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feb.6 {words written on my heart}

 {Written on My Heart ~ mixed media on canvas, 2009}

From the age of about 10 I can remember writing in a diary.  I probably wrote things down even earlier as I always had little notebooks and stationary (probably of the Hello Kitty variety) as I had the same insatiable appetite for blank pages and pretty notebooks as I do now, but the first memory of really being engaged in keeping a journal was early in middle school - oh, the turmoil of teenagehood.  Once I even brought my journal to school because I was pouring words onto the pages as often as I could, and it was plucked from me and read aloud.  I learned that lesson the hard way.  From then on I kept my deepest feelings and thoughts hidden safely between pages and tucked away securely.

Maybe it's a manifestation of sinking into my forties or maybe it's just a symptom of feeling this deep need to shed the unnecessary, but it feels like it's time to stop holding onto these words so tightly.  Who's really going to read every one cover to cover, and would I even want someone to?  I always thought my journals would be an important anthology of my life, the purest marrow and documentation of who I am, and that maybe my kids would one day want to read them.  They do hold a lot of memories and milestones, but they also contain a lot of messy streams of consciousness that are just words that tumbled onto the page for the sake of getting them out of my head, a way to process my feelings.  Now, as I see them stacked all in a row on a shelf of the studio all I can think is, let go, stop holding onto them so preciously.

I began tearing out journal pages about four years ago and started embedding them in my art.  It was a way to give these words new life and my paintings deep, meaningful layers.  Lately, as I have been working on this series called "Written on My Heart" named after the very first piece I made with journals, the words want to see the light more an more.  With every painting the pages have become less obscured and concealed.  At some point I realized that so many of these thoughts and feelings I had are probably so universal and really quite unextraordinary.  This feels like their real true power, words written from the deepest places in me that might be found in the deepest places of you.  This notion makes it not so scary to bare them to the world.  I can't really think of anything more intimate, and I think that is why I have been so connected to my art lately.

I have found a way to set those words, and big part of myself, free.


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