The Gift From The Tree
When I first moved to Texas during this pandemic I received the question often, "How are you doing over there?" With so much happening in the world in general I felt so very blest and at the same time grief knocked on my door regularly like an old friend coming to visit. I shared in a post (I Lost It: Visual Story Through My Grief) about how I saw my art revealing my process through a tree and bubble art. So as promised here is a continuation of that process and because this journey is ever changing it's not exactly completed this is just where it is in the present moment.
To pull in from the previous post I had explained I lived by this tree that I learned is a Resurrection Tree and this stunning greenery that grows on the tree doesn't harm the tree it just adds to it. I refer to this growth as the bonus. During my time here I have been blest to receive bonuses in my own life all from amazing and loving people I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with. They have been my bonus-life still happens without these people but they add so much growth, magic and joy to my life.
While I did this image of the tree back in May I do not believe it was ready to be listened to yet. I found myself exploring aspects of the tree that my eye felt drawn to in March and April I saw my grief timeline in one and in another I saw the transition of my identity shift both professionally and personally.
I knew some day when I was ready I was going to try and portray the energy I felt from this tree that drew me like a magnet. But I had been here since March and it was May and I didn't feel ready. Laid on my floor aching to be touched my paper remained for weeks. To my surprise, one evening I felt I couldn't wait anymore. I didn't feel ready but I couldn't just wait. It seemed I had been waiting for a long time to put the pieces together like the branches, to find my community, to connect with others, to be able to explore my new home, to be able to go to work ...the list goes on. The pieces hadn't come together yet and I couldn't wait until I felt the pieces were together.
So I continued my process with beginning my art piece of the tree. When I was finished, at the time it was enough. It was done. Something I had been craving to paint since I have toured this place back in February was here. It arrived. But I didn't feel as if we were on the same page.
This tree had it together it was whole, complete, wild and peaceful: aspects far from how I felt.
Often art for me and some reasons why I was attracted to becoming an art therapist to hone in on these skills has been used as a teacher, an extension of the self, a guide and a comfort. As the giver of creation and making something come to life I then receive a gift back only if I listen it helps me grow. It has taken me since May to understand that the tree for me was not something that perhaps I was desiring in my own life where I thought I was trying to put the pieces together it actually was my comfort. I didn't really have a comfort when I moved here but I had this tree.
Ultimately, what stuck out to me is I didn't feel ready to paint the tree but I did anyways. It reminded me of a lesson I learned when I first opened my practice: I didn't have to know everything I just had to trust (sounds easier than you think). It taught me I didn't have to have it all together as it constantly shifted and evolved-and let's be honest will always continue to shift and evolve as well. Perhaps most importantly this tree reminded me you don't have to feel completely ready to take the leap and that is where faith leads the way. A reminder and comfort certainly needed.