Project 16/50 – Finale

Project 16/50 is a creative project to help me consider the threshold of turning 50 years old.  15 friends joined with me, so there were a total of 16  considering the creative prompt: Old Growth Reaching, New Growth Rooting (See Feeling Fiftyfor a more complete explanation)

In the final post for this project I wish to highlight the final participant, Karen and end with a poem of my own.

Visual Artist, Karen Epp.

Here’s what she wrote about her creative process for this project:  Leaning into the prompt drew me to my present longings for rootedness, place, and belonging. Images of birthing, creation, my heritage began to take shape within me. After laying the foundation on the canvas I returned later to discover lines that lent themselves to holding and an area that spoke to me of a womb. I worked with the shapes that had formed themselves there as if asking me to give birth to the cradle and the womb. As I move ever onward in my second half of life, I am becoming more present to my authentic self. It has brought me life to recognize that true self has been there from birth.

The Cradle of Creation
Acrylic on Canvas 15 x 15
© 2017 – Karen Epp (all rights reserved)

 Karen’s piece reminds me in a subtle way of the growth rings revealed in the cross cut of a tree trunk, like the featured picture above (one I took on a recent walk).  The association takes me back to my own poem Fifty Slow Breaths and breathing through my years of growth.  It also mirrors my own womb image in that same poem, although it intrigues me that mine painted would be oranges and reds since it rumbles like a furnace, while Karen’s is all cool blues.

I wrote a poem back in January that seems to gather up the aspects of this series — at least for me.  The title is a play on words: Failure to Progress.  This was a term I heard repeatedly during the labour of my first child — I failed to progress and it ended as a c-section.  So it’s a birthing metaphor, but it can also be read another way — as movement, from failure – to – progress, shifting from one to another.  Something felt as if it was being reborn in me, back in January, but seemed stuck — and I wondered a bit frustrated, ‘What would a spiritual c-section look like?’  I don’t know, but I suspect there is no such thing since there are no typical gestation times with our spiritual growth, so 9 months, 19 months, 119 months are all typical.  The Spirit just keeps midwife-ing us through.

Failure to Progress

disturbs what is
Informed participants
Know – it’ll never be the same

Inner soul space
Centered, everlasting
False disguises known, finally

Pick a palette
Evergreen – marigold
Drape cotton, cashmere, natural
Real – whole

Stock these cupboards
With imagining’s needs
Reach past possible, take hold, step

© 2017 – Laurel Archer

Deeply grateful for each and every participant, for listening well, for sharing generously.  This fun, art making virtual birthday party is officially over.  Thanks for reading along.

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