Daily Archives: September 24, 2012

Creative Soul

The wind blew and the air was chilly and crisp. I grabbed the worn handle of the door and entered the charming little coffee shop. The smell of fresh-brewed coffee was in the air, and I could feel the low hum of conversation flowing.  I took a deep breath, heaving the box of creative bits under my arm; we were here at this place to create and share. It was time for CREATIVE SOUL.

This was our first ever meet-in-real-life retreat, and I couldn’t deny I was a little nervous {as I always am in times like these}. But from the moment the first member of our community walked into the door and smiles shined down upon us, I knew I had nothing to fear. We fell easily into conversation, and thanks to a little inspiration by Melissa, our creative juices started flowing. We decorated our nametags with sparkly bits, stickers and markers. Producing not just a nametag but also a piece of art as unique as the person wearing it.

Once we were all settled it was time for introductions. Along with our names Hyacynth, posed some questions for us to answer, where we were from, favorite people in our lives, our blog and our favorite movie. I have to say the favorite movie was the most intriguing and revealing look into each person’s personality, and I now have a list of great movies to see. Once introductions were completed it was time for our live writing circle.

If you’ve never participated in a Writing Circle here’s how it works, you are given a prompt and a style, like prose, memoir or fiction and you write your heart out. Then you meet up with your group and discuss the finished product. Many of my favorite pieces were written in our writing circles.

Familiar with the format, I knew what to expect, but there were some differences. First of all in our normal writing circle the prompt is shared in advance, this time we didn’t know until that moment. A sweet surprise if you will. And the biggest and best difference, we could see each other’s expressions as we read.

The moment the prompt fell from Hyacynth’s lips, my brain was in a fervor, my hand barely keeping up with the thoughts spilling forth. There was no time to edit, no time to proofread, and the final product was as raw as the emotions behind the words.

We reconvened ready to share.

I can’t share the other members’ stories. Only the author can give life to their words. Also, it’s a shared oath that whatever happens in Writing Circles stays in Writing Circles. It’s a sanctuary to create, a place full of positivity and guidance. However, I can share this…laughter and tears coincided in the same space for a brief moment in time, and it was good.

Once our craving for words had been satiated it was time to feed our bodies, and we dined on pasta and bread, while engaging in more conversation. Talking about children, babies, work, life and football {ok, maybe only Melissa and I were obsessed with football}. However, the fact remained, our little community was growing.

When we returned, our room had been stocked with worn paint brushes, tattered bits of scrapbook paper, paint spattered stencils, a rainbow of paints, old hymnals and Bibles; it was a creator’s dream, or in my case a tad overwhelming.

I’m a creator by trade, but this was different. There was no delete button on today’s task, and I didn’t have a palette of Pantone colors to choose from. For a moment I felt lost, the blank canvas engulfing me.

Then, like a beacon in the night, I heard Michelle’s voice guiding me back, helping me focus. She shared her story of how she found God and art, and they became intertwined in a way she could never imagine. Walking us the through the process, and the technical aspect, she finally let us loose…

I took a moment to pause and observe my fellow creators.

What were they picking out?

What colors did they choose?

Each one of them with an idea percolating in their head.

Ironically, I had none.

I just took a deep breath and dived in.

Grabbing papers that I felt drawn to, colors that made me feel peace, words that gave me balance, and of course butterflies. I brought them back to the weather beaten table, tearing and ripping, mixing paint and paste. Attaching them PERMENANTLY to the blank canvas. I went in willy-nilly no idea where this creative road would lead. “It needs something,” I kept whispering under my breath.

I had reached a crossroads, one that I had heard others voice in the same room.

When do you stop?

When you do say the canvas is full?

After much deliberation, Michelle told me to set it aside.

Then came the next canvas and this time I had an idea, but I didn’t know where to begin. Then she put her hand on my shoulder, and calmed my creative heart. “Just put the paint on the canvas,” and see what you create. I swished the brush back and forth, dipping in teal, purple, reds, and yellows. Handing me a paper towel she guided me as I painted and dabbed, painted and dabbed. And what resulted was potential, a mix of colors ready for creation.

As the time ticked away, I felt sad to leave this space, this community. I wanted to take it and stuff it in a jar to keep forever.

But it was time to go, we enjoyed a long dinner together and eventually said our goodbyes, sharing hugs with people who were only eight hours ago strangers, and were now friends.

I have no more words to share about the day. It is done, and I feel drunk and giddy from so much creative positive energy in one tiny little place.

It’s time to close the door to the coffee shop and bide a fond farewell, and as my words fade into the page I encourage you to create with your heart and soul, today.

Remember to visit our Facebook page for today’s prompt.

And read more from our fellow CREATIVE SOUL community.

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