I mentioned yesterday that I led a session on drawing at Northern Voice yesterday. I invited people to be fearless, to draw and to share their drawings. But I forgot how that can trigger deep things in us. My friend Julie Leung pointed me a blog post about an experience of a person in that session, and I am shaken. The blogger has no comments on her blog so I am going to try this. First here’s a link to the post. Read it if you care about people. (and context) NorthernVoice.
Meg, Meg, Meg
I want to both apologize to you and to thank you. First, apologize because I made light of something important and, as I understand it from your blog post, difficult for you. Second, to thank you for your bravery and what you helped me learn. I feel absolutely torn that we did not get a chance to talk about this and I invite that opportunity if you’d like to.
I learned two very important things as I took my flying leap into this experiment – and one was the reinforcement of the power that drawing can unlock things within us. The second was I need to be more gentle and loving when I offer the invitation to unlock whatever it is we have locked within us.
I feel like I have abused you. I deeply apologize. And I thank you so much for blogging about it and allowing me to learn this.
(I found an email and sent the above to Meg)
As I read Meg’s post, I recalled the day I unlocked my inner artist as an adult. I was attending a weekend-long introduction to painting workshop at a local community college. “Beginners welcome.” We explored black and white. We mixed colors from the three primary colors. We painted with blindfolds and, important for me, with our fingers.
There I was in an old shirt, fingers swirling with acrylic paint feeling the roughness of the primed canvas. Our teacher invited us to think about our lives. I can still recall how my arms and fingers started pulling on their own, dipping into more and more red paint. The angry colors flooded the canvas. I did not know how angry I was, how I was holding all that anger inside of me. I was a nice young mom. I had a great job but I was working for a hurt, damaged man who did all he could to hurt and damage us, especially the women who worked for him. I used to come home and in the shower, curse his name. I wrote his name on the bottom of my shoes. And here all this anger and even hate was coming out of my fingers, channeled through the paint.
On Sunday morning, we were invited to show our paintings and, god help me, talk about them. And there I was, like Meg, with my guts on the canvas and having to talk about it in front of all these people. I started crying. And all that anger that I felt, as a “good girl” came flooding out. Like a gashed artery.
All for a bit of paint, or a marker on a paper, and an invitation to express what is truly inside of us. From an ice cream, to our pain.
Meg, again, I both thank you and ask for your forgiveness.