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The Aviary in My Head: Shame and Censors

Summers are for creating.

This afternoon I took part of an Artist's Way group in Creative Mornings. I have been blocked in my creating and the Artist's Way had unblocked me before. I have created curriculum and hand-outs for teaching that were fun but they don't require any emotions, just my mental and analytical part of my brain. My illustration and projects took a back seat. I signed up for the Artist's Way class to get unblocked. My creativity was under two pounds of what felt like dirt. During Covid crammed in the house with the family experiencing anxiety, fear and pain, I created two books and an online class. My creativity has always been my savior. None of those projects found homes at that time. I had countless interviews, second interviews, and conversations. I almost offered a class at my school but it got shut down, probably problems with their funding. Covid had shut down my industry. I took it to heart. During that time I felt an old enemy, Shame.

The exercises opened me up a crack. I had an excuse to draw. I drew my Censor. I drew my cheerleaders that had nice things to say.

I was ready to meet this bird.

She wasn't as scary as I thought. Her feathers were falling off, a few at a time. She wasn't so perfect, was she? Her head stuck lowered, her small boots always ready for rain. I wanted to just hug her and love her, and tell her I would be okay if I created again. I know she was trying to protect me, but I needed to create. Creating is my food, and I was so so hungry. It didn't matter if one person saw her or two hundred.

I drew her and then I drew other things. And more other things. I have so much inside it was pouring out once that hole opened. Who I am is someone who creates; it's a sign of un-health me not letting it come out.

What does your Shame Bird look like? Does she have feathers and wings? What is she made of? Give her some expression.

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