The prompt for this week's JOURNAL 52 page is "Think Sparkle and Shine - Lights, Bright Night Stars, Glitter, Metallics, Anything That Adds a Little Sparkle." And here's what I did:
I have strongly mixed feelings about this page...allow me to explain.
It started out as a genius plan to use this song, entitled "Sparkle and Shine" (how perfect is that?) by Steve Earle:
I was innocently trying to illustrate the second verse:
"Shimmering she moves
Sunlight all around her
Even when she's blue
Silver clouds surround her"
And everything was going perfectly...until I was finished and looked at the thing overall. And then I thought Oh Crap! This looks like a blue ghost floating to heaven (not my belief). And then I thought Oh Crap! This looks like a blue sperm swimming towards an egg (sunny side up cause of the yellow...then I giggle at 'sunny side up' in reference to people eggs because I'm a child...)...and that's gross. And then my brain got this weird connection thing going on (it does this a lot) and I thought Oh Crap! what if the 'bright light' that people claim to see when having near death experiences is you seeing light for the first time when coming out of some lady's baby factory and reincarnation is real (also not my belief).
I find it mildly annoying to be having these semi-philosophical and mostly ridiculous thoughts based on an art journal page...I blame it on the glitter involved in the making of this piece. I really don't like glitter. Ok, that's a lie...I don't like glitter as an art supply...at least not in my hands.
It's a long established fact that glitter is the STD of the art world...once you get it, you aren't getting rid of it. You used it once, five years ago, and it ends up on your body every so often for the rest of your life...a horrible disease for which there is no penicillin...
The bad part is glitter is pretty. Actually this is probably the same reason people end up with real STDs...they're sucked in by the attractiveness and don't look for the warning signs...I don't know for sure, as I've never had one...that's just a theory...but I digress.
The moral of the story is that, because glitter is pretty, it sucked me in with it's beauty and made me feel safe. I bought a big sampler-type package of it many moons ago because it looked so cute in it's tiny little shaker bottles...so colorful and sparkly and amazing....and I should have known better...I know the dangers of unprotected glitter use...but I was in love, so I bought it. Now here I am years later with a big sampler package of glitter that I used once (after today twice) and I'm still picking glitter off my face from that first time!
I believe there are two solutions to my glitter problem.
Number one is to take my tiny little shaker bottles and put them on display in my studio...always to be looked at, never to be touched. Then I can enjoy the pretty without actually risking exposure. My only concern is that I will get so consumed by the beauty of the glitter that I will forget the danger and use again...and then I'm back to square one.
Number two is the other extreme, where I take all my glitter and go gangbusters and use it all up in one sitting and hope to all things good and holy in the world that I manage to rid myself of the glitter herpes at some point in life.
The prompt for REVERB14 today is:
What rooted or anchored you in 2014?
And where do you want to put down roots in 2015?
When I read the word "rooted' in the prompt today, it honestly didn't give me a positive vibe.
Maybe I'm crazy, but when I read it, the first thing that came into my mind was being stuck...when you're rooted to something you're not going anywhere!
When I calmed down a little, I saw that the idea of having roots wasn't as scary and claustrophobic as it felt.
Plants NEED roots to live! It's how they nourish themselves and how they survive and thrive and do all that awesome stuff plants do. And there I was, ironically with an alter-ego named after a freaking plant, being afraid of the permanency that roots brought to mind...it was at that point I realized that my roots didn't have to be anything specific...I didn't have to be bound to a literal place in order to have roots.
I will probably be repeating some things I said in previous posts, but the first thing (well, two things) that came to mind was my art journals and this blog. Having a place...ok, two places...where I feel safe to completely purge myself of whatever is on my mind has been so...so...I don't even know what word I can use to describe the crazy fantastic, relieved feeling it gives me. Like literal roots, these things nourish me...they have given me what I need to grow from a sparse and sad little seedling into something else entirely.
I recognize that any growth or change comes from within me first and foremost, but the blog and journaling have enabled me to focus my energy.
The journals are the place where everything goes...sometimes it's just one thing, sometimes it's a pile of stuff all at once...but it all gets in there eventually...and gets all that chaos out of my head.
This blog is where I really dial in and get to the meat...where I can look at the journal page and the issue behind it and work on a solution. I can't explain how much of a help it is to me to say/type these things out loud. It makes everything...I don't know...more real...or maybe I should say valid. It takes the things that make me question my sanity and let's me say "If it's important to you, then it IS important."
This blog is the place where I first felt safe enough to start being myself, my TRUE self and the place where I laid the groundwork for becoming my true self in my day-to-day life. And all the encouraging comments are like the sunshine in my growth cycle...they have given, and continue to give me, the boost to keep growing. I don't know how you do it, but you all manage to somehow say the exact right things at the exact right times and I am sincerely grateful to you for it. I would not be where I am today, mentally and emotionally, if it weren't for you...it's a debt I can never repay.
To be honest, in 2015, I am hoping to anchor myself rather than put down roots. I like the idea of anchoring because, when there are less than favorable conditions, one can always pull up anchor and head for a safer harbor.
I am in the terrible habit of believing it's my fault when things don't work out...of feeling like a failure...or, more correctly, THE failure...the only one responsible. I put so much effort into fixing things that can't be fixed...so often that I should probably get some sort of award for it.
But you know what?
The captain doesn't control the whole ocean, only her ship. There are times when we can brave the storm...times where we know the storm will pass and we will be stronger and wiser for the struggle we've endured. And then there are times when the only thing we can do is find blue skies in the distance and sail on through.
In 2015, I hope to take my roots with me as I pull up anchor and sail on through to those clear blue skies.