West Seattle designer Rebekah J will showcase The AWA Collection, her new and most emotionally inspired collection. Here is her story....
"Experiences have a way of showing you what’s important, what’s needed, when to begin. In the early summer of 2015 I was given some health news that was scary and emotionally charged. There were a lot of unknowns, many Dr. visits, and big words like cancer and no more children, all during my busiest summer as a maker ever. I ended up having a dual surgery to remove a CANTALOUPE sized ovarian cyst, my right ovary, and my gall bladder. A stroke of good fortune came during the tail end of my recovery and my husband was asked to go to Kauai for a work project. We jumped on the opportunity to go while I was recovering. Emotionally my whole soul needed the trip. Thinking about my future with the words cancer, and no more children floating around was scary and painful. Looking back on that time I became swallowed up and closed off with those swirling thoughts and emotions."
"Last year I frequently felt that I was on the precipice of change, or that something big was coming. I was waiting arms wide open for what ever the universe sent me - I had no idea that that was going to be a health issue. After my first meeting with the oncologist I became somewhat detached from my self. I was scared, confused and lost in fear - what if I had cancer? The cyst was also large enough that I could physically feel it. An avid yogi I mentally couldn't ignore it during practice and after several classes in prayer pose crying I stopped going. The thing was huge! It also it wrecked havoc with my hormones as my body tried to compensate. Every move I made was a reminder that I had this giant unknown in my belly. The gall stone screwed with my digestion and I was always fighting with what I could easily consume without feeling nauseous, dizzy or create heart burn."
"It wasn't cancer. Luckily it was benign and they only needed to take 1 ovary with the cyst and the unrelated gall stone. And after a ridiculously painful recovery (I delivered a child naturally with no pain medication so I know pain and this recovery was awful) I was ready to take my self back. I didn’t have cancer. I was going to be ok. I made it though to the other side. WE had made it though the other side - as a family. Because even though this was physically and mentally draining on me, it affected my whole family. My husband and child and I were essentially being told that we may never have children again. And even though we were pretty sure we loved being a family of 3 it’s really weird what happens in your head when that choice taken away from you. So emotionally we all needed this trip."
"When my plane flew over the ocean and my first sight of Kauai came into view through the tiny airplane window, past my husbands smiling and knowing face, prickles went up and down my body. Finally that change I was seeking was upon me. The beauty was restoring. My heart was filled up and I felt connected again. Connected to my self, my husband, my daughter. Emotionally I was filling up with goodness. Until this trip I had’t realized how devoid of these connections the experience had caused. Everything was brighter. More lush. My emotions were stronger. And I began to see images, and shapes in everything. My new work showed its face though the peace I felt."
"Water has always had the ability to reconnect me when I feel lost, I’ve never really been away from it. In someway or another I’ve always been near it. I named my daughter Luka, the Croatian word for harbor for this very reason - safe, protected and healing. Fittingly AWA, pronounced ‘ah-vah’, is the Hawaiian word for harbor. And so with the waves stripping away my fears, the sand softening the tough shell I had developed though the scare, and the sun healing my heart I created this new collection. It is a reflection of this trip, the beauty of Kauai, my healing, and my progression as a human during this process."
Meet Rebekah J during West Seattle Art Walk, June 9th, 6 to 9pm.
She is a beautiful person, inside and out....