Friday, September 3, 2010


During the first year of grad school for art therapy, my classmates were assigned to research a symbol we have noticed in our artwork--an image that kept coming up.

Mine was a toy sailboat, with a red body, white sails, and a small red flag on top. It took me a few months to figure out where it came from, but it gave me clues. It was always very small in the middle of a large (and sometimes tumultuous) sea.

I made other boats as well, but they were always small and fragile [I would always realize afterward].
This theme went on for a little over half a year. I realized what it meant over time: it was about being separated from my fiancé by the Atlantic Ocean.  We knew when he would be coming home, it was just the longest and farthest away we've been from each other, and the lack of communication during that time apart really really did not help... hence the fragile boats.


Just the other day (about 1.5 years since his return) I was wandering around a craft store and passed a display of screen print stencils with a similar image to this: 
Beneath the symbols read "faith hope love" (anchor cross heart).

I had never thought of the anchor before, but in regards to our situation, we really needed to have faith in one another and our relationship.  When I envision our anchor it seems very heavy--almost heavy enough to capsize the tiny boats I had been making--but it was there.  

Somewhere in those tiny boats was our anchor. I didn't know it, but it was always there.

This is why I love the art, and will always keep track of my symbols as they change over time.  It's why I got my bird tattoo and why I intend to get a tiny sailboat in a large sea.  

My visual timeline.


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