Shapes of experience

Do you have a dream you’ve been waiting for? Thirty-nine years ago as a younger woman I visited Saltspring Island with a dream of becoming an artist and a writer.  I travelled the Gulf Islands, walked the beaches and sketched and wrote to my heart’s content.  I returned to my home in Ontario and life (graduate school, raising a family) got in the way of my dream.

Recently I returned to Saltspring Island as a woman of 60 with my new identity as an artist and an author.  It got me thinking about what type of writer and artist I would have become if I had not waited 39 years. I think if I had become an artist in my twenties I would be a very different artist than I am today.

In particular, I think my career as a health care practitioner, working one on one with patients for twenty years has shaped my art. I have finally found a way to express my love of helping and inspiring others through my writing and my contemporary rug hooking.  When I look at my rugs that I have hooked I see clearly the influences of motherhood, of the joy and pain of raising our three sons.

Having almost 40 years of life experience since my dream has given my writing and my art a depth that I would not have had in my twenties.  Being a woman in her third chapter of her life gives me a confidence to speak my truth, to honour my heart that I don’t think as a younger woman I would have had the courage to express. I care less now about what people will think of me. I know that if I am true to myself that I might not please everyone, but the people who resonate with my message will find me, and our hearts will connect.

Do you have something you’ve always wanted to do or become? Have you had an experience of finally getting to do …. (insert x) later in life? How has this influenced what you bring to this experience?



3 thoughts on “Shapes of experience

  1. It was wonderful to meet you during your book tour to Vancouver Island. Wishing you must success with your next book. Your heart-centred work is a joy to read.

  2. As a teenager I remember standing in the kitchen with my dad and sharing with him my passion about being a teacher. He cautioned me to get more life experiences first, to not go from high school to university to teaching without anything in between. I took his words to heart and … life took me in a very different direction. But then, at the age of 48, The Phone Lady came into my life and I’ve been teaching steadily for the past 11 years. Nothing brings me more joy and I know that I bring to the task all the life experiences and knowledge and wisdom that was so important to my dad.

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