Feet of Clay
While her dance on earth bid her stay,
she came to love her feet of clay.
Though they crumbled and caved
in life’s tidal wave
she learned to reshape them
and fire them
with the glowing
golden embers within her heart,
the place that remembered where she got her start
on wings of angels delivered to birth,
royalty not subject
to the mirth
of fault-finders with cast iron feet bound to the earth,
impenetrable and too deep
to leap for the stars
and catch fireflies in jars
on hot summer nights
when naked feet
in the dance that bid her stay
while she came to love her feet of clay.
Bernadette Rose Smith
Feet of clay is an expression we use that points to character flaws found in our humanness. You know. Those times when we are so good we must be found bad. Or so bad we are good enough to raise the eyebrows of those mirthful faultfinders around us. (Inner critics included.)
Lets face it. Whether a Hollywood starlet caught in a nose-picking event by paparazzi or the King of Babylon exposed in a dream by prophet Daniel or somewhere in between like the rest of us, having feet of clay ranks low on the bucket list of “I wants” or things to be celebrated.
We try to rise above them with store bought miracle grow wings that promise to elevate our consciousness. Or we hop on brooms with “swoop and sweep” features that offer to deflect or hide our questionable character. Or we travel the earthbound distraction route, clicking the heels of our sparkly ruby slippers on the latest offering of a freshly painted yellow brick road in a search for more brains, more heart and more courage … to what?
Escape them? Well, how ‘bout we embrace them?
Don’t wait for clay feet to kick you in the pants on your way out!
The first two lines of Feet of Clay haunted me for days – like a mantra by Dr. Seuss – encouraging me to follow the impulses to its completion and start the visual journal page seen here. All during a creativity challenge I agreed to host for The Mused Community – a group on Facebook of which I am a grateful member. This particular challenge wove together chapter 5 from The Artist’s Way – Recovering a Sense of Possibility – and the earth energy medicine found in the dragonfly’s dance from its originating form as dragon. Lively discussion topics about virtue traps, not limiting God and finding the source of the stories we tell pointed to an evolving sense of possibility and recovery for embracing our feet of clay.
For years, I tried to rise above mine. My sense of possibility anchored in a belief that I could learn how to be happy and feel safe here only by sustaining flight; lighting down occasionally to share the sights I’d seen from above. (Muses and creatives tend to do this but lack of oxygen in higher realms can make us fuzzy in remembering how to plant our visions here.)
After multiple attempts and crashes, here is my basic guide to arriving – and thriving with clay feet.
1. Be the first in line to embrace your mess. (Love yourself.)
2. Get there before the mirth slayers. (Be not afraid.)
3. Perfection is found in imperfection. (So relax.)
4. Strength is found in vulnerability. (So relax some more.)
5. If you claim your feet of clay you won’t miss a leap to live – really live as you. Not someone else’s idea of you. (Be authentic.)
6. Whether you are stomping in the mud or re-firing in the glow of your heart, the edits and rewrites are yours. (So play.)
No one can awaken from a dream the world is dreaming for him. – A Course in Miracles (text, P. 541)
Don’t be a stand-in
in someone else’s dream.
While this dance on earth bids you stay,
learn to love your feet of clay.
It starts with you.
That’s all I’ll say.
Claim your feet of clay here!
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