I am supposed to have this time each week where I gather with some friends and we art. They do actual art, I write. But we quietly create in this dedicated time. Today I hijacked this time with these women because my soul was bleeding. I went to this creative time as if rushing to the ER. I needed patched up as only close friends who tell you the truth can do. Supporting, guiding, chiding, and then offering some ideas, this is soul healing stuff from women who have their own souls that bleed and their own needs and really wanted to art. I felt only a little guilty for taking this time over because I know that the core of this time is trust. It was a safe place to take my junk, my broken pieces, spread them out like old crayons and let the group melt these into something new. We made art, still. No watercolors touched the paper, pastels never left the box. My laptop stayed in the case, in my purse. Yet the generative grafting of my dark pieces into a new light, swirling colors around so that I could see a new thing, staunched the bleeding, nursed me back to a health that accepted I was responsible for many of my own injuries.
Being in authentic relationships with other women is like having a first aid kit available all the time. God how I mourn the lost years of pretending to be someone else in order to fit in, pretending to be fine when I was hurting, pretending to laugh when the jokes weren’t funny. Thinking survival among other women meant I had to give up my own air, I suffocated myself. I hid my truth, my brokenness, kept my voice quiet. I thought that was the price of friendship. What beauty to discover how wrong I was. I no longer mourn the loss of those superficial relationships with women who couldn’t handle the me covered in old scars. I mourn that they are still afraid to show theirs.
I have a safe group of friends who see light in my darkness, who show me grace when I am the one who is broken and in need of extra care. Other days some else brings a soul that is in need of intervention. I pray I rise up as well as these women. I am no good with pastels and everyone knows to keep paintbrushes out of my hands. Showing up, staying truthful, being open to another’s gift of soul sharing, that is just us bringing our supplies. God makes the beautiful art of our friendship.