27 July 2011

She Was...

Two weekends ago the annual high school girls weekend coincided with our 30 year high school reunion. I saw the girls but did not attend the reunion because high school days are a black hole of despair for me. My brother committed suicide as I started a new high school. Blech.  I still ended up sad and off course, returned to the stress and sadness of those years, When we get together, it brings up all my old shameful memories of hating myself and being self destructive. By the time the weekend ended I had spent the last evening alone crying. I decided I couldn't put myself through another weekend with the pull of yuck that always comes up. They have so much fun. It makes me feel abnormal.

The next week I turned to my hands and spent an afternoon working on my She Art Workshop project. Before I knew it I was writing this phrase for her because that is where I am. Again and again...

The next weekend we hosted a lake weekend for my daughter and three of her girlfriends who will be high school seniors. I remained in that space of my own past. I watched them and realized there is no reason why all four of them still have to be best friends in more than 30 years. But on the other hand if the relationships continue to evolve and bring joy then okay, bring on the epic friendships.

I am sorting through some painful memories and decisions. I try to use gratitude to transform suffering and in order to love that lost girl I am saying prayers of thanks for some things I know I did well during the dark lost years...

Joined drill team. Nothing was like Friday night football and the sound of the drum line echoing off the bleachers, that Doppler effect of horns.

I wrote. A bunch. Articles for the newspaper. Journal pages, poetry. Letters to babe.

I took pictures. Learned photography. Received my beloved Nikon from my dad who believed in my passion and gave me the path to a life long purpose.

I made good grades. Bad choices but good grades.

I worked hard and put myself through college.

I survived when I didn't care if I did.

Mainly, importantly, thankfully I chose great girlfriends. The love was real then. It's better now.

Another thing I know is during yucky dark feelings the colors of my She Art canvas are pretty, soft yet rich. Joy came out of my hands.

And this IS the best I can do.


  1. Your best looks damn good!

    I need a drill team pic.

    I am making a houndstooth mini dress for myself, with a green belt. For real. I just talked about it last night.

  2. I hated high school for many different reasons and it took decades to make it and everything surrounding that time a distant memory. If there were only perfect people who made perfect decisions there would be no artists in this world. Thanks for sharing once again - peace be with you! ~*~Lisa

  3. Robin your honesty and openess touches my heart. Your "she art" words are so beautiful and meaningful. Thank you for sharing yourself and your art with us...

  4. I really enjoyed most of high school, but I am so much different then I was then!! Thank God!!

  5. High school memories do that to me too sometimes. I was also very careless and it cost me dearly, and now I've got a lifetime of issues stemming from me not being cautious with myself. I think friends and loved ones are endlessly important when those feeling come back, which they always do. The important thing is not to block them out, but to allow the people who want to be there for you to do so.

    Your artwork is GORGEOUS! Everything is so perfect and symbolic.

  6. Your art looks awesome and I am glad Allie has these great memories with her girlfriends that you are helping her make. Glad to see that you are continuing to heal through your art:)

  7. I truly enjoy reading each and every post of yours. You are so intelligent and I love hearing things from your perspective. You have a way of putting hard, confusing feelings into words that make sense.

    I think very highly of you, Mabin. :)


  8. My Dad died the summer before I started high school which caused me to question everything. It wasn't a good time for me. I felt different and honestly it is all kind of blurry. Those years I was just looking to be loved and to feel safe. It caused me to make some bad choices, but I also realize I wouldn't be the person I am now if I hadn't gone through all of that. I have friends now that I didn't know in high school and still feel a little awkward whenever they reminisce about the good ol' days. Hugs.

  9. I love your canvas! You always pull through the tough times with some kind of creative work of art..........keep it up girl!

    It was great seeing you last night! Come around more often.

  10. Many of us adore That Girl! Keep working toward that light that shines from your hands and one day, I believe you will look to find you loving Robin. Hugs, girl!!

  11. Not sure I know many people who loved the high school experience. I went through some pretty dark times too, and though I managed to escape relatively unscathed, I wouldn't go back there for a million dollars.

    You are infinitely lovable. I'm glad you've found a way to make some joy in the midst of those dark places. Love your artwork!

