Having had a particularly difficult day today, emotionally, speaking - I want to turn the page back to last week when I had some fantastic epiphanies.
Since December and the Miami-Pool Art Fair trip, I have been trying to answer a question I received during my flight wait to Miami. I was approached by a retired Military officer and asked "Where am I going? And "What do I do?" One would think that I have a snap answer to that question, but I never have. Maybe because I really work at breaking down my motivations and analyze my own psyche, I tend to answer in paragraphs or essays, NOT one sentence wonders.
So, I decided I needed to have that one-sentence answer ready the next time I am asked.
If you know me at all, and some of you do, I don't keep anything hidden, I am what I am, for better for worse . . . you know I am NOT a morning person! I think better at night, I work better at night, and the mornings (i.e., anything prior to NOON) are not me at my best. Last week, after realizing we would have ANOTHER SNOWDAY and that I could TURN OFF THE ALARM (woot!), I was given the great opportunity to slowly wake up and tiptoe through that twilight of sleep/dream and awake/reality. What I realized, was that, in one sentence,:
I am the most broken item I have ever put back together. It is a daily process, just like today, when I was literally ripped apart in a public forum for speaking my own truth about my rape. I am stitching myself back together - I am a one-armed Raggedy Ann, restitching my dismembered arm back to myself.
The 2nd epiphany I experienced last week was the solution to an installation problem with "YOU MADE YOUR BED", a new series I will be installing in March at the "Ladies First", Top 10 Women Artists of Tennessee Exhibition at The Customs House Museum (in honor of women's history month). Literally, laying 'abed' I visualized the installation solution and got it planned in my brain before I stepped onto the floor. Here is 1/2 of the installation:
So, what I have learned this month?
1) I realized what I do is, metaphorically and, literally, "I Put Back Together Broken Things", and
2) Just as I am responsible for what my truth is, so are others, and there are deep and lasting crevices that are created from speaking one's truth.
|re·sil·ience [ ri zílly?nss ] or re·sil·ien·cy [ ri zílly?nssee ]|
|1. speedy recovery from problems: the ability to recover quickly from setbacks|
|2. elasticity: the ability of matter to spring back quickly into shape after being bent, stretched, or deformed
It is amazing to me that a view of the tree's internal rings reveal it's entire biography - the year it was born, the travail of injury, the years of abundance and nurture. I am amazed at the individuality of each scar.
Not only the individuality, but the fact that these scars are the cause of so much beauty and the site of resilience and self-healing. In a way, these trees are my 'heroes' and nature is where I can instantly receive the succor and peace from everyday challenges. It is like an instant realignment of internal and external health. See, echophsycology posting, http://sherfickart.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/01/essay-eco-psych.html (Eco-psychology and Inner-World Balance) as well as a previous posting http://sherfickart.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/10/natures-gifts.html (Nature's Gifts)
Along the Natchez Trace I became lost. Lost, literally, but emotionally as well. This sojourn provided time to dwell in the bucolic world. I saw the way nature ate away at the attempted confinement of man. The trees were devouring the very man-made structures used to tame them.
As time passed, the con-finements were devoured, but the fact of them was left behind - the trees had continued to grow about the chains of man and left behind the visualization of their conquering spirits.
I, too, seek to be triumphant and to devour my oppression and create a beautiful outcome. Just like these trees, I hope to heal and transform my internal and external scars into marks of strength.
So, once again, my ruminations return to WHAT REMAINS? What we keep and why?
What will my story say at the end?
To learn more about the Life of a Tree, visit