This week’s prompt, should you choose to engage it, is:
“What ‘first fruits’ are ripening as a result of my creative practice?”
I’ve been working with creativity as a practice now for a very long time. Before art journaling, there was poetry & creative non-fiction. Reams and reams of words strung
together with the sole purpose of getting whatever was inside of me OUTSIDE of me so I could examine it, be with it, acknowledge it. In the years since, I’ve found myself integrating writing back into my practice, finally, though I didn’t know that this would happen. After a couple of years of being a blocked creative, I felt lucky to have *any* mode of creative expression, let alone two.
This year has seen me really embrace both as integral to one another, and as I’ve created space for both, I’ve found that they feed one another. Sometimes my art journaling practice will send me flying towards the keyboard to bang out the insights that are arising while I paint. Sometimes, I’ll be typing up my ‘ten things’, which has become a regular part of my daily life now, and I will want to wrap it up so I can take some piece of what I’ve written into the realm of visual language.
I’m really excited about this, since the writing has been flowing more and more since the beginning of the year, and I’ve been able to flesh out and expand on the work I do – both personal & professional – as a result. It’s also resulting in some pretty exponential healing.
Something else that I’ve noticed is a deeper relationship with my own ‘parts’. Those of you who work with me in Moonshine and other of my offerings know that I take ‘parts work’ pretty seriously. I’m of the opinion that we contain multitudes, and a part of my own healing work is to learn to love all of my parts. All of them. Even the parts I don’t particularly like. Even the parts that are as yet unknown to me.
All this creative practice means my parts have lots of opportunity to show up with what they know. When they do that, I can come into awareness more quickly than I might otherwise. For example, right now, I have a love besotted teenager fully on board, but she’s tempered by an Aunt Frances type character that is full of sage advice. The two of them are a bit of a pain in my ass right now, because they have a set of completely opposing needs – Aunt Frances wants me to ‘need a man like a fish needs a bicycle’, and my love besotted teenager just wants to throw herself at the feet of all things romantic and live there forever – but because I am in ‘contact’ with them through art and writing, I’m able to work with them instead of letting them work me. When I catch that besotted teenager doing nothing but orbiting (and waiting on) the romantic side of life, I can call on Aunt Frances to make a list and help me slay it so that I’m living *here, now* instead of some possible future some day. Sometimes that looks like filming a lesson or making a plan for a future workshop. Sometimes it looks like cleaning out a closet. The besotted teenager pouts, but she gets over it, and even gets into the spirt of things. Especially if I’m flinging paint, or working on a new chapter in that novel I keep meaning to write.
Creative practice is always going to be a massive part of my life, because I’ve seen how powerful it is. The things I’ve learned from surrendering to visual arts *despite not being a natural artist* have been indispensable. Like – you can always fix it, whatever ‘it’ is. There’s always gesso. You can always paint over it. There is always going to be an ugly phase. You’re not done ‘till you’re done. You can trust the process. Just sit with it and let it tell you what it wants. You are never finished skills building. You can learn to represent just about anything you want to represent if you give yourself some time to practice. Practice makes progress. The process matters way more than the end result. And if it matters, you make time.
These lessons gleaned from creative practice have informed my life. I’ve integrated them so that whatever is going on, I know I can fix it. I know I can shift it, change it. I trust that the ugly phase is not a forever phase. There is always the next thing. Practice makes progress in all things, not just art or writing. The journey of a lifetime begins with a single word, a single stroke, a single choice, and all things proceed from that one act of bravery toward the attainment of my desires.