myth and poetry

Mythopoetry Scholar

Annual Reflections In Depth Perspectives
Mythopoetry Scholar vol.3 2012
Memory Boats
Dreams and Reflection
-Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

Chaos – Nature – Creation – Nature – Chaos

When we see that we are actors in natural cycles, we
understand that what nature gives to us is influenced
by what we give to nature.
Lewis Hyde, 23.


...........Nesting Boat, elizabeth Fergus-Jean

...........Spring Nesting memory Boat, Elizabeth Fergus Jean

Although we are all awed by the beauty of lakes and streams, by the open fields, or by the dense lush woods, we must also ask what is our responsibility in tending to these natural neighbors of ours? In what ways do we need to become more mindful as we live in consort with our natural family? 


...........Summer Memory Boat, Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

Summer Memory Boat Filled, Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

My Memory Boats are born out of my love of northern Michigan. I am the fourth generation to have been blessed with calling this my summer home, for me my soul home, and now I am happy to say, my permanent home. I spent my first summer swimming in the seas of amniotic fluid in my mother’s belly as she relaxed in the waters of Mullett Lake. The two were one, both holding me as I swayed, toes and feet curled up tight around my own belly, rocking to the gentle lapping of the waves: inner/outer. 


...........Oak Leaf Memory Boat, Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

...........Oak Leaf Memory Boat Filled, Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

The pull to Michigan has been like the pull of the moon, it has always been my home; my safe harbor. Like many, I have spent countless hours walking in her woods and along her shorelines, playing in the water, and being filled with a sense of awe and wonder at the immense beauty of it all. As the years have gone by I have watched the cycles of nature and humankind’s imprint upon it, in both positive and negative ways. I am witness to the quality of the water shifting, to invasive plants taking over our beaches, and to the zebra and quagga mussels now heaped in mounds along the shore.


...........Lake Effect Memory Boat (Winter), Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

Lake Effect Memory Boat Filled (Winter), Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

I am a witness and I am frightened by what I see. The landscape speaks to my soul, it congers memories of my ancestors, and it awakens my spirit. So I answer the call with my visual voice, creating images that express what I am passionate about and what speaks to my heart. It is my hope that these dreamscapes and imaginal boats speak to our collective imagination, recalling our sacred relationship to our surroundings, evoking our memories, our dreams and our reflections, encouraging our participation in tending to, and shaping a healthier world for all.

Chaos – Nature – Creation – Nature – Chaos


Works Cited

Hyde, Lewis. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.  New York: NY: Vintage, 2007.


Artist Elizabeth Fergus-Jean talking about her installation "Memory Boats: Dreams and Reflections" exhibit at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, Michigan through September 4, 2011. Look for more by the artist regarding this project coming on line in 2012 as will update this page to include the url when the website goes live.
Watch for it! kitty kat

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Elizabeth Fergus-Jean
Author Bio
Elizabeth Fergus-Jean, MFA, PhD is a passionate artist, a committed educator, and a much sought after speaker and presenter. She has taught in a wide range of educational venues, most recently in the Media Studies and English/Philosophy departments at Columbus College of Art and Design, and in the Humanities Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her recent publications include Illuminating Letters: Paintings and Essays on the Kabbalah (Art & Psyche Press), and two essays on teaching, “Till We Have Faces: Image as Psyche”in Reimagining Education: Essays on Reviving the Soul of Learning (Spring Journal Books P) and “Teaching Personal Narrative” in Teaching Photography I: Tools for the Imaging Educator (Elsevier P).

In addition to her scholarly writing, Dr. Fergus-Jean’s artwork appears on the covers of numerous international journals and books, is frequently exhibited nationally, and is held in numerous public and private collections. Her artwork explores stories that emerge from culture as potent sites for the engagement of mythic material and the archetypal resonances found within our lives. She lectures nationally on creativity, visual thinking, archetypes in media, and personal mythology.



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