I'm breaking my rule and incorporating a challenge with my tea today. I originally wanted Tea on Tuesday to be all about the simple things in life - like favorite books, doing puzzles, thoughts, basically nothing that is "type A." But there is a very simple idea out there with an art challenge attached that I found over on Ooglebloop's World. A couple of days ago she linked back to The Altered Page (Seth) and a project he's working on and opened up to anyone who wants to try it. It's called "Disintegration."
Now comes the "simple thoughts" part of Tea on Tuesday. I've been really mulling over something that I'm totally sick of in my life. Has anyone ever given you the silent treatment? Have you ever given it out? For me, the very first time I encountered it I was in 3rd grade. There were 2 neighbor girls I had taken up playing with after school. They were my age, but went to a different school. After several weeks of playing together very happily, they asked me what religion I was. I wasn't sure what they meant my that. So they said, "Are you a Protestant or a Catholic?" I had no idea what a Protestant was - and I knew that I was a Catholic - so I said so. They said, "Well we can't play with you anymore." And from then on they completely ignored me as if I were invisible. That is the silent treatment. You have no idea what you did wrong. You have no voice either. You no longer exist. It hurts like hell.
Since then, I've had it happen to me again and again .... as well as train me up in how do dish it out. I am currently on the receiving end of it again. Over the summer I read the book "Odd Girl Out" because my pre-teen daughter has been encountering the silent treatment. Reading that book, I believe, has set me on the road to seeing it for what it is ... and facing it ... and dealing with it internally. Because, you see, there is nothing you can do externally to fix it. You can concede the unknown offense and get in somebody's good graces again - maybe - but it WILL happen again. (Here's a very well written article about the silent treatment, if you'd like to read more.)
This is where the "Disintegration" project comes into play. Art is silent - but also has a very loud voice. This piece is me - shouting. Shouting back at the silence. It's interesting that disintegration means what is does. Disintegration: to become reduced to components, fragments or particles. Integrate, on the other hand, means: to make a whole by bringing parts together. Disintegration is when it all blows apart.
I have assembled the pages of Alice in Wonderland and nailed them to an old board. I have wired a treasured teacup from a long lost friend to the other end of the board. The teacup is filled with a special potpourri made by Dominicans in Florence Italy. It is called Santa Maria Novella and is an ancient recipe of herbs and flowers. I have tied lace over the opposing elements. The lace is very old and is also from another long lost friend. I have set my assemblage on my favorite place to sit in the summer time for my morning cuppa. I can see it from my kitchen window. I now leave it out in the long silence of winter - to be treated silently to a slow disintegration. While I remain hurting but whole - and shouting back.