At 23 I was angry. I would say things to get a reaction and then laugh to myself when the person felt out of control. I would do things to make others upset, and that would prove how important I was. I could have physically hurt someone else, I could have hurt myself. Only years later would this spill over and I’d start working it out. Oddly this was the age that I was immersed in the work of Sabrina Ward Harrison, someone so tough that she had no problem exposing herself through art and words. When her journal came out, I bought it, wanting desperately to channel her fearlessness. I wrote two pieces in it and then quietly nestled it out of sight. I took my beat up old truck to San Francisco one day while she was having an open studio sale. My excitement turned to overwhelming anxiety when I entered the space. It was full of glass, high ceilings, glorious light making the colors of her work soft and vibrant. I think I spent an hour there deciding which pieces to purchase, getting up the guts to speak to her. I never did. But I did buy this piece, which I found last week and hung over our kitchen table two days ago. It makes me want to cry, not only for how gorgeous and treasured it is, but for the person I was when I chose it, the person not ready to break through but aching to find a pathway out.
I still love Sabrina Ward Harrison’s work. I hope that someday I can take one of her workshops, and maybe we will even talk to one another.