A Nested Story: Transformative Healing

The following article was recently published in Psychologica Magazine’s special edition on Trauma.  I’ve included a link to the full magazine, lots of great articles on trauma treatments, both from a clinical perspective as well as personal.  Hope you might find something that resonates.

http://www.oaccpp.ca/assets/Psychologica%20Vol.%2041%20Final%20(DIGITAL)%20compressed.pdf
Trauma and Art Therapy Article copy (dragged)Trauma and Art Therapy Article copy (dragged) 1

when there are no words

when there are no words

silent spaces…pause between words…shaping time…making art.

There is the sudden silence of the crowd
above a player not moving on the field,
and the silence of the orchid.

The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the floor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
the silence of the moon
and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

The silence when I hold you to my chest,
the silence of the window above us,
and the silence when you rise and turn away.

And there is the silence of this morning
which I have broken with my pen,
a silence that had piled up all night

like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
the silence before I wrote a word
and the poorer silence now.

Billy Collins (2007).
The trouble with poetry: And other poems. Random House Trade Paperbacks.

how wings work

the firsWhen I returned from so many journeys,

I stayed suspended and green

between sun and geography –

I saw how wings worked,

how perfumes are transmitted

by feathery telegraph,

and from above I saw the path,

the springs and the roof tiles,

the fishermen at their trades,

the trousers of the foam;

I saw it all from my green sky.

I had no more alphabet

than the swallows in their courses,

the tiny, shining water

of the small bird on fire

which dances out of the pollen.

by Pablo Neruda, from Fully Empowered, 1962

translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid

tree of life

collage illustrationOur modern and hectic daily life

is usually far removed

from the cycles and forces

of the natural world

and it can often seem empty

of any real purpose.

The ash is a key to healing the loneliness

of the human spirit

out of touch

with its origins

it can provide a sense of being grounded

and of belonging.

The ash reminded the Celts of the interlinking

of the Three Cycles of Being.

Likewise we are encouraged to consider

the role of the past in creating the present,

so that we can better appreciate

the many ways

in which positive thought and action today

can help to create a brighter tomorrow.

Through a constant process

of balancing and marrying opposites,

we, like the ash,

can achieve harmony

within ourselves.

from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

 

Time to go

time to gosilence

.is
a
looking

bird:the

turn
ing;edge, of
life

(inquiry before snow

E.E. Cummings

worth knowing

illustration collage

Black

Above

Scribbled trees.

Shiningly silver…

A mercurial balloon.

Inside Oval’s home

wait 2…

speaking in silence.

One Eye Knows…

what’s worth

Protecting.

shapeshifter

shapeshifterApril

changes

shape

like  a drop

of water

down

a

window pane.

Art and Truth

Art and Truth

John F. Kennedy’s quote resonates deeply, reflecting the capacity of the Arts to shape collective human experience at the macro and micro levels.  Simply put, we shape and are shaped by the life stories we create in our dreams, art and words.  So where does Truth fit into the equation? What is the relationship between Truth and Art?

In attempting to answer to this question,  Professor/author Stephen Levine, refers to the work philosopher Martin Heidegger.  Levine writes that for Heidegger truth was a form of  unconcealment

Truth as unconcealment, in Heidegger’s thinking, is contained already in the etymology of the Greek word for truth, ‘alethia‘.  Lethe, the river of death and forgetfulness, designates the darkness and mystery in which Being dwells. To allow something to emerge from concealment, a-lethia, means to become aware of the background from which things emerge (Levine, p. 27, Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy).

According to Levine, this means that “Truth happens: it is not a timeless realm to which we must aspire: rather , it occurs within history and is given to us as our destiny.”  We do not create Truth, we do not will truth into existence. The same goes for Art. As a manifestation of Truth “art has the capacity to give meaning and direction to human existance”.  Art is the place where we come home to ourselves, where things appear as what they are, and where what we value emerges.

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