Friday, July 11, 2008

The Art of Forgiveness

I am a self-described magpie; I adore shiny, interesting objects. I like to think of myself as a savvy collector of ecclectic items and fanciful objects. There are those in this house, however, who are more likely to say I am a "compulsive hoarder" of piles of "useless crap."

One woman's treasure another man's trash? Fair enough, I suppose.

I had a friend once tell me, "You see potential in everything! I never would have thought to make THAT out of THOSE!" Alas, my skill for seeing potential is not as well-honed as one might think. I have seen what I thought was "potential" in dying houseplants, ugly skirts, broken appliances and unsuitable men. So, instead, I like to think I am some sort of ambassador of Second Chances.

As is with most of us, my life has been frought with moments that really could have used the power of the Do-Over, if that option were available at the time. It has been rife with opportunities to forgive and be forgiven, to give it another go, to reapply for admission, to give back and to recycle.

Second chances (and third, and fourth) are important gifts we give ourselves and others. There is no force more powerful in the universe than forgiveness, and forgiveness is a second chance of the spirit. It is a laying down of burdens. Forgiveness is not condonment or approval when wrong has been done; it is setting yourself free from the weight of bitterness.

The act of forgiveness is simple, which is not to be confused with easy. It can be unspeakably hard. In some cases, for some folks, impossible. The one thing I have found in my own life is that it is a tool I have had to reach for over and over, and it is the one that does the best repairs, yet I am reluctant to use it on myself. Oh, we are hard on ourselves, many of us.

How do second chances apply to art, you say? How convenient of you to ask; I have the answer here. A picture frame for a beloved fellow Circus Freak of the EC, Maggie. Adorned with the flotsam and jetsam of the creative tides that wash into my studio, this piece is a showcase of repurposed ephemerma and embellishments. Broken jewelry, orphaned game pieces, single buttons, used postage stamps, bottle caps, and even a subway token, all share here a common bond: the second chance.

Is there someone you might try to forgive?

Is it yourself?


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Walk in the Woods said...

Excellent frame!