One quality of the creative arts that I am most fascinated with is their ability to bring something out of us. A thought, idea, realization, experience, or even a perception can be brought into this world through expression. When things are inside me they bump around and get confused, lost in endless thought cycles. They are alive, but often I can't make sense of them.
It was almost one year ago that I created a process for myself to try and bring some thoughts an ideas that I had ruminating around in me out onto a canvas so that I could try and see them differently. The result was a somewhat jumbled collection of lines, words, papers, and colour. But each element means something to me, trust me it all makes perfect sense to me when I look at it!
The process of its creation and my ongoing relationship to it is what matters most. The process was symbolic for me in that it helped me to name some of the demons I had steering my ship, crystalized for me thoughts, ideas, and dreams that I couldn't figure out how to bring together in my head, and solidified the feelings I have when I know that I am living in the way I intend to.
One year after I have created this image it hangs on my wall as a reminder of where I was in that time and place in my life. My relationship to it has already changed and will continue to change over the years. Perhaps it will even come to mean something else entirely to me in the future?
The creation can be organic and new or it can happen with something that already exists. Perhaps you have an old tea cup or gem, an image you made, a book you loved, or even a photograph that takes up residence in your home somewhere. Your relationship to it and the significance that it holds for you, and only you, is the magical alchemy that I love. When we use the arts to tell the story about that tea cup or photo in a way we are continuing the conversation with it, allowing it to draw something else out of us. Write the story of the tea cup. Draw a picture of the thought that you keep tripping over. Pick up the guitar and try to make the sound of what you felt when you first woke up this morning. It isn't about the product but what you learn in the process. I promise you your relationship to it will change and you will begin to see it differently.