Making rainbows out of lemons- Journal as Metaphor

 The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. Julie Cameron

Galia Alena Spectrum mixed media journal page
It wasn't the journal page itself I was pushing against, it was myself, it was life. All  I could see was ugly, I wanted to screw the whole thing up, I wanted to toss it in the bin. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I layered and layered, more and more layers of ugly, not the ugly teenage stage, just plain butt ugly and I didn't see any way to escape it. I hated it, it showed me up as a failure who had not a clue what she was doing. I had no control over it. Disheartened, I did my Scarlet O'hara and decided that tomorrow would be another day.

The next day I went back in determined to make things work, lemonade out of lemons. Usually I love the opportunities that mistakes give you, threads for the imagination to tug on until something gives. I tell my son that I set myself up for accidents, and his face struggles with the concept "oh, no, that's just not logical". Accidents are opportunities, ugly means I'm not attached, not attached means freedom, freedom to push against my edges, freedom to try something new, freedom to discover.

When I journal I don't need to make "pretty" pictures, I don't need to make "art", there's a sense of journey and discovery, and while pages are never really "finished" there is a sense of that is how it should be, completion, almost fulfillment. Equally there is also this sense of not done, more to discover, not authentic and other such indicators which let me know to keep going, that the messages aren't complete, that the work is not authentic, that I have to dig deeper.

I know that life is beyond my control, but on most days there is a general illusion that I have some control over my life, that I steer my own ship. On this day I didn't feel this, I felt all was beyond my control, out of control, out of my hands. Life was in the air, free falling and I just didn't know how to juggle any of it. I felt helpless and lost. This is what showed up on my page. I didn't know what I was doing.


And as in life, the next day I picked myself and kept going, pushing through and squeezing those lemons, showing up, pushing though, risking. Is the page pretty, no, is it art, no, but what it is is LIFE, my life and I squeezed those lemons and got myself a rainbow.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” ― Mary Oliver

To learn more about Spectrum, which inspired this page, or to join on this journaling journey with some truly amazing guidess pop over here: SPECTRUM