Tonight I created an art piece of reckoning, which is what I also call “the art of dealing with something.” When I create art of reckoning, the pieces tend to be intense, darker, and somewhat disturbing. As you can see from this piece, there are no sweet birds or calm-faced Buddhas here. What is here is a slice of my healing process — my reckoning with my melanoma diagnosis in June and my reconciling with the sun. In a summer as beautiful as it has been here in Seattle, how does one who is no longer able to be in the sun celebrate in the gorgeous rays, penetrating heat, and vitamin D infusing qualities? How do I enjoy summer without swimming? (My wound is still healing.) And how do I express the shadow side of my process — the part that isn’t very positive, isn’t a cheerleader, and well, isn’t full of cheer?
Everyone one of us has things we reckon with — things we are dealing with (however big or small). And sometimes we don’t feel like smiling or putting a positive spin on our condition. Sometimes, we need to make art out of pain and just let our feelings be before we return to our path of positive affirmations and healing intentions.
Sometimes we need to focus into the deep caverns of our “stuff” before rising back up and gaining perspective again. Feelings of Ah, things aren’t so bad! and I am whole and healthy! will come again. For now, though, get messy. It’s like splashing in the mud and showing the muck underneath our efforts to try so diligently to put on a face of strength, peace, and calm. Reckoning art allows us to grimace, growl, and complain. It gives room for self-pity, loathing, grief, depression, and even anger.
I think it’s important to allow this reckoning side out; it’s human to express it. I’ll get back to my Buddhas and birds in a bit, but for now, I need some time to splatter myself with mud. Care to join me?