“What needs to be counted on to have a voice? Courage. Anger. Love. Something to say; someone to speak to; someone to listen. I have talked to myself for years in the privacy of my journals.”~Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
To be misunderstood can be the writer’s punishment for having disturbed the reader’s peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding.
if I whisper words
will you hear them?
if I fashion them
will you understand what I am truly saying?
I have bled into every word
I have saved tears and tucked them into the corner
of every picture that I hand you
I tell stories, speaking softly and slowly
in order to mitigate the drama
because the drama ruffles your feathers
and stops up your ears
so I stop talking
But the stories rumble
and my bleeding heart is impatient
with my whispering concerns over reception
it circles and
until bars bend
and all runs free
I howl and claw
and no longer give a damn if you speak Italian or French
~ Betsy Cañas Garmon
“Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began…”
Charles H. Spurgeon, All of Grace
Today I am putting the final touches on the last body of work due for the intuitive painting course that I’ve been immersed in for the last 10 months.
Here’s a little “before” peek at the vessel that holds the work.
This journal is made from a painting that was my first introduction to intuitive painting. It’s infused with history and soul work. It was the first painting that I ever wept over. It went something like this:
“Choose a color that speaks to you.” The invitation was simple enough, but actually doing it was anything but easy.
“No.” I actually said it aloud. “It has to be something else.”
I found my staring quietly at the bins, waiting for my spirit to say, “Choose Payne’s Gray.”
“Ughhhh.” Again, aloud.
I shook my fist.
I left the room.
I made a cup of tea.
I gave the studio a tidy.
I returned to stare at the bins.
I heard, “Choose Pink.”
I cried some more.
I stormed about pulling out every container of pink in the bin, and realized that there weren’t but 3 little plastic jars of pink craft paint. I remembered that I know how to mix pink.
And then, I start painting. And, I fell in love with paint again.
This past Spring, I cut up that first painting to make a journal for the Sedona portion of our training. It’s my practice to keep a journal by my side when I work large scale. I like having it there to catch words and extra paint or the elusive ideas that fly around when we begin moving our bodies in painterly ways. After every painting session in Sedona, I took the extra paint from my palette and created backgrounds. I love that this project has a little bit of every part of my journey. The tears, the wrestling and the new ease in movement and shift. There’s even a little bit of Sedona soil, and the fuchsia palette that keeps showing up. I don’t fight it any more. I listen.
I’m also listening to the argiope that have filled the garden this year. So. many. spiders! They remind me that I’m writing and weaving my full life. And, that much like a spider sheds its exoskeleton, I’m in a season of shedding. I’m letting go of that which has served me and embracing renewal.
I’m also using my voice again. As I always have and in new ways.
In wrapping up my time, I keep returning to this poem over and over. It was part of the intention that I set at the beginning of the course. It is still a faithful guide.
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.
by Martha Postlewaite
Grace and Peace.