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Posts tagged ‘creativity’

The other side of writing

Today I started my 24th journal, in four years time, and that works out to filling up a journal every two months – wow! I guess I have a lot to share with myself. The pages I fill contain so much – my thoughts and dreams, love and heartache, all that I am and all I am experiencing in this lifetime. In this way, journaling is a gift, a godsend, a way for my soul to spill out and for me to archive a permanent record of who I really am.

I often look back on all my lovely pages, inspired by how far I’ve come, or enlightened by words I’ve written but long since forgotten. My journals become a kind of self-help book written by me, for me – who better to help me through the ups and downs of life but my own unique soul? But I am also guided by words I find from others. I often write down inspirational quotes or phrases I find or hear, as well as decorating the pages with pictures or artwork that touch my heart. It is a joy to see and read the soul filled expressions of others.

My journals are a manner of creative expression as much as my other modes of writing are. Even though I fill the pages with haphazard writing – misspelled words, grammatical errors, run-on sentences – it is the free flowing expression of pure thought, not impeded by my logical side that stops me from saying what I long to say. There is much truth contained in those pages.

In the corner of the room, I see my lovely collection all lined up like soldiers at attention, but not wearing the same uniform; each one is unique on the outside as well as the inside. Some are covered with pretty pictures or artwork, and some I have decorated myself when the cost of a $10 journal was outside my budget. Those forays into art are some of my favorites – there is the one with the man in the moon picture I cut out and glued to the front of a $1 composition notebook, or the notebook I bought in the college bookstore one day and transformed into a journal by covering the front of it with inspirational quotes I love.

All of my precious journals contain the unique energy of me, a true self that I find cannot be fully revealed at times. Those are the times when the sanctity and security of my journal becomes a very dear confidant to me, allowing me to always be me.

My first journal, October 2008

One of my “homemade” journals

Blogging, just because…

It’s time again to revisit the reason I started a blog in the first place, as I find myself pouting recently over the minute number of responses to my blogs – oh, get over it! is what I keep telling my overactive ego. I have fallen into the self-gratifying habit of checking and rechecking my site stats, poring over the numbers like a statistician and trying to figure out how to attract more readers. Maybe I should only publish posts during the week and not the weekends; seems like that’s when more people view my posts, during the week, and early on in the day, not later in the evening. Then I start to ponder, what do the people want? Obviously it isn’t always what I think is interesting or entertaining or enlightening. Otherwise I would have surely been on Freshly Pressed by now – and by the way, what does it take to earn that featured status? Oh, the sad manipulation, all to try and gain attention – just like a child.

I ask myself the most important question of all, why do I write in the first place? Is it to try and get somewhere, to an exalted place in the world of writing or blogging? Or maybe, just maybe, it is the real reason that I started writing – because I love to write! When I rediscovered the joy of playing with words, with having thoughts come to me in a poem or a musing or a short story, I found a part in me that had been hidden for so long. I found that I am creative! And I found the most enjoyable outlet for my creative juices, the art of writing.

And really, I do this thing, writing, because it is a kick to create something. I often find myself reading my poems and stories over and over, and I love them! And I have to know that even if I only connect with one solitary soul as I write my blog posts, then I have done a great thing in reaching that soul. We don’t have to do such grandiose acts of connecting with one another to affect joy and inspiration in our fellow human beings. Sometimes we can touch others in ways that we may never know. My words are out there, the energy behind them is out there, and that is the key to why I blog. Holding back what I have to give in lieu of attention getting defeats the whole purpose. Reaching in and letting myself create, and then sharing that creativity is what this blog is all about, no matter if one person reads it or no one at all.

Reluctant sharing

I went to a very moving play this afternoon called Red, and it really got me thinking about art in any form and how the creator feels about sharing their work. It is an account about the artist Mark Rothko, and how he struggled with his art during the creating of a commissioned piece for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. In one breath he would talk of how he longed for his art to be received and perceived regardless of the reaction, but then in the next breath he would express doubts about letting it be viewed at all; fears came forth that it would be criticized or not understood. It is something that I believe most artists struggle with, the doubts about how their precious work that has heart and soul poured into it will be received. I have felt that ambiguity; so anxious to share my words with a sense of bravado, but secretly hoping that they will be met with gentle thoughts. But even after receiving the familiar rejection letters that we all have to experience as writers, I still want to share my words, taking the chance and accepting all the varied reactions that they engender.

The Pretty Words

 

All my pretty words

Birthed into verse

Now what?

Some of my babies

Have left the nest

Flying off

Safely, I hope

I do worry

A bit

Will the outsiders

Handle them with care

Or judge them harshly

The words that still

Live at home

I encourage them to stay

For now

I see them

And I smile

My precious babies

All my pretty words

Sharing the words

I’ve gone to other blogger’s sites, and found some amazing works in the written form, in artwork, in photographs. And in reading the profiles of these creative souls, I find a common thread in the joy of sharing with others. It is creativity spilling out, the inherent nature to express ourselves in some way. When I first starting writing, after many years of focusing on work and family, I thought that I could just keep it to myself. I loved writing for the expression of my thoughts and visions. But then I attended my first writing workshop, and the facilitator there gently told me that I would eventually want to share my work – and she was right. I found a wonderful quote from Julia Cameron, who has written many marvelous books about the craft of writing; she states, “a piece of art needs a recipient.” Very wise words indeed. And now as I enter the world of the “blogosphere”, it is like a chain reaction as bloggers read each others’ works and comment on them. It is inspiring, and once more I find the words coming out to play….

The Days

The grey days are here

The tea and coffee days are here

The good book friends have come

Pen and paper dance together

Light filters in

Through cotton soaked clouds

Rain jumps on the skylight

Then slides down like a child

Homes become cozy shelters

The inside days are here

 

 

 

 

My creative nature

We all have creativity in us, expressed in so many different ways, too numerous to list here. My creative nature is best expressed in the written word, but I dared to venture into the land of visual art yesterday. I had found a workshop on encaustic art, which in short is painting with wax. It produces beautiful and unique works, and there is an encaustic artist nearby who opens her studio and offers all day workshops for all who want to learn this way of artistic expression, which has been around since the days of ancient Egypt. And who doesn’t love playing with wax? I remember as a child playing with candle wax as it dripped off the Christmas candles. So I opened up the right side of my brain and let what pictures I saw in my mind play out on four small works of encaustic art that I created – what fun! I look at my creations hanging on my wall, next to works from “real” artists, and admire what I was able to create (with much help and patience I might add, on the part of the woman who ran the workshop). So I offer pictures of my pictures, and also a poem that was inspired by a favorite breakfast food. So, what is it that you create? And maybe, just for fun, jump off into something you think you could never do – and you just might find that you can do it-

 

Art During Breakfast

 

The canvas drops

Into the warming chamber

Heated to perfection

It pops back up

I open the jar

That contains the paint

Thick, smooth and brown

I dip my brush into the jar

And spread the luscious paint

Onto the canvas

The surface coarse and warm

Paint begins to melt

Soaking sponge-like into the canvas

A second layer is applied

I swirl wavy patterns with my brush

I sit at the table

And admire my work of art

Now displayed

On the plate of china

I smell the paint

My stomach growls

I take a bite of my masterpiece

And soon

The picture is no more

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