Drawing and painting have allowed me access to inner images. The original title of this piece is “Parts.”At age twenty-six in 1978 and in therapy with Lee O. Johnson, I watercolor-painted this snow-woman. I was starting to find some balance in my life. Even though I was wounded (dab of red), my body parts are neatly and solidly stacked. The light blue is calming. The buckling watercolor paper makes a very nice, but unintended, sunburst effect.
Below are the shapes of eucalyptus leaves, strong forms in perfect balance. Here there is no mark of wounding. The cluster is unattached to its branch, which says something about disengagement perhaps. But the leaves seem happy in relation to one another. I titled this piece “eucalyptus in harmony.” In therapy, I was given permission to cry the tears I withheld as an infant undergoing major surgery. The emotional release allowed this inner image to come forth.
Drawings often capture emotional experiences of which we are unaware. I am looking forward to sharing more images with you in the coming weeks.
Your art carries a simple but beautiful message, Wendy: even after wounding and damage, order and beauty can return. But healing is often elusive: we have to recapture it again and again.
I love what you say about healing. Indeed, we “have to recapture it again and again.” Sometimes, seeing the same patterns and pains return after we thought we’d healed is discouraging. I do believe though that these are indications that we didn’t get to the root of it the first time and more needs to be done; going deeper needs to happen perhaps more at a belief level than an action level. What belief keeps the pain recurring? What idea keeps that pattern returning?