One of the blogs I follow on WordPress is called: I Heart Change (check it out here: http://iheartchange.wordpress.com/ ). The author is a very talented writer, but she also works on practicing her craft regularly. Her latest post was about a 100 Day Writing Challenge. I liked her list and took her up on her offer to use her list and follow it in order. I’m not going to post my writings on my blog every day for 100 days, but I will be posting bits and pieces on occasion. Or if the mood strikes me, I will scan in my handwritten journal entries as photos to look at. And once in awhile, I’ll probably stray from the beaten path and sketch/draw the themes instead of write them. So, I guess you could look at this as a 100 Day Creative Project. In any case, I’m going to give it a shot! Thanks for playing along with me. Here we go. . .
Day 1 Topic: Birth
In Spanish, the phrase used for giving birth is “dar la luz” which literally translated means “to give light”. This is one of my favorite phrases along with the term “duende” which has no literal translation but is used to mean something that is beautiful, magical and intangible. When thinking about the day’s topic of “birth” I wanted to think about what “duende” I am willing to bring out in the light. I feel I am at a new and exciting place in my life: new house, amazing and life changing trip to Ireland for starters. With all this newness means I have a chance to shed an old layer of myself and bring a new part of me out into the open. I don’t want to reinvent myself, I want to reveal more of myself to others. For too many years I’ve gone into hiding in that metaphorical “rabbit hole” and have protected myself from pain of relationships, pain of others’ judgments (real or imagined), fear of inadequacy and fear of failure. That part of my life is over. It’s time to live life for the sheer joy of it. As Walt Whitman once wrote in his poem “A Song of Joys,” “Joys all thine own undying one, joys worthy thee O soul.”
Yet, when we’re vulnerable to the world is when we need to protect ourselves as well. But, how can I protect my new home and make it my own? How can I keep up my exciting travels when money is becoming tight (due to all the moving expenses)? How can I find love when dates aren’t happening every weekend? I don’t have all the answers, but I know the biggest answer lies in remaining exposed and open and excited for what is happening right now and what will come to me when the time is right. When I was younger, I had grandiose ideas of wanting to be super-successful and wanting to “make it” in the world and be recognized for my work. I am now at a stage where I feel the urge to push out my talent into the world and let it simply be and blossom on its own time and work in its own way.
I used to take art classes in our church’s basement when I was in junior high. I liked it enough, but I was stunted from fully enjoying it because I wanted every single piece of artwork to be perfect and to be “framable” art. I guess in my skewed mind I was thinking that each one needed to be a masterpiece in its own right. To top it off, I didn’t have the best teachers that honed in on my skills, talents and desires and they saw me as another kid that paid her $3 and spent a few hours at their table before going home. A nice way to spend a Wednesday evening and take some cute pictures home to your parents. So, I took some of the implied techniques I observed as these teachers were correcting my mistakes or mapping out my picture for me, and I practiced in private mostly. I was self-taught to a certain degree. Over the years I have taken art classes and garnered more ideas, skills and observations. But, I put my drawings on a shelf in a dark closet and literally closed the door. No more. I want to bring them into the light and show off their “duende” for a little bit. I read a poem by a newfound favorite Irish poet of mine, Patrick Kavanagh. The poem is simply titled “Birth” and he writes how the past has been destroyed and the future seems overwhelming. Once we key into the present and harness the will and the merit of our work then “. . .all sorts of beautiful things appear in that place.”
Using my inspiration from Withman and Kavanagh and this new creative challenge, I’m dropping all fear and worry and bringing my joy, my light into the world. Here are some of my sketches that I’m pulling out of the 13 year old sketch book. They’re not masterpieces in their own right, but they are a part of me I’m willing to let you see. Enjoy!
The iris sketch is one I did last night after having written a poem. The rest are from 2000-2008 (the last time I drew in that sketchbook). Here’s the poem I composed and wrote on the sketch yesterday as well:
Under the sun
Blossoms my heart –
Closely connected to the earth,
Deeply rooted in the bonds of love.