This weekend I visited the Chihuly Exhibition and Gardens in Seattle. I don’t think mere words can express how my heart and body and spirit responded to such beauty.
The glass seemed to be lit from within. It sang in joyful colour rather than sound.
Amazingly strong and incredible fragile. Seemingly frozen in place, actually a liquid flowing so slowly that you can’t see it move.
The glass soared, curving with grace and rounded with sensuality.
In the presence of such beauty, my spirit took flight in colour and light and vibrated in tune with the glass.
These words and pictures are the best I can do to try to share the experience.
Historically, I have not been very good at going places on my own. I get nervous. And anxious.
I can always tell if I am nervous about something because I immediately start worrying excessively about what I will wear and how I look.
I’m not sure what I’m afraid of. My friends tell me that they can’t imagine me having problems meeting people and socializing. Probably cause they see me when I’m with them!
But somehow I always have this terrible picture in my head of me standing alone, not wanted in the crowd. Doing that trick of pretending I am reading a very important e-mail on my iPhone (cause that’s how important I am!)
Maybe that’s a remnant from childhood/teenager years where I always felt different. And different was bad. Wow, did I learn that. Too smart was bad. Too fat was bad. Too ambitious was bad. Caring too much was bad.
Last night I wanted to go to the open house at the glass studio where I am taking classes (and have applied to join). I could have taken a friend for a safety blanket but I really wanted to do it on my own.
To show up as me, with all my wonderful differences – you know, the things that make me ME – and meet a few people and watch the guest glass artist.
And, that’s what I did. With surprisingly little anxiety. Feeling great about my outfit and my hair – yup, even my hair was good. Feeling happy with who I am. Feeling proud of my differences.
Kind of a cool milestone in this emotional journey. And, the only thing I did with my iPhone was take pictures.
Today’s photo is of my first attempt at making glass beads. I posted in May about my first class in glass sculpting and about my nervousness and anxiety in trying new things. And, how much I am loving working with glass.
Now, into my second course and contemplating joining the glass studio – me, an artist?! – I can feel myself relaxing into the flow. In the first class, I focused a lot on following directions exactly from the instructor and trying to make each piece perfect. Now, as I get a better feeling for the glass and the colours, I am letting each piece take shape as it wills. More of a partnership between me, the glass and wherever inspiration comes from.
And, I am not worried about the “mistakes”. In fact, one important bead is missing from this photo. I was trying something with a bead and it didn’t work. I shrugged it off and said, “well, that was a failure”, dumped the bead and got ready to start again, feeling kinda proud of myself for not getting upset about the “failure”. My teacher’s take? “It’s not a failure, you learned a lot making that bead.”
I certainly did.