An Artist's Quest

Little by Little

I have a story, a confession really, to share with you about my relationship with Heliz Aspersa (Snail’s proper name).  As I said in my Monday post I am a snail stomper, tosser and squasher, they wreck havoc on my flowers and I show no mercy.  Some years back the grounds and garden keeper here at The Bishop’s Ranch, Trustin, shared that he couldn’t bring himself to squish a snail fearing that perhaps it was somebody’s mother reincarnated.  I cavalierly stated that if this is somebody’s mother I would promptly move her along to the next life, SQUISH!  After that Trustin would occasionally bring me a bucket of snails to “dispose of”.  I would make an adventure of it, taking my young son along to feed them to the ducks at Hop Kiln Winery or toss them to our neighbors chickens.  For years I have continued on my merry way squishing and squashing whenever, wherever I met a snail, telling myself I was doing this little soul a favor.  After a week of close inspection and introspection, I think I may have gotten it all horribly wrong!  Heliz Aspersa slowly winds her way on her journey, pure in her purpose.  She is ever in the moment, not worrying about the before or the after, she is in the NOW (this is a talent I have not been able to realize after years of meditation and yoga).  Heliz Aspersa does it effortlessly.  Have you ever looked at the silver trail she leaves behind and noticed that it sometimes circles and wanders quite wonderfully, clearly not heading towards a specific goal, is she laying this line for beauty sake? This week I saw some of her silver meanderings with new eyes.  I think perhaps I had it backwards all these years, perhaps this wandering snail, Heliz Aspersa, is as close to enlightenment as a soul can get!  I have the sinking feeling I’ve got a lot of Karma points to gain back. Ah well, as the Haitian proverb goes “Piti piti n a rive” (little by little we will arrive) and so I go little by little learning from snail, to go forward in life slowly, mindfully, appreciating the moment and leaving a little beauty in my wake.

From now on I’ll just throw her over the fence.

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3 responses

  1. Calen Swift

    I love the playfulness of the geography-housed snail, wistfully and confidently stretching out her neck to deliver the answer, the hermit at the top of the mountain.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm

  2. Laura Thorpe

    Your story picture makes me want to better SEE the art that is this week’s culmination of your snail exploration. I keep wanting to get a “larger view” in my impatient digital viewing. Can’t wait to eyeball the pieces of the mandala challenge up close — to see the texture and the line — and to feel the energy your words infuse into the work.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm

  3. richard schaper

    So keen!

    Patience is related to patients– healing of our wounds. All violence is hurry up.

    November 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm

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