(typewriter at an antique store)
Some stories are too difficult to carry around. Some taste like ash in your mouth, others feel like they might rend you in two. That’s why we have a Story Catcher in our village.The Story Catcher takes your stories as you tell them truly—things that make your bones tremble and your muscles shiver, things you might only be able to whisper in the dark. She receives them as happily as a person making a ripe purchase at market.She gathers all of them from the old ones to those wee ones just learning to give thoughts shape with their lips, and she holds them in her memory, tends them with her heart.
Then, when we’re ready, the Story Catcher gives us back our tales, on a day when we need to be reminded that we once were brave or that we once were rescued. That we might be so again.
--from The Story Catcher, by Jen Lee
(footsteps on the journey)
Recently I was asked by a fellow classmate (BYW) what the story of my art is. This question has been on my mind ever since. The story of my art is really the story of mySELF. And perhaps you can see parts of yourSELVES too...because in a way, all of our stories are related, interconnected ..ONE. The details may differ but the inner journey is the same...the journey to SELF, to wholeness, to integrating all of our fragments and broken pieces. And we all get broken on this journey through life...in myriad of ways. Aren't we all completely demolished many times on this journey...by loss, betrayal, deep and abiding sorrow? People who try to make us feel ashamed of our vulnerabilities are only doing so because they haven't claimed theirs. Perhaps what they don't know is this...in the claiming of our broken-ness lie the seeds of our whole-ness. The question then is this...do we stay broken or do we put our pieces back together? Do we stay bitter, crippled and shattered...or do we collect our parts like the precious jewels they are and wear them ...so so proudly...with the dignity and grace they deserve?
(photographing prints for my Etsy shop this weekend)The story of my art is the collecting of these precious pieces...whole pieces + broken pieces...stringing them together like pieces of gold and silver, lapis and rubies...giving them voice...air and breath and light. Claiming them and in the process...claiming our whole and precious SELVES.