Almost a week ago, I wrote about how I missed working in my art journal.
In a life full of care-taking, spontaneous demands on my time, learning & loving with my new church family, and a month of cruddy health, I'd lost my tether to that which brought me here in the first place -- deep and soulful exploration of myself in an art journal.
I adore my journals. I'm Journal Girl, for pete's sake! My studio is full of books and stretched spines from layers of paper and paint.
But somewhere in this shift from young adult to part-time caretaker, I lost sight of that. The way I checked in with myself each day was gone, and what's worse, I barely noticed it. It was like I'd been asleep for weeks and suddenly woke up, the knowledge that I'd cut myself off from a source of so much healing a jarring revelation.
Who am I?
I feel like the past year has been one of intense blooming.
I wrote about some of the issues I've been dealing with at the beginning of this year. I felt like I took a huge load of dirty laundry and shook it out, attracted attention, and put it out to dry. Writing about those things we see as shameful in such a public way can be nerve-wracking; I've become more comfortable with these experiences. They lead to me, now. The me I love, have allowed to be imperfect after a lifetime of failed perfectionism.
I've been physically hurt and questioning my very worth as a human being (and exploring the intersection between disability + do I deserve all the horrible things others do to me?) & dealing with the very real reality that women aren't always there for each other, no matter what pretty words they say online. Friendships died and made room for new ones to blossom. Amazing ones. Deep ones that get through the rocks and come out battered but better.
I took on the role of caretaker to two amazing, loving, beautiful parents, one of which was in a car accident and bedridden for months. My life became one of service to them, and I continue to do so with joy and love in my heart. They have been so radiantly supportive of my dreams & art; this is the least I can do. I love listening to their stories and holding their hands as we wait for a doctor (I edited all the photos in this post while sitting next to my dad's bed in the ER -- he's fine, BTW, just dealing with a concussion).
My health has taken a nosedive in the past month because I wasn't caring for myself. It became easy to focus on others, and ignore the signals from my body. As someone living with a chronic illness, I'm usually so attentive, but just...pushed forward. Pushed through. Leaned on my new love for the Lord and let Him give me strength. And then I fell right on my face and have spent most of August in bed (this laptop hasn't been on in weeks). I literally fell on my face last week. Just a total skid face-first into rocks. God has made his message clear -- step back, go inside, rediscover yourself.
The things that happen in our lives are catalysts for change & growth.
If not for all that came before, I wouldn't be where I am now. I've made mistakes. But I've also learned a lot about who I am and why I do what I do. Why I create paintings and strive to understand color. Why I push myself to draw each and every day. Why I think spending an night in bed with a good movie, a journal, and some markers is awesome. It's all lead up to this. To now. To this very deep breath in a still moment, a guide by my side and my heart broken but beating.
"I got two hands one beating heart, and I'll be alright..." - Ingrid Michaelson
You might be wondering where all the blog posts have gone. They're there, under About > Blog (2007 - Aug 2014). It's just time for a clean slate, digital zero, as Gwen Bell says.
"That you are here - that life exists and identity, that powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman
It may be cheesy, but that iPad commercial got me. What will my verse be? How will it read? Last night, I stayed up, enthralled by 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' (it's on Netflix). If I could have one ounce of that 85 year old man's dedication to his craft, I could die a happy woman. We are all radiant souls, with our own talents and dreams and magnificent purposes, if only we dive deep and find that jewel of a soul we have deep inside.
I miss my art journal. I miss playing every night. Not trying the newest supply or hottest technique, but living out of a book. My Book. The one I live out of. That holds notes and scraps of poems and phone numbers and doodles and dreams. I miss it!
My goal this September is to do one page a day in my art journal.
I'm going to take it everywhere, bound with a rubber band holding my new favorite pen.
And I'm going to post here every morning with the finished/unfinished imperfect mess of it all. Full of discovery and heart-medicine.
You're invited to join me. I'll be posting a few pictures every morning, and some thoughts, but will add more to the group on the Journal Girl Ning network. This is where you can go to connect, or read more, or just look at more pictures. I'm doing this for myself, mostly. And to prove I'm a new woman. I can post on time, get projects done, commit, and get back to my roots & what I love.
Here's me, standing in front of you, vulnerable to the world, saying: "Hello, I'm Samie. It's nice to meet you (again)."