Saturday, September 14, 2013

Healing Memories in the Forest

A forest trail at Burfoot Park, Olympia, WA
A place of beauty, A place to heal
September 2013: I wrote this several months ago--then felt too vulnerable to print it.

April 2013:  It has been a long day. My head throbs. My stomach is in knots. Ancient sorrows and terrors have begun to surface. I need some green growing...I need some nature.

I am in Olympia training to work with people caught in domestic violence. What ever possessed me? Just because I've had experiences, like being in what I thought was a common law marriage with someone who insisted on growing marijuana illegally. Like getting busted for said marijuana and nearly losing my children. Like being on and off of welfare until I finally learned to make a decent living for my family-- and now own my home free and clear.

I thought I might have something to offer women who are struggling as single moms through some of the same issues. So I volunteered where my skills might be useful, and found that the greatest need is working with people caught in domestic violence situations.
Trillium growing in the forest

I didn't know the training would bring up those long buried memories. I didn't know how these memories would affect me physically and emotionally. I did not at first know why I am exhausted and my head hurts. I knew only that I need wild, I need green growing things, I need trees.

I drive away from the city, past the house I once lived in, a house that carries some of those memories, past the school where my children went, to the park I remember. Walking down the trail through the woods to the beach, some of my tension eases. The beauty of the woods engulfs me. I touch again that deep joy that lives within me.

Can the beauty of these woods help to heal other people? Might I share this beauty some how, through my paintings, with people who need green as I do? Who need healing experiences?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Elf Island Journaling Society: the Art of Going in Many Directions at Once

So....I spent some time this afternoon (instead of the much needed studio cleaning) thinking about where I am going with my art. The trouble is not lack of inspiration; it's TOO MUCH inspiration. Focus on one thing? Ummmmm ......How? I want to do them all! Or at least most of them!

I am tired of scarves. At least scarves for the sake of scarves. I am excited by the landscape photos I took this summer, and byWendy Pini's Elf Quest stories and illustrations. OH MY HEAVENS she is a wonderful artist! her characters rock! the expressions on their faces perfect! Her stories have depth, pathos, adventure, romance, and more! Homer, move over! I can't think of a classical writer that is better in any way, or an artist who expresses herself better!

I love Fantasy. And story telling.

Last Spring, a friend and I began a story telling group we are calling the Elf Island Journaling Society. A group of 8-9 people get together to explore a mythical place we call Elf Island, creating a story as we go. We had three meetings before we stopped for the summer, creating three stories.

And this summer when I had a booth at the farmer's market, I took lots of photos so that I can do a series of watercolors featuring the people and ambiance of the market.

And I am still interested in painting with dyes on silk. And on cotton. And using natural dyes. And


And I want to somehow share the lessons life has taught me so that others can experience the JOY that comes from deep inside. can I combine my watercolor painting, natural dyes, story telling, landscapes of the Puget Sound area, textures of tide flats, the luxurious feel of silk, character development (visual and written), and my experiences at the market all into one focus?

What if.....I made Elf Island the focus. I can write stories and do illustrations for those stories. I can create a whole visual culture for Elf Island, complete with art motifs, clothing, mythology....a written language......

And I don't really have to do all the creating. Perhaps there are others who would like to join me?

Friday, September 6, 2013

After Three Days Alone

I woke up this morning wondering, am I still married? Did we really do that thing--that Wedding thing? Is it really REAL??

I get that way after the third night sleeping alone. Maybe because being married is still new.

We are not sharing a house full time yet. He has a house and business north of Seattle, and I live on this island. He's moving over, slowly. Getting his house ready to rent out. Taking care of business. Wishing he was always here. But he's not. Yet.

Then I look at our Vows, framed and hanging on the wall by the door.

           On this day, June 22, 2013
   Suzanna Leigh and Rifaat Rich Osborne
                declare that we will,
with the help of God and our friends and family,
          be true and faithful partners, 
 creating a living and growing life-long union
    that expresses and is an instrument of
                      Divine Love

Yes. Yes that's it. That's what I am about. What we are about together. Creating a living and growing life-long union that expresses and is an instrument of Divine Love.

---And he just called!