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Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself Paperback – August 15, 2000
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Readers of both genders and all generations will find timeless innocence and age-old wisdom in the scrawling, sprawling words of Sabrina Ward Harrison. The format here is a personal journal in which Harrison allows readers to be privy to her colorful pages of free-flowing collages, photographs, and wildly handwritten words. Harrison explores many of the typical questions, confusions, and insights that accompany the journey from adolescence to womanhood. At times her angst feels a tad clichéd ("I am afraid to show you who I really am, because if I show you who I really am, you might not like it--and that's all I got."), but her gutsy presentation and honesty make her words feel fresh and hard-earned, especially in passages such as this:
I think God leaves me alone to let me find my own strength because no one else can give it to me. Sometimes it is very lonely. But I know the lonely times teach me the most. I must let go in order to let anything in. No one can love me, for me. Take a big walk protected in the trees. I miss the time before today.Harrison is a gifted writer with an inspiring amount of heart-on-her-sleeve honesty. She even has the maturity to quote two of the big Ws--Walt Whitman and Woody Allen--with equal panache. But more importantly, she earns her readers' trust and hearts. As a result, Harrison is a woman to watch and a writer to follow. --Gail Hudson
From the Inside Flap
"We are all facing choices that define us. No choice, however messy, is without importance in the overall picture of our lives. We all at our own age have to claim something, even if it is only our own confusion. I am in the middle of growing up and into myself. This book is my life in progress."
Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself is the creative expression of one young woman's attempt to understand herself as she grows into adulthood. Sabrina Ward Harrison shares her private journal and art, offering us lessons in life and empowerment that resonate with fresh, youthful wisdom.
Written when Harrison was between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, Spilling Open captures the artist's journey of self-discovery with a powerful and courageous voice. This book is an intimate and moving picture of what it means to enter a contemporary adult world that is filled with contradictions about womanhood. Harrison reveals with tender honesty that, in spite of the women's movement, she has found more questions than answers about growing up female.
Harrison's writing and multimedia art explore questions about love, faith, growing pains, being true, peer groups, and identity. A truly unique experience, Spilling Open will help open your heart and your mind.
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Top customer reviews
Indeed, there is much to see. Colorful splotches, photographs and ink drawings attract the eye to the hand-lettered text that personalizes the experience. Harrison shares her growing pains, the struggle to accept her own body just as it is and the heartbreak of lost love. Her self-expression is courageous and honest, constantly revelatory of an evolving self: "It's a mixture of speaking up and speaking in, reaching out and reaching in."
With more questions than answers in these years of early womanhood (eighteen to twenty-one), this imaginative map of the author's inner heart is an epiphany of sorts, one where Harrison defines her space as an individual, the bright, bold images as stimulating as her curiosity about the world that awaits: "Love it all...the whole process that's known as Life". Luan Gaines/2004.