6" x 6" "Utterings" Prayer Collage by Crystal Neubauer
I am having a really hard time starting this post. Partly, I think, because it has been 2 1/2 months since I last posted and my writing wheels are rusty. And Partly, I think, because it has been over 5 months since I actually wrote anything authentic or vulnerable about myself and not just a factoid about my work or my next show or workshop.
I have this sense that I want to speak from the heart and be real and allow myself to be vulnerable with you again, I just don't know where to start or even what to say.
And the honest truth is, I'm scared of what you might think. Yes, there it is. I'm scared and I am afraid that you will judge me.
You see, this blog used to be a place where I not only shared pictures of my art and talked about my work, but also a place where I could share my life experiences and my thoughts on faith. And sometimes I shared those experiences and thoughts in a way that might not be as polished as I would like. And sometimes maybe, especially in the beginning, I shared from a place that may have been a little too raw and open - with less discretion then I might have now. Sometimes I re-read some of my old posts and I cringe. and I have to admit, I've thought about taking some of them down.
And along about the time that my work began to get accepted into finer art shows and a few people began to express interest in carrying my work in their shops and galleries, I started to worry that maybe the things I shared so publicly would hurt me.
I was excited at the direction my work was taking and I wanted more of it, and so without realizing what I was doing, I started to hide the real me.
Just as I had begun to find my authentic voice, I conscientiously made the decision to stop using it online- it was so unprofessional and so messy.
I thought in order to succeed in the world of fine art I needed to present a finer version of myself. Because, you know, if my work was going to be hanging in galleries then I needed to be the kind of girl who was comfortable in said galleries. And maybe the kind who can sip wine and talk about politics and the human condition with my head tipped just so. While wearing something stylishly suitable of course.
And I certainly didn't need to be airing my dirty laundry in public.
I needed to have it all together. Or at least look like I do.
But the truth is I don't have it all together. And while I do enjoy a good glass of wine, I honestly don't know anything about selecting it. And as far as that stylishly suitable outfit? It just never seems to fit me that suitably. And even though I do have opinions about politics and the human condition, I feel kind of stupid when I open my mouth and try to express them in front of other people. Especially when my opinion is challenged because what I have just said is against the belief system of the crowd-which somehow is nearly always the case for me. Depending on the circle I find myself in, I am either the fruity religious one who is far too conservative and naive in her thinking, or I am deemed too loose and liberal minded and in need of a good course in sound theology.
I do seem to always be just a few steps out of sync with the norm and it is easy to want to hide that from you. And yet, I know it is time to write again and risk being messy and misunderstood and laughed at, or determined to be unprofessional or unrighteous in the expressing of my opinions., otherwise I fear that I may lose track of who I truly am. And right now I can think of no better way to explain it then by leaving you with the words of Frederick Buechner (which a very dear friend recently passed along to me):