I am still going strong with my challenge to myself. But — I changed the manner of how I’m doing what I’m doing…
After making about 5 Survivors’ Squares on wood blocks, I started to envision a stack of 31 squares. Then, I started to think about the volunteers or other staff at a domestic violence shelter who would have to deal with all of those blocks. I am sure no one wants to add block distribution to their task list. So, I decided to make a DOTS Writing Journal instead.
What is a DOTS Writing Journal you ask?
It is a 5.5 x 5.5 inch bound journal with nice, heavy watercolor paper. It has a nice linen cover that can (and will) be painted and/or otherwise decorated. And the journal contains 88 blank pages. That’s 44 dot mandalas and 44 blank pages — space for someone to write a prayer or other thoughts.
What I do is create the mandala on one page, leaving the back of that page blank. That is the space where someone can write, doodle, draw or even create their own dot mandala. In essence, these pages are Survivors’ Squares simply presented in a bound book. And I rather like the idea of giving a survivor a journal infused with love, care, and concern for them and their well-being.
I know it can be dangerous for someone dealing with intimate partner abuse to keep a journal. But, she can always doodle or use it to write her grocery list. The key is that the dot mandalas contained therein are a constant reminder that someone cares. That someone is praying for them through those dots, holding them, uplifting them…
To know that someone took their time to hand paint 44 mandalas and give them a journal to keep whatever is safe for them to keep there can mean the world to someone who feels isolated and alone. Me knowing that my artwork is in the hands of someone who can truly benefit from the love and positive energy I infuse into mandala — into each dot — means the world to me.
It is part of my personal healing process.
Not everyone has family and a strong support system to help see them through domestic violence. Not everyone has empty nester parents with 5 free bedrooms that they can come home to. Not everyone has a clear and obvious way out. I was blessed to be someone who did. Now I am paying it forward by letting those who don’t appear to have someone in their corner know that, in reality, they do. We may not know each other nor ever had the opportunity to meet. But just knowing someone cares can help bolster a victim’s courage to leave their current situation knowing that there are people out their that do care and will help.
And may Love be at the center of all of our choices…