Chapter 2: Saving myself through my art

For the sake of my own healing and what I understand to be "freedom", I create and express. This is has been the case for as long as I can remember, but while navigating various health issues, some chronic, some visible, some not, add a few surgeries into the mix... *Sigh*

I needed to find a way where I could still preserve or at least reconnect with who I am apart from the pain attached to my flesh. I needed more access to ways to control the narrative of the ways I would go about navigating my life, let alone my body who seems to have a mind of its own. 

 

Safi Nakihimba, black woman staring into her reflection with glaring light

*Photo Credit & Edit: Safi Nakihimba (2017)

 

The foundation of all of the many loves I have and share can be found in my words, my intimate relationship with writing and the necessary silences or periods in between, literally.

I have been writing in personal diaries for the longest time, eventually I moved on to sharing some of these writings in poetry, short stories and even songwriting style (although I will not be diving deeper into this for now; this is another conversation for another time).

While many have inspired me, my own words, my own voice inspired me to come back to painting, music, dancing and so on. You see, while I was merely looking for a way to cope and manage with all the hurts that plagued me, I did not realize that I was simultaneously building a foundation to expand on the many riches contained in my mind. 

Sometimes, there really are no words. So, a song is sung. Sometimes, there is no voice, but a painting comes to surface, almost as if one of my ancestors was using my body as a channel to let the messages flow and imprint themselves wherever more healing or pleasure was needed.

It's actually fascinating to see how even after all these years, decades even, I never tire of the process.

It is my hope that others who suffer, be it loudly or in supreme silence, realize that not all voices are the same, but all voices need to be heard; especially by the one speaking or expressing much needed messages. 

Do my medical issues suddenly vanish because I am taking a more serious approach to my crafts? Not even close. I can say that I know what I want and what I want to manifest and my soul is stirred more vigorously than a delicious bowl of jambalaya...

It is extremely satisfying to see that the views I have of myself are progressively shifting, in a better light. I actually want to see what I am all about; who I really am behind this incessant pain and turmoil. Creating gives me the opportunity to create life where there was nothing or just chaos, prior.  

In a sense, creating is a way for me to self-care, to revive, to heal and do more than survive but actually be on my way to thrive...

I am so thankful for what has been accomplished so far, even though I am not always feeling my very best all the time, not to mention the whole thing of being a cute Capricorn... *Dramatic eye rolls* 

I hope this gives you insight as to why I do what I do, and why it matters to me in ways I am not sure I can fully explain but to do so by living exactly as I feel I need to be.

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