The Iridescent Quill Exists

October 7, 2011 0 By Michaela Freeman

The Iridescent Quill was the name of the blog site that was eventually dismantled and redirected partly here and partly to the Lynx Library site. But there was an actual Iridescent Quill and the idea stayed with me. It’s a peacock feather given to me by my friend Martin as sort of a housewarming gift for my studio. Actually, there is a vase full of them. I’ve had a similar display of peacock feathers in my childhood room. My Dad brought them from one of his many trips – I think from Russia. Martin had no idea about this, but he’s an artist and very intuitive … there are no accidents.

The Quills

Dancer Cristina Maldonaldo and actor Chip Persons

I never actually wrote with the iridescent quills, but they became famous in their own right. Cristina Maldonaldo, a Mexican dancer and choreographer used them in a particular performance which represented … well, the inner me. But that’s a long story I already wrote here DoMA/HoME Theater Performance The image you see in the background of this blog was created specifically for that performance. See … it all connects.

Iridescence fascinates me. Even if you don’t understand color theory, you can relate to the magic of seeing rainbows in soap bubbles, pearls, butterfly wings or even oil spills. We know these colors are not there. They are not pigments, they are refractions of light as it hits the surface. It’s the ultimate deception.

What we see depends only on the angle from which we look at the iridescent object. We simply each see a different splash of colors and they are all equally not there. I find this to be one of the more important metaphors in life. We tend to forget that others see the same thing from a different angle and that to them, it truly is different. This very concept is the foundation of our freedom, mutual respect and personal and social development. We really need to go back to it, cherish the different colors, cherish changes, cherish even the fact we’re fortunate enough to see the rainbows.

The meaning of peacock as a symbol is very diverse – from undue pride to pure spirituality. Take your pick. Well… maybe the that’s the real message here. This is take it or leave it. What I write with my iridescent quill depends on my momentary interest, long term projects, inspiration from others – whatever I consider worth sharing.
Sharing is important. In our courses, I regularly witness how hard it can be for people to identify and share their thoughts and feelings. I also see how freeing it is when they overcome this block. My horoscope says I’m to “shower the world with ideas” which indeed I tend to do. I don’t really care whether they lead to realization or not, whether I’m the one who’ll reap the benefits or not. I’m into planting seeds – in the garden or in your head, it’s all the same to me.
Like iridescent colors – what you see changes depending on your point of view. But also what I think changes over time. It’s all in motion. It’s all a mirage anyway. But a lovely one. One we all love to believe even if we know the scientific reasons for the color refraction. If we’d stick purely to the rational explanation for everything we’d be poor. Life is just too magical for that. For me, these two sides co-exist and are mutually supportive. We can know the colors are not really there and still enjoy them.
I know very well that life is not all rainbows and butterflies. Yet I have reasons to think that rainbows and butterflies are keys to understanding our world better. Jan Maruna wrote a short poem about my photo of the iridescent quill. The peacock eye in the photograph disrobes a dimension able to perceive our spiritual system … he says in it. I like his choice of words – disrobes. There is something very disrobing about writing. One feels naked in front of a crowd and anyone thinking it’s exhibitionism should try it first. It’s pretty frightening, if anything.

Still, I’m picking up my iridescent quill…and looking into peacock eyes. They’re deceptive, they’re luring, there’s a hundred of them … or millions. They are mirrors.