I’m so inspired by what some people did with the book I made of 2011’s Friend Me series. It’s been turned into a type of yearbook- different people took different pages and played off the titles of the images to create a personal message to the person they gave it to. I got a little teary-eyed at this unexpected way that people interacted with the work. Love it!
In the fictionalized story Mutant Message Down Under of Marlo Morgan’s walkabout with an Australian Aboriginal tribe, a horde of flies completely overwhelm everyone at one point. Morgan reacts with utter panic. The Aborigines teach her, the “mutant human,” how to view the flies as cleansers of her nose, ears and mouth to help her in the outback. She relaxes her body and mind to let the flies do their cleansing and experiences a very different way of being in the moment. In the many transformative perspective shifts that Morgan encounters throughout the story, such as that with the flies, she returns to a humanity that means not fighting against Earth so hard, but rather being a part of nature.
I took this wisdom to Bristol Bay, Alaska during the summer swarm of several species of tiny biting insects. I hear you, I feel you documents my intentional sacrifice of body to nature in order to listen.
Regardless of the controversy the author stirred regarding the authenticity of the book, the idea of changing perspectives by doing what you normally would not do, like welcoming the flies rather than swatting at them, remains the same.