first beginning

i have a friend who pointed out to me that stories are what thread us all together. i like that. and believe that. and think it’s about time i put up part of mine on my web site. perhaps it could help someone on their own journey of healing…

i’m not going to edit and try to keep it short, i’m going to ramble and let it tumble out. if you have the time, stay and read….if not, that’s okay too.

i didn’t start bone sigh arts as an artist…….it just all sort of happened. and maybe because of that, it could give someone encouragement.

so here we go…

… i had just come back from a particularly rough nite of marriage counseling. my normal routine was to come home totally worn out and feeling horrible. i would veg out and wait for the nite to end. on this particular nite tho, i didn’t want to just veg out. i wanted to do something for someone else. reach outside of myself. so i sat down and made a gift for a woman in my woman’s group. she was at a crossroads in her life and i wanted to show support. i thought i would try a little art piece for her new home. we had similar issues we were dealing with, and i felt a connection to her. i wrote her a poem about a woman figuring out she matters. i thought that i was writing the poem about her, but when i sat back and read it, i knew it was definitely about me. i painted a watercolor candle to go along with it and matted it for her. i brought the quote in to my counselor the next week. she read it and cried. and she looked at me and said “terri, you have got to keep writing.” and i nodded. i knew i did too.

and so began my journey into bone sigh arts.

at the time, my marriage was falling apart. anyone who’s been down this road can tell you….. it’s one of the most difficult things you’ll ever go thru. when the pain would get to be too much for me, i would write it out. i would just feel my feelings, try to visualize what they felt like, and then write that visual out. i used the pronoun “she” all the time. i now realize that it was just too hard for me to hold with the pronoun “i” and that i needed to do that to be gentle with myself.

i wrote and did watercolors to go with the words. and i walked an awful lot. i walked and thought and cried and talked to the universe. i asked over and over to be shown what i should do. and somehow i felt guided into doing the bone sighs. i honestly feel they are a gift from the universe. and i want to honor them that way. so, i made a promise to myself and the universe…that i would listen to my heart in all actions related to the bone sighs. little did i know that that would teach me to listen to my heart in all other areas of my life too.

even the name, “bone sigh arts” was a gift. since i felt that the work was beyond me in some way, i decided to ask for a name. to put it out to the universe. i meditated on a name. asked for it. and i received “bone sigh arts.” this is my favorite, favorite part of the whole story: when i got up from the meditation, i was not impressed at all with this name choice! i got up, looked up towards the sky and said “uh. is that the best you could do?!”

i laugh so much over that moment now. because now i know there couldn’t be a more perfect name for my art. they are sighs from my depths, sighs from my very bones. i had no idea. and the beauty of that is that i listened! i need to remind myself of that over and over again! listen! and the beauty of that is that i listened!

i matted up pieces and took packs door to door to stores and asked if they’d be interested in selling them. i’m shy. people don’t realize it when they meet me because i can chat and be friendly, but i am really really shy. to take these door to door was tremendously difficult. people tell me i had courage, i tell them i had desperation. desperation will move mountains. and it did.

i will never know if people were reacting to a person in a very difficult time, or if the universe was moving boulders for me, or what……..but the encouragement and support that i received as i traveled around was absolutely astounding. people were kind, and helpful, suggestions offered at every turn. and so i traveled…

and here i am. i call myself an artist now. and i actually believe it! i can remember denying that and saying i wasn’t an artist, wasn’t a writer. and now i can say i am both. i don’t know where this journey will lead, but for now, it’s allowing me to be home with my sons and to follow my heart. and that is such a gift.