Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Life Gets a bit SCARY sometimes ...

Anyone who knows me might well find it surprising that I should feel this way? I' could win an oscar for appearing to be fine when on the inside I'm a mess, with the result that most people tend to think of me as confident and sorted .... and just a few know how very far from the truth that is. Anyway, I've been a bit up and down lately, and this page was made in one of my bleaker moments. I'm pleased to say that I'm feeling much brighter and more optimistic now, but I had a distinct dip back there.

The background of the page had to be paper because the trusty Promarkers that I use on most of my pages had bled through (even though I stick two journal pages together) onto the other side, and anyway this page from an old ledger rather suited my dull brown mood. I actually felt so low I couldn't reach for the bright array of pens on my desk.
Then it seemed right to add the numbers along the bottom - well that's what you write in a ledger innit? The specs advert isn't there for any deep reason, it just appealed to me, so that went in as well, and then - not knowing what the page was going to be about at that point - I simply asked myself how I felt, and wrote the answer to the question at the top of the page. I do that a lot and its very therapeutic ... because sometimes you don't actually know you're feeling scared, and so you can't deal with it. I find that if I can name the demon tormenting me it loses some of its power. After that of course the words just came flowing out, and with them a kind of ease and healing.
The stitched (stapled?) effect is done with a Stampers Anonymous stamp that I've had for ages - it was just right for a time when I felt sort of only just held together with big clumsy stitches which might give any minute! You may know the feeling? The page was looking a bit too clean and it was about feeling vaguely grubby, and labelled as a scrounger, so I used my other favourite art material my soluble watercolour crayons to add some shading around the various page elements.

You will gather from the finished result that I was feeling very scared about changes to the Benefit system. I feel vulnerable enough sometimes without the support system which keeps me going being threatened. Most of the time I can trust in God that the things I really need will come to me, but some days its just not possible to hold onto that.

So don't be misled by those headlines about Benefit Scroungers living the high life off your taxes .... its not like that for the great majority. I'm incredibly grateful to live in a society which provides a safety net, but £80 a week doesn't go very far ... and for some even a modest percentage cut makes a difference in the most basic terms.

Here endeth the sermon ... more cheerful posts to follow!

5 comments:

Juls said...

gorgeous! Love the sepia colours, and the stitching detail you have done! Fabulous! Hugs Juls

flutterbycrafter said...

What a wonderful journal page, love your style and I hope things do turn out alright in the end. xx

Ophelia said...

I really, really love this!! Your work is just so amazing!

alexa said...

Those stitches are a perfect touch for a wobbly page. I am sure you are not alone (not that that is any comfort, really). Hang on in there... PS I know this takes energy, but have you ever thought of running an online class for all those of us who admire your work and would love to know something about art journalling? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would pay ...

Beacee said...

Again, excellent art work. I do admire your skills and creativity. I do understand your fears and the feeling of vulnerability that goes with it. Sadly politicians see the weakest members of society as useful tools for manipulating and controlling other groups - without any thought for the damage they do. Thankfully I managed to keep working almost to retirement age, thanks to understanding and supportive managers and union officials and my husband will be just over a year off retirement age when his next review is due. I know other, younger people with "invisible" conditions who are not confident of their future. Holding you in my prayers, Barbara