It’s a metaphor for growth.
My partner is teaching me that the best way to deal with uncomfortable truths is to embrace them. Take them on, fully! So things like divorce, homosexuality, being unemployed, etc., are not taboo in our conversations. More than that, we aren’t even gentle. Well… we are brutally frank about the stuff that hurts us the most, and making light of these things frequently takes all the power out of them.
This is hard to explain in a blog, but it has been a very effective tool for us. For example, though we’ve had many intellectual discussions about how my multiple past marriages don’t reflect my honor or integrity… I still have these evil, biting voices which tell me I’m a bad woman for not remaining married no matter what it took. The way my partner and I try to work through my worried conscience is to face the voices in my head. We tease each other, using the exact words of our fears, and expose it all. He tells me I toy with men’s hearts. I tell him I’m only using him because I’m lonely. Once we’ve said outloud all the things we carry in our minds (no matter HOW ridiculous or unlikely those critical thoughts are), our fears suddenly seem so trivial.
….ok, ok, back to the poodle. I hate this still life. ha ha! Yuck!
It’s from an art class I took, and my professor set up the stupidest still lifes ever. Stuff I just could not bring myself to get inspired about in the least. This was the one I hated the most. It was a painted red bottle, an old poodle-shaped handbag, a pear, and an ugly inside-out quilt. The colours are awful, my skill dubious, and the assignment was that we were allowed to use only four colours. To top that off, the professor was so excited about our work, that we slaved away on these horrible things for two full weeks.
I don’t want to hate a creation from my own hands.
So… in my attempts to embrace that which evokes strong negative reactions, I chose this despised painting as my profile photo. Now, every time I come to my profile, I see that this horrible oil painting is the world’s image of me. It’s actually working! I don’t feel such powerful negative reactions to it anymore.
Comment from the old blog:
OK, here’s another example. This morning I found out my grandmother died. I came home from work and cried all over my man’s clothes, making them damp. I followed him to the refrigerator. I held his hand and played with his hair. Later, he got up to stand by the wood stove. I was nearby, so I moved over and wrapped my arms around him and buried my face into his shoulder. He goes “Why are you so clingy? Give me some space, woman!” I laughed and punched him and he held me harder.
He forces me to face shit, like being sad and clingy because my Gramma died, so that we can talk about it and it doesn’t become bigger than it needs to be.