Writing My Story
What does 2019 hold In store for this artist’s journey?
I want to write my story.
When I work in the studio, I often do not obtain a full understanding of what I have created until days, weeks, sometimes months later. Because my process involves working from deep within my soul, I don’t often grasp its meaning right away. I need to sit with the work, contemplate. Writing on the other hand is more immediate and cathartic for me as a means to understand what is going on within me, now, today. A desire to know what makes me tick and the whys is what I seem to be craving.
Putting words, sentences, paragraphs to feelings and life’s events is difficult and sometimes painful. For me, writing my story is similar to instinctively choosing colors, shapes, movements, etc. when creating works of art. Letting it go to let it be, trusting the process. Free writing was my favorite technique in college writing courses and so I will learn to trust my writing process like I trust my painting process.
Since leaving North Dakota and all its familiarity, I have settled into a place that has prompted me to set aside that “familiarity and busy for the sake of sanity phase” of my life. Here, people have come into my life that are challenging the ways I look, talk and act in regards to my true self. Because these folks did not know me from my past life, they were seeing me in their light and from their perspective.
A huge part of this awakening has been writing and talking through it with new friends that share my need to know more and do so without judgement. I was seeing a counselor back in the early 90’s when having some personal difficulties and remember her discussing how my judgmental statements were derailing my growth. She suggested being more empathetic towards others and their situations was the only true way to have fulfilling and worthwhile relationships of any kind. I wrote about what she said extensively then. Her words stuck with me and I began practicing empathy, unfortunately to the detriment of my own feelings and needs. I went to the extreme mainly because it was easier to feel for others than to feel my own “stuff”. Denial.
Late last year I began the process of writing “my story”. I started with some early events in my life (5 and 6 years old) that I have often boasted as stories of personal strength. But I have come to discover through my writing that those events revealed survival skills which replaced basic needs not met. I am not sad about this revelation, it was what it was. Many of you can relate to childhood events discovered in adulthood that carried some trauma. Revealing these narratives have given me insight into why I act the way I do at times. There is freedom in facing those childhood stories, setting that child free, living in the now as my adult self. Writing about these events has and will continue to free me from those false stories I convinced myself were okay.
I know my art work has been and continues to be a part of this whole revelation of self. Now along with my writing, the impact will be even stronger, deeper and more meaningful.
Thus begins my 2019 artist’s journey.