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My Art Therapy Journey

Posts tagged vacation

Sliver of Light (found coming through the middle of a grouping of conjoined Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park, CA)

I’ve been in a place with no words lately.

When will I learn that not having words, or really, not being able to express them, does not help one (me) to escape?

I hadn’t planned on writing this.

But then something brushed past me and I felt like maybe I could get something out.

Now I’m not so sure again.

This is a frustrating battle.

I want a poem.

I want significance if I’m going to have to stutter through these mutilating stops and starts.

I want something to show for the scar tissue from all the rips in my chest.

I haven’t had much time to paint.

Or maybe it is energy I have struggled with.

With vacation and all…

I did take some iPhone photos while I was gone…and my phone never got close to dying.

I did though.  We were nearly involved in a potentially fatal crash on the highway on the way to the airport, coming home.

The tire on a pickup in front of us blew and sent the pickup bouncing and swerving into a concrete partition barrier under an overpass and then tossed it back across to the other side of the highway for another concrete kiss before it finally came to a stop.  The highway was filled with traffic, including a speeding semi directly behind us (and we were the first car behind the pickup that lost control).   Miraculously, there was nobody in the lane beside the out-of-control pickup and so it kept the snowball effect from happening, and we were miraculously far enough behind the pickup  that when the tire blew and the actual crash(es)/impacts  happened we were able to avoid contact.

I know at least 10 drivers had to have seen the accident happen, and sadly, us and one other single male driver were the only ones to pull over to make sure the driver of the pickup was ok.  It’s pretty horrible to watch a vehicle crash right in front of you (or behind you, I’ve experienced that before on the highway too…and I wasn’t involved or hurt,) but what made me sick to my stomach and clench up my throat was that amount of people who sped right on past without even attempting to stop and help.

The driver of the pickup was an older gentleman and was pretty shook up and, I’m sure, in shock, but thankfully not critically injured himself.  We were in a dangerous spot ourselves when we stopped, and on the opposite side of the highway from the pickup, so we continued to the airport after making sure the driver was safe and able to wait for police and ambulance and that the other citizen who stopped was able (and willing!)  to take care of the rest from that point.  It didn’t appear the driver of the pickup even had a cell phone…I felt so bad for him. : (

Can you imagine if nobody had stopped??!

That’s the question I thought about the rest of the way to the airport.

Which quickly led me to thinking about how many times I’ve been the one involved in a  life wreck.

It put me into a place of deep thought (but with a well-activated nervous system) …about how we could have seen someone killed in front of us, one or more of us in our car could have gotten seriously injured or killed that morning, or we could have seen and been involved in a compounded highway mass tragedy if the speeding cars had been spaced within even a car length’s difference at that particular time and place.

But life went on.

We got into a plane that morning to sit by an old man holding an iPad and stock report papers who was quite consumed with things that obviously mattered, who didn’t want to sit by or have anything to do with us (and he really didn’t know how close his luck was to not having us there) especially our baby.

But there we were.  All of us in a row.

And here we are today, still living this life.

My Daughter, Playing In the Light

My Daughter, Playing in the Light (in the middle of a large, conjoined grouping of Sequoia Trees in Sequoia National Park in CA)

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I get a little scared by acceptance.  It is, of course, something I always want.  I want it like the challenge that it is.  I love challenge.  But…a challenge is still a challenge! : )   At least I have been feeling ready for it!

So, where does this leave me now that I am beginning to accept myself as I am?  Me… this person who sometimes (even still!)  is too scared to let out a whole sentence without dodging my eyes  when face-to-face.  (Coincidentally, I think the “eye-dodge” happens a lot less when I’m talking with anyone about anything related to art?  Art creates an open door where inhibitions and shame can find a way out of the room…like a nasty fly maybe that has found there is no longer anything good to feed on?  But who knows, I came to this during proof-reading so I’ll have to think on this some more.)

I guess it leaves me working (and a person with a job these days is considered pretty well off)  and aware of some of the most minute aspects of interaction and living.  Maybe this sensitivity is part of what draws me to nature and the “little things” that fill up  so much of the working world.

So why am I writing about this here?

Because it’s part of my journey (a pretty big part, I guess,) and because sharing with, in and through this blog has become a big-enough part of my life that I think of it often…daily.  Many times a day.   I’m a person that hasn’t had access to my true voice for the majority of my life.    I cry at every choir performance my teenage daughter participates in because I cannot imagine a more beautiful thing than to create through the exchange of real breath.  And to hear and see my daughter’s voice leaves me with nothing but hopeful, happy tears for her and the next generation.

This reminds me of how, from the time my daughter was a preschooler, we would bolt out songs together when we were driving together in the car.  It was our happy place.

Ah, happy places.

How do our happy places slip away?

There are new “happy places.” Life changes, people transition and/or transform.  Things happen.  But sometimes, and I’ll only say this quietly, a sad place fills the void where once a happy place lived….and sang.

