Tuesday, January 22, 2013


amongst the thorns, beauty can grow….

 have you ever felt like an outsider?  i’m pretty sure there is not a person on the planet who could answer no to that question.  for some it may be a rare experience though, while for others it may be much more pervasive.  and the associated emotions may run the range from slightly uncomfortable to heart-wrenching and everything else in between. 

 my friend soraya has some familiarity with this feeling and choose to devote a whole art journal to exploring it.  what she created in the process of doing that was something so special that, upon serious consideration, she decided to submit to art journaling magazine as a means to share with others.  apparently she struck a chord with her expression.  her work was gifted with the magazine cover as well as a 6 page spread inside.  you just never know! (gorgeous magazine btw!)

Way to go, Soraya!!

 as i was reading through her thought-provoking article i started thinking how we are all outsiders in one way or another.  it’s definitely part of the human experience.  we all have our issues and areas where we feel we don’t fit in.  take me for example.  while on the surface i appear pretty average.  caucasian.  middle class.  american citizen from birth.  ancestors from europe.  grew up in the midwest… 

 but i left that culture almost 40 years ago.  so when i visit i definitely feel like an “outsider”.  even more impactful though for me is the fact that i never had children. this often puts me in the category of outsider.  get a group of women together and what do they want to talk about?  well, nowadays it’s more grandchildren than their own kids, but you get the idea. 

 there are a lot of other things that put me in this position as well. as a child i struggled greatly at times with trying to fit in with the group.  i wasn’t as social as so many others (still am not) and at times that caused me a lot of grief.  (i sometimes just want to have a good heart to heart with my little girl self!)

 i really love the idea of exploring and even embracing our outsider-ness.  in some of my workshops we do an exercise called “i’m a little different” which is an attempt to isolate each person’s unique-ness (or outsider-ness) and then build that into some form of creative expression. 

  it’s cathartic.  and healing.  i plan to follow up on this idea in my own journaling and pass it on to the girls i am working with.  thank you soraya, for bringing it all out into the open!


  1. i've always called it "belonging" and up until about 4 years ago it was a very elusive thing for me. but for the most part i don't feel that way any more...i've worked very hard at finding and being comfortable with belonging. gallery receptions still give me a run for my money!!some more than others. but i am working at it...putting myself out there more...forcing myself to talk to strangers...and so far it's really been a good experience! not easy but good!

    i love your prickly, thorn photos to go along with your words about outsiderness!!

  2. Ah yes .. I think most of us can relate in our own way. I'm still looking for my 'tribe', and in the meantime settle for lovely people with whom I don't quite fit. Perhaps it's part of some life lesson for me. A thought provoking post Patty. Thanks for sharing hour thoughts. xoDonna

  3. Dear Patty-it took a lot of courage for you to write this post! I think that one of the gifts of getting older is that we feel more comfortable being ourSELVES, asking for what we need and finding our tribe. Perhaps in some way, most of us DO feel like outsiders.
    P.S. Thanks for including my art in this post:)

  4. This "outsider" theme resonates with me....being an artist has always meant that I think differently and see differently and yes, act differently than my family, co-workers, friends. And how I do love and appreciate those who allow me to do this and see the good in being an "outsider"...THOSE people are my tribe...Jane

  5. I sometimes have that outsider feeling when there are conversations at my work about people that are having a blog. Some of them know that I have it but not everyone and I'm not shore that I want them all to know, because they could never understand how much it means to me. But when I write my own posts or read others I feel that I'm an "in-sider". I don't care about age, gender, children or not children, it's other things that catches my interest.

  6. beautiful post, beautiful pictures and so well spoken!
    hi Patty, nice to meet you here, too!

  7. weird..my comment just disappeared... oh well... anyway, I was saying that I think we all feel that way - more often than we all probably know! that's really neat about Soraya's spread - will check it out!


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