I took these photos of Luke as he experimented with soft pastels for the first time.
(The girls & I had just finished ours.)
My boy sat at the table and created in such a burst of raw expressive energy, it left me spellbound. I watched as he chose colors and shapes became people and houses. Some of the pastels broke of course, and he looked up at me for my reaction. "Be gentle," I suggested. The flurry continued until he stopped, eyed it up, and thrust it at me announcing, "it's done!"
Then off he went…. me chasing after him to get the chalky colors washed off his arms and fingers.
The entire event left me thinking about the process of art and creating. People create for so many different reasons. Process, product, beauty, utilitarian, restoration, nourishment….
I am a firm believer that we all have an innate desire to create in our own ways. That being creative is an essential piece of feeling alive. Of being whole.
I also believe many of us let this creative voice fall quiet as we grow up. As we become "responsible adults". And you know what else? I know a lot of us turn 30 and that voice starts jumping up and down and we realize it's hungry after all these years of forgetting to feed it. (My mama tells me the same thing happens again at 50.)
So we start to listen to it….
paint, draw, cook, write, sew, dance, garden, cut, hammer, weld, mold, model, photograph, CREATE
Do you hear it?
In a recent email to a writer I admire, I told her I felt like my creativity voice was all over the place…. completely overwhelming me and making a mess. Taking over. I told her I felt like I was trying to collect rainwater with a colander. That once I cracked opened the door, it got swung wide open with such force that I was left dumbstruck. I felt disoriented and vulnerable.
Take it slowly… she offered. But keep going.
This was a gentle reminder for me to appreciate the process, the act of being creative. To be okay with smudged drawings and bad writing. To meet myself right where I am in this moment.
With all of this swimming around in my mind & heart….. I watched my kids create with new eyes. The eyes of a recovering creative. It's kind of true, right? I suddenly felt the utmost significance in my role to protect and nurture the creative light within in them. That this could be my greatest work.
Are you with me?