Thursday, October 28, 2010

Words never seem to be enough

I am finding it hard to locate words.

When I was in the final stages of the show I was sitting and trying to imagine/meditate on what I wanted for this was simply that, I wanted the show would be seen.
I fought off images of an empty gallery,
people getting the cards and then throwing them into the recycling can
or simply forgetting it.

In an effort to offset my insecurities...
I worked really hard to banish the image of being ignored or dismissed.

When I showed my final set of images to my art mentor, she looked at me and said
"You need to think bigger then you are doing. You need to see this traveling"
that set into motion the concept that this show was not simply to be shown once and then be stored in my garage, like a backpack or a box of sentimental clothes.
I wanted people to see the work and know what it feels like to loose something so deeply understood as yours. What it means to be infertile.

 This also set into motion a deep sense of panic to a fanatical level,
 I needed to work harder and longer and more intensely.

I wanted this to be my strongest body of work to date....I wanted to not let anyone down.

I spent many a night simply paralyzed with fear of making the "wrong choice" or making a mistake.

To date, nothing in my life has come easy and I have understood and accepted that from a very young age.
I have always had to work harder and longer.
Nothing is handed to me, and if it is, I will find myself without it soon enough.
I have other members of my family that the extreme opposite is the case and I understand that too.

So as I inched closer and closer to the show opening and this amazing journey began something
 very very foreign to me began to happen...things started to fall into place, people were offering to help me.

A journey I thought I would be taking alone fighting every step, making every choice, searching for every loose coin in the house to pay for labels or frames...some thing shifted.

It opened and the gallery filled up, everyday the gallery was open there were people there to see the show!
I was humbled and so thrilled.

I have met some amazing people, who have said some mind blowing things to me.
I heard that someone even came to the closed gallery after seeing a write up in the newspaper and banged on the door until someone opened it, just to see me show!
(like in a movie)

I have met some fellow bloggers and been starstruck by them!
Wowo ladies, you are my hero's!

I have opened my email and seen letters from people I don't know telling me deep dark secrets of loss.

I think that is what has got me so stunned.

I think I am suddenly lucky and it concerns me

Sunday, October 24, 2010

End of days

Ladybird beetle eating aphids in the garden

I took my exhibit down.
I am pretty spun by this whole experience.

I was gone most of today, a dear friend said goodbye to her grandmother.
I fought tears, as her grandmother was one I had known for many years as well and cherished.
It made me remember all the wonderful and special things about my granmothers and how once they are gone you remember all the things you wanted to talk about and all the things you now have missing from your life.
I miss having grandparents.

These last few days of the exhibit have been amazing, in fact everyday the gallery was open there have been visitors! Amazing and wonderful indeed.
I do think that this was the most visited show the gallery had had.

Tonight, all alone, I packed up the images one by one, pulled the nails out of the drywall.
I pulled every label off the wall and lastly removed the show title from the marquee wall.
It was quiet and the air felt heavy.
I was saying goodbye again, I felt every image again.
Read my words and slowly and carefully placed them into their boxes.
As I picked up the guest book, I saw the names of some family members.
I was surprised to see that they came to see the show. 
Then a message on the home phone, they never call...
A tearful voice was on the other end, telling me how she felt about seeing my images and reading my words.
It has made the whole thing even more surreal.

I met a woman the other day that was starting a new business, an infertility "resource center" of sorts. She wants to specialize in hyponotherapy, she comes from a long history in reproductive centers. 
She asked me very pointed questions and wanted to know what I had tried.
I went thru my list of alternative methods and found myself shaking again.
I was feeling them all again; feeling the loss, the hope that was left by the side of the road, and the pain.

She asked for my thoughts on her ideas and desires for her "clinic"
I made suggestions about what she could change in her wording that might be more on the side of empathy.
I felt like I was talking to the enemy, the pusher, the dream pusher....
She said she had never thought outside the box of the reproductive center thinking, she could see another side now. I am wondering if she really did, or if she was trying to wrap her head around the idea that sometimes you don't get what you work so hard for, risk so much for and want so badly.

Maybe I planted a seed;  maybe she will see that although the other side of the fence really has
 grass, it is just not the kind of grass you wanted, even after watering, fertilizing, pulling all the weeds and spending weekends mowing it.
 Sometimes all you are left with are empty containers of products or dead spots.

