breaking with tradition. breaking up. breaking hearts. breaking old habits. break dancing. breakfast. breaking a pattern. give me a break. breaking.
Breaking is a delightful word for the creative process and for life in general. Whether it’s a relationship, a day, an outworn routine or something else, it’s good to impose a break from time to time and rethink what we’re doing. Giving space can make a huge difference in outcome. Even just the space of a breath can help us get centered and help us respond instead of react to life.
I’ve done a bit of breaking of late. I deleted my personal Facebook account a couple of days ago which is helping me really see how much my brain had become trained to think about life in relation to social media. In a few, short days, the context has changed and I’m already thinking differently. I can’t recommend this enough. It’s much more peaceful here.
Breaking away from him. Lovely gent but not the right fit. (Wow, is that getting easier!)
I’m also breaking away from what I’ve been doing for today’s bricolage. It’s a photo collage that I took during breakfast at Cafe Racer today. There was live music–at breakfast. People drinking at the bar, an old dog was lazing around and begging for food, and the walls were lined with bad art and sad clowns. Perfect for a rainy Sunday.
Today’s quote is from Marilyn Monroe. It’s a bit non-sequiter but I adore it so it stays:
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
Just ran across that quote but I feel like I could have written it. I’ll take ridiculous over boring any day.
What are you breaking away from or ready to break away from in your life?
The word of the day is joy! from my well-loved copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
Today’s bricolage is a little video from a walk I took with my older daughter today. I love the way the water in the creek has a kind of woven, herringbone pattern. She and I sat and watched for a bit, listening to the sound of water and the rustle of leaves. Just magical! We sat on a bench and chatted for a bit, giving me a chance to hold her. When we got up, I realized our backs had been against this fabulous graffiti:
While she’s in college now, we get to see each other from time to time and it always brings such delight. Today was infused with joy from beginning to end. Listening to my girls giggle and listening to show tunes while I was making breakfast, our walk in the sunlight, watching the leaves fall, and later going to the theater with a friend. In fact, the day was so busy, there’s not a lot of time for reflection, just enjoyment.
Today’s quote is from Osho:
What so ever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.
Thinking about joy! reminds me of my joy list which I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are depressed or have anxiety who have never made a joy list. I recommend it. Not because I think it can cure depression or anxiety but because it can help us switch our focus away from drudgery and pain. It’s like a toy box that you can go back to when need to have some fun–when you forget. I know I sometimes forget. If you want to know more about how play can help your well-being, check it.
What brings you joy?
Today’s random word, early, is from Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory. I had the good fortune of seeing Ben read in Seattle many years ago. He was kind and generous and made a deep impression on me. I befriended him on social media and we talked from time to time. I told him how much I adored one of his stories and he generously send me a PDF of this book before it was published. It was an act of trust that I have never forgotten. I later got to meet him in 2011 at a reading he did for the book tour and felt great joy in his presence.
Speaking of Ben, you must read this short story of his from the Nervous Breakdown. It is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever read. Go read it right now. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
Back? You did read it, right? Good. Hilarious, no?
I don’t have something epic today. It’s a busy day. My kid is sick and home from school. I’m trying to make sense of life. Oh, I deleted my Facebook account but that’s a story for a different day. Today, as every, day I awakened early. It was beautiful outside. Sunny and warm all day. Not as much art-making today so a quick assemblage. (Fueled by Massive Attack.)
Finally, today’s quote is from Osho:
Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for hanging in there. I appreciate you.
Today’s random word, result, comes from Archetypes & Strange Attractors: The Chaotic World of Symbols by John R. Van Eenwyk who I had the pleasure of hearing speak at Antioch University Seattle many years ago. Because I love the text so much, it serves nicely as today’s quote:
“As we now turn to the diachronic process of individuation, bear in mind that psychological growth occurs as a result of tensions, especially those between opposites, in the psyche. Among these are conflict and resolution” (p. 31).
Isn’t that reassuring? All of that delicious tension is helping us grow! Reminds me of the Degenerate Art Ensemble exhibit I saw at the Frye Art Museum in 2011. There was a video of dancers embodying creation. I think it was a bird coming out of an egg or perhaps a seed bursting through the earth to kiss the light. I just remember it felt inherently violent. Like the dance , our ego’s relationship to to our complexes creates this tension that help us grow into a bigger version of ourselves. Without integration we continue to repeat patterns that keep us stuck. Without shadow, we don’t learn.
I’ve often described my own process as “dancing with my shadow” because that’s how it feels. I don’t let it rule my life but I am aware of it. I certainly see it mirrored back to me and have learned to tend and befriend these various aspects of myself. When I was creating today’s bricolage, I did the painting that you see (the black ink in the left margin was done by dipping a dried rose in ink, btw. I love how it turned out!) then made a cut out of a little angle/devil creature. I thought it would be fun to have her dance around as a shadow instead of placing a static piece inside the frame. I ended up painting with shadow. I did all of that before choosing the word and subsequent quote. I love synchronicity!
I made a little video of it just for fun. Painting with shadow.
Working on this project has drawn me deeper inside myself into the deep quiet. I’m feeling and seeing life more geometrically and have been finding my way to far more authenticity. It’s as though life is saying, “It’s okay. Just be you,” so I am. Messy. Experimental. Playful. Intense. Present. Growing.