As an artist, as a human being, as a woman I am a warrior in spirit. Many of us have learned to be.
I had no idea as a small child that I would need to be – until I was bullied at school (once and thankfully only briefly by two girls who courageously later apologised and in a more subtle but equally intimidating non-physical way by many of the teachers – and that went on right through my school days).
Right from the start I realised that whatever happened I had an inner strength that belied physical or teacher/pupil weakness and that no one – not even the nastiest or crossest person in the whole world - could touch.
It’s partly about soul and spirit. It’s also about the power that flows through all of us. Innate but often unrealised or forgotten.
We all have it. We all need to recognise or remember it. We all need to use it.
It’s nothing to do with fighting or being unpleasant – the opposite in fact. It’s about being your true, astonishingly powerful self and being true to your self and to others. It encourages peace, but not at the loss of this truth.
Yesterday evening I watched Bridge of Spies – a Stephen Spielberg film about an incident of spy-catching and swapping in the Cold War. The lawyer (Tom Hanks) asks the Russian spy he is defending (Mark Rylance) why he does not seem to be afraid of the seemingly likely death penalty and Mark tells the story of a prisoner who was beaten to the floor over and over again but kept getting up. His attackers stopped beating him, admiring him for being what they called a ‘Man Standing’. They’d recognised his inner strength.
Sometimes, of course, if under attack you couldn’t escape it might be sensible not to emulate this but to lie low in the hope of not inviting further attack!
Nevertheless we can all be a Woman or Man Standing in our inner core.
Today I will as usual paint what and how I want to paint.
As Antony Gormley said ‘Art is meant to be shared.’ And by being true to my self with luck the joy of the painting will come across to someone who sees and responds to it.
We can all be warriors in our determination to be true to ourselves, our beliefs, our dreams.
We can all stand up for peace, for love, for beauty.
I wish you joy in your inner strength.
With love and light, Jenny