Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Year of Creativity

I am very slowly reading the book by Brenda Mallon, A Year of Creativity. I really started it about a year ago. It is one of those books that has to be read in very small doses, then dwell on what you have read and let it settle into your soul awhile. I love this little book. I have no idea how many years it will be before I have finished it. Sometimes, I read only one paragraph and have to spend days on just the thoughts I have from that one small paragraph. Other times, I don't even look at the book for weeks on end.

I have decided that I will begin a year of daily artmaking on my birthday, August 27th. I will do one work-on-paper each day for an entire year, to celebrate my 63rd birthday. I am thinking now about how I will do this and I know this book will be a central part of what I will be doing. Stay tuned for more on that in the next few weeks as I get ready to begin this year long project.

On Page 27, the author lists a number of exercises to teach us how to recognize the inner Muse. As an artist, it is critical that I am in touch with the Muse. Daily mundane activities often intervene and make us forget our intuitive link between who we are, what we see, and how we feel. This little book brings me back to who I really am, a created being who is a creative person.

"Our inner Muse speaks
when we are willing to listen."
The challenge Mallon makes is to turn off the tv and radio for a week. Stop reading newspapers and begin to listen to the sound of creative silence. You will begin to hear the inner Muse. Listen, and take notes!

I remembered this advice today and decided to take my knitting outside to the patio instead of listening to music on the stereo or turning on the television. Instead of the electronic sounds surrounding me, Nature came to visit me and what a delightful time I have had.

As I sat there knitting away, a number of birds came by to take a look and gossip about what was in their garden. There was quite a bit of bird chatter, calling back and forth about this "something" new that was on the patio. We feed the birds and other wild animals every day, so there is always a gaggle of things moving about out there in the shade of the Hemlock trees and giant old Maple. First the brave Blue Jay landed within five feet of where I sat. He did this a few times, testing the waters. You see, there is cat food on the patio and he wanted it. But, there I was right by the cat food. He would land nearby, take a quick look at me, look around, then fly off to a nearby branch. A few times he circled so close that I could have touched him, hovering above the cat food.

There I sat for a couple of hours, knitting away so quietly it seemed like magic. I could feel the smoothness of the needles passing quietly in and out of the soft cotton yarn I was knitting. They seemed to glide like a pair of skaters dancing on ice. Smooth and quiet with just a very soft sound that I could feel in my hands as I moved the silver needles in and out of that yarn. I am making kitchen towels to give as Christmas gifts to my granddaughters. I like to think that in some way this magic will be knitted into my gift.

I looked up to see a squirrel hanging upside down, looking at me from a nearby tree. Many black birds, cardinals, morning doves, sparrows, and other small birds were coming and going like planes in an airport. And, meandering about in the thick ivy were a number of rambunctious little chipmonks darting about. They chirped and got my attention a number of times. They seemed to be playing joyfully with me. The English ivy was shaking vigourously as they scurried about underneath the broad deep green leaves, giving away their presence. Occasionally, I would see a head or tail pop out. I continued the rhythm of my knitting. Knitting to the sounds of nature in a landscape that surrounds me was a delight.

It was a glorious morning of knitting there with the wild creatures in thier world. I highly recommend knitting outdoors, absorbing the rays of light as our bodies were created to do and getting a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun at the same time. I will make this a daily habit during the summer months and into the fall. I would bet the Blue Jays will soon just drop by, eat the cat food and pay me no attention. They seem to be rather fearless birds and they are so curious about this new thing knitting in their garden.

Find you own way today to get in touch with the silence of your inner Muse. Time will stand still as you enter into a state of timelessness.

1 comment:

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