Fierce Compassion

FierceCompassionFierce Compassion:
A C-Section
July, 1995
Oils on Canvas Board
16”x 20”

There are times when we are so blind to ourselves (despite our best intentions) that our friends and relations (or even life itself) have to rip into us to help us make the necessary changes.

As painful as it is in the moment, there are always amazing breakthroughs available if we are willing to look past the gore and our fears. In July, 1995, the Hero’s painting group laid into me over my evasive tactics. What me?!

They said I was not being honest with them or myself. Heck, I didn’t even know what I wasn’t being honest about! My ego was staunchly defending some huge weighty part of my personality. Luckily I was in the midst of a process with these people who cared enough to point it out to me. Other methods are available to the Self, but tend to be much more physically painful, including sprained ankles (I did that later) as well car accidents and tumors which I have so far avoided, but which I suspect lie in wait if I don’t do my homework.

This was plenty painful though. It felt like being stabbed with forks – unpremeditated assault with rough, available instruments. I whined, I moaned and I cried. When I couldn’t weasel out of it, I drew on all my most practiced listening skills to stay present in the room (both physically and psychically) to hear what they were saying. When the first blast was over I immediately had a dreadful bout of diarrhea, started my period and seriously considered quitting the group. Luckily, I painted about it instead.

They were right, of course.

Journal 7/16/95: I was grateful when Susan called to check on me. I did want to talk but felt a little raw to reach out. She told me to go paint my feelings. Don’t know if she realized I was crying.

So I got up and changed into painting clothes. Thought for a bit. I had no paper but scrounged a canvas board from the pile of junk upstairs. Clambered down to my space and did a figure bleeding from chopped off knees, the lower legs dangling with blood gushing. A wide open belly – also quite bloody, though the orange belly chakra shows through and a light green heart. Menstrual blood is gushing and even a little shit. Forks are in the air around her. A first swash of purple paint almost looks like the whole body is lying on a plate, though that was not conscious. The background is the same bright green as the heart.

Despite all the gore it is actually a pretty cheerful painting. Lots of raw feeling. I wasn’t sure if it was finished but I was too tired to do more. I called it “Devastated.” But the cheerfulness is, of course, exactly how I began to see it all – a necessary part of the process. I even got the giggles thinking about how I had this lovely feeling in the Intention painting about diving gracefully (oh, so beautifully) into the belly to explore. But come to find out I need a goddamn C-section to get in there! They had to rip open the belly of all those pregnant paintings. So now am I born? Did it happen then? Or is this another piece of the process – belly ripped open, baby still waiting to be born?? Sure haven’t seen no baby. Though some great things have been happening. It may be that I’m still toying with the birth. Will I know the baby when I see it??

Out of the Ashes Show, January 2004