Mandala Series, Part 2

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Life, maybe? Hope? I was trying to feel hope. The outside–dark, dead, flat–was how I felt. I wanted to believe in the green, the life at the center.

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Whirlpool. Depression, hopelessness, sucking me into the black hole in the center. Other people said they liked it, liked the sense of motion. I felt misunderstood: drowning isn’t beautiful.

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Black hole. I came straight from individual therapy to art therapy the day I made this. I couldn’t stop crying. Usually I worked on large paper, up to 12″ x 24″. I couldn’t start–the blank paper and my life were both too overwhelming. The art therapist cut me a small piece of paper, 6″ x 6″ with a small circle. But instead of a circle, all I could see was a whole.

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Unfinished. Again, trying to convince myself of hope radiating out. It did make me feel a little better.

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Depression. But still trying to believe in the possibility of hope: white at the center. Again I used the oil pastel “crumbs” intentionally. I also added gray chalk pastel outside the circle at the last moment, on a whim, because it felt right.

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The art therapist pointed to the circle and the flames. “Self and others?”

“Self and other self.” I was dealing with intense attacks from introject parts and trying to protect myself and other parts from them. I’m the outer colors–burned, dark, but inside it fades to blue and white, like a sky full of air to breathe.

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Both of these were done with parts, as sort of a nonverbal communication. I’m not sure what they mean.

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A symbolic representation of my system. In the back, behind a wall, a tangle of indistinct parts I barely know. In front, bigger than the rest, two introject parts, representation of my parents. My father burning from the outside in; my mother burning from the inside out. I can’t get past them to the others or I’ll be burned up into nothing.

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Another representation of hope, or at least the wish for it. The circle–the self–split in two and buried…but then it can grow. Oil and chalk pastels.

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Hopelessness. The self darkening, sinking, disappearing into darkness. Oil and chalk pastels.

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Shielded. Anxiety about going home–meteors hurtling toward me. But they grey-white shield protects the green life deeper down. I did most of the mandala on white paper to get true colors, cut it out, glued it to black paper, and added the shield and the meteors.

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This was about leaving and the work I did while I was there, but I’m not sure how. I worked a lot on the blending, particularly the slow fading from intensity to lightness.

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2 Comments

Filed under art, psych

2 responses to “Mandala Series, Part 2

  1. Fantastic work! Just being able to understand our own symbols is difficult, and very valuable! Blessings. – Katherine

  2. I love the representation in art. You are all very talented

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