Expressive Arts Carnival No. 15: Obstacle

| By Paul | | Comments (8)

Welcome to the January 2012 edition of the Expressive Arts Carnival, back after a bit of a hiatus! This month's theme, see announcement, was to "create an image that represents a major obstacle facing you now."

Here are the entries in the order received.

Entry 1: CimmerianInk - blog

CimmerianInk wrote: "For me it was very important to have a wall visually that separates the me who is looking for answers, from the me that's fragmented and full of doubts. It feels like my mind is the obstacle that I'm up against."

Entry 2: JustEliza

JustEliza wrote: "Not a child, Not a mother, Not a life."

Entry 3: Laura

New contributor Laura wrote: "I drew this while I was in the hospital recently, as a response to the same prompt about a major obstacle. Right now I am deeply struggling with how to bring myself—my very, very complicated and terrifying self—into therapy. It feels as if there is literally not room for all of the things I am experiencing and remembering in a 50 minute hour twice a week. Although I have been working with my therapist for several years, I am afraid that she has no idea what is coming. How can I navigate therapy as an adult when I feel so broken and out of control?"

Entry 4: Kerro

Kerro wrote: "I've been facing some challenges at work lately, and this photo I took over the Christmas break seems to capture those nicely, in a couple of different ways. First, there's a sort of literal representation. I work in a building that's around the same vintage as this one, so there's a physical resemblance to my place of work. Second, there's a more metaphorical representation in that the building seems dark and gloomy, with the spire towering over me—all of it with the stormy sky, almost a sign, foreboding. I've been feeling this way about work for a few weeks now. It's really challenging me not to be afraid of work and what will happen there. Challenging every healed (and unhealed) fibre of my being to walk in there every day."

Entry 5: Castorgirl

Castorgirl wrote: "My thought patterns have become my greatest obstacle, resulting in an inability to speak up for myself, looking for any excuse to put myself down, and within my disordered eating habits.  I know that these are all symptoms of an underlying cause or motivation, but the scream of these symptoms is so loud, it's now impossible to see what is behind it.  So my scream, as represented by this abstract photograph, is my obstacle."

Entry 6: Bay - blog

Entry 7: Wantstorun

Wantstorun wrote: "I My mind definitely responds in a logical manner, and my mind definitely responds in an emotional manner.  I struggle a lot to get my emotions to match up with logic, or vice versa.  It is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole."

Entry 8: Paul

Paul (me) wrote: "The result of such complete focus on the "left camp" lead to huge jealousy and anger from the right camp, and that lead to a serious lack of safety. The obstacle, for me, is getting some communication and collaboration over that divide and over that bridge. The path is the art. The expression."

That's all folks! Thanks to all those who contributed, especially those of you who are new. Thanks for taking a chance! If you think this Carnival is worthwhile, then let others know about it and we can continue to increase the contributors for future months.

The Carnival will now be on a bi-monthly schedule. Our next activity will be posted on or around March 1.

The Expressive Arts Carnival was founded to to bring survivors together through expressive arts activities. On the Carnival's home page you can find links to all activity announcements and Carnival publications. Activities are posted on the first of every other month and submissions are open for approximately 3 weeks. If you are interested in the carnival and want to be notified of activity postings, please send an email to


Kerro said:

Oh wow, what a powerful Carnival! I could relate to so many of the pieces. Thank you everyone for sharing.

sanityisknocking replied to Kerro:

I doubly agree.

Alice said:

wow, these are so full of emotion and, as has been said, really powerful. I was disappointed to see that I'd missed the deadline but am looking forward to taking part in the next one.

wantstorun said:

It is a relief for me to see that others have similar obstacles, I appreciate folks being open and sharing. I was a bit frustrated though, because many times in doing these submissions I am able to learn new ways to cope ... but I didn't find any way to speed up, make easier, or otherwise overcome my obstacle.


MultipleMe said:

I havent been very active lately - on my blog or with the Expressive Arts Carnival. I am hoping for that to change soon but Im not going to make any promises

I wanted to say that these are amazing! I have been struggling with the idea that 'I just want to be normal" and that is part of the reason I have been avoiding healing work lately.

All of you are really brave to recognise your obstacles, face them and to share them. It has really inspired me to get back to my own healing path

castorgirl said:

CimmerianInk, I can identify with that feeling of having that wall there... it can feel so frustrating, yet "safe" at the same time - who knows what's beyond it?

I'm sorry for your pain JustEliza... you express it so well here.

Laura, the energy in your picture is incredible...

Bay, there are people who are willing to listen... I hope you find someone soon.

Take care everyone,

jahda said:

i haven't been around for awhile as things have taken a turn for the worse: i'm losing my T. Needless to say I am not only in shock but freaking out and dying as we have been together for many years and he is the one who has brought me along this far in my healing. I've called others (not that I could EVER go through telling "my" story again it's just to horrific talk about again, but I know I need help now more than ever before as I feel so betrayed. No one is taking new patients.

He's moving and so weening his patients off of him but we were just in the middle of the deepest part yet as far as investigating my healing and i need his support as unlike some who have other people in their real lives to support them, I have no one. He had just opened some doors that have been locked closed for decades and decades and i had such hope that i might really be able to "integate" and stop all the triggering and live a simple life with the black hole inside me gone once and for all.

I'm trying to stay strong but it's not working very well...

Even though I haven't been contributing I still check in here and especially the carnival and the contributions this month here really speak to me where my head is right now. Nothing I can talk about it words - more at the gut level of pain - suffering - just so MUCH of it, for so LONG, and then just when you think you are going to be healed and have a shot at life even for a short time, the worst thing possible (to me right now) is something like this.

Looking at these helped me. Makes me feel less alone in the internal ache and so I just want to thank all of you who contributed and of course Paul for continuing on with this even thought it must take an enourmous amount of time and energy to do.

Thank you for helping :)


Paul Author Profile Page replied to jahda:

Jahda, I'm sorry that you are going through such a hard time right now. I'm glad you find the Carnival helpful, and hope you join next month's!

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This page contains a single entry published on February 4, 2012 11:58 PM.

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