A Collage for Jane

A Collage for Jane

A friend recently invited me to a little gathering she was hosting. Not quite a Soul Collage © party, it was to be a one time creative get-together for the pure fun of it.

The rules were simple and the outcome surprising to most of my fellow attendees.

The object of our little gathering was for each of us to create a personal collage that spoke to us. We began by walking around the room perusing the piles of clippings tossed on a series of card tables. The collections were separated into categories: people, landscapes, food, animals, objects, architecture, and travel. We were instructed to pick as many clippings as “called out” to us. We were to take those clippings and glue them on a card creating a collage that in some way touched us.

We were to make just one card allowing our subliminal to rule. I came away surprised at how subconsciously I had picked key points in my life from the piles of clippings and through the randomness of it all, had created a brief analysis of my life and sent a message to myself for the future.

My personal collage

Did Jane collage?

Purely conjecture, but I imagine that during the Regency era books and magazines were too precious to clip and cut. I did a tad bit of research and discovered that collage first came about in the beginning of the 20thcentury. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are credited with coining the term “collage.” Certainly there were forms of cutting and sticking clippings to paper prior to the 1900s but printed pictures were dear and photographs too treasured to clip. I will rely on others to add to my limited knowledge.

Poor Jane. She might not have had the pleasure of making a collage representing some of the pieces of her life, for how could she have known? About JASNA? Or JAFF? Or Colin Firth! How could she have imagined her place in the literary heavens? Having had such a delightful time preparing a collage of my life, I thought I might prepare one for her giving her a tiny glimpse of things to come.

Please disregard the inclusion of My Fair Lizzy as it fell glue-side-down and stuck before I could peel it away. (Ha!)


Alert: Too much information about me is included in this analysis of my personal collage. You may skip my confession, but if you read it, please keep it a secret.

Girl on tightrope carrying umbrella: My life has been a balancing act, not always perfectly performed, but the show is strictly of my own doing.

Big Ben: London is my favorite city in the world. I miss it and if given a second chance, I would gladly live in England.

Johnny Depp: I have mistaken the men who entered my life for Johnny Depp in his prime, only to discover they were the pirate—Captain Jack Sparrow.

Young girl walking down the staircase: I spent my early years having the same nightmare, night after night. In the dream I would try to reach my abusive mother who stood just out of sight at the top of a staircase. Dream after dream I climbed up the stairs but could never reach her. The girl in the clipping reminds me that giving up and walking down the staircase brought me out into the sunlight. Some things are not meant to be.

The cat’s eye: I am most happy with the calming influence of a cat in my life.

The tiny girl on the tightrope in the upper right corner: She is me returning to try my life over again. This time headed to England, ignoring the past and excluding the Jack Sparrows of the world. With any luck she may pull a Mary Poppins and take off on good breeze.

Odd how close to the surface our memories and repressed feelings can lay that a few clippings can bring them to life.

With love & laughter,

Barbara Silkstone


8 Responses to A Collage for Jane

  1. Don’t worry I won’t tell your secret. What a lovely collage! It’s fun to visualize my own collage and different parts of my’ own life like you did.

  2. This was a very powerful post. Your secret is safe. I love a collage. Although I don’t collage… I found myself clipping pictures from magazines that were peaceful to me or touched me in some way. I would them glue them on a page of a new journal. When I would then write in that journal… I would have a delightful picture on the page that pleased, delighted or calmed me. I would think it would make a good gift… but soon realized that the pictures spoke to me and might not speak to someone else. Like you said… the collage represented the person creating it. Funny how My Fair Lizzy just jumped on that collage. A happy accident I am sure. Blessings on your writing.

  3. Your personal collage is captivating as I really am drawn to the images you chose as well. This is such a fun idea, I hope one day to participate in a collage party.

    • darcybennett, Thank you! It really is a fun way to explore the inner you. I hope someday you get to participate in a collage party. There is something energizing in watching a roomful of ladies quietly assembling the pieces of their lives in a meaningful way.

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