It been awhile since Ive posted here. Not good..I know. But its hard to post when you arent feeling particularly hopeful, or optimistic. But its where I am right now, and I have recently mentioned that I want to use this blog to keep account of my journey, both the good, the bad, and the in-between. So here goes....
I am going to tell you story about a dog I once owned named Mabel. It is not about the Art I make. But it informs at every level the Art I make, because this last week I had an A-Ha moment while in counseling. That moment oddly enough, led me to compare my current view of life, to something my Dog went through. So please indulge me, and stay with the story. I promise it will make sense in the end.
I used to have the sweetest little dog. Her name was Mabel. She was a 22 lb. Black and White Cocker Spaniel. When she came to live with us it was estimated she was about 6 years old. We found her at a local pet rescue, and it was love at first sight. At first we thought perhaps she wasnt very smart, because she wouldnt respond to simple commands. Turns out she had lived with a Spanish speaking family for most of her life. We figured this out because we had some Spanish speaking family members, and one day we asked for them to call her and give her a simple command. She immediatley came to them and sat at their feet. But she quivered with fear as she obeyed. Somewhere along the way she had been abused. She showed other signs of this as well. She never barked..ever. She never was destructive (we wont talk about the whole bag of hot dog buns she so proudly ate, or the whole bag of foil wrapped candy that she consumed). She never demanded anything. She just gave us love. Pure unconditional Love. She was also a bit deaf, had sad little growths all over her body, and was a bit stinky....well very stinky. But we loved her anyway. She was just a walking pile of fur shaped love. Over time many of her little growths became bigger growths, and we had to have them removed. (sadly those little growths turned inward and ravaged her little body and took her from us far too soon) The Vet removed 11 growths from her tiny little body. When she came home she had "The Cone of Shame." As I do not have a picture of Mable in her Cone I will take the liberty here and post one of Doug.
If any of you saw the movie "UP", then you will remember "Doug", and his "Cone of Shame." And just a side note here.....This is one of the best movies EVER, and a must see. It will warm your heart for sure. Okay back to our story now....
Mabel was paralyzed by that Cone. Where I lived at the time, there were steps down to the backyard. She had to go through the back door and take those steps to go to do a basic life function. Because of the Cone, She wouldnt go through the door and she wouldnt go down the steps. She would try and take that first step, but because she couldnt see where she was going, and because that dang cone kept hitting the door frame, she would back up, and just sit there looking at me with those pitiful Cocker eyes. She would sit there until I picked her up and put her on the grass. She would do her business and when she was finished, because the Cone was obscuring her view, she would just sit right back down, paralyzed to move in any direction, Of course as her loving and dutiful owner, I picked her up and put her back in the house. Let me just say....22lbs, while a small dog, is not an easy amount to lift..especially when there is a cumbersome Cone involved. But I did it anyway, because I loved her.
The solution to our problem here was to make the cone small enough so she had more control over what she saw, but still couldnt lick her wounds. So we got out the scissors and incrementally made it smaller. And slowly but surely Mabel had her mobility back, and her wounds were also able to heal.
I too am wearing a figurative "Cone of Shame". In the past few years I have made some horrible mistakes and made horrible decisions, and consequently, have found my self in a horrible situation. Those are my sad little growths all over my body, my soul. Although these growths are by my own doing. I feel immense shame over this. I find myself sitting at that doorway, needing to take care of my basic life business, unable to go through the door, or go down the steps. Im paralyzed because the Cone is obscuring my view.
While the cone has maybe helped me focus inward and help me to realize what it is I have to let heal. Im at the place where its time to start snipping away at the shame. So day by day, little by little, I have taken out the scissors and incrementally made that cone just a little bit smaller. I do that by Creating Art. I do that by talking to someone I trust. I do that by reaching out to a Community that gets me. I do that by writing it down and sharing the journey.
Snip, snip, snip....
Thank You Sweet Miss Mable, for teaching me life lessons, even long after you have gone....I miss you everyday <3