Not long ago we celebrated Easter. A time of renewal and rebirth. It is spring time here and all over town the cherry trees both white and pink are in bloom and my forsythia is all yellow and most every plant alive is coming out of the ground. The city is slowly greening after a dry winter and a drought. But the perennials are not shy as their sturdy stems peek from my flowers beds. The lack of rain does not seem to disturb them.
I am wondering what I want to renew or see reborn in my life. I am aware of such transformation having happened many times as I went along my days. I still remember when my cousin and I, both of us artists, decided to organize an art exhibit outside of Haiti. It was novel for us as we only used to show in local galleries. But we were young, had plenty of dreams and were quite affected from the terrible and oppressive dictatorship of Duvalier.
We contacted a few friends, moved a few mountains to get out of the country and shipped all of our art work to the Carib Hilton Gallery in San Juan Puerto Rico. Neither one of us spoke Spanish then but were warmly welcomed by the director and all the staff. We had to find an apartment, find our way through the city and most of all, we had to sell some of our art to survive. I was eighteen and loved the freedom, the absence of horrible killings, of whispering in the dark or looking over my back. I did not miss the blackouts, the heavy atmosphere that existed before under such a dictator. After a few days, I thought I had reached paradise.
With our new friends, we used to go to the beach on weekends. We carried lemons and knives and swam to the nearby island that was just a rocky kind of place in the middle of the ocean. There, we collected quite a few sea urchins and cracked them open under the direction of our french friend and cut our lemons to pour over them. They were as good as oysters and we turned very brown and hot under the sun until it was time to swim again to return to the mainland. Our life had become so different, so carefree that I realize how great we felt and that our life in Haiti, despite family and friends, was not the way to be. I made up my mind then to return to Puerto Rico and that was the beginning of my life abroad.
It was a real rebirth. I had many challenges to face, but I had new horizons and found many friends to share the time I created for myself. It was the beginning of a new life and some years I visited Haiti for a few days or a few weeks at a time to see my family and friends.
Now living in the mountains, I want still to create jewelry plus go back to drawing with pen and ink. I miss the dark flow of the pen as it glides over the white paper and create shades and forms as if some magic was happening at the end of my hand. I like the simplicity, the unforgiving honesty but streamlined approach of just using a pen loaded with ink and my paper that I can also carry anywhere. My studio can stay at home and yet I can be creative with such uncomplicated elements wherever I am.
I became aware of this need by looking through my things and finding a little collection of simple pen and inks that I did some years ago. I completed some of them and they are ready to frame.
Life provides us sometimes with a reminder. I find that it was so for me who found the reason for my renewal and the rebirth of one of the many mediums I love.
What about you? Do you want to find a whole new but old love you want to bring back to your life or find a whole new one? What would make you happy and feel reborn? Life gives us many opportunities to do so but first of all, ask yourself many questions and the answers will be all yours to ponder. I will wait to hear from you.
Copyright 2012 Micheline Brierre
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