Reflections on Mother
Covering the ground with leather
A few years back, I had one of those moments where I was given a glimpse into why I felt the way I did as a mother; no longer relevant to a world that desperately needed me to do a good job.
Spending a much needed day out with a dear friend, seeing the Sydney art galleries and enjoying some moments that didn’t involve the constant demands of my four beautiful children, we found ourselves talking with an enthusiastic young woman who was doing an arts residency and interviewing artists about their practice. Being an artist myself, yet being extremely time poor, I took whatever occasion I could to re-frame my domestic bliss. When asked about my practice I replied that ‘I make people’.
What's it all about?
When our family goes camping, I like to clear all the bindis around the tent so that we can connect with the earth through our bare feet. It takes a good while and I often miss some, which become the painful reminder of the limited control I have over my external world.
It reminds me of some wise musings by the Buddhist teacher Shantideva, who spoke of our tendency to want to ‘cover the world in leather’ so as to avoid pain. He goes on to say, that if you want to protect your feet, wear shoes; and if you want to protect yourself from the worlds provocations, tame your mind. The antidote to misery is to stay present…
I am often asked about the mechanics of what I do.
“What is this Art Therapy stuff anyway”
“Its drawing about how you feel right?”
“Is it mainly for kids and people with differing abilities?”
“Do you need to be artistic? Cause I’m not artistic! I can’t draw!”
“How does it work?”
Here is the beginning of a clearer picture, starting to explore and hopefully answer some of the questions we receive at Newcastle art Therapy.