I am guided into wild and tender places
by strong and loving people and I notice something
being in the jungle.
Butterflies move in and out of buildings.
All the animals move in and out. The floors,
earthen. No windows, no doors to
separate me from the jungle.
All is open, even the walls,
loosely woven trees.
Butterflies fly in and out of the Shamans home.
A butterfly licks the skin on my arm
where it lands to enjoy my salt. It accompanies
me along my path in the jungle.
It flies into my heart and
caresses it, and flies out again.
The path through the jungle
caresses my feet with its muddy embrace.
The oxygen rich air enters my lungs and caresses them,
then moves through all of me.
The jungle chants to me and fills me with itself.
Susan Cohen Thompson, 1999
featured painting: Portal Into the Soul, oil on canvas, 36″x36″, 2012.
This series of paintings was inspired by two journeys deep into the Amazon Rain Forest in Ecuador, where Thompson went with Dream Change Coalition. The group stayed in a lodge in Shuar Territory and the spent days with the Shuar people. We stayed for one night with the Chumpi Family in their woven home deep in the forest.