Monday, February 01, 2010

Week Two of Re:Fresh your Creativite Practice

Last week in Leslie Avon Miller's 6 weeks course Re:Fresh Your Creative Practice we were looking at time. As a homework exercise we were to take a specific artistic problem we are having, place it in the center of a circle, and create a pie describing our present moment perspective with alternate perspectives voiced around this issue.

This was hard as my focus was broad rather than specific. I do have a specific choice I must make, however I am not sure it is about being creative. In my mind it is but.... I must chose a place to live and buy a home. I chose for the center circle: Frozen Ocean, cold, ice, no movement. I have now added the specific issue. I dont have a home and I am afraid to buy one and choose a place to live. I then brainstormed in my moleskin re: perspectives.

The pie chart I made would have better been done on a larger sheet of paper as I couldn't fit in all the words for each pie slice. Many of my alternate perspectives have appealing features to them. Perhaps I can use all of these to help me or a combination. The idea though is to chose one perspective and then do a yes and no exercise which you will see at the bottom of this post.

ME NOW: Frozen in time. I am standing on a threshold, one foot in the past, one in the future. My hands grip the doorway not wanting to let go. Let's go. I look over my shoulder and turn to salt. I look forward and see so many paths: east, west, north, south, up, down. I become confused, overwhelmed. I want and I do not want. Resistance. To escape choosing I read and watch DVD's. I sit in the sun window and stare at the pond and field. I listen to the clock tick and bong the hours. Tick, Tick tick........ Time is static, time is frozen, time moves on. I am a tighwad and dont want to spend the money to buy a house where I can have a studio and make art. I want a house near my friends on Cape Cod but I am afraid to leave where I am even though I dislike it. My hand grips, my hand opens.

Other perspectives.

Cats Emily and Bibs. Meow. Are there any mice around? What's that shape moving across the snow. Why is my water bowl frozen. Where's some tuna fish. Let me bask in the sun window. When I move I move, when I sleep I sleep. I have a human to take care of me. Keep your eyes on the prize. Play, play, play. Catch that leaf. Rub your face in the catnip. Meow. (photo: Emily Dickinson)

Tree. Look at me. I've been here so long, reaching for the sun, growing and expanding. Flowering and producing apples. Sending my roots deep into the earth, gazing out over the pond, giving shade and coolness in the heat. I am tall, I am strong, my branches move with the wind, shelter the birds and squirrels, my trunk holds worms for the woodpeckers, my cavities a hiding place for treasures. If I am felled I provide energy for a fire, planks for houses, wood for canvas stretchers, paint brush handles, easels. Look at my lovely flowers and leaves. I release them each fall. Watch them dance in the wind across the snowfield to a new home. (photo: apple tree my dad planted at the farm)

Herbal Healers. Move from within, do what your heart tells you, your gut. Do a sweat lodge, dislodge toxic negative thoughts and words, melt that ice and fear. Feel your fear and move anyway. You deserve the life you imagine, you are powerful, inventive, resourceful, creative and wise. Forage, soak in the sun, plant seeds now to place in the hothouse window. Water. From the frozen winter comes forth the glory of spring. (photo: mullien)

Yoga. Move your body. Stretch, balance, flow. Keep the joints lubricated, open the spine, release the tears and sadness, center, come to peace, push to your edge and accept the limits of your own particular body/mind, listen to your body. Pain is not the purpose of yoga, competition is not the purpose of yoga. Do not watch what your neighbor is doing, it doesnt matter. What matters is listening to your body. Soon you will sense when stress flowers before it becomes pain and then you can stretch, bend and release. Release and move on. (photo: my yoga mats)

Moon. I shine so brightly down upon you in all my phases. I look after you and give you light in the darkest hour. I am always changing or rather what you see of me is different each night, I actually remain relatively the same. I offer inspiration to lovers, poets and painters. Your friends, all around the world, can see the same me you do. I am a connector of all. Will anyone care what choices you made or how you lived your life 100 years from now? (photo: the blurred moon)

Artist Emily Carr. Getting out the paints, the easel, the camp stool. Tramping into the woods,painting the totems. Making a living renting rooms. Hanging chairs on the ceiling. Monkey friends. Wild life. Hair bound up. Trips to Paris, Chicago. Writing in the caravan: journals, letters, novels. Passion. Rejections. Acceptances. Doing, creating, expressing my own vision of the world. Being who I am. Strong, wild woman. Take that house for yourself, be your own parent and caretaker. Be bold. Be large. Be present in the world. Speak. Sing. Laugh. Paint. Teach. You are only here once. Make it special, make it yours, make it. (photo: encaustic paints at a workshop)

Although each perspective has some helpful hints for me, I choose Artist Emily Carr.

