Creativity is my life blood, although the expression is generally in the form of words on a page, drumming, singing and movement to music. I usually dress colorfully and today, I donned a lavender hoodie that reads Create Your Bliss that I acquired on Saturday while at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia. The purveyor was Ron Dinehart, he too a creative kindred spirit from The Universe Knows, which makes items with three word affirmations inscribed on them. Beneath it were plum hued soft cotton plush pants, followed by raspberry sparkly socks and the pièce de résistance….rainbow splashed heart, star and moon shoes that I originally got 15 years or more ago when I began clowning around. I had wanted clown shoes in which I could dance around, rather than the big, floppy variety. I decided to dress that way today to brighten my own mood. See, most people see the image that I choose to project…the light, the dazzle, the effervescence…when that isn’t always the case. In the past few years, most notably since my beloved mother made her transition, I have noticed a flattening of my moods; not depression, as my well trained, psychiatric social worker’s mind is quick to chime in. More introspective and less the social gadabout that I have been most of my life. It feels like taking pause; a resting pose, as in yoga.
I decided to join a few friends at a wonderland for artists of all kinds called Alchemy Open Arts Studio in Doylestown, PA shephered by my friend Renee Bures who is a talented art therapist. Imagine if you will, a warehouse filled with art supplies that include paint, clay, a kiln in which to bake it, fabric, markers, beads, glue, jewelry pieces, carboard, construction paper, letters, googley eyes for dolls, shards of glass, metal, ceramic, boxes, magazines….and the best part is, you can meander freely from medium to medium, mixing them, changing your mind, letting the Muse guide you. A musical mix creates the soundscape and the laugher and oohhs and ahhs from the folks gathered there as they appreciated each others’ handiwork, filled the air. All different kinds of tea bolstered us as well. One of the most playful aspects of the space is a swing that is connected to the piping above. Of course I couldn’t resist. Before collecting the items I wanted, I covered my clothes with a man’s large shirt/already paint splotched smock. The sleeves drooped down over my hands and the shirt-tails came down mid thigh. It did its job well and kept my clothes pigment free. My hands, however, didn’t fare as well, with overlapping colors coating them.
I started out playing with clay, thinking at first that I wanted to create a pin. After rolling it around for about 10 minutes, the 5 year old 54 year old was drawn in by the sparkly fabric paints that I splotched on a black cloth napkin in an attempt to write messages on its surface….and then the inner critic clamored her way on through….”You really should be more focused and productive you know. You had an idea that you wanted to work on here and this isn’t getting you any closer to that.” Holy moley, Batman! Way to spoil the fun for the 5 year old. I could see her little face scrunching up, ready to cry as she felt squelched. Then the nurturing mama stepped in, took her hand and brought her over to carboard and more paints and said, “Just play and watch what happens.” To that, she added glue and letters, fragments of broken pottery and laid them all before her. At first, the paint mixed and blended, red, blue purple, swirly and scratchy and then silver bubbling up hues asked to climb on board, creating a heart shape in the center. It was then that it occurred to me that this is the way I live my life. What people see is the silver, glowing heart, but not the mish mosh, blended colors beneath it. Broken pieces are a necessary component that I attempt to hide so that people don’t see them.
Messages came through…as is in the upper left hand corner. I am all to the right. To me that means I am one with all that is AND I am all those things (the radiant heart and what lies under it) To the left of the heart are the words ask with. It has been my experience that when I ask with love, all of the answers come tumbling on through.
The answers may not always make sense, like jumbled up dream fragments that require sorting out and untangling. I am allowing for the creative juices to flow, knowing that I can no more control them, than I could halt the storms that sometimes sling their rain and wind or the traffic that line the highways and byways. It helps to know that I myself am a force of nature and that while driving my car, I’m traffic too. One last thing I added to the picture, was green along the border, since this stuff really is my growing edge.