I like to think my body has brought my lack of balance in my life to my attention. I don't "feel" the same as I did a year or so ago. My energy feels stagnant, my body feels more sensitive, and most days I feel like I am either in the process, or just got finished running myself into the ground.
With school, I've managed to excise all the creativity out of my life, of course, unintentionally, but nevertheless my creativity has been "ghost." The only creativity I've displayed regularly is the topics I choose to write my papers on.
But, I am listening...and this past week I spent a delicious nine or ten days focusing on getting my groove back. I'd like to say getting my creative groove back, but the truth is...I just spent the time doing the things I needed to do spiritually.
I planted my garden. I cooked some great meals. I cleaned up trouble zones in my home. I cleaned up my backyard. I slept in. I did very little checking of email. I took pictures. I braided the little lady's hair. I read a little poetry. And! I made three (!) art journals...and got the signatures ready for another meaty, painterly one.
More importantly, I resisted the urge to get started early in my upcoming summer classes, and I also didn't touch any of my CLEP study guides (not smart).
But, my spirit needed it.
I'm very excited about this new journey/adventure into art journaling that I'm sorta/kinda starting. The first two books I made, sneak peek pictures here, I really hate. The process of creating them was quite zen as I holed up in the studio and worked for hours...literally until E forced me to stop, rest, and eat. I didn't realize I hadn't changed positions much until I succumbed to his pressure and couldn't stand up straight without my back complaining. Apparently, I have really bad posture while art-making.
The process was freeing, but a day later I felt like I had an "art hangover" looking at the books. A "what happens in the studio, stays in the studio" moment. I laughed to myself, "How could I create something so ugly, when I was feeling so good while creating it?"
I blame it on trying to artfully be something I'm not. I had seen so many different art journals and had been so inspired that I must have channeled it all...ALL...into the mess I created. That's okay, I laugh today. It's all a part of the journey of (re)connecting with my own voice.
In the end, incredibly inspired by the amazing Pam Garrison (seriously, I have an art crush), I discovered Remains of the Day journals, paid for the class, and made myself some lovely journals. When I found ROTD journals it was like finding an answer to a riddle on a fortune cookie...I have so many keepsake paperbilia and things that I have collected, still collect, and don't know what to do with. I ended up loving the process of collecting, organizing, and making these little books (although it was an incredibly looooong process for me). The finish product is even better.
I wanted to add a little "Ki" to my books and make them more my own so I incorporated a few fabric signatures for me to stitch on. Some of them are cross-stitch fabrics, but most of them are PFD pieces of cotton I had gotten ready for painting long ago.
I finished the books a good five days or so ago, but I haven't used them yet. Shame on me. I'm fighting the "I don't want to mess these pretty things up" jitters. I need to just dig in.
I think the other issue is that I still haven't figured out exactly how or what I will art journal about. I want to use them as a tool to explore poetry and prose ideas or poem and story starts, but I also want to doodle/paint/draw. Not to mention I also want to keep a regular and gratitude diary.
With all that in mind, I tried to incorporate pages/signatures that would allow space to do all of those things...so we'll see. I know that all of those things can fit together, it's just a matter of putting it down--my way.
I think in the end, once again, I am reminded of how much I want to be in a creative writing program. I want time to explore and create with words and art.
And again, I am conflicted because I love learning the backdrop/background or science of literature. I guess that is it. Studying literature/English when you want to be a writer is like studying the science behind that which you desire to create.
My little guy loves food. Loves food. In some ways I think he wants to be a chef, but if you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he'll tell you "a food scientist." He wants to create flavors for Doritos chips and things of that nature...
Me? I'm changing my dreams..."I want to be poetry/prose scientist" when I grow up.
There. That feels incredibly authentic.