Art as a Form of Forgiveness
I sat listening attentively, taking in the message of the room when the speaker read a poem she’d written celebrating her daughter’s pink hair. At first I felt a gulp in my throat followed by shallow breathing. With my stomach in knots and my heart aching, guilt began rising. I witnessed contrast. Where this loving mother had celebrated the bright colors of her daughter’s hair, I had criticized mine. Yes, my daughter also was one of the many with bold hair choices in her teen years. Beginning with her natural soft brown mane, she became pink, dark blue, and midnight black. My response? Not poetry and celebration. Criticism and shame. I was afraid of how she would be perceived by others and instead of my bold lead in beginning the love train, I felt a need to prepare her for “out there” which really reflected “in here.” I squandered an opportunity to love.
Returning home I headed to my computer to write a poem of apology to my beautiful daughter’s Soul. After the first draft, I headed to the paint closet and turned my family room into a make-shift art studio. I recalled a beautiful line in the book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, “”every work of art is in some way an act of forgiveness.” (pg 370) This painting would finally honor what I could now see. The courage, self expression, fun, and playfulness found in experimenting with hair color.
I was reminded of the Divine Do-over. In the world of Spirit, nothing is permanent and time does not exist. By honoring now what was then I had an opportunity to celebrate and honor the color in my teacher-daughter and in me. Thank you, Heather.