Shaping My Art – Grace Hearts and Transformation Dolls

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Transformation Doll and Grace Hearts Progress –                                                       Sewn, Stuffed and Awaiting Embellishment

“All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” J.L. Borges

It seems I am still struggling to find the words and/or the motivation to write. Instead I have been hand-sewing like a mother fucker. Hand-sewing blessings for others nurtures life-sustaining needs in me – the need for productivity (I’m visibly accomplishing something more than keeping the house clean in my long unemployment), the need for creativity (I am making with my hands and piecing together unique items based on intuition and aesthetic), and the need for emotional cleansing (I am transmuting my feelings of sadness, frustration and helplessness into beauty, joy and love).

For the last 11 days I have been spending nearly every waking hour with my fingers pushing and pulling a needle through fabric. I am shaping my art – hand sewn Transformation Dolls and the new Grace Hearts – from my challenging emotions, both past and present. As I try to establish my place in Portland, I am still processing situations that injured my heart over the last six years, especially in regards to work and community building. Then there is the shame that is growing in me for being unable to find work in 8 months, for repeatedly making it to 2nd or 3rd place yet never chosen. It’s actually the first time I’ve experienced anything that feels like failure.

I start with the raw materials of confusion, rejection, humiliation, and betrayal. Through my hands the needle, threads, fabrics and beads transform my pain into beautiful blessings of generosity and sparkling light. I am healing myself, one literal stitch at a time. I am sharing my healing with others, hoping to touch their life journeys with my love and gratitude for all that I do have.

I am being held and financially supported by my special family. I am living in a home full of love and a sense of belonging. I am heard and seen and trusted and appreciated for all that I am. And I am blessed over and over again by friends and family so that I don’t miss out on anything that really matters in life (like a winter coat and having my daughter home for Christmas and seeing Amanda Palmer when she stopped in Portland for her book tour earlier this month).

Grace Heart I Made For Amanda Palmer
Grace Heart I Made For Amanda Palmer

I hope that by sharing the abundance I find when I am financially poorer than I have ever been and feeling like a failure for the first time in my life, that I can help others see the blessings that abound in their lives. If you are reading this as you sit in a home with food in your refrigerator, if you have the time and tools for digital entertainment, you are actually one of the richest people in the world. If you have one or more people in your life that you know have your back when the shit goes down, you have an emotional abundance that many others never know.

We are blessed, it’s merely a matter of where we put our attention.
Is your attention on your abundance or your scarcity?

I am continually striving to turn my heart and mind towards abundance. While the Transformation Dolls are already promised, I am brainstorming ideas for what to do with all the Grace Hearts I am making. Holiday gifts? Leave them as random acts of creative kindness around town? Give them in appreciation to the staff of the local domestic violence shelter? Do you have an idea?

Transformation Dolls and Grace Hearts Ready to be Sewn Together
Transformation Dolls and Grace Hearts Ready to be Sewn Together

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