Saturday, June 11, 2005
Mapping Body Images
I mentioned sometimes feeling dishonest on my blog because I usually only present stuff after I have worked through the uglier messes of getting everything to a somewhat presentable state. Some of you reassured me that I was probably doing what was right for me. I don’t know how many of you also keep a written journal, but I do, and that is where the nasty stuff gets recorded and unkinked before I ever post on the blog. It works for me.
I did not have a clear picture of what I wanted to do when I started blogging, which is probably quite normal, and I have been influenced in several different directions while never really settling on a single defined method or style of blogging. I know some people divide things out and have several blogs on different subjects, maybe having one blog for photos and one for art and yet another for writing. Some people do that with their written journals as well. In my real life, I am a master at living a divided life (which is not necessarily a good trait), but in my journals, and on my blog, everything gets mushed together and what it is, it is. I love my journal, I love my blog, but it would just be too much work to separate and categorize things out. That would take all the fun out of it.
The collage above is from my journal, put together on a good day. I am experimenting with painted backgrounds. I like smearing the paint around on the page. My friends had book suggestions, and they wrote them down for me. The background is the Google map I used to get from the condo to the hotel and then home, complete with the little red line showing me which path on the yellow brick road to follow! (Don’t we wish it was that easy all the time?!)
The collage below is one taken from a darker day, where I have allowed myself to ramble and explore a theme that is currently emerging in my life. I tend not to see some things (my own self, for instance) until I am smacked in the face with them, and when you have not seen certain friends in five or ten years, you start seeing your body in a different way, simply because you know the changes will be stark to someone who has not seen you in such a long time. I am pudgy, folks, too pudgy. I am ready to admit that, but not certain I am ready to do anything about it at the moment. I know the weight, which is concentrated around my middle, which is the worst place for it to concentrate, medically speaking, is a side effect of dealing with my stresses. The subject of someone’s weight is a sensitive issue, I know. I just find it paradoxical that people reassure me of how well I am handling things and yet, I look like I am nine months pregnant. Sometimes I wonder if I really have them fooled. Sometimes I wonder if they have made the connection between my rotund appearance and my secret coping skills, and they are just too uncomfortable to mention it. At any rate, I have made the connection, and I am the one who will have to take the action needed to make the correction.
Take the handwritten part with a grain of salt. I do, at times, allow myself to get overly dramatic when writing. It is part of the fun of writing for me. And I never tire of writing about myself as though I am talking about someone else!
And here, enjoy one more collage, a less “artsy” one, simply because the image of this big guy striking a delicate ballet pose makes me smile, as does the exuberant little girl in her bathing suit! The girl has no self-image problems, yet, and the guy seems comfortable enough with his own self-image to let it all hang out! My truth is that I am way behind these two when it comes to my own self-image. Two things I do not do well: I do not do “jubilant” well, and I certainly do not not "let it all hang out" well. It is one of those things I am learning to accept about my self. I will always be somewhat reserved, and that's probably okay, but the weight around the middle needs to go.