Boy, being vulnerable is really hard. Have you tried it lately? Because I haven't. I've been going through so much grief and sadness, loss and change, stress and fear that I've avoided allowing my defenses to be down and be vulnerable.
But you know what? I was vulnerable anyway. And in trying to protect myself from being hurt I ended up getting hurt worse than I thought I ever could. Man, it's a crazy world out there.
I've been reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. In it, she talks about how important, in fact necessary, it is to be vulnerable. To let ourselves be exposed because it's only by exposing ourselves that we can make connections to others.
David always talked about the fact that I had this blog and shared personal stories here, not just my creating. I remember telling him, personal is part of the creating for me. I create because of and in response to the things that are going on in my life. The connections are too deep for me to ignore them or to pretend they aren't significant. If you were to buy anything from me, you would be buying that tiny little piece of my soul that was present when I was making it. For me, to be open is to create...
...and that should have been clue number 1 that I was closing myself up recently...for probably over a year in fact. My creative urges had just about dried up. I was too tired, too stressed, too whatever to get in the studio and make something. I'd sit on the couch and knit or crochet or look through books, but I wasn't being creative.
And I was hugely productive, don't get me wrong...but Leslie on a good day? I could blow all that out of the water and make so much more.
Last week I couldn't create. I was so stunned and shocked and scared and all the other bad emotions that creating wasn't going to happen. I was also shaking. Physically shaking. And if you're a knitter or crocheter you know that you can't have shaky hands and get much done.
The shaking has diminished as part of my all-the-time feeling, but it comes in waves. In fact, yesteday when I made myself sit down and start to crochet, I shook all over. My hands were shaking so badly I could barely see the yarn I was working with. I thought "this can't do...I'm never going to be able to make things again and I can't not make things. I can't not create. I MUST make this next stitch and the next one and the next one" and before long, my fingers were in control, and my shaking subsided and then...by the end of the day I had these:
Just to let you dear readers know, I am practicing vulnerability. I will express my feelings and share my journey as I find a pathway to forgiveness, creativity and my Self (whatever that may be). Creating is personal. Art comes from the soul. It speaks from the artists and reaches out to others in a language that doesn't share words but somehow communicates.
And in being vulnerable I will somehow magically open myself up to possibilities and thoughts and ideas and people that I never knew were available to me. It will be transformative and wonderful and I invite you along on my journey because I think it's going to be exciting once all this icky stuff is out of the way.