KIOSB – Show & Tell  (great prompt!)



Boy, just like grade school, I was very excited by this prompt. Ah…but my poor little hamster is no longer here (as he was in grade school) to bring in for show and tell, so what to do? I started to peruse my “My Pictures” folder to see what treasures I might find, and there were definitely a few good choices. And then I came across this and it just kind of popped, so there it is.

This was a birthday gift that my sweetie made for me one year. Basically it is a portable altar that encompasses all of the things that are important to me. This little box started out as a craft box – the kind you might buy at an A.C. Moore or Michaels store. And I am always so thrilled when she makes something special for me (of which she has made many, many “objets d’art”). She is such a talented artist and a beautiful soul…

Anyhow, this little beauty was just absolutely perfect. It acknowledges the source of my spirituality – a combination of animism, and Taoist/Zen beliefs – something that we both share to some degree. She is actually probably stronger on the native American side (her primary teacher was native American) while I probably lean more towards Taoism but there are a lot of similarities within the two paths anyhow and we both have a broad range of experience and teachers so we basically share the same beliefs and the same path.

Anyhow, this little “altar” box is me in a nutshell. I am Blue. I love the color blue – the sky, the ocean, the beautiful turquoise blues of the Southwest, as well as the wonderfully translucent blues of topaz and sapphires. That is my baseline. And then we have, of course, my zodiac animal – the Ram. A wonderful little pendant – no idea where she found that. The number 4 is an important number for me – having been born on the 4th day of the 4th month at 4:44. And the photo of the hawk – well, that is one of my totems. My sweetie, among other things, is an intuitive reader. She also works with various decks (some tarot, others not), and early on in our relationship she did a nine-card read for me using the Jamie Sams medicine cards to discern my totem animals. Of course, having already walked through a good part of my journey – I had already discerned a few of my totems and they appeared in the spread she laid out for me as well, but going forward from that day, I have always consciously worked with my totems to learn their lessons and intuit who is in my life at what time. Some of the totems are a more constant presence than others. They speak to, and link with, my core attributes – i.e., I am a deeply “mousey” person (I can really get lost in the details and forget to see the bigger picture, which is where hawk comes in). And whenever I am contrary to my totem (which is, sadly, more often then not), my sweetie lets me know. She is a good teacher.

So, in creating this box for me, she turned something ordinary into something that is sacred and right now it rests at the very head of my bed, guarded by one of my “strongest” Zuni fetishes – the White Buffalo. The White Buffalo is, of course, sacred to Native Americans and it is such a strong guardian and protector, as well as being a Pure being. It is a suitable guardian for such a sacred object. And the little white box – well, that is meant to hold my most sacred treasure. It is currently empty, or not. I’m not sure that what I hold sacred has a material aspect. The things I hold sacred are love, laughter and compassion and those are “things” that are in plentiful supply in our household so perhaps, simply by sitting in our house with us, the box is slowly filling up with those sacred things.

Well, that’s my “Show & Tell”. That was fun!


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25 Responses to SHOW & TELL

  1. Tery says:

    This is An Awesome Idea! I LOVE it!

  2. Sherry Smyth says:

    Nothing better than when someone who loves us makes something that is completely “us” in a nutshell…and this is gorgeous!!!

  3. oh… I must make for myself a portable altar… that is awesome! (have to admit I’ve had the idea but haven’t followed through…and here it is…)

  4. What a lovely telling of a very special gift. Such delicious love from all angles.

  5. What a SPECIAL gift indeed John! THANKS so much for sharing with all of us.

  6. Kristina says:

    That is fabulous. I think working with totems is such a powerful thing.

    • nowandzenn says:

      Indeed, it is. Animals have such deep and powerful lessons to teach us. Our Zuni fetishes are one such connection that helps to foster our awareness and attentiveness. Of course, when and where possible, it is good to foster direct connections too. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. This is such a beautiful show-and-tell, John. You can really feel the alignment and love between you and your wife in your writing. Just lovely.

  8. What a kind gift of talent and time.

    • nowandzenn says:

      As a precursor to her agreeing to even consider being in a relationship with me (going back to 2001 now) I was told that I had to discern her “spirit name”. I think it was her way of telling me that I really had to “see” her. Her many gifts to me always show me that she sees me on a very deep level. And yes, after great trepidation, coupled with a stroke of pure intuitive luck, I did discern her spirit name, as she discerned mine.

  9. kellybesecke says:

    This is beautiful and it’s so great to have something that represents you in so many dimensions!

  10. Jen Allen says:

    Oh my! Such a wonderful gift! I loved getting to know you through it.

  11. Helen says:

    What an amazing and meaning-filled show and tell you brought! It sounds like you and your sweetie have a lovely life together. The alter is gorgeous and the story is even better.

  12. Jen Trulson says:

    Seriously… so cool!!! I think I’m going to make one!

    • nowandzenn says:

      I would heartily recommend it. Usually we both have our personal altars set up and then a few years ago we both packed them up in anticipation of moving. Well, we didn’t move and so I was so happy when she created and gifted me with this altar. All my other sacreds remain packed up at the moment. It can be a very meaningful way of discerning what is sacred to you in choosing how to create your own altar.

  13. What a beautiful, beautiful gift! It is so much more than a little box/altar – it came from a place of love and a place of knowing. Lovely! Thank you for sharing it!

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