Bumper post today - I have a video, in it – a confession, a personal story of enlightenment,the creative work it inspired and a tutorial.
As it so happens - the timing is perfect for this month’s challenge theme: “What makes you smile” at Our Creative Corner, hosted by Jan of Scrappin' from the attic.
Jan says “Your June challenge is to create something that will make us smile, it could be a scrapbook or journal page, a canvas, a tag, whatever your imagination dictates.”
Hop along there to see what my creative and talented Design teamies have created, as well as see what you can win from the sponsor Tando Creative this month. My piece was this choker and earring set here on the left.
There is a whole back story to why this project is what “made me smile” and I am so switched on about it that I have put together a little video tutorial on how I made these little glass ampoule charms from reclaimed fairy-lights.
If you cant watch the video but still want to check out the “photorial” instead – no worries, I got you covered! At the bottom of this post is a full post spread taken from stills from the video. However I am going to make you work for it and you are going to have to read through my story first to get to it.
There is an exquisite line in a poignant poem from the 12th Century Persian poet Hafiz
"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."My big confession is that I temporarily misplaced that familiar and personal certitude over the last couple of months. Have you ever tripped and fell down that dark hole? Something throws you off the giddy path you were on, that you were quite giddy about, and then you think that your giddiness had to do the path and the companions on that path?
I went into a kind of unfamiliar crisis where I forgot that the light-source that powers my being in the world, my engagement with life, the delight with the relationships I have, the passion, love and heart which I fully entangle with exists because of the light I hold within.
In that short period of dark-holey-ness, I let myself believe that the light was external and that it had been dimmed quite a bit.
But enough about that and onto the enlightenment. I have two awesome people in my life that I became fast and furious friends with pretty much from the moment I met them, we hang around together a lot – and we all work together as well. Lovely Chris, Awesome Nicol and myself were doing our thing one evening when Lovely Chris took this picture of myself and awesome Nicol. This is how the story starts.
It’s a happy picture right? We both look super thrilled to be doing what we’re doing, we look like we exude an amazing lit up energy.
Here is the thing though – looking at that picture - would you believe that the day that this picture was taken, was during one of the the most heartbreaking periods ever for me in my life?
I am sure you all have been there before where you have had no choice but to let go of someone that is significant emotionally, spiritually and companion wise to you. That temporary vacuum created by the exit of someone so important to me, who had been such a beautiful part to my life had suddenly thrown me into an acute, anxious panic that the light and love that was there was turned off and that it had darkened with the exit of that significant someone.
Nicol asked me the other day: “When are you going to post those awesome pictures that Chris took?” That got me thinking about the photos that were taken and I went to have a look. A strange, and just slightly brilliant thing started happening – the photos started reaching out to me -
I looked at them and they showed me being undeniably, quintessentially me.
I thought "Wow, this brilliant picture was taken on a day that I was completely heartbroken and resigned", I still remember with particularly clarity how broken up I felt about the circumstances of that time.
Chris unintentionally through his candid photo-eye captured a moment that was the best expression of myself in myself. And this led to an epiphany. It revealed to me the “astonishing light” inherent, particularly underlined by the fact that I know that it was taken on a rawest and most vulnerable day, and yet this uncontainable light of me burst through. Inspite of the distressing state of the circumstances that I was forced to deal with, I look completely happy, full of the fullness of life and completely lit up with that moment. In that presence - I was fully there, lit with pure joy bubbling from within from whatever made me love that moment.
What a liberating moment that was. I came to recognise the brilliant value of my own light-nature, the ability to embrace each present moment in its own, with heart, love, passion and full engagement of the light that is within me.
In that point of recognition I began to see my delusion for what it was. What I thought was lost was not lost at all. The beautiful part was not something external, the beautiful part was what I brought with me to engage in that relationship. I loved that relationship because of the light that I brought to it for myself, by myself. And suddenly I thought – “Whoa, because I always have that light, and I bring it to wherever I am and to whatever I engage – I am not the one who lost at all, I found so much more value because I recognise who I am and what I am made of.”
With that came the avowed realisation that I did not have to invest any more dark energy into that which moved away from my light, all I have to do is continue to invest in my own glow and be present in my own.
That picture was the ladder that I needed to climb on to return me home to the assurance of illumination. This empowering insight MAKES ME SMILE broader than I ever have before.
So with that in mind, I sought to develop a piece that would celebrate the insight and serve as some kind of wearable metaphor in that regard. Carrying a pocket-full of fairy-light bulbs is a little impractical…..and weird, plus to hide them would be a waste of their whimsical nature. So the only solution that would incorporate my vision and intention was to fashion them into charms and turn it into piece of jewellery.
The reason I decided to use the Fairy-Light bulbs was symbolic - their shape reminded me of a tunnel. I was trying to convey the concept of light at the end of a tunnel and then there was the fact they were actually light-bulbs. Light-bulbs switch on with a power source, and if you are wearing light-bulbs, then you are the power source that lights them. Thirdly, Fairy-light bulbs are just so whimsically pretty and that in itself would have been a good enough reason to use them. I share my journeyt so that if you are reading this post and the weight of heart-rending circumstances have you feeling a little cornered and in the dark - I want you to know that the light is always in you, switch it back on.
Well I do hope that my little personal story of recovery and the project that arose out of it inspired or encouraged you today. Leave a comment if you have your own story to tell or if you just want to say hi. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Here's a sweet little song to play you out.