Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Acceptance

As some (all?) of you may know, I love art, music, dance, expression, creativity, etc. I would definitely classify myself into the category of "artsy" people, however, I have always denied identifying myself as an "artist." Things are changing for the better.

In October, I started going to counseling. First of all, I think everyone can benefit from an outside objective voice in their lives. Secondly, and more personally, I like/need to talk things out with people, and I find that she is a great support and outlet for me since there aren't an abundance of people around me 24/7 to listen to me process life. Sometimes I feel like she isn't 100% on board with what I am saying since she is a new friend who isn't constantly a part of my life, but it is good for me to practice explaining everything without having expectations that the other person will understand my context. People generally can't read my mind, and sometimes I treat my closest loved ones as though they should be able to... Anyway, she suggested that I start reading/studying this self-help sort of book called The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I have to admit, the book is sometimes a little "broad" spiritually, and it makes me work a lot and think a little, but I have gotten some really valuable things out of studying the book so far.

I am only in my second week of study, but I am now able to declare that I am an artist, despite my lack of training in visual art. I am a writer, even if I have never sold a novel. I am a dancer because I dance (duh). I am a musician-- I write music, and it's actually good. It's not good because I judge it according to specific academic criteria necessarily (although, I definitely have my standards being a trained musician), but it is good because I created it and creating things is good. God created the universe and declared it good-- I believe he was excited not only about the product, but also that he created it himself. We are made in God's image and are meant to see creativity in the same light. Our skills can always improve. Our conceptual frameworks will always morph. Letting go of expectations or standards and letting ourselves create is the big battle, but once we allow ourselves to do so and can see that there is worth in practicing creativity, then we are paving the way for our skills to improve and our creative concepts to form more solidly. We start to feel motivated... inspired, even.

Creating things takes energy, concentration, focus, planning, awareness, practice, and most of all it takes rest. God rested on the seventh day. As cliche as that seems, it is a legitimate model for creative people. Have you ever tried just pushing through a writer's block or cutting and pasting through a crafter's block? Generally the results are things you throw away or things you resent. I must rest when I am feeling unmotivated or inspired. I must recharge and refill. I must change my environment and my routine, sit in Starbucks, read a book, take a drive or walk-- fill my life with new images, new people, new sounds, new smells and tastes, new conversations. My inspiration comes when I am not creating.

I'm sure I will be learning more on my journey of "creative healing," but I wanted to take a moment and celebrate my true personal accomplishment of being able to accept and declare the fact that I am an artist. God created you and me, and we are to create to reflect His image to those around us. Living in fear of that creativity is living against God's intentions and will for his people. Take a risk and explore your creativity this week. Send me a copy of whatever you do so I can enjoy it, too! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ecclectic Evening Post

This post, similarly to my last post, is one of little continuity and form. I like it that way. Here are some things that have been speaking to my heart:

1. I had the most wonderful Valentine's Day moment when I was subbing in a Kindergarten classroom on Monday. Mostly all of the students had made little paper bags for their "mailboxes" and brought in valentines to share with their classmates. One little boy wasn't there the day they had made the bags, so I gave him a plastic bag to use. Since his bag wasn't put out on display like everyone else's, I think that his valentines got put either into random bags or thrown away. He ended up with only about three valentines in his bag. Later in the afternoon, we had a time to dump out the valentines and look at all of them, and I was teasing the kids because I hadn't gotten any valentines. That same little boy heard me say, "Well, where's my valentines? Don't I get a valentine from anyone?" and he came over and handed me one of his. He said, in the sweetest little voice, "Here, I kept this one safe for you." My heart melted, and I even felt a bit guilty because I obviously hadn't been serious in my request for a valentine.

Out of the little he had, he gave much. It was a true-blue demonstration of real love from the sweet heart of an innocent child. So much to learn from him. ♥ ♥ ♥

2. Here are the lyrics to Sufjan Stevens's song "Enchanting Ghost" from his EP "All Delighted People" (which is located close to the very top of my favorite music of all time, by the way). He softly and tenderly sings my heartbreak into words and melody in this song. Read them while listening to this:

Tell me what you saw in me
And I'll try to replicate it with a scene
Mm-mmm
If it troubles you to breathe
Wait a moment; I could change the scenery

Don't carry on carrying efforts, no no, oh oh oh oh
Somewhere there's a room for each of us to grow
And if it pleases you to leave me, just go, oh oh oh oh
Stopping you would stifle your enchanting ghost
Mm-mmm

It's only that I meant to bring
Love and liveliness to your breast on the scene
Mm-mmm
Did you cut your hands on me?
Are my edges sharp? Am I pest to feed?

