The stack of magazines was growing tall, some unread, some half-read, some from months ago–People, Whole Living, The Sun, O, Country Living, Marie Claire, Food Network–how did the list get so long? Instead of throwing them away, I took my mom’s advice and made a collage. Then another, and another. Once all the images and words were before me, they started naturally categorizing themselves into different thoughts, emotions, ideas. What is so soothing about cutting and ripping and gluing, seizing images and words that are appealing? It’s just plain fun.
But smashing everything together also seems to bring out hidden truths. Right now I’m reading Travelling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Monk Taylor, and learned that The Secret Life of Bees had no formal outline, but a collage. Now how’s that for inspiring?
I laid out my pictures first, then added words to tell the rest of the story. So not to get all woo-woo symbolism on you, but here is one collage, with the words and images I chose:
girl in owl costume
dog in a bat costume
“Is Anyone Listening?”
“the whole truth”
“the perfect escape”
“Think of sleep as a form of nourishment. Don’t let yourself go hungry”
“Smile at fear”
This was the second collage I made, and I started grouping pictures that represented fear and doubt. The moon and stars for night, concealing the truth. The tension between birds and cats. Words that reflect how lonely I feel sometimes, and the mask of happiness I feel that I have to put on for other people. I realized I have a lot of fear about the changes in my life–starting over, finding a new career, staying healthy, managing my Crohn’s, making friends, figuring out what makes me happy without the safety net of family and friends close by. It felt good to acknowledge these feelings instead of always tamping things down and hiding it. Therapeutic!
Hope you enjoyed my collage about Fear! More coming soon!