Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Thinking - New Learning

I just finished reading "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I found myself nodding, smiling, laughing out loud, and most of all agreeing with what she has discovered and written down, that embracing creativity for itself and for the joy it brings is the biggest and best thing you can do with your life. Don't look to some goal, like being in MOMA or at least in the next local show or paying the bills with your art or selling something, anything, ever. You might. You might not. Look instead to the incredible joy and creativity art brings into your life, think how empty your life would be without it, and just go for it.  You will be less if you don't.

This month has been one of great personal learning. I mentioned in my last blog post that I'd bought "Storytelling With Collage" by Roxanne Evans Stout. I have several new Facebook friends because of this book and I am enjoying their creative posts. These friends routinely post things they call "assemblages" or "bundles". These can be permanent or very ephemeral. I challenged myself to create a new one every day for a month. I find I do them at the end of the day, that they are impulsive and creative and that other people like them when I share a photo on Facebook.  Which I like.  

Along with this new practice, I've taken up reading "verse" or poetry, especially that by Mary Oliver and writing something, some verse or saying or some words, every day. in a small book I dedicated to that purpose and called "Verse A Day". I decorate every page, and every day I write something, either in verse or perhaps something I wrote down long ago. I find I do this in the morning.

I'm 67 years old right this moment.  I think I am learning more every day than I ever did in my life except perhaps infant-hood when I had to learn to crawl, stand up, understand words and feed myself. It's what Elizabeth Gilbert tells us in her book: if you embrace, accept and love your art then it will embrace, accept and love you right back.

Where will this take me?  Who knows?  Who cares? Will I be famous, make money, accept awards?  I don't think it matters.  What matters is that every day I show up and every day my creative spirit shows up and every day we commune: this, how about that, and then what and so on and on. And it gives me great joy.  


  1. I just bought the book. After reading your post, I'm even more anxious to crack it open. Great post with the wisdom only a 67 year old has:) (I just turned 67 last month)

  2. in many ways it's wonderful that we wait so long to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. "youth is wasted on the young" I once read. I think that is true. Would we appreciate or understand as well if we were much younger? Enjoy the book, it's great. I went out and got "Eat Pray Love" from the library just because I like this book so much. BIG HUGS to you and I'm so pleased to see your painting is going up to NWWS. Talk about putting your heart out where everyone can see it!