Mom was a healer, though she never knew it. She acted completely by instinct and from her creative core. Her love poured out through her care – our house sang with sensitivity and nurture, care for our growing minds and bodies. From her I learned healing touch, the simple mystery of imbuing a place with a deep sense of safety and beauty, a place blessed by the joyous heart. And she taught me by elegant example how to put people at their ease, how to recognise their worth, enjoy their difference and connect with shared ideas and experience.
From Dad I learned to be true to myself, to understand the value and necessity of integrity. I learned that grown ups could be big kids, and that this was essential to true happiness. And he taught me, through his own desperate need and extreme difficulty in verbalising his feelings, how to read body language, tone of voice, and energetic field so I knew what he meant. Dad understood me and supported me with kindness and love, our communication is largely responsible for my being able to read people and create safe places.
I realised I was different…
I realised I was different, and that was good. People were all different, and until I got to school I didn’t come across the concept of trying to “fit in” and be like everyone else.
Difference was fascinating exciting, exotic, wonderful. Everything was new, untried. But school taught me that to be different was dangerous, that to speak out was rude, and that every rule must be obeyed – even the unwritten ones, and the silly ones. I learned early the meaning of hypocrisy, for it was the glue that kept that social set together… and it was melting.
I refused to give up my curiosity, I kept asking questions and I learned quickly – it was my best defence in a world where conformity was the norm. It was a hard time to be a wise kid, but there were always gifts along the way.
When I was eight, Gran did the unthinkable – she took a “proper” picture down off the wall and put one of my paintings into the frame. I was horrified and thrilled. That moment affirmed me as an artist, and gave me an invaluable sense of myself. Art gave me a way to express what I could not say, and was not allowed to say until high school and college where at last I was encouraged to think, to share, to really learn and to gain my voice.