Sunday, February 05, 2006

Pieces of Me


When I was doing my coaching training, one of our assignments was to bring in something that represented ourselves. I went home that night and made this collage. It sits inside a tray that was the centrepiece at our wedding. And in the centre of this I put a candle in a fantastic frosted glass container that has "magic" inscribed all over it.

I was so excited to share my creation when I arrived on course the next day. But it quickly became apparent that I was the only one who had made something. My excitement soon turned to self-consciousness. Everyone else brought pictures or something they carried with them. People told stories about representative moments. It was just the kind of moment my gremlin loves, "Jamie, who the hell do you think you are? This is a little pretentious, isn't it? I mean, no one else strolled in with a little homemade art project." And of course, it invoked other people's gremlins too, "Oh, were we supposed to make something? I didn't realize that. I just brought this photo. I hope that's okay." What a strong hold conformity has! As soon as difference arrived, insecurity came in holding her hand.

But coaches being coaches, we moved through the discomfort to find out what treasures were hidden in there. And truth be told, everyone's piece, whatever it was, was absolutely delightful. We asked each other what was significant about the words, the shape, the colour, the texture of the item. What memories did it bring up? In what way was it significant? What secrets did it reveal?Each item provided an opportunity to get to know each other better, to gain insight into the values and qualities of the person sharing the item. It also allowed them a chance to be seen and to have their own glorious uniqueness reflected back for them to see.

Having that kind of a conversation about my piece evoked a particular word, one that still has lots of resonance for me today: sparkle. I love things that sparkle, whether it's jewelery, champagne or someone's laughing eyes. And when I sparkle, I'm not self-conscious. I know that the gift I have to share is me. And when my gremlin asks "Who the hell do you think you are?" I say, "Jamie! And ain't that the greatest?"

9 comments:

megg said...

Hooray!! That's how I feel after reading that post - it's so wonderful to be able to say that. I'm on a quest to be able to say that about myself too. And as for sparkle - we are definitely kindred spirits there!! ANYTHING that sparkles & glitters... Sigh!! You are inpiring me so much, I'm so glad to have found you!!

megg said...

P.S. Check out my site - you've been tagged AGAIN!!

Alexandra S said...

Hello again! I loved your collage. Until very recently I have thought of collage as something for artists only and in the past would have looked at a beautiful collage like you have here and said, "Oh I wish I could do something like that myself!" and now, I suppose I am shifting inside because looking at it tonight and reading your post instead left me feeling inspired. Yay~! I was reading through your Tag answers too, and am also inspired now to finally see Whale Rider and Moulin Rouge.
I continue to be amazed that all of us just "met" two weeks ago! Enjoying your blog and looking forward to more!

chest of drawers said...

You are amazing! No wonder you love sparkle, you sparkle yourself, like a big, shiny star!
There are so many messages in your posts that we should carry around with us, that we should tell ourselves over and over again so we don´t forget.
By the way, to join the swap you just send an email with your address to Jek in the Box, details are here: (http://www.flickr.com/groups/swap-o-rama/discuss/145344/)

vern said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vern said...

I can empathize with the who-do-you-think-you-are? gremlin. I felt so embarrassed at my reading last summer, when I was the only one who'd written an introduction for myself! I finally realized it wasn't out of line for me to have prepared one, and it wasn't my responsibility if no one else did (out of laziness, lack of time, their need to play small, or whatever).

Dan said...

You've brilliantly captured a moment with both your coaching story and your wonderful art piece. I think we've all been in that situation where we do something drastically different from the rest of the group, and often this is when the most amazing things come out. Thanks for sharing this.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Jamie! Thanks for visiting my newborn site! I love your line about things that sparkle, jewelry, champagne and laughing eyes. That's beautiful. I love sparkle too, I even love the word. This week I am going to try to post the "Sparkle" doll I made over the holidays -- and my husband has an idea that if we ever have a daughter he wants to NAME her Sparkle! Very cute, but I don't know...

I also love your tray, and I can relate so much to the feelings of discomfort you had there, and I'm glad it all worked out -- sounds like a good group of people.
-Laini

Frankie said...

FABULOUS! There's no other word for what you've written here. It's just fabulous. I love your beautiful creation and your self awareness. You sparkle so brightly here and you've illuminated my day. Thanks so much for this!