There is in each of us a wealth to discover of untapped resources. But how to dig through the layers of injury to find the treasures? It wasn’t until middle-age when the filth left behind by others began to break away. Feeling clean arose from deep within. My life had stopped at the age of eight. Who I was went underground. Who you knew was not me.
There were periods of success and finishing what was started, but more often any hopes, dreams, goals or even a small simple project was left unfinished. Darkness and pain mired my body and mind in turmoil and self-hate.
Working with mosaics brings satisfaction on many levels. Sometimes the jagged pieces cut my fingers and reminds me how like the shards I am; warm and beautiful sometimes, prickly, cold and sharp other times. And the broken pieces, not usually cut carefully but pounded with a hammer, come together in wholeness with a unique presence not found when scattered.
It gives me hope. It feels good to finish what was started, from rolling out the clay, glazing it, firing the tiles, and then hammering the tile into pieces. The design phase allows a conduit from the soul outward, a route heavily blocked since childhood- the iron doors too thick to penetrate either in or out.
As the sun splays through the window upon my shoulder, reminding myself to breathe as muscles relax on the exhale, incense burning and music softly playing in the background, the process of coming together is happening with broken tiles, but also, most satisfying, with me.
This is my life, putting back the pieces…
What lies beneath?
photo by Patricia
Reproaching constantly when failing to meeting goals, expectations or plans fortifies the harsh force living inside that leaps to the forefront more quickly than the warm, soft one. The latter is newly cultivated and without nurturance wilts quickly needing continual moistening with tender attention.
You know winters are hard. Yet you expect to perform as if it is not. Reminders of its challenges and how difficult they are will soften expectations, heighten your ability to see successes over failures, and make the path more enjoyable.
It is work to repair so many years of engrained self-flogging that started at age eight and only flourished as decades passed. As a child touched in such criminal ways, and silenced to meet others needs of normalcy, it is common to take the crimes on as if they were your own.
Hating oneself solidifies. Self-love, what is that? That is the work, softness, warmness, and acceptance towards oneself. Is there a part of the brain that never softens from the blizzard of self-reproach?
The windows yesterday were closed when temperatures began to drop from 60. Rain melted the snow filling the creek into a pond. Wind raged through the night. Upon waking it is 16 degrees and snow swirls to over a foot.
Kitten curls up on my lap as the word gratitude wraps around me like snow.
Thank you Christy kitten for all your ‘help’ with the garden stone…
It was during the period needing the most focus that she decided to climb/hang off the metal shelves and scatter broken pieces. Putting her out lasted 2 seconds because I couldn’t bear the howling, as if she’d lost her mother. Finally the outline was completed but with great exasperation and stress!
Not liking a shut door she decides to settle down…
She flies free…
A mosaic on slate for a friend’s garden…
Two fears faced daily, death and that of being unlovable. Despite much evidence to the contrary, the fear of not being loved, or worthy of it, are what rattle around in my belly causing an anxiety that needs calming each morning upon arising. Usually it is not a conscious need, but there like a low growling monster needing feeding.
The monster hasn’t changed much since childhood. Drowning it with whatever would silence it only works temporarily; food, shopping, alcohol, super busyness, excess caffeine, sugar… What would it take to quiet the beast and reduce her roars to a manageable way of being?
That is the work and the goal… What do you need to love yourself? Others love you. Why can’t you feel it, why can’t you love you? The core so hidden to preserve what’s left is heavily vaulted. You can’t access it either. Go there. Be brave. Only then will you discover the treasures awaiting.
It is very hard to stay in the moment, not three steps ahead. My mind drifts away, to other Christmas’s, other times, even future moments not yet lived. Dragging myself back to ‘now’ wondering if it is OK to escape this world that way, the body and mind have a moment of wholeness until escape is unconsciously desired once again.
Winter brings a brooding over things not dwelt on during summer months. There is no escaping that. There are choices on how to manage it. Keeping up an exercise routine and meditative time alone by the creek as the crows caw, and the train whistle blows in the distance, are both helpful. Working in the studio brings focus to the project and times passes satisfyingly.
Yet moments of unease and restlessness fall in like an avanlanche. Such is the stuff of winter and you know this. Accept that’s it harder, don’t fight it. Find relief with pleasures even if it is simply keeping a tidy kitchen and preparing a nourishing dinner. Keep at it.
The kitten is quiet this morning stretching out in my lap like a salamander with fur. I fret over the possibility of a respiratory infection as her glands are a bit swollen and she sneezes on occasion. As she purrs her gentle hum, snow falls. Watching the gentle descent my body and mind relaxes as it aligns with the snowflakes effortless cascade. Go easy, be kind…
The sun arose to sparkle the snow, bushes, and branches; a wonderland and a feast for the eyes. Sunbeams shooting through the window sent prisms of glitter dancing on the walls bouncing from the hanging glass mirrored balls. Christy nestled in my lap, a little warm ball vibrating with each breath, both of us contented on this frosty winter day as we kept each other warm.
Venturing into the studio after several weeks of abandoning it, the project of grouting all four pavers sits waiting. Finally I feel ready to attack it. My hands swirl the mud over the sharp cracks and it feels satisfying to finish what was started. These will be tucked under the bed until Springtime when they can be set into the garden path.
Upon completion a feeling of pride swells. Curious Christy, ever my shadow, offers no criticism. Instead she jumps up onto the work table and takes a drink from the clean-up bowl making me chuckle.