Here is the yes/no exercise.

I say yes to being assertive, so I can say no to being passive and waiting to be rescued.
I say yes to spending money, so I can say no to being a victim with sob sob no home and no place to create
I say yes to my own self worth, so I can say no to my negative thoughts, speech and deeds.

I am saying no to self-pity and depression so I can say yes to joy and self-caring

I am saying no to having to have the new home be perfect and have everything on my checklist as far as price, location, condition, taxes, studio space etc, so I can say yes to actually buying a place in the real world, knowing that after the purchase I can create the things the house does not provide at first glance.

I am saying no to "giving up" and choosing to live in this frozen tundra where I am now located and not to live near my friends because it is too hard to manifest, so I can say yes to fulfilling my dream


louciao said...

While your writing and photos are really interesting throughout this post, that last paragraph resonates so strongly within me that I could have written it myself! I, too, live in a frozen tundra, cocooned but isolated, dreaming of moving on but frozen in the headlights of the future. I suppose I'm afraid of losing all that I have in order to risk the unknown.

Bravo for choosing action!

Annie said...

Ditto what louciao said.
I have a love hate thing going with Taos, also I feel I should be closer to my mom, also no money, so I do nothing, as I am overwhelmed with all I need to do. I relate. At the same time I feel rushing into something is no good either. I love this post and found it very helpful.
I still think finding the house that most speaks to your heart is the right way to go about it, forget about the money and lists.
Good luck, Suki!

Lynn said...

Suki, what a positive force this exercise is for you! I do see you thawing out and making changes and movement...dancing over and beyond the frozen tundra...skipping with a smile on your face to the place you will not only be comfortable, but comforted, and creative! I personally hope that space to be creative is at the top of your wish list. You GO GIRL!!!!

layers said...

Life influences your art, and your art influences your life-- you can't separate them-- your search for a new home is a big part of your life right now-- great exercise and you did a wonderful job of expressing everything so beautifully. may I recommend a book A BOOK OF SILENCE by Sara Maitland.

parisdreamtime said...

Hi Suki, I love reading your perspectives, and especially the artist Emily Carr perspective. I must say I would find it difficult to have to decide to move in winter, while frozen and inert. You will become active soon, I can read it between the lines:)
I also love the cat's perspective, and her wonderful eyes!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

At least you are working thru your block.
Sometimes being pushed helps make up ones mind fast. We had no choice but to move on.. so picking a home wasn't hard. It was either do that or sit in the street.. it was stressful but not hard. lol
We choose well. I would have liked a few different things but I can live without them. Meaning. Nothing is going to be perfect unless you have gobs of money. :)

studio lolo said...

Once again I find inspiration through your words and your actions.
I know things are beginning to fall into place for you. I can feel it as I'm sure you can by now, especially if you read your own words back.

Wonderful Suki!

patti said...

This is very powerful Suki and there has to be a shift for you soon.

Have you imagined yourself in your new home? Wearing your jaunty beret, paintbrush in hand, cats sitting at the sunny window sill, friends walking up the path, the smell of baking filling the air??

Stay with it!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, Wonderful have done your homework! I can almost hear the engines starting up...take off will take place pretty soon...your vision and resolve is getting stronger by the moment! Be proud of yourself for doing the work needed!!

m. heart said...

This is very inspiring. I feel a lot of changes coming on for me as well, but like you I also feel frozen and stuck. This strikes me as a very helpful exercise for becoming unstuck...

Kim said...

Wow Suki, this sounds very involved, but I am reading that it also has made a big impact on you. Of course, it seems to me the more effort you put into it, the greater the reward. Isn't that always the way it seems to work? :-) I would say keeping these positive choices right in front of you is a very important thing to do.

The pie you created reminds me a bit of the mind mapping I used to do ... I think it is the color coding which brings that to mind.

Fabulous work here, my friend!

BTW, you can now subscribe to my blog posts so they are delivered to your mailbox. I just thought you might want to know.

Mary said...

i can only say, "you go, girl"


soulbrush said...

i learnt such a lot about myself from this post suki, thanks for sharing it with us.

kikipotamus said...

Good, brave work.

old pajamas said...


Good work. The photo from last year's ice storm is gorgeous...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Me, too...I'm inspired! Of course, that's the happy me talking, I still get down but much is brighter, something about the new year and all, and therapy :-)