A Box of Darkness

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to realise that this too was a gift.”  Mary Oliver

This is one of my favourite pages from my art journal so far. I started with the black background and the picture of Saturn. I’ve always been drawn to images of Saturn.  I am a Capricorn, so Saturn is my ruling planet although I don’t think that is why I love the way it looks. It always seems so majestic, hanging there with those gorgeous rings around it. I had the idea a while ago to make a negative of a photo of myself and write about how I sometimes just feel negative. But I’m a bit tired of photos of myself, so I used this Goddess statue instead. I am always attracted to classical statues whenever I see them on journal pages or mixed media artworks. So, I LOVE the Saturn and I LOVE the statue and I LOVE all the bits and pieces I used to make the border. These include: an antique zodiac, antique pics of sun and moon, some text about what it means to have moon conjunct Saturn (which I do), and a chant that I wrote  for a ritual once about going into the darkness and giving birth to yourself. The entire border was black and white until I had the idea to paint it with Nickel Azo Gold which gives everything a yellowed antiquey look. LOVE!

So anyway, perhaps it is because I am a Capricorn (I’m actually an agnostic about astrology!) or not, but I do get negative and depressed sometimes. I wish I didn’t of course, but I also know that depression has it’s gifts. For one thing, if we were happy all the time we wouldn’t even know we were happy because we would have nothing with which to compare it. The “box of darkness” refers to the Mary Oliver quote above and I’ve also used it as a way of acknowledging the gifts that depression can bring.

The dark places

I finally put something on this background that has been sitting here for months. I blogged about how I made the background here. For a long time I thought maybe I would do something about fire, since it looks a bit like flames. My sister commented that she thought it looked like a page about fear, but I didn’t feel to write a page about all my fears. I thought I’d rather write about what helps me to navigate my fears. Not just my fears, but the dark places of anxiety and depression as well. So I found some kind looking eyes and stuck them into the blackness. The goddess with the gold dust is showing me that there is treasure to be found by going through the darkness, and the eyes are showing me that I am not alone, they are there to help. I’m not sure who “they” are, something like spirit guides, or guardian angels, or aspects of my higher self. And maybe they’re all the same. In any case they are serene, unafraid, and they give me the gifts of compassion (for others going through dark places), courage and resilience.

I have been working in my journal a lot in the last few weeks, wanting to get all the pages finished for our exhibition (and they are finished, yahoo!) so I have a backlog of pages I would like to blog about. So I intend to try to blog a bit more frequently for a while to get through them all.

We’ve booked out tickets for Europe next year, nearly 4 months, wow! I’m still looking into what kind of journal I might keep while I’m traveling, there’s so many different options!