This might not be your typical self-portrait, but at the time in my life when I made it, I like to think you might have recognized if you saw it.
I was emerging from an incredibly dark period, living half the time in glorious Topanga Canyon, California, where the tree branches everywhere look like they are continually making love to each other. True to my Spiritual Toolbox, I hiked every day, starting down the steep hill outside of my tiny guest house. For a solid week, I kept passing this amazing piece of wood in the shape of a heart, with arms and legs reaching out of it. It called to me; it was a reclining, metaphorical version of me. It seemed too big for me to drag up the hill and home, but for some reason I was set on physically carrying it rather than picking it up with my vehicle. And so, despite the size, I carried it.
Looking back, I think the physical act of dragging this piece of wood up a hill had something to do with knowing I was strong again, inside and out. The creation of it was a true processing of my experience; I remember actually crying as I worked on it, allowing the paint drips to take over for my tears. And, while the “outside” of my heart still felt silvery and cold, the “inside” was warm, colorful and empowered, ready to climb up any steep hill that came my way.
-Elizabeth Bryan-Jacobs, 2016