Posts Tagged ‘Self Acceptance’

LAMENT OF AN OLD TIRE

January 4, 2014

A Dreary morning 026 (1024x768) (2)

On a gray and dreary morning

I encountered an old tire.

It seemed organic,

settled as it was among the grasses.

It might have grown roots…

so implanted it was…

so encrusted with lichen and barnacles…

dead to its old life

yet still somehow alive.

I was drawn to the old tire as to my old self…

moved by whatever history

might have brought her to this moment.

A Dreary morning...Getting Interesting 027 (1024x758) (2)

She appeared to waken slightly

in response to my interest.

Her heavy and sorrowful beauty

appeared to echo my own.

What I perceived in her

made age and emptiness almost acceptable.

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“Yes, I am old,

but emptiness can be an illusion…

an unfair assumption of the truth.

You need to get closer now…

to enter the realm you fear.

Your anguish at being used up

may lead you to untapped realities.”

Untapped  realities…

What does this mean?

She seems to invite me

to go all the way to the core of misery

and express it fully.

Funny how I expected the tire

to lament a barren existence,

not to suggest that fertility lurks

in complete acceptance of oneself

at any given moment.

I look again…

zoom in on possibility…

imagine worlds beyond imagining…

perceive a world within a world.

I am…

A Dreary morning...Going Inside 028 (1024x736) (2)

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I LOVE MUD FLATS

December 16, 2012

Self-portrait With Mud Flats (1024x763)This photograph is one from a series of self-portraits, this one taken at the beach on a bright cold morning when the tide has pulled back to expose the rippled and pock-marked surface of the sea-floor. I have loved this low-tide phenomena for all of my life, and lately I find myself rediscovering my love. Mud flats are more accessible in colder weather, so the air is bracing and fresh, adding an extra dose of exhilaration to that which comes from gazing at the spacious and stretched out beauty of the flats. I walk where I can, as do my little dogs. Music and Star sniff happily at newly available scents, drink eagerly of the salty tide pools as their human companion drinks in beauty. Ohhh… I do love mud flats.

Mysteriously, my love for the mud flats is becoming associated with my growing love for my dear old face. As with many woman the aging process has seemed less than kind. The years have altered and marked the surface of my face: wrinkles, brown spots, moles and unasked for chin hairs, not to mention the sagging jaw-line and neck have greeted me in mirrors and reflective windows for quite some time now. For quite some time I have not much liked what I see. But now I am shoving aside the embarrassment of photographing myself, and becoming accustomed to my face…as it is…right now. Gradually, I am learning to look at it – not as an alien and barely recognizable mask over what I really look like – but as the glorious evidence of the life I have lived and continue to live. I can almost believe that just as the wind and the tides have marked and beautified the mud flats stretched behind me, so has the life with all its trials and fulfillments brought a new and more authentic beauty to my aged face. To me the mud flats gleam with promise. I may not fully understand why this is, anymore than I understand why turning the camera on myself and seeing the evidence of my varied experiences looking back at me infuses me with gladness and…yes…with promise. Perhaps it tells me that I can go further than acceptance of who I am; I can be happy with a face (and a life) continually altered by the tides of existence.

Solitary Bloomer

April 8, 2011

It is the way it is: This flower blooms alone. No matter that not far from where she stands and opens to the light, the others gather in congested clumps and boast that more is better.  Not for her… She loves the air around her slender form; her petals breathe, her stem bends easily between the heaven and earth.  If there is pathos in her solo dance (now and then a teardrop trembles on her cheek at dawn), then this is part of who she is. She wakes alone, and in the startled moment just before she greets the sun, she can forget the glory of her chosen dance.

Finding Expression

March 25, 2010

Did you ever find yourself without expression: lacking words, gestures, images, forms of any kind that might express  the internal landscape? I do not think the landscape blank; it is more that I may have forgotten the language, or cannot  quite discipher a secret code. I can sense riches hidden within: wonders of the psyche – of the spirit. Perhaps I have lost the courage for revelation.

In the past, I lived in close connection with the depths, never questioning the expression of my thoughts and feelings. Childlike, I wept, laughed, danced. My body shouted, “Here I am.” I never wondered who I was, nor tried to fathom what I had to say. Being who I was was instantly translated into active sharing. I couldn’t help myself. If others were occasionally mystified by what I shared, that certainly didn’t stop me from expressing. Life was a full and glorious reality. It happened on its own if one were willing. And I was willing and determined to be me, Peter Pan in female form. “I’ll never grow up; not me!”

Yet somewhere along the way, I did grow up, became more cautious in my spilling forth of me. Reactions from a less than understanding world that, in the past, had caused a brief yet thorough deluge of emotion, began to have a deeper and more lasting effect. I found myself witholding gestures, gazing mutely out from my solitary tower. Walls grew thicker to protect someone I hardly knew. I began to wonder where I was and who she was. I still created, even danced at times. The vital force broke through the bonds and ageless glorious expression  found its way. But between these momentary liberations I retreated much more deeply and for longer periods.

Recently, I received my copies of the Southern Expressions show of February 25th, and watched again the woman dancing, drawing, speaking without hesitation. Happily, my critical eye was vanquished by my eager readiness for realization. Yes, I observed maturity: the obvious physical changes wrought by passing years. But through it all, the blythe spirit danced; this half hour retrospective gave me back to me. Gestures, images, and sculpural forms are clear and true. Language flows in easy rhythms, and I recognize the language as my own –  familiar words expressing who I am.  Perhaps I do still have the courage for revelation.  And now I hold the key.

What if?

January 24, 2010

There are days when striving seems absurd; taking refuge in the simple life is the only possible choice. One surrenders to dog walks, naps, or drives in the car with Maria Callas doing all the singing. Yesterday was one of these days. At first it felt like mere contentment: the beauty of wanting nothing. I may even have congratulated myself on being free, on having no need to figure out anything. I was acceptable, just as I was. In the afternoon, a gnawing indication of restlessness caused some regret, for wasting the very best hours of the day. I’d had time to create, my children and grandchildren otherwise occupied, yet there was  nothing to show. Not even a blog.  

Once guilt asserts itself, my childlike pleasure in simply being can vanish in an instant. The merciless critic calls forth the failed adult; the hours of one day become the weeks, months, years that trail behind me, heavy reminders of that which was left undone. Peace in the present and hope for the future are crowded out by the enemy. Despair begins to wear a triumphant grin and I turn my back on my dreams, convinced that I am too old to realize the life I was born to live.

Now I’m embarrassed by what I have written here for others to read. I have never liked to display my shadow side.  Beauty thrills me, and light is a glorious prospect. Perhaps I am sure that the dark self riding in tandem with the transcendant dancer will surely be rejected — as she was in childhood.  The doubts, fears,  angers, and shy withdrawals  were not acceptable — while the graceful prettiness of the dancing child was embraced and praised. I learned, early on, that to be pleasing was to be loved. I think if I could fully love a less than pleasing me, then she would be free to show me something wonderful.