Sunday, 3 May 2015

The company of women


This page went through many phases. At one point I drew leaves on it and painted red all around the leaves.

I hated it.

So out came the wet-wipes. It took five of them, but eventually the page was stripped back to something I felt I could work with.

But the wet-wipes had made some of the bits and pieces I'd glued on go soggy and start to peel. I gave them a little help, which left the surface looking slightly distressed, but I was okay with that.

Some doodling and printing and I was happy with the background.

But what was on my mind?

It was the eve of a retreat. I was going to be spending half a day with a group of women, only a few of whom I knew. Now, I don't know about you, but I find the company of other women comforting and terrifying in equal measure, especially when more than half of them are strangers to me. There is the whole comparison thing - which I try really hard not to do. But there is also comfort when a group of women start being vulnerable with each other and sharing those stories with which we can all identify; those stories of how we all fall short.

I had such a wonderful time with periods of silence and intense contemplation, and times of belly-laughing at our own shortcomings.

So, no matter how terrifying it can be in the beginning, the pursuit of community with other women is something to be embraced and treasured.




5 comments:

  1. First let me say, love the artwork. Also how your post got me thinking about being in similar situations, and I find the older I get the more difficult and terrifying being in a group of women is for me. It's hard to find some level of comfort or commonality. It seemed so much easier 10+ years ago. Even online I sometimes find it difficult to speak up, reach out, or put myself out there.
    I've gotten comfortable leaving comments with you, joined the journal swap with you, but literally followed you quietly on the sidelines for a good year before engaging with you and finding that total comfort level with you. I must say I'm truly baffled by my hesitation because it has never been my nature. I'm certain I can identify the event that changed me though.
    Thanks for sharing this post. ((((HUGS))))
    Kimmie

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  2. very interesting looking page which you couldn't have achieved without the oops of the leaves and the baby wipes.

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  3. I totally get the "comparison" thing -- for some reason it only happens when I'm with other women. BTW, I put Kimmie's journal in the mail to you late last week, so sorry for the delay!

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  4. I love this piece. I would never have guessed that baby wipes were employed in the process.

    I laughed when I read your comment about being at once comforting and terrifying. I laughed because I related to it. I think you have hit on a near universal truth. Glad it turned out so well. I know that I am searching for more connection with other creative people. You have helped me to strengthen my desire to commit to making it happen.

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  5. Wonderful piece. So funny how we all do things we hate but you definitely turned it round. Great post too. Getting together with other women is so like that. They can seem daunting befoehand and turn into really precious times.

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