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Discovering Kinship: Robyn Gordon – My Inspiration

Discovering Kinship: Robyn Gordon – My Inspiration

Tammy May 7, 2016 1 comment
Our Lady of the Deep Blue Sea, detail, wall sculpture by Tammy Vitale
"All Things Connected" Ceramic wall sculpture by Tammy Vitale.

“All Things Connected” Ceramic wall sculpture by Tammy Vitale.

I fell in love with Robyn Gordon’s art YEARS ago.  And last week I discovered I have been friends with her on FaceBook since 2010.  Life is funny like that.  I love her sculptures – she’s a wood carver, and have used them as inspiration for my own work – especially the one pictured here, “All Things Connected”, a part of my Wylde Women series – indicated by the shape of the head.

I have always wondered where that shape came from, and have seen it in Buddhas, but now I believe that it was greatly influenced by Robyn’s work (unconsciously – which is why, until just now, I never made that connection).

Robyn posts daily on FaceBook:  lovely compilations of art paired with a quote.  It is unfortunate that you can’t get a straight up url to the compilations…but you can go see, because she does it regularly.  In fact, I’ve come to look for her post to start my day (and share on my page) – always inspirational, both the words and art.

Today she shared a quote by Shauna Niequist: who apparently has a book called “Present Over Perfect”, in the works (not

Robyn Gordon's art, see more: http://artpropelled.blogspot.com/

Robyn Gordon’s art, see more: http://artpropelled.blogspot.com/

yet published) which sounds intriguing just from the title (in fact I think there is a whole story already in those 3 words).  Here’s the quote:

“Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.”

This grabbed me, for a lot of reasons.  I could keep them all to myself but today is mine all mine and it seems not a bad thing to share what should probably just go in a journal.  Why?  Because if I’m thinking it, someone else is and maybe they need to see they’re not alone.  Or maybe I just need to write it out so I can see what I’m thinking (writing makes you order your thoughts and the hamster can’t stay on the wheel when you’re doing that, but it is always scary).  Whatever, here I am.

I love the call to yourself in this quote…”putting away for retirement” – how many times have I castigated myself for not just taking a job and keeping it and getting a steady income so that now, at my age, I could be retired and pursuing my dreams.  Instead, I took off after those dreams,  dreams of social justice and, a bit burned out from that last go round (understatement), went on to following my heart – putting pen to paper and hands in clay –  only to arrive at retirement with the very clear understanding that there would be no such thing for me.  Something which causes me quite a bit of, um, consternation, from time to time.  The reason I love this is that it gives me permission to have done that, to find myself in this situation, and not to be sad or angry or fearful or ashamed about it.  [“Permission” is something I have given thought to and given others but apparently not given to and integrated in myself.]

I have no problem being responsible for the fact I am where I am because of my choices.  I have had problems with those choices, in the past, and feeling I could have made better ones.  Suddenly, I see that I did make the better ones.   And while we are always right where we are supposed to be, said hamster mentioned above, does not always agree, climbs on the wheel and there goes 3 hours of beating ourselves up while she gets her exercise.

So I’m writing this to say to all of us who have ongoing work with transformation, who put pens to paper (and hands in clay, and feet to beats in dance and all the other ways we are creative or deny ourselves the permission to follow that creativity):  you have the right ideas.  Are you in touch with someone who can mirror them back to you?  Are you getting the benefit of your right ideas?  I hope so.

Sending *everyone* much love.

p.s.  The links in this post are important to expanding understanding of all of this permission and following your heart stuff.  I hope you’ll take the time to click through.



  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    May 8, 2016

    You have gone for your dreams and followed your heart! That is worth everything!!
    Big hugs!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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