It takes courage to be alive in this world. It takes the tenacity of a lion’s heart to expose our deepest wounds, heal them and turn them into something that empowers. For my soul’s purpose of creative expression, I face the fears that come with this. Every day I wake with words that hold the key to some freedom I crave, to brave the passage of past, and rebirth it into present. With pen in hand, I spill my heart open to the page and reveal the depth of me, the ache in me, the fierce determination to transform all that has tormented me into rich soil in which to grow myself whole.
I have made it this far. Instead of wilting, I am blossoming. Instead of dying, I am alive with an untamed love that fuels the life force within me to write, paint, speak and emanate my life in full colour, even in the darkest moments.
Every picture I paint is a self-portrait. Every metaphor is a mirror image of myself. The hummingbird I paint drinking the rich, juicy nectar of a flower, is born from my innate desire to express and share my love. The lotus I create emerging from heart-shaped lucid blue waters is how I see myself growing. The open-winged lapis bird soaring into an indigo sky is a reflection of my heart in full creative flow. Even the painting or piece of writing I tear into a hundred pieces is an expression of me.
I paint and write because it heals me and sharing it is a celebration – my offering. Gem-tone swirls of heart-infused images are a salve for childhood bruises that still ache in me. I have a palpable longing to shine a ray of light into my own darkness and into the world.
The lotus is my metaphor. It grows from the dirtiest waters the earth can conjure. It roots itself deeply into the swampy black mud and grows a stalk so strong that nothing can break it. In spite of the sludge, it shines forth an undeniable beauty and belonging. It kisses the sky with petals fully bloomed, and graces life with strength and fragility. It reminds me that my wounding is compost to fertilise an eclectic garden of life’s longing to express itself.
Anaïs Nin wrote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
For me, today is that day. My love is fierce – for my son, my partner, for all forms of creative expression, for humanity, and for the planet. It is a pulsating violet, blood-blue umbilical cord never to be severed. It is my strength, my passion, my poetry and prose. It is my motherhood, my marriage to all things, and it is the earth-drumming beat of my courageous heart, where all things in me are born.
Leslie Caplan is an internationally published writer and artist living in Ashland, OR, USA. She is inspired to share here expressions with the world in hopes of inviting deep and courageous living.
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