I used to think that by saying something out loud, it would jinx me. But it wasn’t hard for me to keep things to myself, it felt safer that way. Once I said something out loud, it could be ridiculed, dismissed, or ignored.
But since I’ve been making my art and posting it on my blog, it seems the opposite is true. It’s not a jinx but a blessing. When I make something and show it to the world, I’m saying to it: I believe in you, you are important, you are worthy. And doing this doesn’t scare me anymore, it actually makes me feel good, sometimes even better than I might have been feeling.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised that after writing about my trip to Gee’s Bend, my fears about going fell away. It was almost instantaneous, magical even. A half hour earlier I was sitting at my computer with Jon beside me helping me make decisions about my flight. I was so nervous, I don’t think I could have done it alone. The night before I woke up at, yes, 3AM sure I had made a mistake in saying I would go.
I didn’t plan on writing about my trip that night, it wasn’t a conscious decision. I just started doing it. And as I did, I could feel the fear leave me. I marveled at this seemingly instant cure. Jon immediately noticed the change in me and wasn’t surprised. He said it was like Carrie Mae Weems telling the world through her photography “This is who I am”. Not letting herself be defined by someone else. It was like her saying, “I should be having a Retrospective at the Guggenheim” when she was asked how she felt about it.
Then I started to understand. When I wrote about going to Gee’s Bend, I was saying, this is who I am and this is what I do. I was saying I should be going to Gee’s Bend. Like making a piece of art and posting it on my blog I was saying: I believe in me, I am important, I am worthy.
The next day I went into my studio and out came my newest wall hanging, Shouting From The Moon.
Now, I find I can’t stop telling people about my trip. When I wake up at 3Am, I’m excited, thinking of working with Mary Ann Pettway and exploring Gee’s Bend Alabama. I can almost feel it. I can see myself in Alabama, being me.