My Little Soul
By Melanie Mowinski
Cheshire, Massachusetts: Melanie Mowinski, 2010. Edition of 10.

1.75 x 5" closed, opens to 6 x 9.75"; single sheet folded to 8 pages. Pastel watercolor pens. In handmade slipcase. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Melanie Mowinski: "A couple of summers ago, I went to Jiminy Peak’s Aerial Adventure Park to try the High Ropes Course. It’s divided by level, levels that parallel the categorizing of skiing. Green = Easy. Black = Difficult.

"It was fun, scary, challenging, and required complete focus on the task, whether crossing a horizontal rope ladder 40 feet in the air, or flying down a zip line. The first part of the adventure requires trusting the harness, knowing and believing that if you couldn’t quite do something and you let go, the harness would protect you from crashing to the ground.

"All fine and good, but I had a really hard time believing this. This became super apparent when I reached a 15 foot rope ladder that I had to climb. The bottom of the ladder was about four feet off the platform, and the platform was at least 20 feet off the ground. And the ladder? It wasn’t anchored in place and the rungs weren’t easily spaced. The ladder moved around and the reach from rung to rung was a herculean effort, especially since this was one of the later challenges. I tried, got frustrated. Rested on the platform, then tried again. I repeated this loop a number of times, growing more and more frustrated and angry. Angry at my fear, angry at my inability to trust, angry at being weak. So I pouted. And pouted. And then totally spent, gave up and took the zip line down off the platform to the solid ground. Had I been able to trust the harness, I could have leaned into it and made it up the ladder, but I couldn’t. I wanted to do it on my own. (Read the many life analogies and metaphors in this example.)

"The subtle pouting remained in ways that I did not even realize until a few months later when looking at some of the artwork created shortly after that. For example, the semester after that I created this little one page book and the accompanying envelope. The text reads: My little soul climbed high and away where the pauses hummed in silence speak your truth. Do you see only that which concerns you? Decide for yourself. Become transparent."