In case you were wondering, it takes a little over three hours to shred ten years of bank statements, credit card bills, medical receipts, and so on, and it all fits nicely in a big blue IKEA bag. As I moved through my healing process, I needed to transform the hurt, resentment,and frustration into something beautiful. I needed something tangible. I needed to create something beautiful that could be a metaphor for all that I had gone through. It was a hard day. So many memories came flooding back as I sat and shredded. I let go and cried-cried for him, cried for me, cried for Mina and cried for what could have been. I didn’t ask to be divorced. I remembered how much we had loved each other and how much I had loved him.
He was my North, my South, my East, and West
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
I knew I needed time with this project, so I planned it on a day when Mina was with her father. She didn’t need to see me as an emotional wreck. I cried and screamed while I stirred my flour paste on the stove. I released and let go as I worked with the shredded paper and paste. I was going to make my equivalent of the Japanese begging bowl, Oryoki. It means “just enough.” Each person has just enough in her life or “bowl”, metaphorically speaking. For whatever is put into your bowl, good and bad, you should say thank you because it was what you need at that moment to grow into a better you.
I made 16 bowls in one day. The first bowls (the ones I made when I was so upset) are definitely not attractive at all. It is as if all the hurt emotions became embedded in them. As I moved through the process, they got better, and I felt better. To me they are my healing bowls and will be given out to all my friends who have helped me on my Journey.
At the end of the day, I reclaimed another piece of my life puzzle. Today, I added another descriptive to who I am: artist. It has been a long time since I felt like that. Little by little, pieces of me, thought lost, are reemerging and saying, “Hello again! What took you so long?”