Our Safe Place

 

Liz Welling is a graphic designer and multidisciplinary artist currently hiking throughout the state of Michigan, inspiring others to author their own authentic adventure through Instagram. A Woman Of is a solo-run print shop that gives back to the Alliance of the Great Lakes, a non-profit dedicated to the conservation and restoration of our Great Lakes.


“How are you?” Ah yes. That question is loaded.

Some are authentic and woke enough to handle the real answer without judgement. Some want, “I’m great! Yourself?” and some aren’t listening for the answer. If you’re presently riding a low frequency, in those next short milliseconds you’re hit with the choice of telling it like it is or trusting in the power of language and brilliantly smiling. So you handle it. You roll up your sleeves day in and day out and press on and break down and break through.

Strength is incredible. And I know strength wears you out.

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I think that’s one of the reasons why the lake brings forth an undeniable rest. She’s not complicated. She takes you as you are. When our inner chatter runs with our fears, our doubts, and our expectations… and then our truths and guidance and beliefs and religions press back causing tension, our minds beg for a release.

It’s one of the reasons why I love returning home or heading north. On a recent trip to Lake Superior, that tension finally released. It felt like an uncontrollable reaction, much like pulling your hand from a hot stove. The sound of Superior’s waves and her geographical location and the wide endless blue hit my senses and everything surfaced and oh my word there were tears.

The lake is our safe place. We can lose it. We can allow the uncertainty and doubt and fear to surface—to hand it off and throw up our hands and admit, “I don’t flipping know.” She can handle it. 

I crouched down to feel the wet rock beneath me and looked out at her, the wind rushing, my eyes hot. In those moments the tension disappeared and I broke into a smile and whispered, “Hi. I love you.”


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liz welling

@awomanof_