One of the greatest gifts from my weekend away was being painted by the amazing Katherine Center. In addition to being a writer, she is also a painter, and brought her favorite brush with her for a special project: She would paint our bodies (our arms, our hands, our back, our chests) with whatever words we most needed to hear. The message could be directed at our bodies or simply our spirits. They could be individual words, a line of poetry, whatever was meaningful to us.
What unfolded was a surprisingly deep ritual. When it was my turn, I was surprised by how shy I felt. She asked me what word I wanted and I stuttered and stammered, resisting the word that kept coming to mind: lovable. Really? I thought. Does it have to be lovable? That’s so pathetic and embarrassing…
Then I started to cry, and finally eeked the word out. Okay, lovable.
Katherine wrote it over and over across my arm, in big flowy cursive, in smaller printed type. I saw the word creep over my shoulder, and felt the tickle of her brush across my hand. The black paint seeped into my skin, and as those words seeped in, of course the truth of it seeped in too. It felt incredibly vulnerable, which made me want to cry once again.
Here is a collection of images from other Lovebombers that day. If you were to be painted, what words would you choose?