• Susie Zol

Off And On

We all have them. Those days when you just feel 'off'.

For me, I know as soon as I wake up. If I have had a fitful sleep full of starts and stops; waking up suddenly with a thought and then drifting off, too hot, too cold, maybe aching somewhere inside. On these mornings, I am off. I much prefer the mornings when I wake up refreshed and feeling alive. Everything is in its place and I know I will have a good day. I am on. By far, a much nicer and easier way to go through life, but more than likely I will move between the two during the day and struggle with accepting both as part of my life.

Art journaling is a safe place for me to be creative and gain insight and perspective. On this spread I am playing in an altered book with some torn, painted scraps of paper, gesso and graphite. I am aware that my hands are moving about the page as I repeat a mantra to myself "I don't know, I don't know" to help prevent my mind from engaging in the process. A signal for me that I am close to completion is when I become more aware of things going on around me. Maybe the television is on, or the radio. Perhaps someone has entered the room and is moving about. It is during this "resurfacing" that I notice the word 'off' near the bottom of the right hand page. Immediately, I think "off, and on". Writing it on my page reinforces it in my mind. Looking at the spread I see one side is clearly busier than the other. The right side feels 'off' while the left side feels 'on'.

Reaching for insight, I know that I experience each end of this spectrum, and most days, I wander between the two and settle somewhere in the middle. Looking at the relationship of these two pages and their respective opposites, I can see they are both part of the whole picture. Each side presents on its own but its the combined view, the relationship between the two, the back and forth energy they give each other that holds my attention. Being both off and on makes me complete.

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