Open my heart
For it has been closed
Far too long
Hold my hand
For it has been empty
Years gone long
Kiss my lips
For their passion has waned
Cold for days
Lift my eyes
For they do not see
You before me
Touch my soul
For it lives within steel
Brazen and alone
© Kate Spyder
Normally I post my poetry and let it speak for itself. My inner artist, creative self, soul hungering poet for years was on hiatus. She was subjugated by an environment which possessed none of these traits and sucked a soul dry.
In the process, I built an impenetrable armor around my true self which made it almost impossible to breach. I had to chisel away at it but I wasn’t inspired to do so until I felt my very life threatened, at first by cancer. Don’t get me wrong, every now and then parts of my ‘self’ would appear in writing, and in poetry because writing was something I could not stop and at times was the only way of getting things out.
Artwork is something completely different. I began by taking simple instructions on how to create a design and copying it down on paper. I did this almost every day for months. In the meantime, I watched videos of other people drawing, feeling my soul whimper in need, and fill with cravings so deep it would buckle in upon itself with shame and fear.
Then in less than a year, I was facing another threat which overwhelmed me with such fear, it overshadowed everything. Suddenly my armor was like a ghost, a shimmer of a shadow, a shade melting into the darkness of my existence. One day I found myself on the other side looking back and wondering exactly when I had crossed over. There was no exact moment to pinpoint, no single step of demarcation. Maybe I hadn’t moved. Maybe the barrier had. Or maybe it had never really been there except in my imagination.
I have been quiet these past few days because I’ve been busy creating. This is my favorite so far:
I have plans to recreate it on mixed media paper so I can add color, though I love it in black and white. I am also thinking it would make a fabulous tattoo. I call it “Eye of the Dragon”.
I have two others I am in the process of working on. Both eventually will have color added to them. I take pictures of them when I finish the ink stage and then will take another once the color is added. This was one where I experimented with adding color using colored pencil.
My artwork and chamomile tea has been my saving grace. What has kept me sane these past few weeks.
I still feel like I’m on a sort of vacation, except every now and then a thought hits me like a bullet to the chest or a hammer on the head, like not ever gathering together with my co-workers and hearing them or joining in a discussion with them.
I have worked with them for years. To be told I am no longer part of the group, no longer a member, is very much like someone telling me I am no longer part of a family I have been a member of for 33 years. It is worse than a divorce. It is worse than death. These people are still out there, still doing the things we have done together for over half my lifetime.
I feel ostracized. I feel cast out. I know I did nothing wrong, and yet it feels like I must have done something horribly wrong. They just won’t tell me what it is so I can fix it. I know there isn’t anything my group did or I did. I know the people I worked with didn’t want me gone. I know this and yet my emotions and my brain can’t seem to agree. Every day I lose track of how many times I have to remind myself this is no fault of mine and that everything will be okay.
Chamomile and my art help me to drown out the doubts, the worries, and the pain.