It seems like I’m always working on something.
Over the past several years, I’ve had a lot of ideas; should I get into graphic design, and try my hand at digital art? Should I settle down and focus on writing the book I’ve been trying to write for oh, I don’t know…10 years? Should I start a series of art pieces? Should I drink wine, or rum? Seriously, the possibilities are exhausting, and I think a lot of my inability to create over the past few months has been largely due to my own indecisiveness.
Through the revolving list of stories and projects I’d like to start and inevitably walk away from, one project sticks with me: Grey Horse Initiative.
A little over a year ago, I had the idea of creating a series of blog posts and eventually a book with stories of strength and survival. I would seek out those who had survived suicide attempts, who were coping with PTSD, who had fought and survived cancer; those who have been tested by death and won the battle.
As you can imagine, this is a massive undertaking. At the time, it wasn’t a well-enough formed idea for me to realistically carry it out, and I shelved it: I didn’t scrap it, but I knew that I wasn’t ready to take it on in a way that would do the stories justice.
I still wanted to help somehow, though. So, about a year and a half ago, I downloaded an app on my phone called Vent. It is an anonymous site where you can (you guessed it) vent about your life, and I liked that idea. The more I used the app, the more I realized that people were not using it just to vent; they were using it as a safe place to admit that they were suicidal, or thought about hurting themselves. Many expressed that they felt hopeless. It resonated with me. I knew what they were feeling, and I knew the words that I needed so desperately when I felt that darkness.
So, I deleted my personal account and instead created an account under the name Halcyon Mnemonics. I didn’t know where to start at first, so I just began posting encouraging things. Words of strength, hope and encouragement; my following slowly grew. I reached out individually to many people and offered them a safe place to talk, and I was happy when they responded. Eventually, I began posting my own meditations that I found helpful in my own self-treatment, and my following skyrocketed. I realized-there might be something more to this.
This is how Grey Horse Initiative and Halcyon Mnemonics came to be sisters. I’m working hard to bring the spirit of Halcyon Mnemonics to Facebook and Instagram so that I can reach more people who might be in need of encouragement. Grey Horse Initiative has been sitting on a mental shelf, and I’m happy to be dusting it off at the end of this summer so that I can start telling the stories of many brave individuals, in the hope that their story can inspire someone in crisis.
I am a realist. I don’t expect that either H.I. or Halcyon Mnemonics will ever have an enormous following, nor do I expect Studio Blackwater to ever produce millions in donations to charities. But, I do know that if even one person reads these stories, sees the encouragement or benefits from a donation from my artwork, this all has been completely and totally worth it. One life is worth decades of effort, so that’s what I’ll put in if that is what it takes.