We are having long and deep discussions about creativity. It’s like injecting life into my veins. It feels so good. We talk about his writing, my art, my writing, our differences and shared processes. We are both in transitional phases. Changing. Evolving from something familiar and old to an unknown expression. I’m restless about it, he’s not. “You can’t rush it, you just have to absorb and digest new ideas and visions, while leaving the old behind. It takes time”. I can’t help thinking that it’s also exactly what I’m doing with my past.
I’ve been without skin for over three years now, since the last break up when I also broke up with my own past. It was a painful experience to step out of my familiar skin to become naked and fragile – both to myself and the world, in order to change and grow. The same goes for my painting. I’m changing skin or at least shedding a layer or two. I feel awfully sensitive and a little exposed.
I use to live in a skin that was colored by what other people expected from me. It was a skin of a mother to the men in my life, the skin of delivery machine, their whore, nurse, the good girl. It was the skin of the artist who produced artworks to sell instead of saying something important. My skin tore up easily because of the metal from the delivery machine and it was melting from all the pressure.
To be without skin makes me feel so vulnerable. I can’t go back and dress myself in my old skin. It doesn’t fit anymore. I just have to heal and take care of the new, thin layers of skin – produced by life, time and the peace I feel inside. The more peaceful I feel, the stronger the new skin will become. Both on my body and in my paintings.
Sometimes I flinch when Johnny touches my new skin, not because it’s painful but because I feel so sensitive. But his touch is the best cure. His love helps it heal. Our home makes it grow stronger. My new sense of freedom lets it breathe. I’m slowly accepting myself and the new skin that’s emerging in the rawness of my metamorphosis.
So I am without skin, but what a lovely feeling it is to let the inside get a chance to take a deep breath before it’s covered by new layers. It has been a time of self exploration – to find out what has been hiding underneath something that was suffocating me for so long.