November 19, 2010

How can I keep from singing?

It sometimes happens that when I have a strong drive to express something, it seems impossible to name or describe that thing. Or vision, feeling, experience... I don't even have the right word to categorize its very thingness. I can't tell you, with words, what the above image (a sketchbook spread using oil pastel, watercolor, and Sharpie) is about. But when I look at the image, it distills the essence of something I am deeply in touch with right now.

The past couple of weeks have brimmed with connections, potential, joy, and curiosity. And I don't know what else to say about that. In my journal lately, all I can do is make visual marks and make lists; sentences and paragraphs just aren't forming. And that's okay. I'm always a writer, and always an artist, and always a musician, but what I keep discovering is that at any given moment, one of those creative selves is primary and the others recede--and they all support each other.

Among all the intangible experience of recent days, here are the links to some virtual gifts that have arrived in my awareness this week:

Jen Louden's kick-in-the-pants manifesto about following your calling, a.k.a. the thing you want so bad you can barely stand to think about it because there are a thousand reasons you can't possibly walk that path: Holy Selfishness

Meditative artwork by my mentor, Adele Wayman. The images on her website cannot do justice to the visceral gorgeousness of her installations viewed in person, but go take a look anyway. Her art conveys so much about mindfulness that can't be explained with words.

My friend Melanie Weidner, a Quaker artist and spiritual director, is offering a 5-week online course called Creative Spark: Advent Meditations for Creativity and Community, and at an insanely low price. She's wonderful. Please support her if you can.

And Havi's blog post about safe rooms, which is bursting with a lot of really useful stuff as always, offered exactly the thing I needed to hear today: the bit about the V formation. Maybe you'll find it useful, too.

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