Art therapy and a lost poem

A little over 10 years ago, I started seeing an art therapist. While I have been in and out of therapy since I was 8 and have lost track of the number of therapists I’ve seen, she was the only one I connected to. Because it was art therapy and we didn’t have to rely on what I brought to the table each time, I was able to open up more. We would start each session with her asking me to draw something and then we’d discuss it. She was able to pull things out of me that I could never share with other therapists.

She also introduced me to chalk pastels. I’ve never had much talent in the visual arts. My stick figures could use a little work! But with chalk pastels, I can just have fun with it – clear my mind and play.

While I was going through my drawer-o-journals the other day, I found my sketchbook from my art therapy days and started looking through it. Today (Wednesday), I looked through it again to take pictures of some of my favorite pieces. Then, just out of habit, I thumbed through the blank pages and came across something I wrote nearly 11 years ago. I tweaked it a tiny bit, but not much.

It comes in the silence of a cloud covered sky,
in the single leaf fallen from a tall oak tree,
in the mist of the smoke blown from the lips of a shooting star.

It delves into the depths of a lake of fire,
plummets through the darkness of a shadow on a puddle after a hard summer’s rain.

Creeping and squiggling it comes,
slow like maple syrup over blueberry pancakes.

It listens to the fears hidden in your stomach
and patiently waits for you to surrender.

It crashes like a wave against the armor of trapped and battered dreams,
and keeps coming back for more.

It’s unrelenting in its task,
refusing to give up till you let it in,
let it smother you,
let it delve and plummet and finally stay.

A higher love than ever fathomed,
more powerful than any fist
and lingering longer than any scar.

It is an open door,
a hot shower in the crass frost-bitten winter,
an orgasmic rush in the midst of pain.

It will free you, warm you, and make you smile.

This peace, this serenity,
it will come,
when your roar becomes a purr
and your whines, laughter.

It is waiting.

It wants you.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Karen on May 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

    This is beautiful work, I am drawn to it, and really like it. Your work is visually beautiful.


  2. Publish the poem immediately!
    Your art work is fab, really! I love the orange/reddish one – I could look at that forever!
    The idea of art therapy — geez…that should be REQUIRED in nursing homes. Can you imagine how devastating it is to find out you have dementia or alzheimers or even are just being put into a nursing home…and how therapeutic this type of thing could be. Sheesh…. what a great idea!


    • Thank you, Anne!

      I think art therapy in nursing homes is a fabulous idea! I can’t even begin to imagine going through dementia or alzheimers. My mom-mom-mom (great grandmother) started forgetting a lot in her last few years and through all of her other ailments, that always made me the saddest for her. Art therapy could definitely be a huge help!


  3. That’s a lovely poem. So glad you connected with your therapist via art. Sometimes the act of moving your hands while creating something will stimulate new ideas, hidden pain, and the trust so essential to open up the mind and explore your situation. I’m not an art therapist (by any means–totally stick figure challenged, here), but I’ve had a lot of success with clay, “House, Tree, Person” and a good ‘ol Nerf ball.


    • Thank you, Linda 🙂

      We used clay a couple of times as well, but the chalk pastels were my favorite! . . . And “House, Tree, Person” was what I had draw on my first session 😛

      I’m sure the Nerf ball helped release quite a bit!


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