Thursday, February 25, 2010

Art as healing, art as revelation

Having been on the ferry several times this past week, I found myself yesterday with a camera full of shots of the ferry floor, and I couldn't resist playing with them. The results have been fascinating (to me, at least!); full of rich strong color and a sort of mystical wondering.

The artist in me is thrilled to have a chance to express herself: it's as if -- after a lifetime of frustration because she "couldn't draw" -- she had suddenly been given that gift. The exhilaration of it reminds me of what happened when my oldest daughter began to read.

She had been having communications challenges: a huge vocabulary for her age, but no way to put sentences together, so she was really frustrated much of the time. Learning to read gave her access to the structural possibilities of language, so that, even though she still couldn't construct sentences on her own, she could use sentences she had read to express herself. As a result she was no longer trapped inside her inexpressive world, and the tantrums we'd been experiencing almost immediately began to subside.

I've been feeling some tantrums of my own lately, frustrations and longings I've been finding it hard to express, and somehow playing with these images has set that part of me free: I'm feeling much calmer now. And as I look over the images that emerged out of yesterday's playing, I see this odd pregnant quality in them, as if something is being birthed; some transition is being made. Which makes it lots easier to understand why I've been so frustrated and impatient lately.

It's as if some part of me needed to remind me that this waiting period I'm in is a prelude to rebirth, not just a stuck and stagnant place. And once I can see that, it's easier to be patient; to sit with the wonder and the hope, and to understand that this is a time for nurturing and grace, for nesting and dreaming. I don't have to be going somewhere or doing something or solving something: this is a process which takes place within me, beyond my control: my only job is to cradle it gently, as a pregnant woman cradles her own belly, and love this potential into being.

I think that will be easier now.


Maureen said...

I love these blues and yellows. They remind me of the color of the kitchen in Monet's home in Giverny.

I like how upbeat you are today, believing in yourself, seeing your talent as real and wonderful.


Joyce Wycoff said...

How do you pull these words out of my own head ... "after a lifetime of frustration because she "couldn't draw" -- she had suddenly been given that gift." How true ... how true.

Your incredible images tell me that if you are now in a "stuck place," when you come out of it, rockets will explode red in the air and symphonies will play across the waters.


The blues and yellows of the last few days have been wonderful and the words you've gathered in this post are a comfort to me and I hope to the friend to whom I will send your words. A time of hers where suddenly she's feeling stuck in a place that's not familiar or comfortable - you've put a name and a shell around that idea here. Thank you!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Hello Diane,

The 'thought' of this photo and post is pretty deep! And so powerful.

thank you for expressing in words a feeling that has been stuck in me.

"love this potential into being."