I am still searching for reasonable information sources about two creative and independently ambitious women... Séraphine de Senlis and Edith Gregor Halpert. One born in France and referred to as a 'foundling' and the other born into a well-to-do merchant family in Russia; who upon losing everything, migrated with her family to America as an infant. Edith, unbeknownst to nearly everyone, grew up to become one of the most influential persons to shape the very foundation of modern art in this country! Her legacy was at risk of slipping into oblivion, until it was unearthed a few short years ago and written about by Lindsay Pollock. The story of a creative and resourceful life, as Séraphine uniquely lived her own, is still to be uncovered and told to the world! Who will be called to complete the project of telling about Séraphine de Senlis, possibly as part of their own development of becoming?
Along with these two examples of women nearly forgotten, or not recognized at all for their preciously valuable contributions to this world and humanity, I could point to the poverty of detail in my own female biological family history! As far as the impact this reality has had on the quality of my own development into adulthood, it is no wonder that I may be just emerging from my own struggles to find and shape my own sense of worth as a woman and human being. Just emerging into awareness to understand what my responsibilities are, in shaping my own successes in life. Just beginning to clearly envision a life of value for my own self, contributing to the world in which I now live, and understand that I have arrived internally to a calm that I may just leave a legacy of conscious worth for my daughter. Not that any of this knowing or shaping can be done in advance of the doing; in advance of the living it into reality. Yet, in light of the struggle to simply locate records of the value of other significant women's lives, that a general lack of awareness for the value of self has been such a struggle, a struggle to break through the external layers of cultural amnesia caked on top of the prism of personal experience and history, I must ask, do we need to continue this standard amnesia approaching recognition, orientation and familiarity for the valuable in defining human consciousness evolution? I am searching for a simpler, shared language to do this, learn this, to share this!
This post is not a lament of personal difficulties but only a brief comment out loud for the recognition of my own propensity for naïveté. To somehow always expect what is not already in place in the world, as though it is my right that my expectations of life, ought already be so in manifest reality. Yet too, this consciousness which Western societies define as confidence, this consciousness of expectation is in reality, a tricky balance to learn; to consciously cultivate internally. Learning to abandon the ego in the process.
At risk of sounding egotistical this post then, is an act of my own recording for all the world to find. That I am experiencing recognition for the significance to learn conscious, internal self-worth as a woman, as a human being, on a global and microcosmic level today, this week, and I am posting about this recognition for it's own sake at this moment.
My worth, any person's worth is up to me/each one of us_ to define by living that inherent worth we are each invited (by birth), to bring into reality.
The only expectation then, is to truly consciously become all that we can each be. I am recognizing this is my job to do in, and with my life from here on out...
Life lived in pursuit of clear truth, seems to be a process of distilling everything down to its essential nature. Henry David Thoreau is someone whose words I have paraphrased before, where my own path seems in relation to his wisdom in quiet hours. Having just come back across this quote, I add it here where it seems relevant (in my life) again: "In proportion as she simplifies her life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." ~Thoreau, paraphrased
Tokens of well-wishes sent in support of my very first public exhibit, 1988.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This image is (original to me) posted on flickr by, Dalbera
I first learned about Séraphine de Senlis in 1999, as I was beginning to build my undergrad research on French women artists. I chose not to use her work in my research at that time, because there was so little to find out about her. However, I was recently greatly enamored to have rediscovered her as subject in the movie snapshot last fall, about her work, her experience of being discovered as a naif artist & that all too brief time frame the movie covered on her personal life.
My rediscovery of the life and work of Séraphine, occurred through amazing coincidences I was experiencing on line; my own naïve discovery of a phenomenon called blog swapping!
Today, I have decided to renew my (again!) all too brief_ research about this woman and artist, by committing to write more about her, as I unearth the gems of info on Séraphine de Senlis, there is yet to discover!!