Tuesday, March 9, 2010



Within the Within, Paper Art Doll

Several years back, I was on a spirit quest which took me to the Hopi Indian tribe in Pollaca, Arizona. I studied with Bonnie Nampeyo and wrote a story about her. Later, I also undertook a correspondence course with Yowanode Two Wolves, Twyla Nitsch. Grandmother Twylah was the clan mother of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge of the Seneca Indians. She gave me the title “Keeper of the Stones” and sent me a small pouch with a sacred stone inside.

Click on story to enlarge

I loved my studies with her and was moved to write a story about her as well. Both of these stories can be found in my book, She Who Whispers. When I wrote the story titled Within the Within, I sent it to Twylah for her approval. She read it and told me that she approved of all but one word. The last word in my story ended with the word “power.” Twylah explained to me that if I changed that name to “withinness” more “power’ would be invoked into my story because it was the withiness that takes us to our center and our truth.

Silhouette of Within the Within

Sadly, Twylah passed away two years ago. The Senecas like to say that she went on her Skywalk. She left a legacy behind. She tried to teach Americans the beliefs of her tribe and she warned of the changes of our Mother Earth.

I’d like to dedicate my Philosophy Paper Art Doll, Within the Within to Twylah. I created Within the Within by using fiber, coir, yarn and if you look closely, there is a small turtle shell just under her neck. This shell was given to me by a woman who raises turtles. She said the scale was taken from the back. I also have included a very tiny lotus pod that my friend Scott gave me from one of his many water ponds. It is only about a half inch wide.

Close-up of turtle shell

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  1. This touches my own spirit.


  2. A very precious doll. I have sat with Grandmother Twylah myself, and it must have been a great gift for you to study under her tutelage.

  3. Thank you for your encouraging words. Maybe you'd like to send something for tree? :) No pressure. Hope your day is wonderful and I loved reading your story about Twylah. Thanks so much for sharing it. Peace, Bridgette

  4. What a beautiful story and what an amazing lady she must have been. Thank you for sharing it with us. x

  5. Keeper of the stones.................. what a beautiful name she gave you.
    Take good care of it.

  6. This is stunning, and the story behind it....touches my soul. The within the within is just beautiful!

  7. This is a beautiful tribute and a wonderful story. My first visit to your blog has been a peaceful and creative journey- I look forward to returning!


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