Friday, March 23, 2007

Council: Gatekeeper to Success

Gatekeeper to Success by Caroline

with a Creative Commons License that allows non-commercial use and further remixing provided all attributions are given and a similar license is given on new images. Images used in this remix are all from flickr with appropriate CC licenses:

North Lees track by Roger B.
Gatekeeper by Ben Werdmuller
Gardening Trophy by east_lothian_museums
Glum beardy man by hugovk

On KaleidoSoul Inner Surprises, Anne Marie has put up a challenge to do a card from a quotation.

I rarely remember exact wordings so I was really glad to see Anne Marie had provided some suggestions of places to look for inspiring quotes. I picked the middle link: The Quote Garden. And was hit right between the eyes by the "Daily Harvest" quote of the day:
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
~Bill Gates
From this seed the card above grew.

Anne Marie asked which inner voices might be saying this and I heard one I've not named before - Gatekeeper of Success. I was immediately both amused and contented by the play on Bill Gates' name and his status as a successful man. It even gave me the words to search on flickr with.

So the first search I made was for gate and when I saw this one, within a few pages of images, I knew it was perfect. I realised that for me future success and living in the country are inextricably linked - the story is too long to relate now but I have been struggling to sell our house and leave Bristol for several years, actually I no longer feel that I am struggling, but do feel that it will be lovely to live in the country once more whenever that happens. Two of my future self cards are about living in the country.

Then I wondered if I could find a gatekeeper. I wasn't sure if this would be a person or not until I saw the image of a greenman in gold on blue. Who else is a better gatekeeper to the country?

Then I wondered what would signify success? How about a trophy? My first search for champion's cup was a washout - I quickly realised I needed to be more specific and tried silver cup - on the third page I found this classic cup. What's more it is a Gardening Trophy which chimes well with my country ambitions. And I liked the fact that it also said "Young Cup" - I don't want to be too old when I get there!

But back to the quote - how was I to represent the unhappy customer. I did a search for unhappy man and found this "Glum beardy man". He was in grey but I did some image manipulation to make him blue and he became a little like a dull blue version of the gatekeeper himself - I placed him so that he is supporting the gatekeeper.

This all came together very quickly and easily. There were lots of little additional clues that nudged me on - ones that I saw and acknowledged but that to explain would be too cumbersome - the way was littered with synchronicities of names, places and ideas.

Now I've printed out the card and can hold it.
I am One who shows you the way.

I am One who beckons you with both my welcoming and my unhappy faces.
Find the energy work needed whenever you see my unhappy face.

In shadow, I am One who has been pulling you from behind for many a year, now you have turned to see me it'll be much easier to lead you on!

This feels like a really major card, so thank you very much for this challenge Anne Marie!


GreenishLady said...

Wonderful card. The play on words is so clever - and so like the little games the psyche plays! Love the blue-ness. I won't get to this challenge today, but hopefully over the weekend...

Caroline said...

Thanks Imelda - it was only after I posted it that I also noticed how trophy like the golden head is... I really look forward to this card coming up in readings!

Hope you get a change to have a go at the challenge - I knew I had to do it today if I was going to get it done soon. And I suspect its message was one that was quite urgent too... funny...

Caroline said...

Oh I meant to say - I often dream in puns - a legacy of my childhood - my father loved word play.

tammy vitale said...

oooooh. (couldn't wait - had to come see). Oh this is so perfect. Bristol, huh? I have no idea where that is but I'm going to look it up.
This card is magnificent ... and here's a secret (from a poem of mine): there is no door/there is no key. But oh I know this gate/door well! and the guardians, too. I love the "in shadow...." part. Thanks for letting me know this is here. I'll come back and visit it when I forget there is no door. That's what's great about the cards - I guess I need to pull mine out and have a session for fun. Tomorrow!

Caroline said...

Tammy - thanks for scooting over! Bristol is where I am yes... until I do finally get to move into the country once more!

Funny about gates and doors - I spent last year doing lots of collages with keys in! Some normal others shaped like animal or people... I've not put any keys into SoulCollage® cards yet... I wonder if they'll come. Or whether that was a phase I've been through.

I do hope you have some fun with it Tammy. You and Imeldaa were my inspirations to get into SoulCollage in the first place - nudged by Tinker of course.

Hayden said...

love this image! I'm very fond of the Green Man, and of openings into secret gardens, so this card sets me dreaming.

Caroline said...

thanks Hayden - secret gardens are very dreamy... mmm...

Terri /Tinker said...

Ahh! Now I understand the context for your reference to quotes appealing to you now (earlier on my post)...

Wonderful imagery, Caroline - and I like the gatekeeper/Bill Gates wordplay.

Terri /Tinker said...

That last bit about the shadow is resonating for me...there's a self-portrait shadow challenge, I've just been reading about. Hmmm...

Robin said...

Hi Caroline,

I have been to many soulcollage sites and recognize the names of some who have posted. I've made 27 cards so far, which I do on Adobe Photoshop. Oddly, the other night suddenly the idea of "Gatekeeper" came to mind, but I haven't yet formed a concept of it. Does anyone in your group ever do freewriting on each other's cards? A friend of mine and I did that, and it was very interesting. To me, this card conveys the feeling that only the initiated will be allowed to enter. This led me to wonder what an initiation experience into "the land of success" would be. It couldn't be an experience in which you receive an award or feel rewarded because then you would already be successful. These are the kinds of thoughts I think at 1 a.m., I guess! Thanks for sharing your cards and your thoughts.

Caroline said...


I'm not in a SoulCollage® group - well I suppose I'm in the yahoo group but I've only recently started posting there a bit and don't know if they do freewrite on each others cards at all. I've been attempting to interest one of my friends in starting to make some cards but she, although interested in principle, has a lot of other stuff going on and hasn't made one yet. I'm going to a SoulCollage course in N. Ireland soon so I will at last meet someone who has been making them for a few years and some other new SoulColalgers.

Most of my cards were made before I joined in with yahoo group - I've got over a hundred.

I like your 1 a.m. thoughts - some synchronicities after it have led me to think that I need to make a committee member that goes with it called Overachiever... your comments make me think this too... time to get on with that one!

Do you have a blog or flickr group or somewhere you put your cards?

I only post a few of mine as I'm too aware of the copyright stuff. Recently I've had a run of cards made with creative commons images but I'm still making ones from images that I won't post (for instance from magazines). I'm finding that sometimes once I've made an image that way I can then get very close to it using creative commons images so I can then remake it and show it which is great!

Thanks for popping by and commenting.

Jo said...

I love the colours, I love the reference to gates and bill gates, it's amazing what inspires us.

Caroline said...

Jo - thanks - it is surprising isn't it - I can't say, being an iMac owner, that I've ever felt inspired by him before!