is anything that is too old to be modern and to new to be antique.

That’s how I feel sometimes.  I don’t think I am old yet, but I am sure as heck not young.   At one point a few years ago, I was a little ambivalent on the whole aging thing.  So on a significant birthday, I signed up for belly dance courses just to feel young again.  No, it didn’t really work.      Then, ten years later on another milestone birthday I decided to embrace my inner crone and let my dyed hair grow out silver.  I got a lot of grief for that, especially from a lot of other women with dyed hair.

But “vintage”…. that’s the ticket:  classy, useful, elegant, good lines and form (well, maybe for cars– but still..)

Yes, I will call myself “vintage”  because I am still young enough to experience life but old enough to know how to handle it.



Seventeen thousand years ago my six hundred and eightieth great-grandmother lived in the Dordogne Valley in France  just along the edge of the ice sheet that covered Europe back then. Her name is Helena.

Not long ago, I took one of those DNA tests, and the results told me that my mitochondrial haplogroup was “H”. I won’t even try to explain the science – mostly because I don’t fully understand it – except to say that 95% of all individuals of European descent can trace their mitochondrial DNA (that is, the DNA that runs from mother to mother to mother) back to only seven women living in Europe around the time of the last Ice Age. There are about 30 or so such maternal genetic lines throughout the entire world.   All thirty-some groups descend from one mitochondrial mother who lived in Africa uncountable aeons ago:  Both science and the bible call her “Eve”.

The seven European clan groups are detailed in geneticist Bryan Sykes’ book, The Seven Daughters of Eve. The name the author labels the H haplogroup’s “mother” is Helena.

Helena teases my imagination.  Who was she?  What was her life like?  How many children did she have?  The Caves of Lascaux, home of the famous prehistoric cave paintings, are in the same area.  Was she there when some of the images were painted?  Did she paint any of them?   Did she practice a religion?  How did she die?

Also astounding to me is the fact that there are only 30 genetic lines going back to the first mother.  Most genetic lines have died out over the millennia.  If there are only about 30 lines left, this means we are all more closely related to each other than we think.  We should be nicer to each other, right?  That’s what families should do.

Helena, you’ve given me a lot to think about.


ljgloyd (c) 2017


Image By Prof saxx – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link