It feels SO good to really be blogging about this rather than simply writing and HOPING someday I'll have the courage to start! The chair really has helped me begin to face fears that have stifled me. It is much easier now to see that as it happens and to choose to not let it happen.
I met with my friend today(how does one handle people's names in blogs? I suppose I could ask her. I will. For now, she is my friend I meet with weekly to talk with of life and art). She had to tell me something difficult about how I was sort of insinuating myself into a project of hers in which she is partnering with one of my sisters. It was hard to hear. I became defensive immediately and pushed back a bit, trying to explain myself but in the end (we are both very strong-willed) I finally saw there was no benefit to my fighting or even my defense. I began listening. And ultimately I appologized but without self-deprication. My friend was very understanding of the dynamics in large families and she was right, we tend to step into eachother's lives and business without even knowing it often-times. That hard bit of news resolved, we moved on to talk about the Fear chair that had been sitting beside me. This was her first encounter with it though she knew I was embarked on this journey.
I explained some of what has been happening these days. How the universe seems to have been very in favor of the project. How I've approached painting the chair. What my psyche has been doing in response to it. It was good to share with her. She so often brings me to deeper understanding if not deeper questions that lead to deeper understanding. A couple of points that stand out as significant to me: first, explaining why the chair is so colorful was good for me. My friend explained that the woman who wrote about her "Anger" chair had only big black "Anger" written on the chair. This image came to me as I thought about how to create the "Fear chair" but it was quickly understood to not fit. When I first moved to Oregon 27 years ago I realized I had a paralizing fear of color. I found a little old nun to tutor me for about six months in color. It was a slow process through the years but I am extremely comfortable with color now. Yet I understand this fear was long-standing and very influencial in my life for many years and I suspect there are residual effects to this day that remain shrouded for me. So my chair is painted VERY colorfully. And while I paint on it nearly every day, I listen to what happens inside me and I listen to what needs to be painted next, the images and the colors onto the chair. And sometimes it IS scary still. And I must say carrying a wildly colorful chair has its challenges too.
Oh, second point that stood out with my friend was that when I described to her the massive object presented in my psyche, the one my therapist suggested might represent all the decisions made based in fear, I again felt the tightening in my throat and pain in my stomach and this time I began shaking a bit as if overwelmed by the enormity of the prospect. I need to continue exploring this. My friend pointed out the mass is due to the cumulative weight of those choices. We talked too of the "water table" I wrote about earlier. The "Water table" is more the collective fear but the individual fears ("S") are what burble to the surface. This experiment is more about the collective fear and about the mass of fear-based living than about conquering individual fears. That is why the toothpick whittling doesn't fit.
Today's greatest challenge with the Fear chair was hearing people talk about what I might do with the chair after this experiment. I joined in of course because it was all fun and silliness, but too I sensed a discomfort within me that I went away trying to understand. I have no clue how long this chair will be with me or how it will look through time or how I will know when I am finished with it. I simply cannot project ANY outcomes to this adventure. Projecting seems tonight to be fear-based behavior, born out of a discomfort with not having a planned product. I don't need to analize it beyond that. Analysis is also often fear-based for me. So I will let it go and go to sleep.