No One Told Me it Would Lead to This (Batik series 2015-2016)

No one told me

No one told me
it would lead to this.
No one said
there would be secrets
I would not want to know.

No one told me about seeing.
seeing brought me loss and a darkness I could not hold.

No one told me about writing
or speaking.

Speaking and writing poetry
I unsheathed the sharp edge
of experience that led me here.
No one told me
it could not be put away.

I was told once, only
in a whisper,
‘The blade is so sharp-
It cuts together
-not apart’

This is no comfort.
My future is full of blood
from being blindfolded
hands outstretched,
feeling a way along its firm edge.

© David Whyte

Except for a couple of workshops, I’m a self-taught batik artist. Online I hang with the UK Batik Guild and find techniques from the artists represented there. But not knowing any rules per se, I’m free to try the unconventional. I wondered what would and could happen if I applied my process to paper where few batik artists had ventured at that point in time. I was amazed by the result and it changed all of my work. Sales followed with numerous, ongoing shows. No one told me it would lead to this! The guiding poem by David Whyte (above) is dark but it speaks to my belief that art changes people and there are times at the end of a piece, where I do not recognize myself. Even through difficult work, my hands remain outstretched however, and I firmly feel my way along the edge of adventure. This can not be put away. It is my path.