Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mending



This much I have learned. Never give up. No matter how broken you are, it is possible to mend. It may take a very long time, and it may be the fiercest struggle you ever face. And you will probably be completely unprepared, like I was.


Mending
mixed media collage, 17 x 11.5 inches
ingredients: vintage book cover, vintage book pages and other ephemera, vintage textile, image transfer, watercolor pencils, found objects, acrylic ink, rice paper, feathers, stitching
available for purchase here



I thought I was unbreakable. Just pile it on, I can take it; I've been doing it for years, right? I never gave any credence to that whole "straw that broke the camel's back" thing. How could one little straw make a difference? After all, it was nothing at all when compared to what I'd already been carrying around for so long.  The phrase, "nervous breakdown" never even crossed my mind.

But I was wrong. To my great surprise, there is a tipping point, and I suddenly landed flat on my back, broken into pieces. There's a saying, attributed to everyone from Leonard Cohen to Rumi, something about the cracks being the place where the light gets in.  That may be true, but that light can be blindingly, relentlessly painful.
 
For a year and a half, that pain seemed unbearable, unsurvivable. It's difficult to talk about this without seeming melodramatic; I just want to say this as plainly and as honestly as I can.  If the last straw has broken the camel's back, the camel will have to build up it's muscles, to become stronger than before. If you lose a wing, it can be mended, and the mended place will be your greatest strength. And someday you may fly again.





13 comments:

  1. Wow, Sharmon, how brave you are to share so deeply and this piece is uch a stunning illustration.. Brava my friend, brava... 💗

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    1. Thank you, Cat. Believe me, I had to wrestle with myself, thinking long and hard before clicking "publish". In the end, I did it because I hoped it might give courage to someone who was going through the same thing. I am a pretty private person, and there is still a stigma around mental illness that is difficult to face. I think I did the right thing, though, and if people think less of me, if they judge me, I will just have to live with that. xox

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  2. deeply beautiful mending
    namaste

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    1. Thank you, Mo. It's still an ongoing process, but I am beginning to move forward.

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  3. Beautifully said Sharmon...wings, wounds, art, life, love and time...just to name some of the ways for the healing. We are our best heroes!

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    1. Very well put, Mary Ann. I never thought of myself as a hero, but you are right - ultimately, we are in charge of our own healing. No one can do it for us, as it is a very personal process we must work through. xo

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  4. Thank you for this post. Here is a quote I think you will like Sharmon.
    "When you find yourself tipped over by the gusts of life;
when you fall to the floor and shatter.
There are those who will walk around your pieces,
lest they cut themselves upon the scatter.
But others will pick up your broken bits,
they'll cherish all they can gather.
These are the ones to whom you must hold on forever -
not those who forsook you -
but the ones who glued you back together"
    --- Shakieb Orgunwall

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    1. That is a beautiful quote, Terry; thank you for sharing it. I can't even tell you how much I value the support of everyone in the online community. I will always be grateful for the nonjudgmental acceptance from every one of you. xo

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  5. Your last two sentences brought sudden tears. I was nodding in recognition, and then you hit on the image that sustains me through my healing. On my studio wall is the lyric from the Beatles Blackbird: “Take these broken wings and learn to fly”. Those of us who have been there salute you for speaking the truth, our truth. And yes, it helps when someone has the courage to speak it. It helps those who have survived it, and will help those who have yet to face it. Thank you for the collage image. I am adding it to my hoard of props that sustain me.

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    2. Charlene, thank you for the kind words and support. I know people don't like to read anything on social media that's the least bit negative, or confronts an unhappy truth. It is for all of us who have been there that I wrote this. It was difficult for me, because I tend to be a private person, and because of the huge stigma that is still attached to mental illness. But I hope to do my part towards ending that stigma by speaking out. I'm so glad if my words and image have helped to remind you that there's hope. I used to have inspirational phrases taped up all over my house, to inspire me and to help me change my thinking patterns. Broken wings, in fact, are an image that I use often in my work to express how I feel. Good for you for not losing hope. Blessings to you, Charlene.

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  6. Beautiful post Sharmon. May you find your strength to soar!

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