“We hide behind our walls because we think they protect us, when really all they do is prevent us from touching whatever freedoms live on the other side.” – Scott Stabile
When I first came across this quote, it really touched me, for I had been building walls and isolating myself. I felt like I was not only being separated from life by my wall, but that I was actually becoming a part of the wall myself…turning to stone…emotionally detached and vacant. I felt like I was watching life and the world from a distance. I could see that there was beauty that I “should” have been appreciating and grateful for, but I didn’t feel a part of it. I didn’t feel joy or love at the time, even though I was surrounded by people who love me deeply.
It inspired me to create a version of what is now this painting…for when I painted, I felt joyful feelings start to ignite. I played with texture and a palette knife. I painted and mixed colours. But it just wasn’t looking “right”. And I didn’t know what to do. So I hung it on my basement “studio” wall, and there it stayed for almost a year without being touched, as I pondered and waited for a direction. And then, I gained courage. My heart full of love and joy and feeling again, I repainted the entire piece…everything from before is still there…an important layer and part of it’s history…of my history. But I added to it, and made it warm and inviting, like a sunrise rather than midday. Because I feel my life is just beginning in many ways. The pause of night, and the beginning of a new day. And now, it makes me happy. I’m not certain that it’s finally complete, but I enjoy it now and feel it tells more story than I am going into. I can feel it, feel her hope and desire.
Sure, she’s a little banana-faced…she’s imperfect…or rather, like me, she is perfectly flawed. You can see her history, and her scars, but you can also see her beauty. This is one of my favourite pieces that I’ve done so far, even though no one else I’ve shown seems to “get it”. But that’s the thing…no one else has to get it, because it was created by me for me. It was created for personal growth and healing.
Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book “Big Magic” that in order to live a creative life, we must let go of our desire for approval. We can’t let everything we do and create depend upon the outcome, or how it is received by the world. For the universe owes us nothing. And creating is deeply personal, and should be done for that reason alone. It’s all about the journey and the process, not the destination or final outcome.
I am getting over my fears, finding my courage, and reaching for the freedom, body, mind and soul.