What Do You Use For Authentic Creative Expression?
Creative expression is about growth, change, and enlightenment. It reinforces the power of life and how special we all can be. It is my hope, for one brief, breathless moment, you will wake up to your divine gifts while reading about how I awoke to mine.
If we’re going to be spending time together, you may want to know a little more about me. I come from a family that is prettily packaged and talented but somewhat dysfunctional for many reasons. We grow addictions like weeds and dream when we are awake. We have sensitive ears, noisy fingers, and loud mouths. We all suffer from the disease of depression but don’t let it stop us from living creative lives.
In the best of times, we are eager to live up to our expectations. In the worst of times, we are lost in self-pity. As for myself, I define myself as a struggling Christian, especially on Sunday, just a vessel doing God’s work. I am a mother, grandmother, a clay artist and a photographer on other days.
I always start my morning with a 30-minute jog around the bedroom. Sometimes I have to stop and think, and forget to start again.
I am not a scientist-type who insists everything can be mathematically examined, related and accounted for. As a matter of fact, I am more like a curious child playing in the garden between the two houses of God and Science. Picking flowers from both makes me happy. I can remember as a child, planning on living forever and so far so good! I didn’t know what I do now that when we get older, we wrinkle, shrink and don’t have many good hair days left. We pamper what hair we have left that isn’t gray. The grays we torture by tugging, plugging and dyeing.
We spend a lot of time looking for our keys and glasses hiding from us. Sometimes our nerves make our limbs begin jumping and jiving when there is no music. We also keep repeating, repeating, repeating, what we know. We all have to contend with gravity. It is the idea that I am a writer that keeps me pounding my computer keys for our mutual wellness.
I am not a teacher or doctor. I am just an ordinary woman living in an extraordinary imperfect world. I am always trying to find a balance between joy and sadness in my life. I don’t think of myself as an expert about what is right for everyone. We’re all teachers for one another. Martin Luther King once said, “Not everyone can be famous. But everyone can be great.” I, myself, have learned with good intentions and some hard work, all of us can be great by staying true to our values, integrity, and our Creator. My beginning journey with clay, photography and writing brought me more than joy.
Expressing myself creatively has been good medicine for me. The ancient Greeks knew this when they appointed Apollo as the god of both poetry and medicine. Even Jesus reminds us what you bring forth will save you. What you do not bring forth from within will destroy you. Some of us even think headaches are poems waiting to be written.
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So get rid of that nagging pain and tension in your head, and start writing a poem about writing:
Words are healers whether we are writing them or reading them. Of course, a loving friend can be a healer. A song can be a healer. A celebratory greeting card can be a healer. An image that empowers you can be a healer, much like a photograph, sculpture, painting or a simply-glazed clay pot. Sometimes I feel like I’m way out there in Never-Never Land, a strange observer from a strange land. But in truth, creative souls like poets and artists are very much of this world. We just make everything a game. We play connect-the-dots with words and feelings, paying close attention to the sound and flower of our memories, as well as their arrangement on the page.
I play connect-the-dots with sentences, images and word pictures. I always have a copy of a poem book in front of me when I write. I look for ideas, metaphors or topics that interest me. I’m always looking for an initial thought burst, a memory or a feeling I can blow out of proportion and use in a grand over-indulgent way. “You may discover your best poems while writing your worst prose,” says Joyce Carol Oates. “As soon as you connect with your true subject, you will write.”
Surprisingly, the more I wrote, the more I had to say. I’ve read an author must be like God, present everywhere but visible nowhere. Somerset Maugham says, “If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.” Samuel Johnson says, “The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.” When the right words come to me, they are as beautiful and unsought as country wildflowers.