I have visited an amazing amount of loss this month.
Amongst this all my period was late again, several days late.

I was pulled so easily thru the thick waters of seduction and dreams, into the delusion.
It was not the case, but I was left mad at myself for being enticed by something that will always evade me.

I think I am still mourning, everything 

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Infertility has left me with a mountain of guilt.

I spent several hours at the gallery today greeting visitors and watching as they would either come in and say nothing or spill deeply personal stories into my heart.

Today the most feared thing happened....let me back up a little.
When I was getting closer to the show opening I feared that I would be attacked verbally or that my show would be received in a negative light. I did a lot of preparation mentally to ready myself for just that
....I thought.
Today about an hour before the gallery was to close for the day a woman came in and started looking around. I greeted her as she walked into the gallery and said if she had questions about the show I would be happy to answer them. She seemed to be simply skimming the show and so I thought nothing much of her visit. Then as she turned to leave, she caught a glimpse of one of my miscarriage images and got her glasses out of her pocketbook.
From here she started to ask questions about what the image was of and then starting looking at all the images and began a half hour talk about how I was paying for things I had done in a past life.
She started in with asking very blunt questions:
Are you a stressed person?
Did you try relaxing?
Did you try therapy?
Did you have tests done?
How many pregnancy losses did I have?
What does my husband think of me?
Did I have a trauma as a child?
The she told me that she had two abortions and now has two wonderful children and grandchildren
Then back to my faults...
I should have past life regression done
I should have my history researched
I should have hypnotherapy
I need to take different vitamins
I really must have done something horrible in a past life
Have I done something bad in this life?
As she left, I realized I had put all my walls up...I had been attacked, I could hear myself saying "interesting" to her suggestions.
 Inside I was screaming and wanting to hide,
inside I was drowning in my guilt.
Inside I was lost.

I was shaken to the core....It has taken me several hours to extract myself from her words.
I felt so broken, so bad, so unsettled.
I came home and simply threw myself into my hubby's arms asking him to surround me,
wanting to feel protected and safe once again.
I don't feel brave
I don't feel strong
I simply feel like a really bad person

I can hear The Barreness laughing at me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shock and Awe

I feel like I am floating still....swaying between being awake or asleep, focused or unsure.
I am past my two big openings and I have several pages of kind words about the show.
The newspaper article came out in today's paper.

It was very strange to see my words printed...very strange to realize that someone heard what I was saying. So much of this has been me talking here or in my head...or whispered to hubby at night while lying in bed.
I think I am in a little bit of shock.
I outed myself to my entire community

I stopped by the gallery early this morning to water the plants and check on the work.
I had dreams all night that the gallery owner had sold the walls that my work is on and forgotten that I had my work was still on it.
It was a night of feeling so unsure, so frightened, so unseen or unheard.

Turns out the owner of a local contemporary gallery came by before me this morning and pounded on the doors to see the show as he had read the article in today's paper.

He left his name in the guestbook with the words " Great Art/ Great use of the art process"
He took several cards and told the gallery owner that he knows other people that need to see this show.

I know I am in shock now, as I am not sure how to react to this or how I even feel about it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thick of it

I went and sat at the gallery today for a couple hours. In that time three people wandered in to see the show.
Two were college students and one a painter.
The college students wandered in, as the local photography teacher made an assignment of my show (kind of neat) and in doing so has gotten many of his students to the gallery. Both asked me questions, about the work and its meaning. I think they felt a little disconnected from the subject, and after asking questions, felt a better sense of what was going on. Both left kind comments in the guest book about how it helped them think differently.
The painter was moved to tears, she sobbed and said "you really convey loss", she told me she wanted to share something with me, but struggled to get words out....she finally let them tumble out of her
 " I lost my husband less then 6 months ago.
I am a painter and I have a show coming up and I am not sure I can get a show together"

She allowed me to hug her and offer condolences. I was broken hearted for her as well.
She asked how long it took to put this show together and we talked shop about making and gathering work.
She left after sharing many more personal stories with me and crying some more.

I was thankful that she trusted me enough to share her loss and thoughts, and hopefully I showed her that you can still create in the sea that loss creates.