Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mourning Has Broken

As I was cleaning and organizing the wet studio on Wednesday for the next three weeks of papermaking, I rediscovered many of the textiles and handmade paper artworks I created and exhibited, then stored while working on my BFA and BS in Art Ed a few years ago.  Although my busy schedule teaching and finishing my MSEd has only allowed me a minimum of time to create new art, I did have snippets of time in the studio creating work for two shows at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville.  Yet, I didn't have it in me to clear off the shelves or dig through the piles of scraps saved just in case they could be used in the future.  What I didn't realize until this week was that each object I had stored still held memory, and with that memory, a power to keep me from moving on.  Most of my artwork during the past decade has focused on people who I have lost, found or abandoned during my life.  One of the pieces created for my BFA show had the same title. 

Lost, Found and Abandoned (2006)

Yet this week was different.  As I unwrapped each piece, I felt the loss of each person's death along with the joy of having loved that person in life.  Package after package, person after person, I allowed myself to grieve and to cry for their absence.  And when it was done, I was free.  The fifteen-year-long process of healing was complete.

For the rest of the day, the muck of the wet studio could not suppress my boundless joy! As I worked, I kept hearing Cat Stevens' song, Morning Has Broken.  What a gift from our Lord!!  Cleaning was pure pleasure. 

Pumped with turtle power (one little step at a time, just like my recovery), the studio was cleaned from the floor drain to the top shelves while the Hollander beater hummed along filled with flax.  In July, Betsy and I will clean the two second floor rooms and turn my little dry studio into her guest room, while moving the studio supplies into her larger old bedroom.  I can hardly wait to open the rest of the boxes and get on with living life!!

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