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  • Emma Hetherington

Art & Soul and me - blogger Babs Lee

I am a restless soul.  I seem to have spent my entire life running, running to 

see new friends, running when anyone asked me to do something, running to take a holiday, running so as not to be late, running from fear.


I don't know a bit of my life where I haven't been running, even when I walk I run.


My solace has been the sea. I can sit for hours just looking at the sea. I don't need to read the latest blockbuster or go from seat to seat, it has rested my mind.  I have also written. When at 30, I got a degree at night school after seven years of studying, I looked at my talented work, and thought did I write this? It didn't seem anything like me.


My self esteem over my life has teetered, nobody really understands the human brain. For some reason I never feel I have much to offer, I don't wallow in self pity as there are too many out there who seem to want to see me or need me.  When I got married it was to someone who was even more needy than me, he sapped my emotions dry until I had nothing left to give him.

I have been alone for 25 years, in a sort of shell, estranged from my family, trying to make sense of my little world. I got a job when I was 50 as a lecturer and finally gained some sort of independence and maturity, with a home of my own.  But emotional sadness pervades everything I do, it's like an inside grief.  Who do I share with if I can't share with my family? 


I had lovely weekend breaks with friends, I organised trips they would never forget, I kept an outside look of smiles when inside I was breaking.  But I could write. Yes I could, I started writing poems, poems for my friends, poems for others.  Then my ex husband died suddenly of cancer. My children rallied round him, my family cried at his death, but where on earth could I go? My emotions again all over the place as I grappled with the death of an angry partner who once he couldn't depend on me any more dumped me like a hot potato, he had no more need of me, he had his children.  


And so I found Art & Soul.  Gradually I started to rebuild my confidence, to find another form of expression and with guidance I began to nurture this new inner resource.

It has been over five years now since I first went, never having held a paintbrush, never really understanding anything that is art, and finding a space where no one could get to me no one could use me then dump me when they had had enough.  


I don't like to be on my own, I need to run, and so that was the next step that art requires patience, if you want to draw you need to give yourself time and love.  The healing had begun, with the art came more poetry, and I got better at it, but I don't want to get better at art I want it to be something I can do without expectation, without criticism.


THE PANDEMIC


I was nervous, friends thought I wouldn't cope, I have such a busy life, always visiting them, sending Facebook messages of support,  enjoying companionship, what would I do.  When Remote Connectivity started, here I had my chance, my chance to sit down, to rest my tired body from running and to paint.  I don't need anyone to say how good I am, I just want something that is me, something that defines who I am through this expression.  I  use pastels because I don't have to fiddle around with paint, I sit in a comfort zone of childlike figures and trees and landscapes as I can't draw people.  


I am almost afraid of doing more art of seeing what I am capable of because it will simply remind me of what I lost all those years ago when I was running, running away from myself, who I was, where I was going.

The loneliness and sadness is still there, it comes in waves, but remote creativity has given me a place a friend to express myself and let go.


When someone has given me a gift or a treat I always am indebted.  They always say you are such a good friend.  Now I have something of my own, I can say thank you to my art.  

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