Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Realizations, Revelations, and being Resolved - Part 2 of 3

It occurred to me in the writing of today's offering that I might have gotten carried away with the alliteration of my title for this series.  Perhaps these items are not all that revelatory (?)  Oh, well...  that's my title, and I'm sticking to it!   Hmmm, heartened by Merriam-Webster's take on the whole thing, I'll refrain from any further second-guessing.  

rev·e·la·tion:  noun \ˌre-və-ˈlā-shən\
2 a : an act of revealing to view or making known


On Art

In much the same way that what is considered "art" is different, depending on who you ask, I have discovered that "being an artist" means very different things to different folks, as well.  I consider myself an artist -- yet I do not (nor do I actively seek to) have work hanging in galleries.  Does this make me less of what I claim to be?  I say "Nay, NAY!"  As I mentioned in the previous post, opportunities that were made available to me in 2012 illuminated areas of strength.  The revelation that I can BE an artist without being represented by a Gallery was a moment akin to Enlightenment!  I love the process of creating.  I revel in the 'figuring out.'  I thrill to the possibility of 'mayhap this will work better.'  More than all of these, though, I love seeing others 'get it!'  Ironically, if my greatest strength lies in teaching, it would seem that I have come full circle (as my secondary education was oriented toward my becoming a Teacher).  Approaching my creative endeavors from this angle allows me to take full advantage of all that I love about being a creative without the 'production' mind-set that has robbed my efforts of the joy in previous creative pursuits.  It allows me to maintain the aspect of creative discovery, without the feeling that I am then required to 'churn out' the same thing over and over.  I am excited about building on the foundation established last year; I look forward to having news of more opportunities (i.e. places/venues) to share this love of mine this year, and beyond!

On Home

When I was younger, due to various factors, I moved fairly regularly.  As a child of divorced parents, there was the inevitable 'back and forth' that happens when one lives 'between homes.'  More than that, once I was settled into 'Life with Father' and his new bride, his work (or occasionally, lack thereof) predicated a pattern of nearly annual moves.  Between Kindergarten @ Young World (not a scholastic requirement back in the day of my youth) and graduating from High School, I attended one (1) private school and eleven (11) public schools -- people often asked if my family was military?! *ha!*  No grass grew under me after high school, either; moving seemed to be in my blood:  from home to school in my 2nd year *dorm -- oh, please excuse me, "Residence Hall",* 1st apartment, 2nd apartment, moving out of state (TN, then to DC), and returning home, before settling in the area where I now live...  It was early last year when I finally realized WHY my house looks the way it does (i.e. more Warehouse than House):  I haven't moved in over fifteen years!  I haven't had to repeatedly purge and pare down to make things fit elsewhere, so they have just expanded until they don't actually fit where I am.  I love our home, and feel badly that my magpie-like interests have crowded us into virtually half of it being uninhabitable.  I have been blessed with a generous and forgiving husband, who has catered to many of my interests (with gifts of tools, supplies, and even a BUILDING for me to work in - sadly, not being properly utilized at present).  The revelation that I must have less to do more came hard and fast, last year -- this is my year to get things back in perspective! stop being embarrassed by the riches of my multiple interests. reign it in, make it more manageable, and to feel at home in my home.  Is that a little scary?  Hell, YEAH!  After all, it took over 15 years to accumulate all this 'stuff!'  In my more sanguine moments, I laugh like a lunatic at the notion that I can make it all more manageable in only 1!?  ...and yet, I somehow know that I will.  *right now, "Let there be peace, and let it begin with me" is streaming through my 'in head audio system' - ha!

On Life

Not all of that 'moving about' was full of sunshine, lifelong friends, and blissful childhood memories.  A goodly portion of it was downright unpleasant - some so much so that I have obliterated any memory of it altogether.  ...mostly due to the fact that I was raised by a manic depressive who was not diagnosed as such (and, lacking diagnosis, was not medicated as such) until I was 18.  That upbringing resulted in my story being told "through a lens darkly."  The message(s) I was getting were being received through a *badly* damaged filter.  I was viewing myself in a 'Fun House Mirror' that was no fun *at all!* - merely wildly distorted.  Even though I knew, at my core, that I was not what I was being told I was, I was well into adulthood before I managed to regain control of My Story.  I am thankful to my beloved, to many friends, and the writings of the incredible Patti Digh for helping me to see that I was not the story that had been told before.  My Story was radically different than the 'damaged goods' tale that was told of/to me.  I find that I still hear echos of that 'other' story -- on blue days, or when I slip and forget that that teller no longer has any power over me.  In the main, I am proud of who I am; and prouder still of of the story that is ongoing!  It is very easy to say:  "We choose whether or not we will be happy," but it is harder to act upon the 'owning.'  It really is entirely up to us.  I mean, how often have you said "He/she makes me so mad," or "They really hurt my feelings"?  In truth, we allow ourselves to be saddened/angered/hurt/troubled by the actions of others.  *I am not implying that this is 'easy' at all - I fully realize that it is very much more easily said than doneWhen we are mad, we might more appropriately say "I got so mad at/about/etc."  There is no shame in acknowledging that "I know I shouldn't have let that hurt my feelings, but..."  We choose what we 'own' of our actions -- be they physical or mental.  Words:   spoken, or thought...  Decisions:   enacted, or contemplated...    In truth, this was not an 'in the moment' revelation - it is a work in progress; but, oh, what extremely rewarding work it is.  For a number of years I actually was a victim; in the intervening years, it has been my great pleasure *and entirely my choice* that I do not see myself as one anymore.  It is not enough to merely edit the story -- Be the reporter!  Own your story, and it's telling; and make sure you are telling the actual tale of you, not someone else's version.  It took a good chunk of time, but I'm pretty fond of me - the real me, the me who is here, in this 'now.'  Watch out world, 'cause that's some powerful sh*t!

Onward & Upward!
 - pla

Words of wisdom for today:

"Someone I loved
once gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
                                      - Mary Oliver

Image Notes:

   "Quill" altered image from Microsoft Office Images, style # 1147.  Image manipulation by yours truly via Paint Shop Pro X2 (filters & effects).
   "Time Flies" altered image composite, original images from The Graphics Fairy.  Image manipulation by yours truly via Paint Shop Pro X2 (filters & effects).

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