The following paragraph was written a few months ago in the post Bear, Owl and Condor.
Bear is the creature of dreams. I am a dreamer, and I can get caught up in the dreaming, as Bear people are wont to do, making small progress in waking reality. Bear gives me the confident courage to face change and transformation in a firm manner, standing and facing my fear. His gift to me is astral travel, and visionary dreaming, where he is my protector. Bear tells me when it is time to withdraw, go deep into meditation into the beyond, and grasp the answers that are mine, if I dig deep enough with Bear’s clawed paws. When Bear appears, in any new phase in my life, it is written that the new endeavor will take two years to mature, during which time Bear will teach and give me strength to endure.
Two weeks ago, Margaret, Graham's mom, travelled to Palm Springs. Her explorations of the City took her to Terra Fine Art Images, where she bought Gray and I the sculpture pictured of the bear on an onyx pedestal. There is no way my camera will do justice to the majesty of this sculpture.
Grandfather Bear is portrayed as if he was attempting to grasp the spawning salmon with one swipe of his massive claws. His posture shows his absolute intent...his strong ability to face whatever lies before him. He is climbing down an onyx pedestal, looking as if he will slip at any moment. The sculpture is call O So Close, and signed by S. Herrero.
But Grandfather Bear doesn't worry about such little things as slipping into the water, where Fish resides. His intent is to eat, to fill his belly as much as he can for his winter hibernation. I have watched Bear in the wild (from the opposite bank of the river!) when all his senses were on alert. Hs keen sense of smell helped him detect the human that watched so carefully, but he was not interested in me...He waved his head, grunting a bit and then went back to catching salmon with his big claws. As cold as the water was, he certainly had the strength and the will to search for his food, however uncomfortable he may have been.
And having had the immeasur- able honour of Grand- father Bear allowing me to shift into his being, from experience I know Bear's sight is very dim...it felt as if I was in a dark, smoky cave when I looked out of his eyes. I also know his every other sense is as strong as it can be.
I discovered Bear to be tenacious. I noticed that once Bear set his mind on something, nothing could deter him...not wind, or hail, snow, or heat...nothing. When Bear has a goal, that goal becomes paramount in his mind. After the goal is completed, he will focus just as intently on the next goal. And so on, his attention completely centred on the present.
That reminds me a lot of Margaret, who had the incredible foresight to give us my Bear Totem on Onyx, a stone whose properties "conveys the invaluable gift of wise decisions, has the property of holding physical memories and can be used for psychometry" (The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall). Once Margaret focusses her energy on a certain thing, she always gives it everything she's got. Margaret sees failure as an opportunity to learn...figure out where it went wrong...and then not stop until she feels successful. Not much will stop her, exactly like Grandfather Bear.
One of her inumerable wise sayings..."Better get at it then"... is used when a particularly arduous job lies before someone. It seemed unsympathetic to me when I first heard it, but the wisdom in those words shone through. If you don't like something important in your life (where you're beating your head against a brick wall trying to figure out ways to get around having to do this particular thing) then stand and face it, get it done...get it out of the way! Focus on the goal.
Just like Grandfather Bear. Thank you, Margaret, and Happy Birthday!