  12. Wow.This post and your art are amazing. Your words: She was trying to love the girl who hated herself and your events of the dark years , especially survived when I didn't care if I did struck huge chords with me.

    Is it strange to have your kids lives propel you back to their ages, to dredge up so many feelings and memories? This happens to me a lot, and I'm not sure I like it. It's very hard to be present when you're stuck in the past, which just won't go away or resolve or learn its place. I'm trying to be about them, but I'm still working on issues with me too.

    You win points and praise for trying to sort it out, and for sharing your journey and your art with us. Many thanks.

  13. RoBiN...i am so grateful for you. you say the things that i think and i am healing right along with you. your best is always good enough, that's what they say. And, you, sweet friend, are the best. thanks for always being so open & honest. franc

  14. Yep... even the dark can hold pretty. Your canvas is beautiful, as are you, Robin.

    I sure wish I could just blank out my middle school and high school years. In fact, maybe everything from 10 yrs. to 20 yrs. would be even better.

  15. Your art is beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I'm happy to hear that you were able to get together with the girls. I've never been to a high school reunion, just never saw any reason for it.
    Thank you so much for visiting with me. Hope you have a good weekend.

  16. Robin, I think that's why so many of us are kindred spirits; we were such tortured souls in high school! I know I am still trying to find my way, I appreciate that you put into words what I cannot say!

    Julie B.

  17. *hugs* to you and that poor precious high school girl you used to be. Last year I had my high school reunion and it brought on a strange sort of melancholy for me as well. Somehow they seem to dredge up those old feelings and fears of never finding somewhere you fit, or being loved, and then you realize: "Hey! Its been decades now! I DO fit and I AM loved! Whatever, high school!" but I totally get what you're feeling. Its a phenomenon all its own. My high school experience was rather lonely. I am so thankful that's not my life anymore!

    This painting is lovely too. I love all the subtle undertones. Its beautiful.

  18. Why didn't you put a red sequined vest and top hat, accompanied by a layered pirate Dickie and white fake-leather (Nancy Sinatra) go-go boots on that girl who was occasionally asked to don either jazz gloves, pom pons or knee pads to perform the Fiddler on the Roof, ya da ya da ya da da,da,da, knee dragging across the football field spectacle that brought gasps from the adoring fans? Because you are much too humble for such things. But Jemellia - I have the photos.

    You and I, personally have already crossed this bridge but may I just add how proud I am of you to call you a fellow jazz glove wearing survivor of the silent pain that may have taken us all if we hadn't had each other to hear what was never spoken.

    You are loved from the time we sat with curlers in our hair until this very day - still sensing and feeling each other from miles away.

    Robin, my Robin - spread your lovely wings and fly.

  19. Robin,
    You break my heart. I cannot read your writing without being touched to the core. I ache for you. You are such a precious soul and you are honest from head to toe. I ache for you...and then I realize that I know that ache so well and I am aching for myself as well. For a shit father and a mother who died on me, for years of surviving with a smile on my face when I was bleeding inside, for carrying memories I couldn't share with anyone in my poor crappy body to the point I became very ill. And now I am taking a deep breath, and realizing that there are good things that have happened in my life and I have survived and have so much more of "me" than I ever had. Now is truly a time of trial and I pray that I have enough of me to make it through.

    Robin, I wish the same for you. I laughed my head off at your last email...about twenty times. You make me smile. You make me see myself. I am not the only one who just adores you. Look at all these comments. You speak to our hearts and we can't help but speak right back to you from the same place, dear lady!

    P.S. I had that same dress.

  20. Oh, Robin, this is a beautiful piece...with real meaning. It is amazing how much the high school years influenced our lives...must have been such formative years with a big need for acceptance. You were going through your brother's death at the same time...no wonder you don't look back fondly. I really don't know too many people who do even without such traumas... I think you are wise to look at all the good things you learned and took from those years- I should cut myself some slack and do the same! XO

  21. Time on my hands, looking through the October 14, 1980 edition of the Jet Stream, featuring our Entertainment Column, "Robin Reviews". Girl, I read them now through the eyes of your pain but man you were good. A damn good writer, then and now.


You have no idea how much this comment means. I really thank you for taking time to connect with me. This is why we are here, isn't it?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...