Time for reflection, follow up, decompression. It was #1... the first of it's kind-by-me, Whole-Hearted Art workshop.
First, I must admit to some pretty uncomfortable feelings. (Is it a southern-thing to use the word "pretty" to mean a certain quantity or type of something?) I was humbled by the burden and pain several of the Cancer survivors/attendees were dealing with, maybe all of them, but a couple shared some details that would have put the average person in the dirt. These women were no average people. The strength and determination, and heart of the human being is so blinking enormous. I'm in awe. I don't know what I may have been able to offer them that will help, I introduced them to what I know, which seemed to pale in comparison to what they were dealing with. What they gave me was huge. They showed up, they jumped in, they made a page or a spread in an altered book. They began, probably their first, art journal.
I realized later, I could have given better art instruction. I really wanted to share Real Love with them, so I focused mainly on communicating some basics about that. I can also see now that I was too focused on what I was trying to say, and not really connecting as much as I'd have like with each person.
So, maybe going forward, I'd like to read some from the Real Love books, in a more comfortable setting, like a living room set up... big comfy couches and a comfortable floor to sit on, and later move more into tables set up for art for the altered books. I intend to do some follow up this week, in order to really connect with the women who were there, and get there take on whether they'd be interested in more information and/or more art workshops.
So, all in all, I guess it was a success. I did it. I faced my fears. I started with an idea and followed through. I realized my fears, flaws and shortcomings. I appreciate my own relatively pain-free, healthy existence. I appreciate the burdens that others are carrying. More and more daily, I guess I'm believing that we really don't know what others around us are going through, you can't judge a book by it's cover. I guess that would be a good analogy to pursue, altering books, like our lives are altered, making conscious choices what to cover with gesso, and what to write in them. What catchy slogans and quotes motivate us to go on when the going gets tough... what inspires us. How do we become the person we want to be, the one we came here to become, the one that got squashed growing up. Who are we? Who do we want to be? Do we really all just want to be loved? Do we even recognize it when it's there right in front of us? Lots of questions. The answers, hopefully, are in the journey.