Our question is: Who have you become?
Western culture mostly looks outward, yet peace in midlife cannot come from this orientation. It can only be built on deep contentment and an acceptance that we will not find peace in our titles, possessions, or the roles we play at work and at home. When we begin in earnest to change our self-perspective, the world’s view of us as women also transforms. We stop being invisible and color back in our lives, to be seen again. Leigh and Crystal share their view that the growing number of midlife western women recreating themselves will also create changes in pro-social action, as the Dalai Lama suggests, peacefully saving the world.
Playtime: Let Go!
Start with cutting your subject matter from cardboard. I chose a silhouette representing me and some bordering shapes. Arrange your chosen shapes on the page. Write or draw what you are letting go of on your paper/canvas, outside of your subject areas. Remove the cardboard cut outs and lay down torn or regular patches of tissue paper and paper napkins. Adhere those with water-based glue.
Next is layers of paint. You can use a brush, putty knife or sponge. The more imperfect the better, so experiment with spatters, or spray water to create drops as you hold your piece over a plate or sink. Apply several layers, switching the colours to contrast each other.
Just before the final layer or layers of paint, reposition the cardboard cut outs and trace with a pencil or, as I did, with a dark watercolour pencil. Paint all of the canvas outside your outlines. Add more layers of paint if you so choose. Add shapes and designs, or words to your subject space with your stencils or pencil.
Once dry, add a final coat of glue or finish. This project takes an extended time. You will need to work in stages as each layer dries. I treated this as a multi-day meditation on what was letting go. When done, I was ready to let go of those concepts, as well as my meditation, leaving me with this beautiful reminder.