I came across this post We Are Painted People by Dominic Guiliani. His submission to The Daily Prompt writing challenge-1000 words. Which naturally got my mind working. I have to credit him with the entire concept of Painted People. And rebel that I am I refused to choose one photo- instead using a collaboration of all four as my inspiration. I had been pondering creative collaboration as a whole and how I’m seen by others. What we as artists have to contribute and to give one another. And well this is what flowed out.
We are painted people; walking works of art in a world too oft color blind. I seek reflection like breathing. Moments of solace found in connection, creative collaboration, the dance we call life. In the few moments of true presence where the image of myself collides in perfect harmony with another’s vision of me. My spirit whirls up towards divinity.
I crave collaboration. Perhaps it stems from my own insecurities, wanting other’s input, feedback on the stories I write. I wonder if my work translates. What it evokes. Are they moved? Do you see what I see in the incandescence of thought, the lines drawn, erased and connections drawn again? Or do you see something else through your lens?
I have oft wondered upon reflection. How am I seen by others? Is it how I see myself? Do they know their laughter tastes like freedom?
The other day I was buying new bras (stay focused please) and the salesgirl said, “Oh that one comes in a fabulous Purple. I’ll go grab it for you.” Purple being my favorite color I eagerly awaited her return. But when she handed it to me it was clearly PINK, hot fuchsia pink. There wasn’t enough blue in the hue to constitute the purple family-at least not as far as I was concerned. Perspective is a funny trick.
I love to read and edit people’s work, to butt my two cents in wherever I can. Just ask the scribes whose writing I’ve covered with a fine tooth comb. And I adore feedback from others as well. I want the reflections through their life, their knowledge and perspective. I consider myself a truth seeker.
Yet I once nearly decapitated my grandfather with daggers. Glaring at him when he changed one word in a poem I wrote as tribute to my Bomma upon her passing.
There is a place I go to
in my dreams
where ocean waves shift the sands.
the waters of time
Agates through which we see all lands.
Here memories cradle me
through dark times in my life.
This place full of loving moments
and a woman, grandmother ,
mother and wife.
As children we ventured to Whidbey,
a ritual from times long ago.
We’d comb the beaches for agates
memories from which my heart did grow.
She taught us to use nature
to guide us towards the light.
Wisdom shimmered so delicately
through the rocks so bright.
Now as we scatter her ashes
from today…forever more
my quiet place is my sanctuary
from which her love will pour.
As she becomes part of the earth
her body and soul will meet.
Shifting through the oceans
my image of Mother Earth complete.
I can’t even remember which word he changed. It now seems inconsequential. But I had laser focused when choosing it and had no room for flexibility or learning- truly a lost opportunity which only proves my humanity. One I wish never to duplicate and haven’t so far.
When my Grandmother died from Alzheimer’s I ran around collecting favorite memories of her. As if I could put her back together, stitch by stich a patchwork quilt sewn with words, reflections of a mind lost to darkness. Each of my family members wrote a story and provided photos. I received snippets of her life and their connection to her. But I oft wondered is this how she would have told the tale?
There is so much that goes on inside people and their expression that we can’t begin to fathom. But I want to try. I want to meet you, to read your stories, to laugh with you and collaborate with you. I want to hold court to the Muses. Seek to define the silences between, the faltered steps, and words unspoken. I want to know you. If I give you the power to destroy me can I trust you not to? Can you do the same?
In order to truly connect with another human being we have to allow ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable. As a girl there were times I needed to get away, the pain inside so much greater than what the world saw, what others reflected. When I felt my lowest and depression covered me like a warm blanket I would head to the water. And just float. Soothed inside the stillness and silence, my ears beneath the surface, it quieted my mind.
I’ve grown so much since then, found a spiritual teacher and learned tools along the way. Though floating is still in my arsenal I have other methods to calm my mind, self-sooth, meditation for one.
I am constantly seeking partners in crime. Sometimes I find I’m stronger inside of partnership, creative collaboration. I feel emboldened with allies at my side. Don’t mistake this for a lack of independence. You’d be wrong. Simply I’ve always believed that together we are greater. That said, only if we bring a whole self to the table to begin with. And only if we are capable of pushing back with force and graciously conceding when need be. Lofty Right?
See, in order to truly connect with another human being we have to allow ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable. The power of vulnerability lives in how we share our stories, our capacity to give another a peek inside. Collaboration brings us full circle with creation. It is the next step in evolution and connectedness as a whole being. Because what defines you today is the culmination of so much growth and hard work, it’s nothing short of inspirational. So why not share it with others.
The Crazy Ones
We are the authors
Let’s scrawl our story
Say who we are
This is our biography
Go ahead and do it
Your Mistakes and Victories
Tantrums and Triumphs
Your Radiant Heart.