This, very powerful photo and caption, moved me. Heidi keeps a wonderful blog and has often been supportive of my work so this is my way of supporting her. Well done Heidi and hope you are ok.
Photo taken by contributor Heidi Spitzig, a 37-year-old woman from the Finger Lakes region of New York. Heidi is a survivor of childhood sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse and lives with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and DID. She believes in the healing power of the creative process and uses photography as a way to remain present and connected to the beauty found in the natural world. Heidi also enjoys writing, painting, drawing, and many other forms of creative self-expression. She has a Masters degree in Psychology and works as a teacher and an expressive arts facilitator.
About this photo: “I took this photo when I was at the bottom of a pretty intense depressive episode. Depression can reek havoc on the way I think, which then clouds my perception. People and places can seem inaccessible, like I don’t have the right to take up space. Before I took this picture, I felt an overwhelming sense of shame that left me isolated to the point of believing I was completely alone. I needed to feel connected to something, so I went into the woods with my camera. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, but I found myself kind of watch myself take a series of self-portraits. I say “watch myself” because that’s how it felt to take the pictures — I felt too vulnerable to be a part of it, so I watched myself go through the process in a pretty detached/dissociated way. It wasn’t until I got home and began editing the photos that I realized I was trying to send a message to myself. Once I understood what that message was, my perception began to shift from a reality filled with heavy darkness to a reality that was a bit brighter and bit lighter in its clarity.”
See more from Heidi at her website or blog.
Banksy has recently created new series of artworks. This latest body of four murals focuses in on the devastating living conditions of those in the war-torn region of Gaza.
One of the artworks titled ‘Bomb Damage’ is inspired by the style of Rodin’s artwork ‘The Thinker’ and takes inspiration from the Greek mythological story of Niobe. A story, which a mother’s children were all, killed out of spite and the mother goes into mourning so deep she turns into stone.
This series of artwork is beautiful summarised within one of the murals in the form of a quote:
“If we wash our hands of the conflict between them and the powerless we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral”
Powerful quote I thought.
Not participating or standing up for a cause or someone does not mean you’ve done right. It does not absolve you.
I have now added more to this original post.
“Silence is not the only aid to the stillness. There is another, and that, ironically, is speech”.
Someone once said, “don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence” and I found that to be truly profound for many reasons. First of all I find that it is feels true and rings right. We don’t always need to speak and this follows on from my previous post that sometimes not all things need to be said.
Collective silence is however quite different to meditation. Outwardly it may seem similar and even look similar but from the inside of the room where this collective silence is taking place, it is entirely distinct. Sometimes someone within the collective silence circle may be moved to speak. And when they do they tend to speak from a deep, unfamiliar place inside them. I think as long as there is no personal agenda or self-regard…
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I Choose to Begin
I love all beginnings, despite their anxiousness and their uncertainty, which belong to every commencement. If I have earned a pleasure or a reward, or if I wish that something had not happened; if I doubt the worth of an experience and remain in my past – then I choose to begin at this very second.
Begin what? I begin. I have already thus begun a thousand lives.
Early Journals, A Year with Rilke
Rilke has always been a favourite of mine ever since I read his book, Letters to a Young Poet, many years ago. It’s funny how some things change over time and some just remain the same. I got a Kindle recently and Rilke’s book, A Year with Rilke, was the main inspiration for my purchase. I wanted something I could look at daily, a few words that could perhaps accompany me throughout the day and offer me some food for thought.
Like many book lovers I resisted going all electronic so a Kindle was out of the question for a long time because of all the aesthetic pleasures that books afford — the sweet scent of a new book; the feel of the crisp pages between my fingers; the impressive colours of a book cover and its pride of place on the book shelf. But then something happened……
I bought a smaller bag! And books were beginning to not be as convenient to lug round on the tube and back. I guess for the last couple of years this really did not matter as I wasn’t in the frame of mind to read. I couldn’t concentrate on a magazine let alone a novel. But Murakami rekindled my old love, my former joy for books. Colorless Tsukuru was an easy read and an enjoyable one. It reminded me of what I had been missing — the sheer joy of positive escapism! And I knew I had to continue reading. And now with my new shiny Kindle, reading is so much easier and more accessible. I can even read in bed, snug under the duvet, with all the lights off!
My writing workshop facilitator would be very pleased as I’m now taking her advice and “reading, reading and reading“. There was also something else I learned from that workshop. Someone in the group mentioned as we were reading through some poems, that an author sometimes “shows but not tells”. And that stayed with me for some reason. How often we do it too in our lives, to ourselves, to each other, I wonder? We say things, in blogs, in letters, in conversations but there is so much that goes unsaid and the things we do not say (and maybe subtly show instead) are equally important as what is said. Maybe they are even more important as they may imply and suggest the secrets and messages within us that we rather keep in the dark? What have you not said and why?
Then again not every dark place needs the light and therefore not every single thing needs to be said, or revealed. Some things are best left residing in the darkness, where they safely belong. Just with you. And only you.
Be kind to yourselves.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
I have wanted to start writing, be it a blog, or a journal, or scribbles on a notebook but just starting to write (or continuing to write) has seemed so difficult. I’ve started and then I’ve fallen off the band-wagon many a time! There’s a block, a resistance perhaps a psychoanalyst may interpret! Unsure what exactly a Jungian therapist might say but I do know what an existential counsellor would! Having said all that I am aware that writing does something for me. I don’t know what exactly, but it does help to release, shift and stir what is within. And in doing so, I am able to breathe better. I don’t know exactly what this blog will contain for there are no specific themes it must or should follow. It will be what it will be. It will be what it is meant to be. Thank you for your company.