"Speak" / by Hayden Michelle

"Speak", (13 x 16 x 9 inches), (wall hanging)

  Speaking up is something that has taken me years to do, and is in fact, still difficult.  It is a right that everyone is entitled to-- giving voice to what is inside us, bringing it outward to be heard, seen, acknowledged...  This is not only a right but a profound privilege, and not something to be taken for granted.  

Finding my own has taken decades of hard work and a deep but trembling trust that it is safe to share what is inside myself.  From my earliest recollections, art was a potent tool for expression -- playing in an ice cream puddle on my high chair tray, drawing in the dirt, making bowls with mud, and as the years passed, experiencing the joy of dislodging the tight tin lid that released the smell of a multitude of waxy cylindrical sticks that would bring life to the tablet of paper that lay blank before me.

I knew after finishing the Tear Bottle sculpture, that I would return to make a piece that exemplified this particular aspect of healing, voicing what lies deep within.  The bovine jaw was found on the hillsides surrounding our home, and I knew it would hold powerful energy for some being who would find life in it once again...

The swallowtail butterfly is a beautiful creature, rife with personal symbolism.  I enjoyed enriching the blues that were present on the wings, bringing vibrance that matched the energy I experience inside myself.  Blue is a color reflecting purity and open sky, as well as cleansing and soothing water.

There seems to be a sense of dignity the butterfly is feeling as she pauses,  preparing to take flight from the jaw of a cow long gone.  My hope is that you may find strength, comfort, and healing as you gather courage and give yourself permission as you speak your truth.   

(Coincidentally, I wrote this post several days ago, not knowing that today's circle (below) and words would relay this very issue...).

Peace to all...