Who is she, this rebellious, creative creature that refuses to play by the rules?
She is the chameleon that catches your eye. She is each hue of the rainbow. She is every summer sun. Every dark depth. She has a too hot heat that scorches the heart and a deep rooted longing to take flight like so many birds.
With her soul stripped bare, stark, she will dare you to see her. To truly see her. She will challenge you to hold steady your gaze. To not look away. Even when ugly truths show themselves, dancing darkly, confident of their ability to stun you. To be shunned by you.
She will let you glimpse some of the darkness that she holds, the shadows that she knows. And then, as you try to shine light on them, on her, she will turn away from you, wanting to keep her stronghold on the demons. Because they are a part of her too. And what unknown gaping void might be left without them?
She will push you away. And then bring you back, her conflicting behavior causing her as much confusion as it does you. She will hover at the brink. At the place where freedom falls into a different kind of escape that promises no return. She won't succumb to the chasm that calls softly, insistently to her, but she will be mesmerized by its allure of nothingness. Of its promise to stop the clashing thoughts and tangled feelings.
There are the times when she will want to give in to the vulnerability that encompasses her. She will want to be nurtured. Spoon fed. Looked after. She will want to climb on your lap, to curl up like a cat. She will want you to tell her that it will all be ok. That she doesn't need to do anything more. That she won't have to draw on her depleted reserves of energy that seem to elude her today.
She is every woman. Every strong heart. Every wild way.
She assumes the personas of all the warriors she has known and learnt of. She will not always know where she begins and where the fictional personalities end, for the lines are blurred and she has no true desire to clarify them. Rather, she enjoys their comfort blanket cover, that she may be able to draw on them as she needs to.
She has the haughty pride of a peacock that struts knowing full well of the rich layered beauty that draws the eye. She wants to be admired. Adored. Adorned. And then, she wants to take off the trinkets that weigh her down for they feel gaudy and heavy after a time.
Her turmoil is studied yet unexamined, only showing itself truthfully in the offerings that she is compelled to create. She won't be able to tell you how her creativity is born or from where it came. She does not know herself. Only that it does come, and it must come, so that she may then know some modicum of peace. Of respite. Of purpose. Her art of choice is an extension of who she is. Of who she is yet to become.
There are the days when she will wake in the light but feel full of darkness. She won't understand what happened in the hours of sleep that she should open her eyes feeling this way. The fog will cloud her brain and dull her brilliance. Everything will move slightly slower. More muted. A lethargy descending on her. She knows to wait it out.
There are the days she will find herself in scattered pieces. Like china, smashed on the kitchen floor. Bewildered and broken. Bloodied and cold. She will look into your eyes, searching for an answer that she knows she will not find. She will feel a disoriented sense of despair. A hopelessness of sorts.
Rage is not unfamiliar to her. Cries of anger let loose when fear threatens to take over. She will shout out, hearing a voice she knows to be hers, yet not recognising the stranger she finds in the echoes that flood back to her.
She can't always verbally articulate what she wants to convey, what she'd like to share. Rather she finds her voice in her craft. Adding an adjective here, a splash of paint there in place of the words that might otherwise stay silent. Solitude sits well with her, yet although she knows she yearns for this sacred time alone, too much of it leads to a distorted place where the world is twisted and misshapen. Once there, she races to return, taking gulps of air that will speed her back safely.
She will find segments of herself in the creations she makes. In her words, her drawings, her sculptures. She will smile then, as she has a feeling of unity. Of coming home. She will feel confident, connected, whole. Turning to face you with eyes so bright. And then, in no time at all, she will yearn for the next creation, panicking that it might not come, that she won't have any outlet for the chattering riot inside her mind. She will want reassurance. Understanding. Love. So much love.
She may be some or all of these things and much, much more. She will frustrate you. She will inspire and amaze you. She will infuriate you beyond a measure that you barely knew existed. She will be all kinds of temperamental. She cannot be any more or any less than she knows in that moment. She is complex and chaotic. She is poetic and proud. She is every kind of fire and ice and all the elements of earth and sky. She is the restless, rebellious female creative and this is what it means to love her.
Photo credit: Leon Cato