A Year of Mary
Acrylics,  art,  blog,  dealing with life,  divorce,  divorce,  marriage,  mixed media,  new life,  Thoughts,  Thoughts,  watercolor


Today’s picture is from Effy Wild’s “Year of Mary” lesson. Each month she does a painting inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver. This was the lesson for March and it created so many challenges for me. In fact, it’s been sitting on my art cart for about two weeks because I could not get her face done right or to what I was perceiving as “right.”

The whole process has been, messy and muddled, right to the very end.

And, it hit me, that this really is such a perfect metaphor for life and how we choose to handle the challenges presented to us. I’m not talking about toxic positivity in which we pretend that “bad things happen for a reason,” or that “God only gives us what we can handle.” All of that (waves in the air) is utter bullshit.

When I look at this art that I created, it brings to mind a few things: 1.) it is okay to walk away from things and 2.) it is also okay to come back to those things and try again and 3.) oftentimes, the results will be messy and complicated.

I’ve blogged a lot on here about the end of my 32 year marriage and how ugly, messy, and so very complicated it all was for me, my kids and even my ex-husband. As I’ve come through to the other side, I realize now that I was deeply unhappy for many years in my marriage. I was living a life that was a lie to myself, but it took walking through the storm of destruction and betrayal, to force my hand and ultimately leave. None of it was easy and a big part of why I didn’t leave, even after the betrayal, is because I didn’t want to be the one to blow up the family.

I’m now living a life I never thought possible and it certainly would not have been possible had I stayed married to my ex because we both had very different visions of how we wanted to live the latter half of our lives. I longed to travel, explore, create. These are all part of my life now. Even more important, I’m loved fiercely by a man who loves me as messy and complicated as I am. And, even none of this would be possible if during the end of my old life, I didn’t do the work on me that was absolutely necessary to do.

So, Good Morning, sweet friends. Embrace life for all it’s messy, complicated, gift that it is.



    • christal

      My new husband is a study in patience with me as I am with him. We have our quirks, but it works. Thank you for commenting!

  • JL

    This gets me in the feels — “a big part of why I didn’t leave, even after the betrayal, is because I didn’t want to be the one to blow up the family.” I see you. <3

    • christal

      It was one of the toughest decisions ever, even though the months preceding, almost destroyed me. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • Donna

    Messy, we all have messy in some way or another. My messy is different, had my head in a mush many times, my now husband looks after me and my mess, as I do his.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • TheForgottenMuse

    I can totally relate. Even though my marriage was over long ago, I still stayed. I stayed out of fear. I finally got the courage and the help to leave, but it still wasn’t over because he wouldn’t divorce me. Until now. I don’t know what changed, but I’m relieved.
    Even though I left, I still didn’t feel like I could live. I was always looking over my shoulder. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Once it’s finalized, I hope I can breathe again.

    • Christal Kelly

      I hope that it’s finalized soon. It will get better, but allow yourself grace for those times of nostalgia and remind yourself of why you *had* to leave. Too often, our minds forgets the awful and wants to only remember the good. Hugs to you on this journey.

      • TheForgottenMuse

        Thank you Christal. Hugs to you too. At the earliest, it will be final next week. But I don’t know how all this works. He and I live in different states and he filed. It feels like holding your breath until it’s fully over.

  • Margaret

    Messy seems to be synonymous with growth and upheaval. (which is both positive and negative) I’m sure you’ve seen this quote: “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” — Cynthia Occelli

      • Margaret

        I’m so glad I shared the quote then; I almost didn’t! It’s perfect, isn’t it? I identified with it so much. Thank you for your kind words about my dad. He was a good person and I miss him dearly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *