Monday, January 23, 2006

Easy does it~ SPT #4 {Personal History}

I decided to also use this picture for Self Portrait Tuesday, since the theme is personal history and it couldn't be more fitting. It also has Chloe's hand in it, which has become a recurrence in my pictures:)

So here's my story. I was cruising along just great, creating ferociously and fearlessly every night. Then came along this weeks theme for Mixed Media Memoirs, over on melba's blog. The theme is "The Past that Lingers". My first idea was about how all the photographs I've taken in my life are links to my past. I thought how I wanted to stage the picture to go on my page and decided on having pictures surrounding me. As I started to get out old photographs, I was stopped in my tracks. I didn't want to look at them. It's not that they were full of bad memories, quite the opposite. I just felt like the past was the past and I had a strong reaction to bringing it back up...or lingering.

My hubby took the picture and I started to try to compose my page. Everything felt blocked, nothing looked right. Then suddenly it bled over into my other projects, I didn't want to do my morning pages, or write in my blog (gasp!). I wasn't sure what was happening, or why opening up that box of pictures of my past was making me so angry. Today I decided to read the chapter for the week in the Artist's Way. On the first page, Julia immediately begins talking about anger. "Anger is meant to be acted upon. It's not meant to be acted out....Anger is a tool, not a master....Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life." Good stuff. I also had doubts about doing art at all. Why bother? It's just a bunch of paper and glue. Wicked, I know! Cameron also talks about this, how an artist may start a piece and find that as they're almost done they suddenly find it pointless, not worth the effort. She said that this is a coping device employed to deny pain and ward off vulnerability. So I pressed on and continued to work on the piece.

Later that same day, as I was working, I came across this poem by Mary Oliver called "Dogfish". This is an excerpt. It resonated with me and I used it on my page:

I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country, I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,
whoever I was, I was
for a little while.

I then journaled on the back of it how I felt making this page. So I finally finished the darn page and it can be seen here. I guess I'm ok with it. I'm ready to let it go.

At the end of the AW chapter, Julia talks aboout growth and how it's two steps forward and one step back. "Growth occurs in spurts. You will lie dormant sometimes. Very often a week of insights will be followed by a week of sluggishness. Do not be discouraged. Think of it as resting." Easy does it! Be kind to yourself.


melba said...

Wow! I am so touched that you had this reaction. That is one of the reasons I started Mixed Media be encouraged to confront ourselves and then have a forum to share those insights that will help us all live a more authentic life. I am very impressed with your work!

twistedsoda said...

looks like you and I, my dear...are on the same path. I might have to work on this with you! You always seem to inspire me with every breath!

twistedsoda said...

I tried finding your email..but to no avail. I added mine on my site now! Write me a line, maybe we can put our heads together sometime!

Frivolitea said...

Hi ArtsyMama. Come visit my new blog. (Just the beginning of one at the moment.) We have alot in common!

Leah said...

lovely, lovely thought-provoking post. i know just what you mean. good for you for recognizing what was holding you back and going forward anyways.

la vie en rose said...

talk about synchronicity. everything seemed to come into place yesterday, giving you exactly what you needed. wow!

Shari said...

Hi---Just wanted to tell you that I am one of your biggest fans! I love your blog and I love your art!
hugs, shari xxx

Wenda said...

I didn't keep track of how I originally found my way here, but I sure have been enjoying myself right from the first visit.

Caroline said...

I've just come here from the MMM page - I had a struggle doing "the past that lingers" too... you've written about yours really well - well done for getting through it!

I'm not so eloquent about my processes but I did get through it too.

(And I'm not going the AW this time around but I've worked with it over and over so am interested in the energy of the whole group of you doing it together!)