Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Vein of Gold

Sometimes life throws us unexpected curves. On this day, August 23, 1996, I was fired from my job as a medical hospital social worker after a very traumatic event that involved the daughter of a patient and myself. My life changed forever on that day. I never truly recovered from being fired. I lost my desire to continue with social work, and I never found a replacement career.
What I did discover, though, was The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, a book that helped people recover their artistic creativity. I saw an ad for a session being held at the local art center a few weeks after I was fired. It was like a message was being sent to me that this was my next step.
The class lasted 12 weeks. It was my saving grace. Everything else in my life had crashed and burned.

After I finished The Artist's Way program, I signed up to do Julia's next book, the Vein of Gold. The above mandala reflects the influence of that process for me. I titled the mandala My Vein of Gold. It was the beginning of a new awakening of the artist I had always wanted to be. In a sense, social work is an art, because you are always looking for creative ways to help people. But it was an outward art, not an inner one. Now I was looking inward, exploring the call to art that had been with me since I was a child. This mandala reflects that experience. I remember it took me hours to draw and color. It was a healing process, a coming together of wholeness, and a vision of the future.

3 comments:

pam T said...

o Susan, this is a beautiful mandala! Your being fired from that job was obviously very traumatic and still is that you remember it so vividly, but yep, life does throw unexpected curves doesn't it. A tragedy can borne a new way and life... art is definitely a saving thing for many of us. thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

When I saw this pic in my blog log I thought what a pretty and cheerful picture it is. It is evident that your inner artist re-discovery has been happy.

I remember the first and second time I was fired. The first time, I was in high school and worked in a bakery. The other person I worked with was stealing cash but we always worked together and they didn't know which one was so we both were let go. She later told me that her husband has been without work for a long time and she was sorry. I never told the employer that she confessed to me...it was her conscience to take responsibility.

The next was I was a supervisor and was let go because I didn't manager people well and am too much of a perfectionist. That's true so it was a good event since I was not happy there.

So you found your art and I see that you are happy to have found it. So something good came of a bad thing.

wileybead said...

I just love to read your writing. Very inspiring. You just made my day. Thanks.