why

One of the main reasons that I stopped blogging for so long last time (almost two years) was because of an awkward conversation that I had with someone who didn’t know me very well. She asked me, not kindly, what the point was of writing about myself. Why would I feel the need to share all of this personal information with strangers.

At the time, I thought to myself, well. I have boundaries. I very rarely write about everything, especially not the Big Nasty Truths that lurk in the darker corners of my life. I don’t cut myself open and bleed all over the internet, although maybe to some it seems that way. I just tend to let myself think out loud.

And also, at that time, I was extremely careful about what I shared, who I mentioned, and I had a lot of rules for myself with blogging. I’m about 96% certain this person had never read my blog. I wondered why she was judging me, and judging me to my face at that. I just said, “well, I only write about specific things, and nothing too personal. I only share what I feel comfortable sharing.”

But that conversation kept haunting me, even as I tried half-heartedly to keep up my blog. Why DID I want to shave off pieces of my life and leave them on the internet? Because I’ve been doing it for well over a decade? Because I did it one day, and I realized that I actually loved it. I even made some friends I never would have known otherwise because of this sharing. I have always been compelled to write things down as a way of making sense of life, and I think harder about the words I use when I write for an audience, even if it’s an audience of one.

But this person’s question, and her snide tone when she asked the question, became a stone in my shoe. And the stone became a boulder.

Why, though?

Why did it matter to me that this person, who I don’t really even respect that much, didn’t understand or approve of my outlet?

Looking back at myself that day, I wish I had the guts to say, “I just do it. It’s what I do. I like it.”

Grin.

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My lucky day.

Today is Friday the 13th. Perhaps it’s my stubborn nature, but I have always refused to believe a date on the calendar can be unlucky – so I declared it lucky instead.

Tonight, I went to an opening reception of a gallery show called “The Rising” featuring my favorite artist, GC Myers. The first time I ever saw one of his paintings, I literally stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of a sidewalk because I saw myself. Suddenly, I wasn’t alone anymore. I was right there, behind glass, on a canvas, looking back at myself from a frame.

Tonight, I saw it again. I saw light that got caught in my throat, black teals that swept my breath out of my body, purple twisting trees that anchored me, and always, always, always, the sky that opened my eyes and made them swim in tears. And the red trees. I can’t describe what they mean to me, because they’re so vast. The trees tell me more about myself every time I see them. They’re solitary, but are they alone? They’re what I focus on first, but are they really the most important thing?

I love going to these shows because it’s like seeing an old friend and wondering if you remember them wrong, or if they’ve changed a bit since you last saw them. The work is familiar, but I have to look twice to be totally sure.

It seems that, in every show, I find one or two pieces that cut straight through to my soul – when I see them, I gasp, I feel exposed and found out, I see myself in a frame on a wall on Market Street in Corning, NY and wonder how I can be standing there in the art gallery having a conversation or holding my husband’s hand when I am stretched across canvas and bound in a frame.

This show, those pieces were “Idyllia” and “An Orderly Life.”

The last show, the pieces were “Revealed in Light” and “Empowered.”

Check out the show, either in person at West End Gallery or online here.  And definitely check out the site Redtree Times for more information about the work, straight from the artist.

I love this work, and I love this show, and I deeply appreciate this artist for his willingness to put it out there and do the work. All of the work. It reminds me how much more work I have to do.