When I was little, I had this toy – a pink box into which I could slip plates and then slide a pencil over to make a drawing. The plates showed different parts of women’s bodies – their heads, their torsos, their legs – and the concept was that I could manipulate these pieces to make fashion combinations. I never really loved this toy – or at least the fashion and the images of the women never captured me. (The same is true now.) But I did love making pictures, laying my pencil at a tiny angle and letting the lead draw up swirls and swoops.
For several days now, I have been glimpsing an image in my mind – clips of textured paper, bright reds and yellows, and my hands moving them. I am not a visual thinker, so when this vision slipped behind my eyes, I paused. What does it mean when a woman of words begins to think in pictures?
So I signed up for an art class, an online one with Kelly Rae Roberts.
I first saw Roberts’s work when I was in Breckenridge with my dear friend Shelva a few years ago. She and her husband had gifted me with a visit to them the summer after Mom died, and in the way of their generous hearts, they arranged a weekend for Shel and I in Breckenridge, a town I think I could live in – in the summer anyway. We found a gallery there, and I think we returned three times over two days. (Our visits to that shop were only outnumbered by the visits to the crepe stand.)
That space was filled with hand-made things – dresses and wallets, hair ties and art. So much art. Kelly Rae Roberts‘ art caught me immediately. The colors of the pieces, the quirky tilt of the figures’ heads, but especially the words wrapped up my heart and handed it back to me a bit more whole.
The following November, Shelva sent me a Roberts’ plaque, and it has hung where I can see it every day since then. Almost every day, one of the phrases there resonates more strongly than all the others. Today, I’m seizing onto
Ask for what you need.
I need to try something new. I need to push into a new way of expressing myself. I need to follow the crack of light that I can see opening onto a new path.
I have big hopes for this experience – hopes that it will provide me another way to dream, hopes that it will fulfill an ache I have for color and wisdom, hopes that it will help me clarify some of the ways I want to live my life, ways I cannot quite see yet.
After I signed up yesterday, I entered the classroom portal and read these words from Kelly:
You bravely followed a whisper, however faint or loud, and now here you are. I’m so glad you made it.
I’m a big believer in the way whispers lead us. That’s why our farm is called God’s Whisper, after all. So as I read these words, I felt one of the silent assent of affirmation. And by the time I finished the welcome video, I was teared up with joy. It was right. This risk is right.
I have always been terrified to create anything visually. I often say that I can’t even draw stick figures. But I’m ready for something more than laying the pencil to paper and letting the shapes of someone else’s vision rise up. I’m ready to create my own vision.
The class starts on April 13th, and if you’re able, I’d love to share this experience with you.
If you feel the whisper to join, I hope you’ll listen. We can create together.
Or maybe there’s a whisper leading you to something else. Follow it through the woods of life, beautiful people. It may take you somewhere scary or new. It may lead you back to a place you have always loved. But that whisper that sets the spark in your heart to glowing is true, so follow it.
What whispers are you hearing lead you? I’d be honored to hear and treasure those words with you.
You can check out “Hello Soul; Hello Mixed-Media Mantras” here. Let me know if you sign up.