Rebecca Tillett: Photography & Design Photography & Design2015-01-14T23:01:05Z Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[#FREETHENIPPLE, the comic]]> 2015-01-14T23:01:05Z 2015-01-14T23:01:05Z #freethenipple

Original #freethenipple post here:

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[you were]]> 2015-01-14T22:51:37Z 2015-01-14T22:51:37Z “Pretty sure you were the love of my life.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I can never stop thinking about you.”

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Persevere]]> 2015-01-14T00:40:16Z 2015-01-13T22:17:14Z Persevere

I will persevere,
when your skin cracks open beneath my fingers,
when your bones become too brittle to hold you up,
when light and dark are indecipherable,
when ribbons of your blood weep to the floor threatening to drown us both,
I will laugh at the audacity,
I will inflate my lungs in defiance and
I will hold on,
I will persevere.

{Rebecca Tillett}

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[How, Then, Shall We Live?]]> 2015-01-10T20:28:21Z 2015-01-10T20:28:21Z “Clearly our wounds need our attention. But when we concentrate exclusively upon our hurt, we learn to see the brokenness, losses, or injuries we have been given as the most important things in our lives. We cultivate an attention to these wounds in such a way that, over time, they come to occupy the most important place in our heart. Our wound lives in the center of our thoughts. In this way, we actually come to love our suffering.” —Wayne Muller

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Mr. O]]> 2015-01-13T22:03:43Z 2015-01-06T22:00:24Z Mr. O - Illustration

Mr. O, a frequent patron of my heart but rarely the subject of my art.

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[her hands will embrace your throbbing throat]]> 2015-01-04T17:14:24Z 2015-01-03T21:49:09Z her hands will embrace  your throbbing throat

Her smile will level you
Quite like her big green eyes
Nestled unassumingly behind
Her fluttering lids
But her hands will embrace
Your throbbing throat and squeeze
Until your lips turn blue
And your memories of her
Dissolve into the blinding stench
Of dreams unrealized

{Rebecca Tillett}

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[365//365]]> 2015-01-03T22:12:52Z 2014-12-31T22:11:18Z 365//365

(365//365) At 2013’s end, like a raging forest fire I burned everything in my life down and started over in 2014 as something new. I spent this year fostering new growth, and becoming reacquainted with myself. And it’s been one beautifully eye-opening experience. I don’t know what to expect of 2015 but I’m trying not to expect anything at all. Sometimes the hardest but most basic thing can simply be to let life happen. So loosen your grip, friends, be grateful for what and who you have and be thankful you’re alive to see one more beautiful night of fireworks. I can’t promise 2015 is going to be a great year, but I can promise that either way, you’re fortunate enough to experience it.

The words “thank you” seem so small but I am so entirely grateful for all of the support you’ve given me throughout the year. So thank you for that and for following this 365 project. It has really meant the world to me.

“Just to be clear
I don’t want to get out
without a broken heart.
I intend to leave this life
so shattered
there’s gonna have to be
a thousand separate heavens
for all of my flying parts.”
{Andrea Gibson}

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[362//365]]> 2015-01-03T22:09:44Z 2014-12-28T22:07:33Z 362//365

“The Church says: the body is a sin.
Science says: the body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.”
{Eduardo Galeano}

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[360//365]]> 2015-01-03T22:06:31Z 2014-12-26T22:03:09Z 360//365

(360//365) A friend once told me “Denver has no soul.” Until then, I hadn’t been able to articulate exactly why I didn’t take to the city and ever since and in every comparably sized city I visit, I find myself searching for its soul, its unmistakeable aura and personality like the feeling you get when meeting a stranger for the first time, that primal sense based only on feeling and emotion and in almost every one, it is unquestioningly undeniable.

Philadelphia is like an old soul, wise and experienced and good in its intentions. It’s beautiful in places and dirty in others but it’s rarely ugly. It’s comfortable and encouraging and spilling over with people and homes and storefronts that have likely seen many generations come and go but it scarcely feels confining. And it’s link to the past feels much like coming home, even for those of us hailing from an adobe abode in the middle of a great big desert at the foot of a state most people hardly remember exists in the first place (47th to be admitted to the union and not without opposition!) I read about Philly in every history book in every history class I was ever subjected to but surrounding me was nothing but Mexican and Wild West history. Until this trip, the beginnings of this country were never anything concrete I could harken back to but a perfectly fine story I once read. Being there is something else entirely. Above all, I was surprised at it’s welcoming and familiar demeanor despite being a stranger and a visitor to the land, not to mention the fact that I usually feel lost and lonely in cities of such mass.

So it probably shouldn’t surprise me that a family I’d never before met welcomed a total stranger into their home(s) for Christmas. Mary, Marc, Maegan, Michelle: Thank you. Despite it being a rather rushed and frenzied visit, I had a wonderful time and I can’t wait for another (and hopefully more lengthy) trip there.

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[351//365]]> 2014-12-18T22:08:40Z 2014-12-17T22:05:52Z 351//365

(351//365) For months as this day has approached I have wondered what to say about it. And more importantly, how I feel about it. I’m still painfully uncertain of both but here it is, upon me in all of its symbolic glory and here I am, acutely aware.

I couldn’t say I’ve spent more of my life without you in it than in it, until today. My life is now more heavily marked by your absence than your presence.

What does this mean, the fact that you’ve now, as of this moment for every moment forward, occupied a minority of my life? Could I say it’s been 16 years and I hardly think of you anymore? Could I say I’ve forgotten so many of the sad details of your life that helped to paint my own in such vividly dark colors? Could I say I’ve forgiven you for robbing me of a life without a father, the opportunity to open my heart to you and spill 16 years of pain, now doubled, the sudden way you changed and redefined my life, or the way you didn’t say goodbye?

The life I shared with you was hard and stained with so much hardship and loneliness, substance abuse and screaming and violence, and small breaks of cautious relief. I’ve now spent the second half of my life in reflection and regret, sorrow and gratitude, and most importantly, acceptance; acceptance that your departure freed me of your suffering but sentenced me to years of my own but at least it was mine. It was all mine.

I’m a free woman now and I don’t belong to you anymore, or the tormenting memories of you. I don’t remember the color of your eyes or your face when you were laughing or the terrifying pitch of your screams. I remember that I loved you because you were my father and I hated you because you weren’t. And the morning I discovered you were dead, I forgave you for leaving but not for forever quelling your chance at redemption for your failings in the heart of your only child.

You’re no longer a dominant force in my life. You were the first chapter; a sad but empowering realization and I’m finally left without any compelling reasons to keep looking back. I’m content and happy now and I can do nothing but wish the same for you, wherever you may be.

“If I’m going to have a good life, I need to come up with a way to heal this wound and to forgive my father for his failings, ya know, large as they were.

Many, many of us have had to come to grips with parents who failed us in ways large and small. That’s part of what it means to grow up. And I think that, for me part of doing that work has to do with also re-conceiving what we mean by forgiveness. It’s not one act at one time. It’s not one decision. It’s not one day where you have an epiphany and then all of your sorrow and rage is gone. It’s years. It’s decades. it’s decades of saying here I am and you might have been a dark teacher but you were a teacher. And thank you.” {Cheryl Strayed}