Friday, August 27, 2010

Action Taken

I came home from the writer's spa, and I was finally able to make a SoulCollage® committee card for the artist. I have been collecting imagery for years. It was time to let the imagery I had on hand come together.

I've known since I first started creating a SoulCollage® deck that I wanted to have a card for my artist self. It's eluded me. In the time I've spent doing SoulCollage®, I've learned for me at least, that those parts of myself that I most consciously identify with are the hardest cards to make. It's like the imagery in ones mind's eye can get stuck in what we are thinking and what we think we already know about ourselves. Sometimes the best cards are created by just allowing the images to speak.

Committee card: Artist Working

One of the workshops at the writer's spa was a non-art collage process. It was intended to be a way to allow our writing project or our writer self to speak with us through visual images. I was glad I attended the class because the collage I made has spoken to me and continues to speak with me. Each day I gaze upon it and it offers me some inspiration or direction. I'm not quite ready to share it here because I want to stay in an intimate retreat like conversation with it longer before I open up the discussion. It is a way I can remember and pull myself back into that space where retreat and magic happens.

What I can say about the process of making my non-art writer's collage is that it was so rapid and quick that I had to just let the images do all the talking. We didn't have a lengthy amount of time to fuss with it. My mind and words and analysis did not have the chance to get in there and get me stuck. It was more like deciding to let an image sit next to another one.........and to say I resonate with this image and it can go here on the page. I wasn't concerned about anything other than pick an image, find a spot, then glue.

When I sat down at home to dawdle in SoulCollage®, I found myself loose and able to let my artist self speak through the imagery. So I did a similar thing in creating my artist card. I let the images speak as my artist self. Instead of thinking about it I worked in a narrow time frame and let the images find their places.

I also created a council card for The Artist archetype. It seemed like images would find their spot. They picked which card to go on and all I did was cut and glue. Some images I collected did not find their spot on either card, but when I was in this process it was easier to determine - no that image is darling and it belongs on another card or collage. In fact, as I worked I realized there are cards to be made for my play in clay self and my photogragher self too.

Council Card: The Artist

I have not taken the time yet to write out fully the SoulCollage® exercise called "I am the one who........" I often hear things as I work on cards and it takes me a long while to get words down on paper because I get distracted. Something I hope to get better at is completing a card all the way through to writing about it.

If I was to write anything here initially about these two cards I would say this-
My artist working committee card says:
I am the one who holds her mouth right as she creates. I am the one who focuses her attention on creating. Who grabs hold of her tools and makes a mess. I am the one who explores color and her craft- allows her gaze to flow through her to the paper or the sculpture. I am the one involved in creative dawdling. I am the one who is occupied working on her art projects.

The council card The Artist says:
I am the one who flows inspiration through the makers hands. I am the one behind the urge to create.

I am feeling a sense of accomplishment and completion to have some artist cards join in my SoulCollage® deck. I am grateful when I can enter this temenos (a sacred play space) where the rational mind takes a break.

Is there anything you do that helps you enter the temenos and give your vigilant mind a rest?

Please note: SoulCollage® cards are not to be sold, traded,or bartered; they are to be reproduced only for the personal use of the maker of the card. SoulCollage® cards may be shared as examples to illustrate the SoulCollage® process, but it is a principle of SoulCollage® that SoulCollage® cards are not for sale, trade, or barter.

Please go to for more information about the process and Seena B. Frost's book SoulCollage.

Last, but certainly not least: Thank you to all the wonderful photographers and artists whose images inspired us to recreate and discover our inner and outer worlds.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oops....there she ...what helps

It took about two and a half days and I just had an epiphany about what helps my thunkyness.

What truly helps is:


I've been getting the nudges and some were not so subtle. For instance, I drew out of my SoulCollage® deck the card that speaks of slow. It has a picture of a sloth. Yet, when I was racing around in my head mostly and so busy grasping at fixes and connection I missed even the most obvious answer that showed up in my cards.

Yes, getting into my body helped a lot. Writing helped when I settled. Connection via email to friends helped but really it would have helped more if I'd taken the time to SLOW way down and not be in such a rush to reply or get replies. Getting into my body could only happen when I slowed down through breathing and resting yoga. Writing was nourishing and connecting when I slowed down a little bit and settled into it and myself.

Laughter I had not really thought about (thanks Karen) but that helped too. Why does laughter help? I think because when you laugh, everything STOPS while you are overcome with laughter. Isn't that space a place where one finds slow in the everyday small moments.

It seems so obvious and kind of very embarassing to be the creative DAWDLER -
helllllllloooooooooo.... I think a dawdler ='s the message to slow down. This is good. This is where a blog helps you. It's a mirror where one gets to see themselves and exactly what one needs to unfold one's patterns.

For another perspective on retreat integration I found this post today by Michelle Lessirard. It reassured me it takes time. Slow down - 40 days or even 3 lunar cycles is normal for integration - click on New Moon Journal

also I mentioned slow before.....maybe it's developing in a theme....huh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oops....there she goes.........


