There are days when the unknowing of what is to come can be like unknowingly swimming into a patch of sea kelp, out far past the beach break. Feeling without being able to see. Not knowing what way will be further into entanglement and panic, and if the courage to even move exists.
30x40 Arcylic/ Art Resin/ Glitter on Canvas. Ready to hang.
This year, in 2023, I have dug up my entire life. I have written my memoir - from being 3 years old to 40 years old. And for a lot of it, it felt like swimming in a kelp forest, so far out I lost sight of the shore. Feeling everything that was there and not being sure of what would happen if I bumped into something that I knew was there, but I couldn’t see. I wondered sometimes which part would take me out, make me give up, and live another ten years with my unfinished manuscript.
It was never the violence or trauma that I had any trouble writing. It was the learning how to live and all of my dreams coming true. It was the little girl who loved making glitter pictures and the innocent teenager just trying to learn to flip a flag in the color guard. Creating the parts of myself that didn’t have anything or anybody to run from yet was what made me want to run the most.
Digging up my life is something I have done in therapy, and recovery, within my art, and now in my book. I used to think that all of my experiences - in all of their drastic osculations of light and shadow - made me less than. I used to think that being cracked open - made me broken.
But as the cliche goes it’s only through the wound that the light can enter. It is only with that specific light - the one that is the reason that some of us survived- that the illumination of empathy and connection can speak a story that matters - with a power that guides. A power that heals.
Because it’s not that this is one of the darkest times in the history of Earth - it’s always been this dark. This planet, to me, is a bad neighborhood. The difference lately is that everything we used to not see or feel is coming to the surface.
I’ve been lucky lately about hitting seaweed in the ocean. I hope in this portrait you can find yourself as the illuminated figure in the middle of so much happening - in every direction, parts of it dark, parts of it light and balancing the depth.
I hope you dare to dig it up again, look at it, and use what you found for connection as opposed to separation. I hope you find beauty in the dark, even if you can’t see everything you feel.