December of 2013 – Heartbroken & numb – I sat in a councilors office and she asked me if I had done any creative projects around the grieving process, my first thought was – Duh?
Creativity is how I get to know myself.
She sent me off with instructions to start thinking about grieving as an art project.
Start a page in my journal.
Then to the research – for this project I started with the clothing of grief. I went to one of my favorite thrift store, costume magic & vintage frippery. I looked through racks, baskets, and piles of goodies. I was searching for beautiful sadness.
I felt my heart welling up as I found the black section of the frippery. I found a few pieces of lace and spoke with the passionate shop maven.
We talked about how the lace I chose was probably sewed into many dresses & reused by families of women who needed grieving clothing. I also found a beaded collar and she believe it was probably used by a women who lost her partner early and had years of black to wear.
I thought about my own story – one son born to me after three months of bed rest. Doctors offices bad news, miscarrage. And another, and three another’s…. let’s adopt – we leapt headlong into a crazy adventure… but the trade winds of faith were not blowing our way. We ended up with more loss, there is no word for adoption loss. But we had eight non-spoken pains. This all lead me to a journey of healing – journals, counseling, and inward exploration.
On September 27, I lost a piece of my heart. My big brother died suddenly in a motorcycle accident. In the weeks that followed, my tribe came around me and held me up. Cared for my son, washed my clothes and fulfilled commitments I could not.
I don’t know how I walked through these weeks, I hope with grace, patience and love on my lips. I felt him whispering to me “stay strong sis” & “have a good cry, Stumpy” – his voice is in my head at night.
When asked how I am, I can only say “upright.” My days are only marked by wet or dry days. My grief is written on every moment of the day, I know it will lesson as scar tissue forms but for now, I can still see my pulse in the wound.
It is strange how old wounds open, with a new pain. I have turned to my journals, my family, friends and inward as I work through these tough days.
I hope in the days and weeks to come to journal here about the journey of my season of grief.
I LOVE THRIFTING! Don’t you? My favorite isles are the home goods. I found this little owl and it was not too cute when I found it… it was brown, and not the good kind of brown! So I started by spraying it with black paint, then added layers of acrylic & metallics over the surface!
Making art in every moment.. is one of my creative practices. I am also a list keeper. Working on decluttering my home gave me a unique opportunity to create a mind map for the list of things I needed to accomplish in each room.
But my creative practice required me to find a beautiful quote about clutter, stamp it out & draw a funky home around it. I then used the rest of the paper to fill out the map for each room! I loved looking at it and because it wasn’t small – I could always find it!
Think about how you can create practices that increase low risk creativity!
Working with your favorite medium, some mixed medium & your heart. This class works with you as an artist with new techniques, tools & tips to discover your story. We will explore inspiration, storytelling, & heart work to give your voice wings!
Come along for the journey.
Wednesdays 7-10 pm @ Cole’s Studio (contact us for address)
Fri 10-1 pm @ Myrna’s Studio in Puyallup (contact us for address)