Issue 45, Shedding Skin by Harryette Mullen
On big shifts and choosing a new reality on my 36th birthday
Things have been moulting. Leaves shedding in their customary dance of death or birth depending on how you see it. I’ve just finished 36 turns around the sun last week. For some reason 36 was a number that was immutable in my mind in terms of where I “should” be in my life. A picture was clear, even though I didn’t draw it myself. Having gotten here, with none of the things I thought I would have but having all the things I could not even imagine having - seems to have broken some kind of spell. The spell of societal expectations, or any programs that I don’t truly believe in seems to be dispersing.
Thanks for reading Found poems! Subscribe for free to receive new posts & support my work.
In the age of social media, even “authenticity” is commodified. But truly every year, and especially this one it feels like I am peeling back yet another layer to meet my authentic self. I have been painting - for hours, I paint in silence, I meet my body and my heart and leave my mind out of the room. Shedding skin is not an intellectual act.
I came across this poem by Harryette Mullen that could not be more perfect for this moment in time. With the events of last few years, I know a lot of us are feeling a bigger shift already here, or just about arriving.
by Harryette Mullen
Pulling out of the old scarred skin
(old rough thing I don't need now
I strip off
slip out of
I slough off deadscales
flick skinflakes to the ground
peeling layers down
to vulnerable stuff
And I'm blinking off old eyelids
for a new way of seeing
By the rock I rub against
I'm going to be tender again
As a birthday present to myself, I promised to show up for myself, and embrace the inner artist I’ve been slowly awakening. As of this week, I’ve launched my own art studio practice with the release of 36 artworks (one for each year I spent sidelining my creativity), to help me heal and focus my time doing what truly expands and nourishes me.
The artworks include original oils and acrylics on canvas, museum grade giclée prints and originals on paper. Hop over to my website to to take a look – I hope at the very least it offers some inspiration.
Found Poems has been a free resource that I have been writing for over two years. If you have over the years enjoyed reading these newsletters please consider supporting this work by buying me a coffee (or more) here https://ko-fi.com/sanarao
You can also support me by buying or sharing some of my art, sharing this newsletter, across your socials or forwarding to that one friend who you know needs some inspiration.
If what you’re after is some more inspiration yourself, I recommend The Sample, a newsletter that curates a new type of newsletter to your inbox every time, or check out some books from my curated Bookshop.org list.
Keep embracing that inner artist. And a belated happy birthday!