Jessica Ball (owner of the Art Garage) & I
My ussual route from our house to the Art Garage is under construction with a good portion of the road closed completely.
I took the route anyways.
I had been through this detour a few times and I still thought it was my best option for the night.
My energy level was at the max. While driving I switched between no radio quietness, to loud and pumped up music, back to no radio but add in self pep talk.
There was a moment when I detoured from the detour because I thought maybe I could bypass the construction a different way. This left me driving through an unfamiliar neighborhood and feeling slightly out of sorts. So I backtracked.
And I fretted a tiny bit because I was going to be "late".
To clarify, I wasnt actually going to be late... just later than I had hoped.
Finally, just a few minutes away I was sitting in a long line of traffic waiting at a redlight on University. I looked over to One World and saw my friend Jessica with her teenage niece, who she has taken in. Setting up their outdoor art space for the First Friday Event. I saw my friend Sammy taking dinner orders from the outdoor patrons.
In the 10 second window, life made sense, everything was so beautiful, and there I was looking in from the outside on people I love and admire. As I was on the way to my own event. It was a moment when things got real intense and I shed a few beautiful happy tears.
The Projekts and I.
I arrived just in time. The Projeckts (Chrys & Jessica) were unloading their equipment and setting up. Jessica Ball was doing last minute things. Her husband and sweet daughter were prepping for the night.
I stood there. Taking a deep breath in and soaking it all up.
There on the walls ... my artwork.
Displayed so well. It was surreal.
Then all these people started trickling in...
My heart just beamed! Every time the door opened and new faces walked in, it felt like little gifts.
Oh and some people even brought gifts! And flowers! Which was totally shocking and unexpected!
I love seeing people I love.
I love hugs!
I love flowers.
I love sharing my artwork.
I love live music!
I love people watching.
I love connecting and sharing and talking.
I love gifts (giving them, recieving them) 😁 I just love it!
my parents came.
All four of them.
At one point, I took a little sit down break in the back patio area.
Under the twinkle of lights, looking at the beautiful mural on the wall... I was overcome with gratitude.
Out there I had a quiet moment to reflect on how grateful, full and loved I am.
This night was so special and I loved sharing it. I loved experiencing it.
I know it is a treasure of a memory that I will look back on for all my years to come.
As the night drew to an end I couldn't help but think back to all the times I had meekly asked about showing my artwork. The places that I took business cards and email addresses from, in hopes that I would contact about displaying my work.
The thing is... for the longest (months-years) time I didn't push beyond the asking. I never sent the emails. I didn't.
Then one day I did ask, and I had pictures on my phone so together the owner and I picked a date.
But circumstances got in the way... we had a misscariage, the bar I was going to hang work at closed down.
It all seemed to unravel before it began. Which was okay because it wasn't the right moment. I wasn't ready yet, and neither was my art.
I kept creating. I kept feeling. I kept learning.
I joined an artist group.
I entered two paintings in a show for Unseen Voices. I couldn't go to the opening because of bedrest & strict doctor orders. We had another IVF, another early pregnancy loss. Both things were happening at once. My artwork was out there... but I was home hoping, waiting and then grieving.
A week or so after the news was confirmed.
I sat amongst a pile of artwork. The emotions poured out of me, onto the paper and canvas...
it was clear to me I was ready.
I sent the email. I asked the question.
I hoped that I would maybe, possibly be considered.
Within the next few days this show was scheduled,secured and finally happening.
The road to get HERE was long. Paved with heartbreak.
I've lost babies, chances and years.
Birthed in all this space and pain is my voice. My art.
As my new identity emerges I count myself lucky to have survived this far.
To have flourished even.
now to be here... to share.
To speak for those who are not ready to, for those who have endured similar roads, to the little ones who never had a chance to be a part of this beautiful life.
It is a privilege and an honor.
All of my artwork is for sale.
When I prepared for this show... wireing painti gs, varnishing, naming, organizing... a little idea came an landed on my shoulder.
It told me.
Paint the embryos. Paint your babies.
I set out to find 10 small square canvas. I chose the colors, the texture paste, the wood piece to
mount them on.
In one 3 hour sitting I started and finished painting them.
When I finished. I spoke.
"hello littles. Thank you. I love you"
I shed tears.
I felt joy.
Thank you dear reader, friends, ones I love.
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey.For encouraging me, showing up, and loving me where I am.
Thank you for loving our littles too.
If you know someone experiencing Infertility, depression, anxiety, heartbreak, loss, grief. Please remind them to be gentle with themselves and love them so hard!
I am open to sharing and talking about my experiences and I welcome the opportunity.
Artwork can be viewed during October 2016 at The Art Garage, Main St. peoria IL.
I've been riding a steady stream of excitement and adrenaline for a few weeks now... crunch time before the big art exhibit, preparing and being incredibly excited.
All that goodness...
Yesterday I felt myself hit a wall. I thought to myself, "I need to be careful with all this excitement".
Let me explain.
This is all very much my dream come true. It is what I have been working towards, WHY I started Captured & Reclaimed.
I am using my art to express myself... people are responding... I HAVE A SOLO EXHIBIT all month!!! This is beyond great, it is fantastic, wonderful and just about the coolest thing!
This art work comes from a very tender, vulnerable part of me. This whole experience is a result of all the hardship that pushed me forward and expanded my "what if's".
Hanging on the walls are reflections of pain and hope and devastation and beauty. I am so honored to share it, so proud to bring forth something tangible to show and so very torn
it is really scary.
And this is a big deal to me.
One thing I have "inherited" during our infertility journey is the beastly issue of anxiety. It walks hand in hand with another part of me... depression. If I get too emotionally charged... these two sense opportunity. If I am not careful they could jump in the drivers seat.
I have worked hard to navigate stress, manage grief and keep these two in check.
But sometimes I get lazy and stop doing the necessary things to properly care for myself. I am human after all.
Tonight I had planned to go to a writers group. To chat, share poems and have a good time. But I think I am going to pass. I think I need to detox from stimuli and read a good book. I think I need to lay on the sofa and do a whole bunch of nothing.
I want to have all the space and energy to be present. To be excited. To soak it all in.
This is such a beautiful life and I feel so grateful that it is mine.
I love using words to connect with my fellow humans.