Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tea on Tuesday - a twist






























































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.

18 comments:

J and Z said...

ooo yes, I have been on the end of silence....it can be devastating...girl + woman culture can be very wonderful and it can be cruel...so very weird and complex....

I was fortunate enough to have a very wise and wonderful creative writing teacher who taught me to wield my pen in a journal and I've not looked back since...it saved me...

Another book you might be interested in is Reviving Ophelia...

Your work is thoughtful and your photos are wonderful...

I thank you for your inspiration, I ponder your challenge today...

Jean

Seth said...

So glad you are participating Kimmie. Thanks for sharing such a painful story. I just love how you have used your art, and this project in particular, as a way to make a statement, to deal with feelings, and to shout outloud. Great post!

Jane said...

What a moving post, Kimmie. My heart hurts for you because I know what you're going through. I've been there too.
So glad you can express yourself so eloquently through your art. It's beautiful.

Christine Marie said...

Kimmie, whatever is going on must be tough, but remember that nothing truly disintegrates, as it all leads to regeneration...whether in life, art or whatever follows the silent treatment. I look forward to what follows with your photos.
p.s. I love the reference to Santa Maria Novella, as it is one of my favorite churches in Florence.

femminismo said...

Oh, boy! Cold shoulder. Left out. Silent treatment. They bring back lots of memories. I love the pages nailed to the board. And the teacup is great. Can't wait to see how this goes for you. My pages are freezing tonight as well. Blessings to you. jeanne in oregon

Susie Dally said...

Hey Kimmie, what a deep and thoughtful project. DH has been urging me to figure out some way to get rid of my current problems-and then you come out with this wonderful idea! I hate getting the cold shoulder-nothing says you are insignifigant- like that. Be bigger, be better, get on with it-I guess.

J and Z said...

i'm in!! posted my bundle today....thanks for finding this and for your inspiration!

ELK said...

very interesting space Kimmie ~you are full of really special and random talent I can see! ELK

Genie said...

Hi, your post brought back memories of the silent treatment of schooldays. Art has certainly helped heal and brought many new friends, love your work
regards Genie

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Great post Kimmie, very thoughtful indeed. Art truly does heal. I too read about Seth's project on Pat's blog....very cool idea!

ooglebloops said...

We can all relate - I'm sure there isn't one person out there who hasn't been on the receiving end of this at least once! Love your assemblage!

Laura Pace said...

Kimmie,all I can say out loud, is you spoke volumes. You are using your art well to break through all this.

I too thought about the meanings of the parts of disintegration while I put my pack together. Hence the way I wrote the word. I was thinking of nature and people. We come together in bits and pieces and then slowly fall apart.

Elizabeth said...

Such a cool post, Kimmie. And thanks for the heads-up for The Altered Page. I'm fascinated by artists and their medium, and this project is so interesting.

Santa Maria Novella -- I've been to that pharmacy in Florence, the oldest in the world. The smell is old and evocative.

eb said...

love this project and your interpretation is so cool!!!

xox - eb.

Lumilyon said...

The cup of tea is an inspired addition!
I've had a lovely time visiting your blog - do stop by mine, sometime for a cuppa x

http://lumilyon.blogspot.com/2009/02/altered-page-disintegration-project.html

redchair said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
deb said...

I went to an all girls school, a scholarship student and odd girl out, I know girls can be so spiteful, I hope your project brings you release. It is beautiful, thanks for sharing

rachel whetzel said...

OH. MY. I love that you are incorporating that TEA CUP!! it's stunning. What a great bundle!