It is January 2014. That is a difficult idea for me to wrap my head around. I can’t say that I am sad to see 2013 go. It was a really rough year. I turned forty-five last year. My son, my firstborn, turned thirteen. My daughter, my youngest, entered double digits and turned ten. My mom spent 2013 bravely and serenely battling cancer. My dad spent the year in discomfort and illness, trying to find the right combo of treatments to get a little relief. My husband lost his dad.
It was a rough year.
By the end of it I felt exhausted, anxious, inadequate, and fearful.
I have never been one to do a lot of visualizing or fancy planning at the beginning of a year. This year is different. I felt the need to visualize what 2014 would be for me. I think it is more about putting what is past to rest and remaining hopeful for what is ahead in spite of the past struggles. I want to claim victory over whatever might come by determining to face it with faith and hope.
I had a plan for my map of 2014 to be all about a journey. It would be about all of the exciting things I have coming down the pike artistically in the form of online classes and being published. It was going to be a map celebrating a glorious and successful expedition into unknown territories. That was my plan, but was not what revealed itself. I am all about working intuitively. With my grand idea in my head for my map, I began to move paint and paper. I made my own washi tape from a journal page I had written about the new year. I cut this into small pieces and arranged them on top of a background I had color washed in blues and greens. The tape pieces became islands. They became place of retreat and rest. I do need that this year. I need a place to run off to and get some solitude and recharge myself for the next wave.
On the Isle of Peace I have:
and an X that marks the spot where dreams lie.
On the Isle of Rest I have:
Rock of Faith
and Point Tears (it is safe to shed them there)
Between the two islands is the Strait of Serenity.
Along the edges of my map is a border formed by the declaration of things that shall not pass into the realm. (Picture Gandalf with his staff.) these things are; negativity, anxiety, fear, anger, bad attitudes, resentment, argument, disrespect, rudeness, snarkiness (clearly adolescents will have to stay out), laziness, excuses, unrealistic expectations, illness, pain and mourning.
My retreat will be a place of solitude where I can go alone and be at peace and empty out sadness and refill with joy.
Even my giant fish are happy!
I created this map of 2014 in response to a call from a beautiful friend and talented artist Jill Berry. She invited a group of “Arty Cartophiles to join her in “Mapping 2014 Artfully.” A bunch of lovely and talented folks answered the call. You can visit Jill’s Personal Geographies blog for a link to all of the participants maps. I have really enjoyed seeing everyone’s work so far. It is worth a ramble through.
Maps as an art form are a passion for Jill. Her first book Personal Geographies is one of my favorite mixed media books. She has a new book coming out in May, Map Art Lab that I am really looking forward to. Thanks for the inspiration Jill!