I know both Naomi and Angela so it was wonderful to visit the gallery and see their new art hung. The colors, as the brochure promised, were startling, vibrant and alive.
Someone in the corridor recognized me, I'm assuming from the pictures in the media, and immediately wanted to place me. “Joyce Milgaard?” she asked.
I smiled, complimented.
When she finally guessed my name, she immediately began to ask questions – curious – searching- respectful and tentative, not wanting to reveal too much of herself. She apologized for not knowing more saying that she didn’t read the newspaper much, yet she asked a revealing question. “But there were two incidences,” she slowly, "if I remember correctly. Your daughter was found in the shed – the other in the …?”
“Box car,” I supplied the missing piece of information, quickly discerning that she probably knew more than she was letting on. Ordinarily I would have been eager for this opportunity to fill in the missing pieces of information – almost feeling it was my responsibility to keep the “public” informed, We owe it to each other to tell stories.― Neil Gaiman
But now I am resistant. I truly don’t want to get into it.
I try to distract her by commenting on her art work. I am drawn to many of her paintings. Her style is eclectic – some of her paintings are white. And I also want to get back to the main show, to that artistic meeting of minds, now becoming as fascinated with the dramatic tension of bold color the artists are producing - as much as my own white.
"I have shed my story,” I said apologizing for resisting her questions.
“Interesting choice of words,” she says. "Shed?"
"Yes," I answer. "Shedding," feeling that I have chosen the right word. In fact, I have chosen well. I am shedding the story, the old coil, like old skin that doesn't fit anymore.
Shedding one's skin. The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing; they cease to be spirit. Friedrich Nietzsche
As I feel the old skin gone, I am glad to be rid of it. I spent enough arduous time writing it to now feel the weight of it lift and to truly feel the joy of the weight lifting.
But I know I am vulnerable. The new skin has not dried - it feels thin.
I want to go to enjoy color again – then later I want to feel white.
“These secrets are not secrets per se but are truths hidden from public view. I had to write this book.
― Rebecca Allard