Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Self Portraits

When I was in grade 10 I would do a lot of the art in our art class for my buddy, who really struggled with art in general. He did have some hidden talent, which, by the end of the year became evident as his art really became quite good. Initially, however, he was very intimidated by the daunting task of drawing. So any time we had to draw something he would "work on it at home" and the two of us would get together and I would draw for him, which came in extremely useful for him when it came to the self portrait. All that was fine and good, except that the teacher was giving him higher marks than she was giving me! Same artist (incognito) but different grades just did not compute in my 15 or 16 year old brain. Then I over heard her tell him that she loved his Western styled shirts. So from then on I wore Western styled shirts to my art classes. Lo and behold, my grades skyrocketed!

There is an awareness that I have had since then that I have become a bit of a chameleon when it comes to relating to others, especially those of whom I have considered to be in a position of authority. In my mid-twenties I was actually nick named "Chameleon" by my English professor who could not help but notice that I would show up to class each day looking completely different than the previous times. For me, it all depended on what I was doing after class. But unless you had an "in" on my life back then, it would just seem like I was a fashion Deva. Anything from a three piece suit to shorts and a tank top was on the menu.

The thing is that we all go through changes in our self-portraits. Who we were even last week is not necessarily who we have become by this week. We all have said and done things that we deeply regret, but we can't hold ourselves in a state of guilt or shame just because we made a mistake. We simply have to strive to become better representations or portraits of ourselves. Dr. Tom, in the series Being Erica, said in a recent episode, "Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act." I would like to think that everyone has second and even third chances. When we become soulful and mindful, we recognize when we have strayed from out paths. We are then able to get ourselves back on those paths, even if in our straying we have caused ripple effects of harm. I know that I have harmed some people in the past and I regret that. Some of that harm has been able to be repaired, if those involved are willing to allow me to try to fix it. If they are not, however, I have had to work on repairing it within myself, regardless of their active or inactive participation. I decided long ago to not live my life in regret, so I don't allow others to hold me in guilt or shame just because they are not mature enough to allow the healing to be activated. So hopefully in the work that I do on myself I am able to ripple that healing energy to them as well. Whether or not they are willing to receive it is completely up to them.

In the meantime, I am working, continually, on revising my self portrait to include everything from the spiritual to the sensual and everything in between!

Blessed Be
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1 comment:

Gail said...

Painting a self-portrait is eternally a work in progress. Sometimes it's play, sometimes work, sometimes joyful, and sometimes sad, yet every brush stroke on the canvas reveals more about ourselves we didn't know existed. The longer we work on it, the sharper the image.
Sometimes, before we boldly stroke a new colour across the canvas, we examine the last one we made - its direction, depth, colour - to see how or whether it fits with the rest of the portrait. Sometimes, what seems to be a random application of paint that was meant to highlight or subdue a particular part of our portrait, actually helps us to see ourselves in a different light altogether; that what we thought was there isn't, that it is something else entirely.
The Artist's Work is never done. Perhaps the day we lay down the brush in this dimension is the day we walk through the Veil and on to other things.