The world is made of stories, not atoms August 14, 2017
‘We will not be replaced,’ was the sad swan song chant of the white supremacists who marched on Charlottesville, VA. One of them brutally and hatefully ending the life of a young peaceful counter protester, Heather Heyer.
In stark contrast—contrasts of recent life events so ruthlessly and on a daily schedule thrown in our faces—I was on the other side of the Atlantic blissfully and innocently wrapping up an intense week immersed in the beauty of Venice, Italy. Meeting a bright passionate group of people, some from Virginia too, others from Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, France, one young man from as far as Bahrain. We were a group brought together by the need to write, share our ideas and thoughts on creativity with a deep devotion to discussing creativity and all its messy loose gooey bits. Friendships were forged, ideas shared and inspiration sparked. But that is not what this is about right now. This bit of ink on paper or rather tapping at keys on my laptop is about the outcome of this time and the fact that I promised myself (and the International crew from Venice) that I would write. I would write everyday for the next year in the hopes of finding my own creative voice again as well as the sense of happiness that once rested on my fingertips so easily accessible. I suspect this is something that is eluding many of us in the Age of Information.
My creative journey takes the shape of stories shared here on my website—firstly, because I hope that there are more of us out there who may, perhaps, relate and feel a little less lonely in the creative struggle, or maybe even a little more inspired to speak out too, share your own stories, be inspired and even embark on a creative endeavour that in turn will inspire others or even change the world. I say this with trepidation because that little voice inside of me (you know the one!) is saying, who the heck am I to write a blog? What makes me so special? And who am I to opinion-ate in a world so overly saturated with on line chatter and static? My inner critic would have me believe that I am not good enough to share my thoughts about life, or art for that matter and yes, even the mundane details of the every day— no one is perfect. So, I am pushing the nagging critic aside, giving it the proverbial boot out the door and am ready to let something new in, to listen a different voice, one which is much more forgiving. Secondly, this is a way for me to record what I see, what I relate to, to tell my own story so that my daughter, and my daughter’s daughter may one day read these words and know that their voice matters, that their histories are a part of a continuum, just like my history is linked to the many females who have forged a path for me and allows me to be here.
"The world is made of stories, not atoms" Muriel Rukeyser
I will be writing from my own life’s events as well as from the stories others have shared with me and who, out of respect, shall remain anonymous. I thank you for sharing so many deeply intimate knowledge with me— you will know who you are. I feel this is a necessary privilege in a world where people are quick to lash out, to critique from behind the anonymity of the internet with the sole intent of being hurtful. Did I mention I write with trepidation? Yes, I am scared. I am scared of comments which will make me wince in fear, recoil in embarrassment, but I know I will also learn from these and if I am lucky enough I will dust off and grow stronger and louder.
Art and a creative life has informed and reinforced my very core for as long as I can remember. So I am starting from there. I have related the Visual Arts to what I see, touch, hear, and even taste 24/7 since I was 6 years old and was taught to draw a face from a Picasso drawing. This image of a fragmented female face has stayed with me, it informed my young mind and impressed on me the power of the image—the way a female could be seen. A distorted idea, a disconnected caricature not understood for our beauty but rather it’s opposite. So, this writing celebrates the women I know— smart, funny, kind, strong, talented beings who are trying to stealthily find their way in this ride we call life. Picasso had it wrong, as do the white supremacists of today. We are not disconnected, nor something to be despised.
My first story is about glass and the fragility of our bodies and I write it in honour of Heather Heyer who truly cannot be replaced.