I Am Here

It has been a whole week since I’ve written here. As I face this screen, dread causes a hot flash to race through my body. How can one write when words seem inadequate, when feeling is rampant, thoughts jumbled from having been put on hold for too long?

I’ve been baking all week. On Saturday, in the midst, I called my beloved friend, Kendall, and for a short time I returned to myself. For years,  she and I have been reminderers to one another. Saturday was no exception; almost immediately I felt relief. Ahhh… Re-leif… My body and mind let go of the stress they were holding, and out of the depths came a smideon of truth. “I am abstract,” said I. She laughed and echoed the word: “…abstract.” I could tell she liked the word, and suddenly I could see myself: my abstract self as a painting. I told her so. “Yes,” she exclaimed. “Yes, yes! You must paint who you are. A thousand self-portraits, and send them to me.”

Actually, I have been wanting to paint, but the creative force seems held in check by whatever holds me in check as I go about mundane tasks and familial interraction. Expressing myself has begun to feel dangerous – barely controllable. What might happen if I give her free rein? I feel explosive. Just getting the paper cut and tacked up ,or canvas set up and primed – paint squeezed out on the palette, and brushes selected, requires a calm I cannot imagine.  But perhaps I can. I have hit these keys – one at a time, making words to describe the undescribable. Some determined element has kept me to this life-preserving task. Surely this same element will  sustain me through the preparations necessary for further release.

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2 Responses to “I Am Here”

  1. Kendall Says:

    This is the way you move forward. Exactly this way.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Dearest friend, yes… And I did find my way to the studio, measured and cut a large sheet of paper, and stapled it to my “painting wall”. Brushes are there, and the palette ready for the paint. I had time for these preparation before leaving the house for my long babysitting with the littlest grands. It was not an easy day; little Bryce was pretty explosive himself – with no qualms about release. Finally, screams abated for a tenuous sort of peace, as I rocked with him in his room and gave him a bottle. The door was closed; Vanja was giving Julia her supper. So I sat there soothing the baby and wept. I think I was weeping for Vanja – and for myself, but maybe, for the whole human condition. Today I paint…

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