Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Giving Circle of Art, Words & Visualization

This mandela is by Craig Williamson (, an artist whose work helps my brain implode and see with new 'eyes', like a powerful, endless kaleidoscope. I've had this mandela as my screensaver for some time now, just love it! Today I understood the significance (to me).

Less than 6 weeks ago, I accidentally chanced on Samantha Kira Harding's blog as I was blog-surfing on a slow work day. It also happened that on that day, I noticed she was advertising volume 2 of her Page by Page zine, and because I loved what I saw on her blog, I ordered one. Two days ago, while reading her blog (which I now read daily), I saw that she wanted contributors to, submissions for, the Zine, even so far as individuals who might be willing to take on a 'regular column'. I had, instantly, an idea for a column, and so I e-mailed her about it. I came home that night and started writing the article, even before I'd received the Zine. That was Monday. Tuesday night when I got home, after e-mailing Samantha again with a more refined proposal for the article, I found her Zine waiting for me in the mailbox, and did a post here about it. Before I even read the Zine, I lay down on my stomach in bed and finished the first draft of my article. This morning at work, I was slow, so I typed up the draft and edited, polished, then scanned some things to go with it, and sent it off to her for consideration.

I tell you all this because this is a first for me. A submission. An article. But it feels like my whole life has been a preparation for this, and in the last few days everything just converged to a point of readiness in me. Journaling is something I know about; I've done it for 32 years. That's longer than some people spend in a career, do you realize that? I've carried a journal in my purse (or otherwise with me), everywhere I go, for almost a decade. I've carted journals in tote bags through France and Italy and Mexico and on every camping trip and vacation I've taken. I have a voice, when it comes to journaling. Until now, I've just directed that voice INTO my journal, but it's ready to come out, to be heard. By now, I've read enough blogs, magazine articles, letters to the editors, and blog comments to realize how great is the need, out 'there', for helpful words, tips, encouragement, and humor about journaling. So many artists are starving for help!

Take Samantha: she has poured her heart, dreams, AND HARD WORK into her Zine; for all I know, the Universe took her dreams and mine and set them on parallel paths that are, now, intersecting. I love to write, that's what started my journaling all those years ago. Writing was my first love, my ONLY true passion for decades. So I felt like, 'Hey, I can write an article, of course I can!' I've said that in the past, BUT THIS TIME I DID IT.

My dreams, goals, and yearnings, steadily penned into my journal since the age of 14, are refined now to the point of recognizing the opportunities being shown to me. The visual art I've been doing for the past 2 years has unblocked fears, guards, hesitancies, shadows, insecurities in ways that only enhanced and enabled my journaled words. And I am seeing -- results! Whether or not the article goes into the Zine, the article was written, and if it isn't an article that works for the Zine I can always post it here. I know that someone, somewhere, will be directed to it.

This is what I believe, this is what I've been learning all these years. GIVE! Give 100% to the visualization, to articulating the dreams, the fears, the obstacles (real or imagined), the inadequacies, the goals, the motivations, to the writing, the journals, the art ... and KEEP GOING. Keep going. Always the next stepping stone reveals itself.

I don't mean to be harping on any kind of new-agey sounding mumbo jumbo. But I do know what I've experienced. Tonight, I see it all so clearly. I wrote in privacy and isolation for so long, arted quietly in my studio corner, talked to my paper and my cat, and then like an avalanche a trillion small things gelled together -- my blog (thanks V!), my words, my art, my seeking. There I was, looking for help, for contact, and I got it -- but I have also found ways to give it back.

The genuine giving circle. Yes. Yes, indeed.


scrappermimi said...

How great for you, sounds like you have been living your life for just this moment!

Good luck with the article submission and keep us updated!

Veronica Rosenshein said...

You have a wonderful voice an amazing voice and they way you communicate makes everyone want to stop and listen to that voice. You could have your own publication. Toni you are amazing