Don't carry on carrying regrets, oh no oh oh oh
Somewhere there's a room for us to speak alone
And if it grieves you to stay here, just go, oh oh oh oh
For I have no spell on you, it's all a ghost
Mm-mmm

I still have the things you gave me
Four anointing oils, the paper weight you made
Mm-mmm
For sure I haven't carried them
Or buried them in the name of your ghost, my friend

Don't carry on carrying efforts: Don't go! No oh oh oh
Stay with me until I sleep within your host
Or if it pleases you to leave me, just go, oh oh oh oh
Stopping you would stifle your enchanting ghost
Mm-mmm

3. I just wanted to publicly declare that I am becoming increasingly excited for my friends Jillian and Owen Pye and their cutest little baby Cash to come to Indy in about a month! Owen is preparing to drop his new album on February 22nd, and then they are all heading out to tour the country. They are making a stop here, and Owen's performing a house show in Fountain Square. I'm excited to spend time with lovely people from home who love art and music like I do. It will be a great weekend with genuinely precious people, and you should come down to Indy to see his show on March 13!

Check out Owen's music and tour details on his website and check out Jillian's lovely etsy shop and her beautiful blog,three for the road

Also, here's the recently released stop-motion music video that utilizes both Owen's talent (musical) and Jillian's talents (designing and storywriting):

4. I love that I am constantly learning about my faith and how I interact with God. Today, I read this article about some important lessons that the disciple Thomas teaches us. I found it to be a really fresh analysis of a familiar character's story. 



5. Two goals I set for myself this week are to finish my knitted blanket by hand-sewing some pom-pom trim on it and to invest in one or two board games for entertaining the comp'ny. I achieved the first one today, and it felt so good to accomplish something even though I didn't go to work. A lot of times I lazy away the days that I don't sub. Not today, friends, not today!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Frozen Dayz

Okay, snow day number three-- The last time I had this many snow days was my freshman year at Taylor when it snowed like 18 inches and kept snowing. This time is far less exciting because our "snow days" are due to an unkind amount of ice that fell a few days ago. It's not that it's too nasty outside, it's just dangerous, and ice is a lot harder to remove than snow. My roommates car took a few hours of hammering and chiseling this morning before she could leave for work. I am banking on the sun to melt the ice on my car. Today there is a good chance that could happen! It's so sunny! Mmm.


So my days have consisted of a lot of web-surfing, youtube-watching, art-and-crafting, music-writing, handwriting, and now blog-writing. Today I want to share with you some of my plunder from past days. Although I love being satisfied with the things I do own, I am always adding to my wishlist of things that I could buy someday if I do get a little extra spending cash. I like surrounding myself with beautiful things, what can I say? You can also browse through my Etsy favorites by taking a look at the sidebar. There's seriously some cool stuff out there.


Material Goods
Vintage Brown Leather Hiking Boots--size 7
These gorgeous boots are thirty buckaroos on etsy-- so affordable, so adorable, yet one size TOO SMALL. :(


Whipped Butter Dress
This amazingly fun red-carpet-esque dress is on SALE for $54.99 on ModCloth, and I wish so much that I could wear its beautiful color. If you can, please buy it so I can see it on a body. It's seriously a piece of art.


On Back Order - Anatomical Heart Oxidized Sterling Silver Pendant - by Markhed
I have this current obsession with anatomical human hearts. I know, kinda weird, but it reminds me of true love-- the messy, hard-working, real, raw, sorta ugly thing that is true love. Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve and wear it ever more securely around your neck! Love it.


South America Magnetic Geography Puzzle
I just love these handcut wooden continent puzzles. When I studied in Ireland we had to learn all the counties (like states), and we had a puzzle that we put together to help us learn it. It was the best. I hope that someday my kids can know all the countries in the world and their locations within each continent. Tall order? Not with the help of these amazing puzzles.


Who needs furniture?
Zen Zafu Sitting Cushion- Rust Mosaic
I have this great desire to eventually get rid of the traditional dining room set up and get one of those tables that barely comes up off the floor and get a few of these bad boys as the seating around that table. I generally love being on the floor and notice that even when I do sit in chairs, I can't sit comfortably. Many cultures outside of the US eat this way, so why not.


DANCE PHOTOGRAPHY PRINT Crickley Hill Dance 2 6x8
This picture reminds me of when I used to dance and also Ireland. It's beautiful in every way, and I would love to have it hanging in my bedroom or something. Mostly I would love to cover the walls of any place that I dwell with artwork that is beautiful.


Goldenrod Slouchy Beanie
If it fits my weirdly shaped head then I want to wear it! I loved the slouchy look even before it was cool.

Fear and Trembling Image  The Age of Adz

2 more things I hope to own soon.