I didn’t know exactly what to expect of Healing Hamlet, but I did understand the value of art and healing in my own life. This project has always felt bigger than me, because it is.
Seventeen months ago, Healing Hamlet launched with its first post: an interview of my very talented artist friend, Staci Thompson Adman. But the idea for this blog surfaced months before then, sprung from life events that had shaped the preceding years. Thoughts became plans and plans turned into lists, outlines and sketches of web pages. I took web design courses so that I could dive into the HTML entrails of my WordPress theme. Long hours were spent in the soft glow of my laptop screen, tweaking and revising, changing and modifying. After a few what happens if I do this…, several oopsies, and a couple omigod- I’ve ruined everything, I massaged the thing into a format somewhat resembling my original vision. Now the real fun could begin: the search for content.
Staci was gracious enough to grant me an interview. In her studio, I watched her create beautiful glass beads while I learned about the role of art in her life. Later, when the post was complete, I hit publish with a slightly shaky hand and sent a link to all my email contacts and Facebook friends. Then I took myself to the theater to watch Life of Pi (an amazing movie, btw) so that I wouldn’t be staring at my website counter for the next three hours.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect of Healing Hamlet, but I did understand the value of art and healing in my own life. This project has always felt bigger than me, because it is. When you create a platform where artists can gather, you meet the painter shaped by the labor camps of China; the geophysicist whose first novel won the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, the gifted songwriter from Ottawa who showed us how to stand up for ourselves; a Pakistani woman who creates art for social change; the man who sculpts snowy landscapes; the musician/songwriter who knew all The Doors lyrics by the age of 2; the writer who weaves her novels through patterns and verse; the father of the spiral-horned, winged cheetalope; and the teen who left us with the lasting gift of music.
I made a point to post regularly. Since I didn’t receive the submissions I had hoped for, it became a treasure hunt: seeking out contacts and following internet threads. Every single painting, sculpture, poem, quote, book, song, story, interview and photo that I shared was like a gem to me. Creative Commons opened up an amazing world of gorgeous photographs. I used these to accompany written works while giving credit to the photographer. Each post was a small gift that fed my soul and gave me joy. I’m continually amazed that there is so much beauty and wisdom just within our grasp.
Now that the days are turning warmer and (hopefully) sunnier, it’s with mixed feelings that I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from Healing Hamlet. Instead of sitting in front of the computer screen working on this website, I’m going to be sitting in front of the computer screen working on my book. (And you thought I was going to say I’d be out in the sun soaking in some much needed Vitamin D!) I still plan to post the occasional story or interview, so be sure to “like” the Healing Hamlet Facebook Page to stay updated.
Healing Hamlet has given me a space to find healing through art. I’m grateful to all who have shared the journey with me thus far: the talented artists, musicians, writers and photographers; the Healing Hamlet followers and Facebook friends. As always, your comments are welcome!
I’ll leave you with a few remarks by some of Healing Hamlet’s contributors.
Thank you! It’s been a great ride!
I’d be happy to have my writing on your blog. As an actress and writer with a disability I think healing and the arts is a very interesting focus. –Katie Calahan, www.disabledmom.com
Your blog is wonderful, thank you for sharing it with us. –Emily Randall, Playingforchange.org
I believe very strongly in what you are doing and in the power of the arts to heal. –Naomi Benaron, Naomibenaron.com
I’d be honored to have an excerpt featured on your blog! It felt so cathartic breaking up with ‘Worry’. Personifying these crippling emotions can lead to healing, even if it’s in small doses. –Anka, Goldenstateofgrind.com
What an amazing site, thank you for including us! –Mike Notter, Hannaleesong.com
Thank you so much, art therapy is a beautiful thing. –Liese Chavez, Liesechavez.com
I have been enjoying reading your blog since your first note. You provide such lovely food for thought! –Aisling, Quietcountryhouse.blogspot.com
I’d be delighted for an excerpt of ‘Robbed’ to appear on your blog. I’ve had a look at it and it is a truly lovely collection of things. I think proper curatorship on the internet is rare, and Healing Hamlet is a marvelous achievement. –Xtin, Xtinpore.blogspot.com
I think you’re doing something extraordinary and necessary. –Peter Goetzinger, Artistbrothers.com
The mission of your blog is fantastic. Just beautiful. –Lauren Roedy Vaughn, Laurenroedyvaughn.com
Deeply grateful to be featured here in this healing place….we are all in need of that. I love to write, it is a pleasure for me, that I haven’t afforded myself in months. Knowing my stories are considered a healing thing…..well, that makes a world of difference. –Jennifer Valentine, Sacredcake.blogspot.com