“Kaleidoscope” More Bite-size Memoir

Women’s Words writing week has been like looking through a kaleidoscope.

I look in and see so many different pieces of color.

Emerald green, cobalt blue, “yellow like the sun” as my toddler son used to say, scarlet red, a dark purple hue like the shadow of a prairie sunset, the true orange color of a sun ripened mandarin fruit. I do not see black or white, nor any shades of grey in any space, just total vibrant color.

Tiny shards and specks tumble. Chunks of color; blending, falling, rising, moving, changing places. Different permutations and combinations, all coming together in turn after turn of enchanting energy. Gorgeous, vibrant, ever changing patterns.

Captivated by the strong yet gentle, courageous women surrounding me, I am entranced.

I am fascinated by the power in their spoken words, their passionate voices.

I am grateful to be here, to be present, to have heard.

Edmonton-20130605-00048

Note:

Women’s Words was a week long writing workshop initiated by Eunice Scarfe. It was held at the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension in Edmonton for 20 years.

Last year was the 20th anniversary. I was honored to have a piece of writing selected last year for the 20th anniversary anthology published to celebrate women’s writing.

There will be no Women’s Words held this June. I do not know why.

Today, I was thinking about the week I spent there several years ago.

Looking through my old notebook from the workshop, I came across a few sentences I had written in response to a prompt Eunice had given us at the very end of the week – “This week has been…”

This week’s prompt for Bite-size Memoir at Lisa Reiter’s blog was “Magic and Fairies”:

http://sharingthestoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/bite-size-memoir-no-3-magic-and-fairy-tales/

It inspired me to write about that week as a 150 word (no more, no less) bite-sized memoir.

Women’s Words was pure magic, no fairies required.

 

 

No delusions of grandeur!

delusions of grandeur – a delusion (a false belief) that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are

Although I am incredibly honored and excited to have some of my paintings and poems chosen for the InSight2 International Exhibition & Symposium, I do not suffer from any delusions of grandeur. In fact, I want people who go see my abstracts and read the poems that comprise my “Blue-Green Elixir” exhibit to think they can do it too. That was the whole point of my submission, that any artistic pursuit could have healing benefits for anyone suffering whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. I will be ecstatic if people see my art and decide “Hey, this looks pretty easy; if she said it helped her feel better, then I am going to give it a try too.”

“Blue-Green Elixir” is rough, amateur painting, as well as poems that are far from literary masterpieces. I have no delusions that they would be chosen for any other type of juried art show or literary anthology. It is however, my sincere hope that they may inspire others who suffer from illness or lack of well-being of any sort, to at least give art a try.

Here is a snippet about how “Blue-Green Elixir” came to be (from my submission):

Living in a rural area, hours away from a city, the option of attending a formal “Arts in Medicine” program, visiting a psychologist specializing in art therapy, or an “Artist in Residence” at a major hospital is usually not a viable option. At times the very nature of one’s illness may prohibit travel and engagement due to mobility issues, fatigue, concentration issues and so forth. For many patients not having ready access to arts / humanities programs presents a barrier to becoming engaged in experiences that could promote improved health and well-being.

It was my good fortune to stumble upon on-line writing classes through the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension that are taught by Reinekke Lengelle, a former writer in residence at the University of Alberta Hospital. The on-line delivery allows an individual to work on their projects when they feel best, ready to engage with their learning community. In addition to the discovery that the very act of writing itself is indeed “good medicine”, the creative writing courses allowed me the opportunity to develop on-going relationships with others not just coping with illness, but thriving creatively in spite of it!

“Blue-Green Elixir” was chosen as the title of my exhibit due to my recent experience at a weekend painting workshop given by artist Rose-Marie Cameron. It was an event open to the general public, and one that I had long hoped to participate in. On the second day of the workshop, one of the other participants asked me if I realized I was always using blue and green in my paintings. I told her I had tried the reds and yellows but they left me ill at ease; I craved blues and greens. I did not explain further. I had discovered that the blue – green colors as much as the creative process itself, were soothing and calming me, lessening my symptoms.

I have learned that the blank page or canvas can be witness to my anxiety, grief, and pain, lessening my symptoms and easing my mind. Colors can soothe, words can heal.

 "Blue-Green Elixir"

Painting above, “Blue-Green Elixir”, is actually not in the exhibit because the canvas was damaged. Thought I’d give you a peek of my work. Next post I will reveal a secret about my “technique” that may surprise you!