I got off the phone and the first words that came to my mind were, “I’m a ghost”.
I had been talking to my mother, transported by our conversation, to the family dynamic I grew up in. The feeling that I was now only a specter on the periphery of the workings of my birth family was so strong.
I could see myself lurking around the edges of scenes that used to make up my life. I wasn’t invisible, but transparent, without substance, like an afterthought.
The feeling filled me up, the anxiety looking for release. I circled my studio the pulled out my collage materials.
I took one of the collages I had started but not finished that was hanging on my wall and began working on it. And as I glued and drew and painted, I found I was repeating to myself, the words “I’m not a ghost.”
Now I saw myself working in my studio, my body solid, my feet on the floor. A whole and grounded person.
That I am not a ghost is a fact, I thought reverting to the technique that I was taught in therapy. When I feel the anxiety I tell myself the facts. Cutting new paths in my neural system. Distinguishing between my thinking and the thinking I was taught to believe.
Once I cut out the shapes of the girl and the sheep, the work went quickly. I pulled most of what I had put on them off, revealing some of the first collage layers. I placed them on the backing of an old quilt and used one of the appliques from the front of the quilt as a shining sun, placing them in a landscape.
When I figured out that I wanted to sew the images down, it was just a matter of choosing the thread and stitch.
I finished it off with a backing and sleeve at the top to hang it.
“I’m Not A Ghost” is sold.
2 thoughts on “I’m Not A Ghost”
I am so interested to see if your collages & quilts merge some day…. I can see one of your collages becoming the inspiration & middle piece of one of your quilts the way your last quilt had the Phoenix in the middle….. as they say – TBD
I can see that happening Kim.