In 2007, my life changed. I had lasik surgery.
Going from being severely myopic to having 20/20 vision enabled me to "see" the world for the first time. Without corrective lenses, I could see the leaves in trees, and not just the shape of the leaf, but veins and the differentiating colors and uniqueness of each individual leaf. I could wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock and see what time it was. I could wash my face in the shower and open my eyes without being afraid I would lose my contacts.
My attitude slowly started changing, also. I met an artist at a bookstore. I was crocheting with friends. Yes I have no artistic talents. But this newcomer stopped to see what I was doing, and it was art with yarn and patterns. This is my masterpiece, a blanket I made for my wonderful grandmother, who loves birds and flowers:
There was an exchanging of numbers and for once I called someone back. We become close friends and would meet up after rough weeks and crochet the night away surrounded by books and coffee, while her husband laughed at our antics.
She introduced me to her art and encouraged me to reach inside myself and find my own. What I found was something I had lost years before...myself.
Many years ago, I used to love to draw, and with training I may have gotten good at it, but an ex belittled me. So I put my pencils down, for both my writing and my drawing because he thought everything I did was "silly." And for years I denied the part of myself that needed to grow, to breathe.
But this new friend helped me dig deep and find whatever parts of me I had lost along the way. She gave me a way of expressing myself and working through my problems or issues by using an art journal, a place where I could write poems, mini stories, or just combine different mediums and paper to form something else...something that maybe only I will understand.
I found my art before I found my stories again. Using a totally different form of creativity, I found my way back to writing. And I haven't stopped since.
I was discussing with some friends, Lynn and Rhegan, the importance of this art journal in my life and how I wished I had time to get back to it. And they wondered what this 'art journal' business was all about. Here's a sample of my favorite pieces. Keep in mind I have no training and skill and just used this media as a way to heal. This is a piece using altered images and my favorite picture of me and my dad:
These are pieces on reflection and the two pages would be looked at side by side:
I'm hoping I get a chance to go back to my journaling. And maybe one day I'll take some classes so I can draw more than just cartoon images.
Anyway, my journals help me when I find myself lost and unable to write. I look through my journal and a picture or expression or color gives me inspiration, and either I find myself creating a new page or I find myself writing something that I normally would not have thought to write.
Lesson: You always find what you're not looking for, when you're looking for something else.