Live Oak Trees as Dancing Women

“In sacred space everything is done so that the environment creates a metaphor.” Joseph Campbell

Charleston simply oozes story and history. So does nearby Edisto Island, the last undeveloped sea island in South Carolina. The Gullah elders called the island ‘Paradise’, and even now, she is known as the Sacred Eden Isle. The trees in the lowcountry, and the respect for the natural world, particularly these great live oaks, protected by law, and native to the Southern states, are a large part of what makes this part of the world so unique, and so evocative.

Good art takes me somewhere else. It either reflects for me my own story, or requires of me. It asks questions, it notices. The great live oaks stand as grandmother trees for me; this one grows in the Magnolia Cemetery. She feels like a dancing, strong old woman. She has survived hurricanes and drought, all the while twisting and curving in her growth toward heaven. Art inspires us and it exists all around us, like the sacred spaces these graceful dancing trees create.

I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in architecture, art, Arts & Culture, beauty, Charleston South Carolina, creativity, Green, Gullah, Poetry
3 comments on “Live Oak Trees as Dancing Women
  1. Pinkney says:

    They dance, alright, but I always think of these trees as more rooted with a nod to the soaring. There is a youngish live oak in my yard that blew over many years ago, but went right on growing from the original roots on side that stayed in the ground. It’s acting like a creeper now and the branches have become three live oaks sending their own roots down from the trunk.

  2. “rooted with a nod to the soaring” …and not only surviving but growing more deeply even after being knocked down… That’ll work for the ‘girls’ :) Thank you for coming by, Pinkney!

  3. I like the concept of grandmother trees Charlotte. I can think of one near the school where I used to teach and one in the field across the street from my house. And dancing old women?….. here in southern Maine there is a large French population nearby and the old women dance with a complete abandon and a complete lack of self-consciousness only possibe when one reaches that “certain age.” I suspect the same is true of old strong dancing women in the South as well…. or maybe it is just the French??? :-)

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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