Expressive arts and post-traumatic growth.

This set is an expansion series on a 20-year-old painting depicting post-traumatic growth using mixed media collage with Acrylic, original poetry and feathers. The original painting was from a recurring nightmare that I’d had most of my life where the person in the dream had no face. When I painted it, I wanted to turn that person with no face into an angel… fast forward 20 years later, I had the inspiration to “flesh out” my faceless angel with poetry and wings.


The poetry begins with the eyes…

If I could
have seen the world
through these eyes 20 years ago
how would my vision have been
any different

than it is
in my present experience?
Would I have changed anything,
or would fear still have
blinded me?


Then extends to flesh out the head….

Would the dreamscapes of my past
have continued their assault on my day to day experience,
or would I have found peace much sooner? These eyes, once obscured,
seek only truth and resolution… yet they know that both are sometimes
elusive; shading my experience with clarity and definition. I no longer wish for
a different past, or fear my future. My dreams are mine again; and even if old night-
mares resurface, I am confident that they will reveal one more grain of truth, to guide
me in my present endeavors. I know my blessings; I love fiercely and have been held
in love’s embrace even when I couldn’t see that every ray of the morning sun is a promise
just beginning to discover itself and every sunset, a passionate tribute of that promise
fulfilled. We go through life, trying to catch our breath, holding on, pushing harder…
yearning, reaching, grasping, hoping to quench our desire in the bottomless exposing
the core heart. Vulnerable made of unapologetic honesty yearning to be set free. And
in every constellation, lies the inspiration of legacy and the fates. Every moonbeam is
a reflection of that promise, allowing us to exhale… to let go, of desire’s grasp on
the soul, shedding light on the love that never leaves when the world changes faster
than the seasons can blink. Each day is a new dance between the sun and moon…
And those shafts of light from the heavens remind us that the promise we seek is
realized when we are grateful for what we already have. I was taught that fear
and faith cannot live in the same house; that if you had fear, you were not acting
in faith. My life experience speaks differently. Both are projections toward
the future grounded in our past experience faith has allowed me the courage
to step beyond the paralyzation of fear to a different experience, and the
results I’ve experienced have been a direct result of my efforts.
My faith isn’t in a power greater than myself or in miracles.
My faith is an act of gratitude for the resources that were
available to me when I was in crisis, and for the opportunity
to do the work that I had to do to create the change I
needed in my life. It is not a modality with which to
stuff or hide my fears or frustrations. I allow my
tears to release the fear that holds me back
so I can move forward. In this, I have
found that faith and fear can
live in the same

Then the neck and shoulders…

Soulcialist Anarchy Wisdom beyond experience
Is a fragile path Of crystalline notions And solid
connection…But how to apply what one knows
To the trials of life And the Joys and Remorse of our souls
When our foundation was never solid? Breathe. Small doses. Finding balance as the pendulum
Swings Across the center of the heart Instead of keeping it from moving. Dancing with the pain, And crying with the Joy And falling in love With the ineffability of it all.


And finally, the wings…

to love,
to give, to receive,
to speak kindness, to touch,
to give my time and attention.
for love is the only freedom that allows
each of us to be fully human with one another.

Where I can sit
right where we are and start with
whatever is right in front of us and make order
of that place in the universe which we occupy in any
given moment; I step once again into the sphere of my own
potential where light casts no shadows and surrender is the only true victory.


More expressive arts pieces can be found here.

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