That was me coming down from my retreat high. I'd been expecting it. I know it is a part of any return from _(fill in the blank)_______________. In this instance, it was the retreat with Jen Louden. I've had similar experiences with vacations, art shows, and visits from my siblings when I was a little kid. It is the let down afterward.

On some level it is grieving for the time gone by and the experience that is over. For me in this particular instance it is also feeling the loss of the physicality of these soul sisters. I have lots of wonderful life all around me, but what I find missing right now at least in my current life is that physical in the flesh kind of creative connection of women. I do not get a lot of the voice tone and body language that comes from being in parallel play together in the same space.

I can get connection over the internet. Right now I live in a place that I have found difficult to find others to be with in parallel creative play. There really are reasons for why this is and I'm not looking for suggestions on community building. It will change. For now the simple observation I am making is I feel the let down of this particular kind of in the flesh connection.

I'm sure there is some brain research out there that explains how the brain and the hormones produce this kind of high and that after it is over those chemicals abandon their posts it causes this kind of let down grieving process. It's normal. It happens.

Jen is such a master at retreat that she actually prepares you for this to happen. I appreciate that. It still isn't fun to go through. Sometimes, I want to avoid living a creative explorer and dawdler kind of life in any larger way because I want to avoid the pain of this experience.

In my thunkyness, I want to whine "it would be easier if I was just a hermit and avoided everyone and any circle of community." I know this is a passing transition. I have learned to not take it to mean all is lost forever and ever and I'm destined to be a lonely hermit.

What helps?
Well, that is the question I am exploring........hmmmm........

I know the only way through is through. DUH!

I don't think I've ever studied my process enough to know exactly what will help me through this rough patch. I feel sharing my feelings instead of trying to escape from them will help. Hence I'm posting here on my blog about this and I feel a little vulnerable.

Not isolating. Again that is probably a good reason to post this on my blog. Oh, so hard to put myself out there and opt to matter.

As, I write, I am looking around. My cat Fox is looking so cute and snuggly wuggly curled up on the bed nearby my writing spot. He just opened an eye. If I gaze out the window I see blue sky. Two lounge chairs are sitting in labyrinth left from last night's star gazing. I'm anticipating more star gazing tonight as the Perseid Meteor Shower begins to peak.

So I guess a beginning answer to the question of what does help? I think it is just taking in the here and now. What is delightful or pleasurable right now?

When I went *thunk* yesterday I didn't have the good sense to really get in touch with my body.......I stayed up in my head and worried a lot. Tried to write disconnected to my body - ouch!

So today, I think I will do more that involves using my body. That may mean I do not get online so much or try to connect via the internet. I may just start connecting with the physical environment around me. Go for a walk. Do some yoga like dogs and children.

Oh, and here is a thought! I could do some creative go into my studio and assemble something or get out the clay. Clay is very physical. So in the creative lab of me today - I declare it to be about physical play......and I'll let you know if it helps my thunkyness. Please share if there is something you find that helps you when you go thunk!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Retreat Goodness

The photo below is the rough draft of my backyard labyrinth in 2007. Sketch a path for yourself. Put down a few words on the again.......

I was inspired this morning to take my draft posts and get something up here. Karen and Joy* inspired me. These are two of the women I was lucky enough to spend time with on the retreat. I realized upon reading their blog posts that I really needed to get something up here - it doesn't really matter what I write just that I write.

I've been back from retreat for over a week now. Re-entry is bumpy. I had a wonder-full time. I have also been slowly reconnecting with my regular life at home again. The hardest part about retreat I think is returning.

I'm sure my time spent in retreat will unfold and reveal itself here in future posts. I definitely feel like I have some creative stuff to dawdle with in writing, collage, and clay. I'm holding much of it in a private safe container for now until it's time for it to come out and play in a public space.
I met so many lovely women. And what a special gift it was to reconnect with the women who attended in 2007. I feel the need to just say to any new and old friends coming by for a visit - miss you!

I am starting to believe this blog will be a more regular thing I attend and tend as my creative path. For now, I have nothing bright and pithy to say.....just wanted to leave a post.

At the retreat, some readers of my previous blogs asked me about them. Spiritdoll was my first blog. It begin on Jan 1, 2006. It continued into August 2008. I also created Temenos which I couldn't take on blogspot so it's address is Temenos never really got going strongly but looking back now I realize it held a desire that I believe will grow again here on this current blog.
For the past few years I've kept these previous blogs but made them private. For a little while, as an offering of retreat goodness. I am going to make them available. Just click on the links above. I believe I've turned off the comments because I'm not trying to start these up again - creative dawdling is where I'm directing my attention and opening up the conversation.

creative blessings y'all

* I hope to have a link for Joy coming soon!

Sunday, August 1, 2010