Tuesday, April 3, 2012

THE ARTIST'S WAY, or Crocheting as a Bridge Drug

This picture is so representational of the New And Improved Me of late!!

I'm doing THE ARTIST'S WAY with my dear friend, Monty. For those of you who aren't familiar with this book, it is a twelve-week program for blocked creatives that was designed by the brilliant Julia Cameron. Each week's readings and tasks help to excavate different layers of junk that's keeping us from being authentically creative. It's a really amazing journey and I've been doing it on and off for nineteen years. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a more well-rounded life. It's amazing, because each time I go through it, a different challenge is encountered -- or the same challenge on a different level, as Cameron says our creative journey is a spiral one and we face the same obstacles in different ways until we learn the lesson that lies within it. My most recent ARTIST'S WAY journey was in December with my friends Rick and Sonja, and I had to abandon the work at Week Five because I got too busy with my crocheting business, my blog, and my band. In other words, I was too busy creating to further unblock creatively!!

So Monty and I were both facing rather gigantic life changes, and we thought it would be a good idea to embark on this journey, and a GREAT idea to embark on it together! We're both experiencing amazing and swift progress in becoming more authentic to our true natures. We've just started Week Seven, in which we work toward Recovering a Sense of Connection. And tonight, for the first time since high school, I'm taking an art class!! I start my six-week Figure Drawing class at Gallery B1E in Rogers Park at 6:00 pm. I'm thrilled!

The reason for this art class is that I'm tired of telling myself I can't do things. And if crocheting has taught me anything, it's that I CAN do things. Cubs logo? It's basically just a circle, so of course. Tigger hat? Sure! Eeyore hat? Easy! Party Pat hat? Six and a half hours of labor, but Yes I Can!! So I'm venturing into another medium. And this is the lesson that Julia Cameron is instilling: action breeds creativity. Running a marathon makes it easier to write a mystery novel. Writing a mystery novel helps you in your marathon training. Yes You Can!! Crocheting makes me want to pick up a pencil and draw. (Don't worry -- I'm not going to start another blog called "I Sketch in Cafes" or anything like that!!)

The confidence I have derived from designing and creating crocheted items has empowered me to take up that pencil and draw. I know I just need the training to do it -- I've been attempting to draw my whole life. I KNOW I can't throw a football, and you don't see my trying that!!

I'm challenging myself to do one unexpected thing every day in April. Sunday my unexpected thing was to ride my bike 11 miles. Yesterday it was to buy a rhythm egg to carry around in case I need to make a little music in my travels. Today it was coloring in coloring books with Monty.

I'm making my creative life my priority, and it's causing me to discover my bliss. I don't think I've ever been happier in my whole life. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to sing zydeco songs while I ride my pink bike to art class! As always, my angels, peace, love, and yarn -- oh, and graphite!! XOXOXO

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