A bible study group that I belong to, in service to our community, transformed an elementary school classrom into an clean and organized space for art and science experiements for to take place. The thought of children discovering and coming up with new ideas brought about an "oooey-gooey" feeling. As we moved furniture and stacked books and other supplies into cabinets and onto shelves, we shared our own early shool days stories. I reminisced about my symphony orchestra experience, one of the first of my artistic ventures, and how I was a poor violin player.
Later that afternoon, before I committed to preparation for my photo shoot the next day, I met with my sister-in-law who is a student of psychology. I volunteered to be her subject study and tried my hardest, without much success, to not be too sarcastic, cynical, or void of imagination in my responses. I found discussing my life and past experiences and traumas very easy to discuss yet conjuring up stories from images and interpreting "ink blobs irraitated my quite practical and somewhat philosophical tendencies of processing thoughts; I couldn't find any sense in making up a story out of random images; I responded often that the ink blobs all looked like a uterus and I quite bluntly stated so, adding to this that I believed the originator of these pictures was quite disturbed. We laugh a lot and she was very gracious with me.
So as I prepared outfits, plucked my eyebrows, and filed my nails down, I enjoyed some music and reflected on something my brother's significant other had said. She shared with me, against the prodical of apiring psychologists, that one image I was asked to draw-a tree-supposedly reflected that my thoughts and emotions would not often connect. I was surprisingly stunned and humbled that this actually made a little sense to me and I'm very skeptical about what I sometimes consider a "pscho-babble." The drawings I created were simple and elementary, (I'm an artist and don't take drawing anything lightly and I didn't find it necessary or practical, considering time, to create specific and beautiful images), and the tree I drew was no different. The tree had no roots and no branches.
I had been aware of my emotional protectivenss and lack of emotional openess with others before and it has since been acknowledged and confronted by myself but what I really consider is that, perhaps this dichotomy (if that is the correct word) tied into my creative health as well. At risk of sounding like a psychiatrist myself by offering these attributes to a certain group, I find that artists have narcissistic, grandiose, or exhibitionist tendencies and would benefit from a frequent dose of practicality. Like flesh and spirit, thoughts and emotions also operating in considerable balance of would be considered healthy and in turn direct some of our eccentric behaviours-be they conscious or unconcious. Maturity and youth played a big party in some of those behaviours and I've come to quite dislike such characteristics. Naturally, I had channeled some unresolved angst through unhealthy activities and behaviours in my past. But I also, sometimes,intentionally drew that line between the "tree" and the "earth" out of prudence but, more often than not, to avoid the overwhelming flood of tears or other emotion that would express a load of pain when it came to more intimate relationships.
At the beginning of my theater career, as a young woman facing many trials, I found some relief in expressing emotions as a character. What I didn't know, until know, is how much more honest and painless it became being a vessel or tool used to tell a story (as it should be) once I had attended to both my unhealthy body and spirit. I now, instead of hoarding the emotions of myself and a character I would be portraying, am grateful of the life education I had and utilized to becoming a good steward of my thoughts and emotions, spirit and body, heart and mind. And these are now, for the most part, properly and happily controlled in life and art.