There was a time in my life that I desperately wanted to go to art school, but with (more than a little) encouragement from my parents, I decided against it. In my own rebellion, I kept spiral bound notebooks of my artwork the four years I was away at college. These notebooks started as sketch books, but due to lack of time, and plenty of extra curriculars (i.e. natty lights) the sketch books transformed into a messy spattering of my daily life: quotes, newspaper clippings, gum wrappers, subway tickets, concert tickets, torn pages of magazines, polaroid’s, etc. I used crayons and markers and whatever else I could get my hands on to document these years. People would frequently ask what the heck was doing…and sometimes, less frequently, they would ask if they could play along when I dumped canvas bags of scrap paper and art supplies on my parquet apartment floor. At some point during these years, my mom stumbled upon, and introduced me to, a series of books my Sabrina Ward Harrison, a Canadian born artist and writer.
Whatever souls are made of, I am pretty certain that ours are fruit of the same vine. While my notebooks were child’s play in comparison to her work, I sought great comfort in the similarities of our process. Her works are autobiographical in many ways- documenting her trains of thought, her successes, and her insecurities. Her work has taught me to be vulnerable, and also to be brave. Brave on Rocks, that is. In this particular book, she talks about being on the beach with her father, learning to be brave enough to climb on the rocks: the courage to feel grounded, and find balance, even when the ground beneath her was unstable.
First, I just adore this metaphor. Second, I love the (likely unintentional) play on words. I frequently imagine myself ordering a stiff one as such: “I’ll have a brave, please”….“on the rocks”.
What a daring concept! “One Brave, please! Non sugarcoated! Straight up and ice cold! Supersized!”
There are some giant scary questions lurking in these pages, and equivalently, many comforting and universal truths. Please experience this for yourself; she will captivate you with her messy, thrilling life!
- Spilling Open
- The True and The Questions
- Messy Thrilling Life
- The Story is Happening
- And my favorite: Brave on the Rocks.
“May Sarton said, ‘the deeper you go, the more universal you become.’ It’s a reminder to me that those things I try to convince myself I don’t need to admit are usually those things I need the most to say. Speaking the truth, in its most poignant details, is liberating and gives those around us the freedom to be real.” – Sabrina Ward Harrison
the story is happening loves. let it run wild with grace – and salt.
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