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;
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.