The theme of this weekend was creative expression, it is one of my favorite life themes. Hubs and I got up Saturday morning and went to an art festival taking place not far from our home. The location where the festival was being held is special to us; we have spent much time together there between when we were dating, engaged, and now as newly weds.
We oogled the amazing art displayed by local artists, we watched science experiments taking place on a big stage, but our favorite part was the exhibit we visited at the art museum. The museum had a special exhibit open to the public, it was all the art created by our community in reaction to the Pulse shooting over the summer. As I walked through the exhibit I could not hold back my tears. One piece after another, my heart grew heavier, I was overcome. I was impacted not only by the images I was seeing but the emotion the artists were able to convey. Creating can be a very emotional experience for me, I imagine the artists who painted some of these pieces and how hard it must have been for them. One piece in particular was hard for me to sit with in terms of emotional impact.. The artist had punctured the canvas intentionally creating multiple holes, around the holes the artist used rainbow colors and allowed them to drip down the canvas into a massive rainbow puddle. Even describing it now stirs painful feelings for me. The holes resembled gun shots.. It was stunning and it was hard to hold it together.
The art museum had printed some of the art pieces in mass quantities on photo paper and made them into postcards that could be colored in by the public and then mailed to the local first responders to thank them for how they took care of our community. I was touched. I took 2 postcards and last night my Moo and I colored them in together.
Friday night I painted a still life of a potted orchid on a table. I am happy with the way it turned out and am thinking about framing it and hanging it in our guest room.
Today I spent about 4 hours writing my big paper of the semester. Each semester there is one paper or project that I am not particularly looking forward to and once it is complete the rest of the semester is smooth sailing. That assignment came early this semester. Once I finished it I was relieved and feeling a bit stressed as well. I was glad to be done with it, it stirred up some emotions for me though so I was ready to release some of that tension.
Tonight I started my largest art project to date. I have never taken on a large scale painting before. Recently I was asked to help with a large scale piece for the school of social work but declined because I felt that was beyond my current artistic abilities and because when complete it will be on display in our main building at the university and that was more attention than I am comfortable with currently in terms of sharing my art.
What I started on tonight feels like a safer way to start taking on larger scale art projects. I am not going to give any hints at this time as to what this is going to be but I am excited about and am grateful that my husband does not fuss when I take over the living room with my art.
It was so fun to paint, and splatter, and drip, and create layers of texture.. I let my sponge guide me and relished the feeling of cold acrylic all over my feet and fingers as I moved around the room spraying my “canvas” with white paint. For now I am letting the first two layers of color dry and then I will go back to add the next layer.
Aside from painting I have spent a good deal of time outside in nature as well as reading my book. I am on the second in the Harry Potter series and loving every second of it. I do not know why I waited so long to finally read these books. I have always loved the movies, it stands to reason I would fall in love with the books as well.
I am doing well in all of my classes, getting my A’s, I am excelling at internship and feel my confidence growing day by day but the true measure of my success this semester is my ability to maintain balance. There is time for all of it. There is time for me. There is time for the people and activities that I not only love but that fill my cup. I feel so centered and grounded right now. I am not stressed, I am not overwhelmed, I am peaceful and feel whole.
This says so much because last week in particular was.. I don’t have words. It was A LOT. My former self would have descended into crisis, but I did not. I breathed through it, I took care of me, and this week I will process it with my therapist and move forward.
In about a week I will leave for Soul Camp and spend the weekend in deep healing with other women at the beach. I do not know exactly what to expect at Soul Camp but I do know that we will be creating art as a way to give voice and recognition to pieces of ourselves who need tenderness. I am excited about that part. For me the act of creating is a way to cleanse myself.
I am grateful for the balance, I am grateful I have reignited this artistic part of myself in recent years, I am grateful for support from my life partner.. My heart is full, I feel at peace, and I am ready for whatever this week holds for me.