Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Majors and Minors of Creativity

Yesterday, I spent the morning and afternoon visiting with my oldest son at his college campus. We went out to eat (because college students are always broke and hungry) and then went shopping (because college students are always eager to spend other people's money). We spoke about his major (construction management) and his minor (business) over warm soup and bread. Luke knows that his strengths are in his mathematical abilities, and he's learning to apply them in areas of planning, development, and estimation.

Lately, I've been feeling like a coed that has switched majors in her senior year.

At one time, my major felt as if it involved all things related to paper crafting. And it was fine, for a time. But a few months back, the spirit to craft just left me. I had to make a card for my youngest son's birthday (because he wouldn't let me buy one, ha ha!), and it felt as if someone had asked me to perform brain surgery. The phrase "epic fail" comes to mind. Seriously, it was the most uninspired and pathetic card.

Obviously, my heart was not in the process.

I have learned a few things in this dry spell. For starters, I've learned that if you aren't priming that pump of creativity on a daily basis, the well will probably run dry. Second, I've learned that if you are not totally immersed in the craft, you also aren't consumed to purchase for the craft. That has been a very positive side effect, I might add. It has freed me from the constant coveting and the need to own the "next big thing".

So, the question begs to be asked. What has become my major?

It is a dual major, actually. I'm learning to major in writing and observing. Writing, because like my son, I know where my strengths lie. And observing, because it is the wellspring of good writing.

My minor? I am still crafting with my hands. Needle art, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and it relaxes me. Walking, because it centers me. And recently, I'm feeling the need to draw and paint because the autumn landscape inspires me.

It has been a season of centering and focusing. The red leaf. The crisp apple. The fragrance of a field of wildflowers.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On The Walk

I've been suiting up for some serious spiritual battle this month.

I try to do this every morning. Ephesians tells us to put on the full armor of God. My armor consists of Avia running shoes, sweats, a t- shirt, and an ipod full of inspirational tunes.

I hit the trail with a peppy beat and get ready to do battle with my self. Insecurities, bitterness, fear, self pity, worry, regret. You know, the yucky stuff. I sweat it out of my pores.

There I was, huffing and sweating and crucifying the old self.

And then I saw him. A young man, walking slowly ahead of me on the trail. He wasn't swinging his arms and pounding to an ipod. What kind of workout was he hoping to get? I was nearly upon him, ready to pass him by, when I did a double take. His arms weren't swinging because his hands were joined, as if in prayer. And he wasn't pounding because he was walking, slowly, in bare feet.

We shared a "Good morning", and I passed him by. But thoughts of that young man have accompanied me on every walk since that day.

In her book "The Artist's Way", Julia Cameron states that there is a real connection between the sole and the soul. I feel it with every step. Walking away from an old life, an old self, taking off the old clothes, naked. Putting on something new. A new self, a new attitude, a new creation.

I'm not ready to give up my old Avias just yet. But I can still feel the stirring of my soul through my soles. It's a good feeling.

"To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:23, 24