May Flowering Reflections

May is a hopeful month. The days are green and filled with the promise of Summer ahead, and the Winter with its long dark nights is gone. I like these rich and heavily scented days, the blooming part of the year. I bloom inwardly. Outwardly? Different story. Looking at myself in the mirror I find my challenge is to welcome the signs of having lived, the signs of aging. I think of Wabi Sabi, the beauty of rustic things–of things rusted over, wrinkled and worn. No comfort to me at all. My instinct is to run to a plastic surgeon and say “erase all of it: the tired eye bags, the crows’ feet, the sagging neck.” Feeling more empowered than ever, I want to look the part; I want strength and loveliness, not tired worry lines, evidence of many past tears and stress.

I turn to art and work out my struggles on canvas, with collage and images, words and brush strokes. Here I can “put on my best face,” which, interestingly, isn’t ever China Shop Pretty. My art, like my outward appearance,shows definite signs of life. My calligraphy is not typographically perfect–not even close. And I don’t much care. I seek a line of writing–a script which is visually powerful and evocative, feminine and mysterious–which best expresses ME. My words, my life, my experience. Perhaps, then, my approach to calligraphy will help me reconcile myself with what I perceive to be my outward physical imperfections. I can rename them as interesting punctuation marks, as living lines, as LIFE that is being lived inside and out.

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