Letter to Elmhurst Art Museum from visitor to Presence
"At first when I encountered Time Mirror, I didn't like myself. I looked awkward and gangly. I moved away from the looking.
Then, when my friends and I came back later, we started talking about it.
My good friend pointed out, "D, this is who you are. You are a very expressive person who is goofy. You are probably 10 times more expressive than anyone I know." She sometimes exaggerates, but her statement did shed light on my goofiness and ultra-expressiveness.
And it's not like I don't already know this. But it's one thing to know it in your head, and quite another to really know it - in your body, heart, head, whatever.
As I saw myself respond to my friends in conversation with my whole body doing goofy moves (and these are entirely involuntary; they just happen as I talk and respond), I was startled to see what everyone else can see. We kept talking and watching Time Mirror.
The pivotal moment came when my dear friend said to me, "D, THIS [pointing to me in the Time Mirror] is the D I love."
All of a sudden, I was able to accept myself and celebrate who I am. And then I started crying. I still looked gangly, but maybe not as awkward, and very happy and goofy and kind.
And all that happening during a time when I've not being wearing make-up. I've been on a journey towards self-acceptance of the raw me. The original face I've been given. And now accepting what I guess everyone else sees! Haha. It's so weird.
My perspective of myself is often veiled by a screen of ignorance, as I believe that others see a self I think I'm projecting. I really can't control who I am or the personality I have been given. And isn't it beautiful that dear friends receive my person, and celebrate it? What a gift.
Thank you, Mr. Haskins, for your work, for your celebration of people, and for creating art that gently takes down the veils. I really appreciate it."