Monday, January 31, 2011

The Great Do Over!

I often enjoy listening to talk radio while I'm driving.  This is a habitat my husband helped me develop.   While running errands over the weekend, I heard a show on NPR.  I'm not sure of the broadcast's name, but the host led the show with a very interesting question -  "Have you ever driven through a small, remote town and wondered what it would be like to stop your car, stay awhile, and start your life over?"  No one would know you or your past.  It would be the ultimate do-over.  As I listened, I realized I was at this exact place in my life.  With one difference, I left the small town for the big city to get my do-over.
All My Energy (2010) - Front
I am a very spiritual person - not religious.  For the majority of my time on Earth, I have lived as a Christian who tries her best to follow the word God.  I have never been caught up in denominations but instead the scriptures.  As I later reflected on the radio show,  I thought about a scripture.  It says ,"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)"  For several years, I have tried to fulfill the expectations of the world through my career.   I've done what I thought people expected of me or what was safe or practical. 
God moved me out of my comfort zone when He relocated my family to Chicago and took my job.  At first, I resented the move and unemployment.  Slowly, my thinking began to change and both situations became an opportunity for a new beginning.  God had placed me in an environment where the artistic gifts He gave me could be nurtured.   Over the past year He has allowed me to use art to give voice to young people and myself.   I never thought the creations from my hands could impact the lives of others.  But there is a scripture that counters my limiting thoughts.  It says, "Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20, KJV)."
All My Energy (2010) - Back
All My Energy - A Metaphoric Self Sculpture (2010), one of my recent fabric sculptures, symbolizes my transformation in thinking.  The butterfly, with its warm colors, represents my emergence from a cocoon of doubt, pressure, and stress with the energy to accomplish new heights.   A butterfly thrives in a garden with grasses for shelter and flowers for nectar.  The grasses in this piece represent opportunity while the flower symbolizes abundance.   But the opportunities and abundance are above the butterfly.  The butterfly has not yet begun to put into motion its potential for flight, which will eventually carry it beyond the grasses and flowers.  This is where I  am in my journey as an artist.  I'm just beginning to stretch my wings.  But with the power that works within me, I  know my art will carry my spirit to new heights.

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