It was that year at my new high school that I took an art class to fill space in my schedule. I enjoyed art in middle school so I thought why not? I still remember drawing a still life of a vase with flowers. I was sketching but I wasn't very good at it. I was consumed with thoughts about how it was supposed to look. I was a bit frustrated so I asked my art teacher how to draw the petals that sort of looked like they were coming at you. They didn't curve to the side like the image in my head of a flower. She said don't THINK about what it's supposed to look like, just draw. Draw exactly what you SEE. At that moment I felt a deep connection with the flower. I didn't see it as a flower, it was shapes, lines, shadows, and shades. I was seeing it in a different light. Not for what my mind wanted it to be, but for what it was. It's essence. I felt it come alive as it was coming to life on my paper. I was tuning into something much greater than me, from one life to another.
I found out soon after I met my teacher that she was also going through her own changes. She had been the director of the art program for many years and wanted to return back to her rural roots to spend the rest of her years teaching. I was really sad that she was leaving. I had grown quite a bond with her in those few short weeks. It was through her that I first felt the power of an outlet for self expression. The power of living in the moment, and of creating from a place deep within. I learned how to express my unique colors. The power of feeling something much greater than you channeled into art.
I think I had told her, wow that's a big change, and she said to me, well the only constant thing in life is change. It was hard for me to accept but at that moment I had an awakening through her words. We don't often notice when things are changing until they actually change. Before the change there's pain, there's resistance, and clinging to the known. Why would we want to face the unknown? We hope that with change comes growth, and intuitively I think we know when we need change. Just as I knew I needed to make that switch from one school to the other. Although she moved on, her essence remained with me. I appreciated the wisdom she left with me. Looking back, the sequence of events seems to fit like a puzzle. If I had never switched schools, I would never have taken that art class, and I would never have met such an inspiring woman who would affect my life so much so that I still remember those moments so richly. That those words, I would carry with me forever.
Change is scary but when I feel it stir within me it's an emotion I can recognize now. It's an overwhelming feeling of excitement and fear all in one. If we're not changing, we're not growing. It's usually not so sudden. Change stirs within us for long periods. It causes tension, heightened emotions but ultimately it is the exact thing that needs to happen. The evolution of self.
My thoughts are scattered in this post. I'm expressing something but I'm not yet ready to talk about it in a public way. I consider this blog as a diary of photos, life, and self expression. The reality of others reading it still hasn't sunk in all the way. I'm the type that can't help but express how I feel. I like being honest. I like sharing vulnerable moments because I think it's important to be human. That is sort of what keeps me writing even when there's an audience. I'm writing this to reflect but also in the hope that these reflections help anyone out there that is going through their own changes.
Something I've been reading to myself lately is this quote that my dear friend sent me, that her friend sent to her. (Thank you Dina and Hanan if you are reading!) I think it describes change beautifully.
“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”
Alice Walker, Living by the Word
How beautiful right?! When I went out to take a photo for today's post everything was covered in snow. Yes, we had more snow today. I was looking for something to signify change, something blooming. Well nothing was growing. It was all dead, except for this tree with branches that were starting to bud. Yay! Thank you tree! This tree grows the most beautiful flowers. It looks so magical in the spring. I just love this little bud recreating intself into the world. Again, how beautiful, because although life is full of struggle and change, it still remains beautiful in one form or another.
Happy change everyone.
Much love <3