Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In the Room


It's been a few weeks without a post, because I was waiting for "an idea" before posting again. In advertising, we are idea machines....that is what we're paid to do, come up with ideas, lots of them. And always, while doing our damnedest to be creative, these ideas are a solution to a problem, some creative way to interpret or express a very carefully researched, strategized, crafted point of difference about a product or service.

Then I remembered that was not was this is about.

I started this blog to hold myself accountable on a new path, a truly creative path, into the truth of the moment, whatever that may bring. To have the courage to dive naked into my deepest creative self, and the creative spirit in others, as I pursue a course of study in Art Therapy...which by the way, begins next week.

September is upon us. This time of year always stirs things up for me. I've experienced a lot of messy, scary, complicated and confusing emotions lately that I didn't want to feel or explore. But that is the promise I made to myself, to this blog, and to my future. And the future of all those I hope to work with one day. If I don't want to "go into the room" myself, how can I help anyone else go there?

So yesterday I picked up my oil pastels, which I am not too comfortable with, and made myself work fast, trying not to think. I made the chaotic swirl of confusing feelings fly through fingertips onto paper. My hands got messy and happy. I liked the smell of the materials and the feel of the paper. I made a mess. And I felt a lot better.

I am in the room, and it is OK.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers "Grow."  -Talmud

I am not a painter. I've always preferred the control of pens, pencils, markers, etc. But this was made in a class with Misty Mawn at Artfest earlier this year. Here she is, showing us some techniques:

Misty works so intuitively and so fast! She doesn't think, she just goes at it. When she demonstrates a technique, it's hard to keep up with her hands to see what she's doing. She paints, she paints over it, she collages on top of it, she rubs it out and distresses it, she draws on top of that, she rolls something over it, she stamps on top of it, she rubs it off and paints over it again, wildly and fearlessly. It's fascinating to witness, and daunting to attempt...but before long, I was in my own zone, too.

I would not have chosen this class, but due to unusual circumstances, I inherited someone else's space there. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to work outside my comfort zone.

Sometimes it's just so good to use your hands and not talk. To be quiet with yourself and quiet the noise in your head. To bring it down from a thunderous chatter to a soft whisper to a breath. To converse with the canvas. To grow.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Life Imitates Statistics

My statistics class is finally over. And as difficult as it was, I learned so many things beyond statistics that have already added to my capacity for compassion, both toward myself and others.

For starters, I now know how totally panicky and even shameful it can feel to understand nothing in the face of a task or problem, even the language describing it, much less how to solve it. I put in endless hours of study and tutoring to get over my block. But what about those with learning or developmental challenges, speech or movement challenges, even adults crippled with the invisible disability of illiteracy... what is it like for them? The strength it takes to persevere and struggle through painful, difficult challenges is something we all face. I now have a different understanding of that process, and the patience and respect it deserves.

I also have a new sense of what's possible.

I ended up getting an A- in the class that nearly took me under.
If I can do that, I can do anything.
So can you. So can any of us.

I learned two statistical terms that have additional meaning for me now, having completed this journey. Here are my homages to them. And here's to the next challenge.
"Confidence Interval"

"Degrees of Freedom"