As my latest attempt at authoring is starting to hit the shelves, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the project here. Art Journals and Creative Healing was such a deeply personal project for me, and was truly written and coordinated in the midst of my own personal hardships and pain; just a small handful of those closest to me will ever fully understand the brokenness from which this work was forged.
Even now, I struggle with wanting the book to be buried on the furthest-back, dusty bookshelf of the bookseller, or perhaps negligently left in a stockroom somewhere….for then you won’t be made privy to some of my ugly skeletons.
But that is not why I wrote this book.
As its pages are cracked open to the light of day, exposing “imperfect me” and my dark secrets, I am confident that also exposed by the light of day will be precious truths:
that we are not alone in our struggle…
that there is healing to be found from the stony and bumpy path…
that the work of our hands can bring about a therapeutic work of the sprit...
and that there really is enduring beauty and wisdom that can be drawn from even the most difficult of circumstances.
It is one thing to talk of the human condition: with its emotional and physical obstacles that have the potential to yield something greater within us.
It is quite another thing to experience it.
And might I say, that it is yet another entirely different thing to try and demonstrate it in a small volume of words and pictures.
This is something I could not have begun to accomplish this task had it not been for a troupe of diverse artists and journal-ers who caught enough of my vision to be willing to not only share their precious pieces of art, but also their profound stories. I know their vulnerability will stir you, as it has stirred me. Their stories have personally provided me with strength, and I do hope that they will empower you and equip you to face what life has tossed your way. And yes, there is their art, which speaks louder than words.
My deep gratitude to these dear ladies with brave souls, huge hearts, willing spirits, and talented hands….
These ladies offer to the project a rich diversity of style and vantage. These women are from around the globe , from different faiths, and all walks of life. Out of even this broad range of style and influence provides at least something that everyone can identify with (if you can't, may I suggest you are fooling yourself?) ….and out of this broadness is still a commonness: the commonness of struggle and the commonness of a human spirit that triumphs.
While I do hope you enjoy all the provocative visuals in Art Journals and Creative Healing, I must tell you that you will really miss out if you only leaf through the book as though it were a picture-book. It breaks my heart to think that the book might become just a pretty coffee table décor-piece for some.
Truly, this book was meant to be read….and re-read.
There is so much to excavate out of it: from the creative tip boxes, to the inspiring quotes interspersed among the beautiful photos, to the raw and real sidebars which share the stories behind the journals, to the worksheets that prompt you towards your own journey of healing. It is an unusual work.
Forgive me if I sound proud of this work; my pride is really over the way this came together in a Divine way in spite of me and my desperate lack, and in spite of my circumstances. I reflect back on it now, and wonder (and I do mean WONDER—with head-scratching, mind-spinning bewilderment) how it was EVER accomplished! (If you only knew! ) Let’s just chalk it up to a God-thing, shall we?
And for that I am unabashed.