Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To Everything There is a Season

Kelly turned 12 yesterday. I can't help but think how far we have both come in 12 years. These years have brought each of us to a turning point. Kelly is on the brink of the journey to find herself and I feel that, finally, just now, as I approach 54, that I am beginning to know who I am.

It was Kelly, arriving in my life 12 years ago that taught me how to really be an artist. She taught me to see the world though the eyes of a child, where everything was new, filled with magic and wonder. She taught me not to be critical of my art, to just create. I'd watch her scribble on a sheet of paper, finish and then go on to the next sheet. She didn't judge, she did not criticize, she was caught up in the magic and pleasure of mark-making. I realized that the point was to create, not evaluate. Do one. Move on to the next one.

As she has grown, it has been my job to keep that art spirit alive in her. She came home from school one day upset because a friend was "better" at drawing than she was, because her pictures looked more like the real thing. I said, "She's not better, just different. Everyone has their own style." I caught her early enough, because she has never questioned her ability since. Not better, not worse, just different.

I used to think that I was weird because my art did not look like anyone else's. I thought that people would think me strange. And then one day, lightbulb moment! - I realized that my art doesn't look like anyone else's! - that's a good thing. I realized that what is important is not being better or worse than anyone else, but being yourself. When I started being me, people started noticing. It's a weird thing, because the moment you expose your true self, you feel most vunerable and naked to the world, really exposed. Yet, as artists, we want people to take notice. A form of communication is present in any work of art. We send out our message and we want to know someone is listening - especially if we are standing there all exposed.

I don't know where I am going with this, and I have a plane to catch in 3 hours, but I wanted to share my thoughts this fall morning when so much is changing around me. Let me leave you with this, a quote I shared with a friend last week that make a huge difference in her life ~

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson

17 comments:

nina said...

a beautiful post, dear friend. may your light shine on forever. xo

Loretta said...

A post to print out and paste in my journals. Have a good journey.

Stacey Apeitos said...

Lovely. Thank you to you and thank you to Kelly.

Lynn Simpson said...

Happy Birthday ,Kelly!! Lesley,what a beautiful post!! It always inspires me to read your Blog-somehow,it really hits the spot for me!! The reason people respond to your art is because it touches them-your gorgeous altered books and Fragments mean something different to everyone-keep on shining your light!! Love,Lynn

sue b said...

What a wonderful post. I love that quote, thanks for sharing it.

Plain Jane said...

Today I turn 56, and I so know what you mean about trusting your own intuition to create art. For me, once I started going my own path, doing things in art that I liked, people began responding. And yes, a lovely and inspiring quote for all of us!
safe journey,
xo
Jane

Beate said...

You touched me deeply, and I will print it out for my to never forget what you say and what I feel reading it

ParisBreakfasts said...

Beautiful thoughts and evocative photo. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Lesley, thank you for the wonderful class in Novi. My head is spinning. And thank you for the quote. Oddly enough, I had written part of it down a couple of weeks ago after watching "Akeela and the Bee", and meant to go looking for the rest. Thank you for such serendipity.
Kathy from your Novi class

Lynn Simpson said...

I forgot to say Good Quote-you are getting very spirtual in your old age-glad you had fun in Novi!!!I am having trouble registering to your link to notify when you Blog...any ideas?? Lynn

kathy said...

wonderful thoughts, kelly is a lucky girl to have someone fill her with such power...

annie lockhart said...

hey lesley, just a quick note...eventhough i know you are in the heart of portland...doin' your thing...which is fabulous...i have read this quote before, and love it! glad i checked in tonight...it's been a while...take care...thx for the inspiration...

lia said...

awww....that made me cry. So beautifully said. thank you!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

light gives light!!

Turquoise CRO said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Kelly! Yes! Beautiful post, one I may have to print out too! but it is the Truth! My post is something like this today! Cheers! and I didn't know you were almost a neighbor, living in D.C. near the mountains of West Virginia!

katie said...

Such a beautiful post. That is one of my favorite Marianne Williamson quotes - one I need to remind myself of every day. I've printed it out...to look at often these days. thank you for sharing, Lesly.

Tricia said...

While reading this entry (it is now November) I thought of the children's book "Ish". It is the story of your Kelly of sorts. The story talks of when we are first judged by others as they try and figure out the "ish" of our work. Is it vase-ish? If you find it in a book store you can read it in the isle it is that quick. Thanks for the update. Tricia from your Wisconsin fabric books class.