“It is the speaking of one’s heart that makes a human being human. For even if no one hears us, it is the act of speaking that frees us by letting the spirit swim and fly through the world.“
– Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
The act of speaking frees us.
This must be why we are drawn to posting our thoughts, revelations, complaints, beliefs and more on social media and blogs. The online community provides us such an opportunity. We can say anything at any time. We can spill parts of ourselves here and there so that we do not have to keep it all inside. We do not have to explode, or implode. There is power in having a platform.
But do you know what’s missing when we post online? (Coming from someone who has posted nearly 600 times on this blog alone.) We cannot witness reactions in real time. No matter how many likes or comments or views your thoughts may garner, it is not the same as meeting eyes with your audience and seeing their tears and hearing their unedited stream of consciousness in reaction to your work.
When you don’t blog for money, when you don’t (yet) have a big community in your city, when you just want to connect with other people over truth, when you hope and pray that your words will touch readers the way you intend them to, when the only thing that matters is making the world a softer sweeter place one person at the time, when you struggle with the best way to do this using your creative passions–and then you see something happen, in real time, it settles you. Another piece of you finds its spot and burrows deep.
Last Friday, May 1st, “Maternal Matters” opened at The Shop at Flywheel Press. An unparalleled privilege to explore the intersection of art, poetry and motherhood with my co-creators and co-founders of Maker Mamas, Danila Rumold and Jacquelyn Krieger, two women who’ve brought immeasurable inspiration and support to my life. Read my artist statement here.
Our show will be at The Shop through May 28th, which happens to be my 30th birthday. Of course.
I am showing an installation piece entitled “Words On Whites,” featuring poetry about (what else?) maternal matters.
Gallery description: I am a writer but I have terrible handwriting. I am a mother but I am neither quick nor skilled with laundry. My whites are stained and I still love white clothing. At any give time, you will likely find piles of laundry, sorted and unsorted, in my bedroom as I divert time I could spend on household chores to writing and reading and mothering. It made perfect sense to hand write verse about motherhood onto clothing and linens worn and ruined by my daughters and I. My undone laundry is the canvas for my work.
Embracing these challenges by making art out of my poor laundry skills and fragmented attention somehow makes me feel better on those days when it seems like I’m no longer holding it together, and the icing on the cake appears to be my daughter’s tangled hair and stained ballet leotard.
The act of speaking frees us.
I have a smaller piece up called “Filtered/Unfiltered,” showcasing digital photographs layered with poetry.
Gallery Description: Like many a modern parent, I photograph my children every day using my iPhone. I curate select images for my blog and Instagram, hence the square orientation. The hard truth is that I am a technology addict. In this piece I seek to embrace my addiction and put it to good use by making something beautiful for my children to keep. I want them to understand who their mother was while they were young (and why I could often be found behind my computer or phone), in hopes that this information will ultimately bring them to a deeper understanding of where they came from and therefore who they are.
The title comes from the photographs, which are filtered, and the words, which are unfiltered.
Lastly, I collaborated with Jacquelyn on a multimedia project, our beloved “Womannequin,” who deserves a post of her own. More on her, later.
“Maternal Matters” will be at The Shop at Flywheel press, located at 309 7th Ave in San Mateo, CA, May 1-28, 2015. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11-7 pm.
To read more of my thoughts on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.