Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nurturing Your Creative Soul

When Jenny underwent her stem cell transplant, I dried up creatively.  I tried to explain this to the social worker who had asked me what was the hardest thing to endure as Jenny's procedure was in progress.  I am assuming that she expected me to say something to the effect of "It's extremely difficult watching my daughter suffer," (which it was,) or "I'm totally exhausted," (which I was,), but she could not hide the surprise on her face when I tried to explain to her that I had not been able to "express myself creatively" all the while the stem cell transplant was progressing.  I tried to explain to her that without creativity in my life, I suffered a void that just could not be filled up by anything else.  I tried to explain to her that, not only was expressing myself creatively, a want, it was a physical, mental, and spiritual need.  I honestly think I stumped her with that response.  She just looked at me.  I am guessing that she must have thought that I was one of the most selfish mothers to ever exist on the face of the earth because I didn't mention my daughter in that reply. Oh, well, she did ask.

In truth, I knew what was happening with my daughter every step of the way.  I was drained, dried up, and empty.  If I had been able to express myself creatively, I might not have become so drained.  Sadly, there was never time, and my protective instincts to guard and take care of my child jumped ahead of my need to create.  At the end of 2.5 weeks, I could not think"out of the box."  Nothing inspired me.  Nothing propelled me to see life in unique and fulfilling ways.  Not only did Jenny need nurturing, I did, too. 

Since Jenny has come home from the hospital, and visits to the clinic are not everyday, I have begun to nurture my creative soul again.  I'm not able to make glass beads, so I've been "playing," and I do believe that play is an important part of the creative flow, with polymer clay and wire.  I had tried needle felting, but I just couldn't become enthusiastic about that form of creative expression.  I love fiber, and   I would, in the future, like to learn how to integrate more fiber into my creative voice, however, this does not seem to be the proper time.

Enter polymer clay.  Now, I am I learning something new and playing with some of the techniques that polymer clay artists use in their art.  (Trust me when I say this, it is a form of art!)  I have found that polymer clay is a very physical form of creative expression.  Working with clay gets those endorphins flowing.  I am not a polymer clay artist, however, I now have a tremendous respect for the people who are.  I find poly clay to be challenging.  It feeds my soul.

Next food:  photography.  I only have a point and shoot digital camera.  It's really been enough for me because through the eye of the camera, I can see things I've not seen before.  Note the photo at the top of this page.  I was "playing" with my camera as I waited for Jenny at the clinic.  From this side view, the painting reminds me of a huge eye!  It was something I had not seen before even though I've sat next to that painting many different times.  I love the combination of colors.  Oh, what beautiful beads they will make! 

My creative soul is finally being fed and nurtured.  Jenny is healing, even though she is tired.  In a few weeks, I'll be home again where I can melt glass and make beads to my heart's content.  Oh, the wonders creativity works on my soul.

Now, my questions for you are these:
How do you nurture your creative soul?  Do you need to be challenged by trying something new?  Do you like to play when you work?  I'd love to hear what you think!


Laney said...

Hi, I have just found your blog and will enjoy reading more about you and your beads from your back 'catalogue' of entries on here. Firstly, I don't know what is wrong with your daughter, but it sounds serious so I hope she is getting better and you both are finding time to be quiet and reflective, something I find helps with the creativity ;O) For me being creative is all the time. I potter in the garden moving objects so that it looks better, I don't mind the weeds or slightly too long grass it just has to 'feel' and 'look' right. As well as melt glass, I draw, doodle mainly but I am always keeping my hands busy. I have a sample of clay in rose which I am wanting to use but am just waiting for the right moment. Its only a teeny tiny piece of clay so would like to hear some of your do's and don't's on how you are working with your clay. I hope your creative soul finds its voice soon. Laney x

angelinabeadalina said...

Either she "got" it, or she didn't. Don't worry about it, Mrs. M. If that social worker was a creative person, then she knew and understood your feeling and didn't think it took away from your role as a mother. If she wasn't a creative person, she probably couldn't understand it separately even if you explained it a million different times. I'm glad you're getting to the point where you can create again, and I'm glad Jenny has such a wonderful mom as you to help her through this.

rosebud101 said...

Laney, I tried to email you, but the email came back to me. Thank you for commenting on my blog. I love your beads! Thanks for the insight into your creative flow!

Ang, Love you!