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My leaps of faith are taken with a running start. Surviving is not my homeostasis, my soul begs to be fed. It can only be ignored for so long, before an internal storm begins to brew.
It’s a powerful acceptance, to say that I am an artist. To say and accept that, without fearing that someone will judge the proclamation. To decide that my opinion on the matter, is more important than someone external to me.
But what holds more weight, than simply to acknowledge that mine is a creative soul, is to sit in the truth that suffering for that creativity is not required. I come by fanciful thinking honestly. When I was small, I devoured books and created worlds of my own. What I would be, what I could be, what beauty I could mold with the slanted, loopy cursive that flowed from my right hand. I filled journal after journal, page after page. It fell out of me, joyously. Each story, an extension of my soul having traveled down my arm and out of my fingers onto paper.
It is natural to me. It doesn’t have to be born of pain to be authentic. My joy is just as beautiful.
This is a peaceful transition, this flow from chaos to grace. This embodiment of the organic nature of who I am, cell-deep. Fingerprints of my mother and father. Influences of my sister, my brother, my husband, those friends who love the me I have always tried to hide.
When we hide, we show our secrets in technicolor.
I would rather my fully actualized self to be mesmerizingly neon. I would rather bask in the overwhelming glow of those who are also awash in their own, amazing color.
Being well and truly soul-fed.
So many changes I’ve set in motion. Light years large, and atom-sized. I decided. I acted. I controlled the direction and now I get to travel the road, in the way that I have mapped it. Where the things my hands create, reflect the beating thing beneath my ribs.
Reconciling me. A wonderment, a celebration of all of my phases and spells.
And I draw in, what seems like my first deep breath, as me.
My Grandmother, Anna was a maker. A small, neat woman with white hair that curled closely to her pixie face. Her eyes, rimmed with cat-eye glasses. She leaned closely in to her various projects. Hands flying over her hook, twisting and shaping the various fibers she thrifted from old sweaters, charity shops and dollar store shelves.
She did not coddle with words and affection was saved for special occasions. She was practical, you see. An afghan contained all of her love. All of her hugs, trimmed in girly pink. One, beautiful manifestation of everything her every day would not allow.
I drink coffee. It’s my ritual, almost regardless of time or weather. I carefully grind beans and pack the beautiful, fragrant grounds into glorious cups of steaming perfection. The smell, the movements, the ancient connection of the process. It is art to me, and every cupful I share is the simple culmination of adoration for the person sitting across from me.
My father was an artist, of the most precise variety. Razor-straight lines, and cross-hatch shading. To scale, an exact replica of the world around him. He was very uncomfortable with the abstract, and my penchant for all things outside the box, was very unsettling for him. He was precision, I? Was chaos.
My mother is a force of nature. She is inadvertently hilarious, boundlessly talented and makes meals from absolutely nothing. I have watched her hands, since I was little girl. Hers, so long and elegant with oval fingernails and slim fingers. She made folding laundry look graceful and chic. Her beautiful hands were often covered in cookie dough, her face in a smile. Our house always smelled fragrant and sweet. We were never hungry, and her love made that so.
I am an imperfect blend of these things. Of loving and artistic, of practical and elegant. Of hardworking and layabout. I am not as hardworking as my grandmother, as precise as my father, as nurturing as my mother. My cast-on in knitting is messy. My art is nothing but abstract. My hands are strong from years of making.
But these things don’t matter. As in nature, the beauty lies in the imperfection.
I encourage you to create. embrace the imperfect, the handmade, the anti-mass produced. Get fiber in-between your fingers. Get your stitches twisted. Get your artwork made and worry about the straightness of your lines, another day.
Get paint on your hands, up your arms, in your hair.
Join in my journey of creation, and let me join yours. Let’s celebrate. Go. Make. Create. Inspire.