***

I started out writing this today not having any idea what I was talking about here…or why.  But I’ve been away from my blog for a while.  Not in my heart or life, of course,  but in showing  my words.

I usually like to be inspired by an image before I sit down to write a post…but today things (so far) have been different.  I have so many images that I have made and collected over the last couple of weeks.  So many things could have started me off.  But today I decided to just accept that I needed and wanted to write.  And I didn’t have to have a plan or a goal.  I came just wanting to say what was going to be said.  Do you ever feel like something is just -there- and you’re not in control of it?  Like, truly, all that it needs is acceptance for it to show itself to the rest of the world (or you)?

I guess I maybe feel this is the heart of art.   Acceptance.  (But also trust and faith with a fair dose of willingness. )

I realized as I was writing about my daughter and our happy place that I do actually have an image to share and put with this post.

It’s my latest painting…the one I alluded to the last time I wrote.  It’s still not finished….but I’m not finished either and I’m still here!  So I figure it’s ok to share…this is about the journey.

And a bit about the intuitive painting process: In the last month I finished up my first ever painting e-course with Flora Bowley (called “Bloom True,” no less ) who is not only an amazing artist but a very real, beautiful and inspiring woman.  I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to take her course as she shines an extremely bright light.  It was so effortless (but still personally emotionally challenging at times…re: self-acceptance) to learn about her process and begin to carry with me some of the priceless tools she shared.  (And she’s offering her e-course again, so if you’re interested in growing yourself (blooming?) I cannot recommend her class enough.)

Base layers, playing with color and mark making

Building up more layers...I was having a blast doing "graffiti" without the pressure of breaking any enforceable laws

Having a blast doing “graffiti” without the pressure of breaking any enforceable laws

up close "graffiti"

Graffiti face

Inspired by my deer encounter a couple of posts ago!

close-up

very contorted hind legs

staying with it

hm, is that a flower? lol

A gentle and rather kind art critic in the studio

adding and subtracting, the only math I can do!

Another shot for Sammy…he always accepts me and my paintings 😉

change

new addition

darkness comes

more darkness

This is the last photo I have of this particular painting in process…I have worked some more on it and it is still transforming.  I am not sure where it will end up, but I am working on accepting it regardless of whatever happens.  I feel like I have learned so much through this one painting and have experienced several ups and downs with it.  But it has been a different process from the process with my “flower painting” I shared a few weeks ago!

I’m hesitant to say too much about the content and emotional aspects of this painting since it’s not completed yet.  Maybe when it is done.  For now I’m on this journey facing the challenges as they come!  And really, quite loving it when I stand back and look around me!

….And speaking of looking around me (which always leads me to looking within) is what I will be doing over the next week while I am on a long over-due (and somewhat impromptu)  nature vacation!  I anticipate a lot of iPhoneography going on, which reminds me!  I need to run and find a car charger for my phone and it’s nearly 5pm!  I’ll be watching the sun rise as I near the sky tomorrow morning bright and early so I better get a jump on it if I don’t want my anticipation to fall fast and hard!

I have to scoot, but I will return…so much more to share!

Thanks for listening (and watching!)  (and accepting! yikes!) 🙂

Edit:

I know it’s late, and I know it’s silly of me to think I will actually be in bed sleeping before it’s time to wake up again for a day of travel with my husband and 13 month old daughter….

BUT…

I did go get that car charger for my iPhone and the funniest thing happened when I returned.  There in my yard laid (and she really was laying down!) a doe…along with at least two of her babies.  She got up quickly, but I’m a pretty quick draw when it comes to snapping a photo so I grabbed my phone and went for it…I couldn’t wait to share this.

Even with Instagram crashing on me (twice!) I got these shots to share….

Funny how life is…how acceptance is…and how things (and in this case, some deer) sometimes appear at just the right time.

For what it’s worth this is the first time I’ve seen this doe with her babies here.  And these are the first fawns I have seen for myself all year…

 

doe and her fawns in our yard tonight 🙂

 

mom and babies in our yard tonight after coming home from errands (after writing this post)

 

 

So, I’m off for now! Vacation will be here before I know it!  (As relaxing as travelling with a 13-month old can be anyway!)

I’d like to bring you along.   I’m going to be on the lookout for a lot of light…and I’m open to what the “open road” will have to share with me.  I’m hoping for sunshine, but I never know what this journey has in store for me.  At the very least it’s always an adventure.

So maybe I’ll make this like a mini documentary within the living documentary of this blog as it is.  Maybe I’ll be a photo journalist on the sly…or maybe not so sly!  Who knows, maybe I’ll meet a new friend…or a wild bear…I’ll ask to pose with for a photo.  I’m deathly terrified of bears and the place where I’ll be is known for having them!  I’m going to let it be a surprise for now where I report from next….

But until then…sweet dreams!

 

Off for the Main Trail…