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I am a collector of words. Bits of poetry tucked into a pocket, book quotes scrawled on the back of bookmarks. I can’t help but write favorite quotes on the back of many of my paintings. Over time I notice themes and moods accumulating like dusty cobwebs in hard to reach corners. My housecleaner can tell when I’ve been laid low as she dusts the hoard of Tom Waits and Nick Cave albums stacked up beside my record player. She leaves me fresh baked brownies those days. Or worse, Mick Flannery albums strewn about - she knows to take greater care of me that week and a healing crystal is tucked safely under my pillow. Last week I caught her smudging my living room with Palo Santo. Good lord…what was I listening to? Or was it the scrap of paper I left on the bathroom counter, worn so thin over a decade of being tucked in my bra near my heart, bearing a poem by Stanley Kunitz?

“The heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking.

It is necessary to go

Through dark and deeper dark

And not to turn.”

My heart has been, and is still, broken. You can’t exactly Kintsugi that shit back together. It is tempting to turn away from it, but I am still learning to thrive at my own pace and to create an art practice that answers the call of my heart. I promised myself, that this year would be about savouring that process. The interesting thing though, is that the deeper I travel through the dark, the brighter, and yet calmer, my art becomes. My art practice is a tonic. I take long sips, belch and savour it.


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