Re-envisioning Guns for a more Peaceful World ~ August 2022
This project started a year ago, and it has grown to the point where I am really ready and excited to start sharing the concept and the results! I will introduce this in two parts…the first summer and photos (2021) and this second current summer with notes about our progress. (Inspired by Linda Dillon’s webinar course “Conscious Creating With The Mother” which I took twice as part of my accreditation for becoming a Council of Love Teacher&Coach.) Here’s the story of my creation project…
PART ONE: July 2021
I was meditating with our Divine Mother asking my Heart, what oh what deeply within me wants to come forth, as my next creation, the one where one hopes to offer ones’ love and energy to the greater world. Immediately, I began to see plastic guns. What??!!! Colorful translucent plastic squirt guns. First, turned on its end and filled with water, with flowers in it…. then a circle of them, glued into a wreath, hanging at the door. I was totally surprised; it didn’t feel like these images were coming from my imagination, but flowing through my imagination. It felt like Divine Mother was playing with me. Why?? I asked my Heart, and heard… “Because you are afraid of guns the thought of them causes great discomfort in your energy, thereby hurting you…” Then i remembered my persistent horror of guns, and of the gun violence in America. I have hated and feared guns since i was a child.
I understood then, that this -finally- was something that could, first of all, ease my despair and anxiety, and secondly, perhaps inspire others to begin to transform the ways we think about things in our world that feel too heavy, entrenched and completely hopeless. I understood that if I could re-imagine the purpose of guns (something created solely for killing, in my mind) then I could begin to contribute to a new paradigm, and gentler, more playful, and more peaceful world. It felt like it would be taking guns to “a higher vibration”.
I had some hesitancy exposing my “crazy idea”, but also some excitement and eagerness to explore this new concept. I also knew that one of the steps would be to blog about it and to share on social media. I’m only really active on Facebook, and I wasn’t at all sure my fairly large circle of friends would enjoy the concept, but I committed in my heart to go forward.
Every day in meditation, I would get some more ideas for ways to form water pistols into other shapes… or I would get some reassurance, or inspiration for how to proceed. First step: buy all the water guns i could find at my local store ( a pharmacy with toy dept.) So for the next two weeks, I collected water guns, looking for a variety of colors (my elementary art teacher-self was eager to play with color), shapes and sizes. the first foray to the store cost me thirty bucks, so i decided to try the Dollar store next… got about twenty more for $6.00. Then I ordered 30 small ones at 50 cents each from Amazon. I had enough to begin.
Step 2. Try out the idea with my granddaughters, who are 7. If they could understand why I wanted to make something out of plastic guns, then I had some encouragement that others might also. Part of the journey i realized would be to learn to articulate what I was attempting to say and mean by this “art”. They loved the idea and got it right away. They couldn’t wait to begin. I still had to martial some supplies like a glue gun (irony!) (Step 3.)
Step 4. Research the idea of artists using the gun form as protest art- was anyone doing it? what did the projects look like? Yes, it was already out there, artists had been speaking metaphorically about disarming gun violence for years, but although it probably relieved their angst to speak out publicly about gun violence, it hadn’t seem to change the incidence of horrific shootings in our country, that I could see. Still, i felt that if I had the courage to be creative in a public way as an “artist”, then I could at least contribute to the conversation – I would be participating instead of sitting in my fear.
Step 5. Begin. The day arrived when I had the girls over for a couple of hours, so we began by unpacking all the guns and spreading them all over the dining room table… then we sorted by color, to see what kind of resources we had for various ideas I had already… then the girls began to suggest some more ideas! Divine daughters of God that they are, I accepted their ideas too —and realized that part of the joy for me was going to be the collaboration. I LOVE to work in a team. However, I did have to retain leadership because of my commitment to the Mother. We agreed to that and I decided to start with the image of the flower vase. I figured out how to stretch the hole in the plastic nozzle for flower stems. Together we took the purple gun out to the garden to find which flowers might fit thru the still narrow opening. After trying several kinds of flowers, we found that a poppy stem had the strength to stand in the neck of the gun, and so we filled the gun with water, pugged it tightly and balanced it on end, then put the poppy in. The girls told me that you need to burn the stem of a poppy with a lighted match to seal it so that it can be in a bouquet. So we did that also. Interesting that the element of fire was part of our ritual in setting up the first “Re-visioning” project. The vase was provocative, i thought. The girls were very thoughtful looking at it… they felt we had turned the gun to a more peaceful purpose.
But they still wanted to try two of the prettiest guns when we got into the hot tub afterwards… this lead to a discussion of the difference between having fun squirting water, and teaching kids to mimic battle and think that guns are “fun”. The girls suggested we write to the toy manufacturer and suggest other shapes – like whales, dolphins, fish for the “squirters”, NOT guns or pistols.
Step 6. Document the project with photos of our ideas and the finished pieces. We have so far made four objects from the plastic guns using a simple glue-gun and low temp glue. We also figured out how to dismantle, i.e. “disarm”, the guns by removing the triggers and the plastic plugs. We begin to use the collected triggers and plugs creatively for accents, and details. We have made together, over several weeks, two flowers and an elephant stomping on a gun. For more on this project, watch for the next installment, steps 6- 10 with more photos…