On Tangled Breath

Sumi and Higgins inks, collage on w/c paper

In the spotlight the crowd kept looking for poems burning on my tangled breath. Magnifying it with their attention, making the poems burn yet more brightly as the breath became even more tangled and the words more jumbled. The ideas more random, even disturbing.

Is anyone listening any more or have they all gone home?  A strange occurrence – to go from ALONENESS into the crowd with the SPOTLIGHT looking, always looking, seeming to see through the veil.  But do they really?

In the Tuesday Evening Muse group I handed out a page of Bob Dylan’s song lyrics to each person, namely “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Blowin in the Wind”.  Each of us cut up a whole pile of words from the songs and scrambled them, then put them together in a sentence(s) or phrase that had personal meaning.  Then we did an art journal piece using the words as a sort of guide.

The words in bold above became my sentence, falling together as they did because I liked the way they sounded.  By the time I did a free write, having played around with inks and stamping letters I realized that it was all about my experience of sharing my very personal art journals with lots of “strangers” both on my blog and in the current exhibit at the Sebastopol Art Center. The hardest part is owning up to the tangled up way that creative ideas often arrive.  It can be embarrassing, especially when words and images come too fast, too unfinished, too illogical.  But if I were to block them, I would be shutting off the creator’s gifts.  So I stand exposed and strangely OK with that.

That Tuesday morning I opened the gallery so that a class of high school art students could see it.  One very earnest girl, having looked at some of the journal pieces and reading the words, looked at me searchingly and asked, “These are very personal!  How do you feel about people looking at them?”  I imagined what it would have felt like when I was a teenage girl to have someone read my journals.  Why, I would have died of embarrassment!  At my age though, I kind of assume that many people have had similar life experiences to me, and I don’t think the “personal” stuff is very personal at all.  I’ve become the champion of the personal stuff of our everyday lives and feelings – bringing them to light and even celebrating them with our art.

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