Friday, February 03, 2012

Many Valleys

I was reading Art Journals & Creative Healing by Sharon Soneff to get some ideas for my home journals, and for the first time the dedication caught my eye:

"In loving memory of fellow artist and contributor Mary Zakrajsek, whose inspiring faith and impassioned art accompanied her through many valleys and then to her heavenly home."

Aside from this being one of the most beautiful dedications I've ever read, some of the phrases jumped out at me: impassioned art ~ accompanied her ~ many valleys.

Creative people are definitely mountain climbers, but we're also pretty good at falling, too. I never thought of sliding into my black pits of depression as journeying through a valley. Maybe if I could convince myself that's what it is, I could gain a healthier perspective.

The faster the world moves, the slower I want to go. Or rather, I want to go in a different direction -- contrary as always, I guess. This past month I've been doing that every day, creatively and practically, and finding that while it's not always comfortable, it's where I want to go. I'll take whatever trips through the valleys come with it because I think that's how you reach the mountains: not by jumping from peak to peak, but by climbing up and down.

I'm going to give away a brand-new copy of Sharon's book, which along with the dedication has some amazing ideas on how to work toward healing by creative art journaling, both in projects and personal essays by the contributing artists. If you'd like a chance to win it, in comments to this post tell us something creative you do that is healing (or if you can't think of anything, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Saturday, February 4, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner an unsigned copy of Art Journals & Creative Healing by Sharon Soneff. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

17 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful dedication. :)

    There are many things I do, from making greeting cards to wedding invitations to my lastest discovery: smashbooks/junk journals. I think the healing, for me, comes in the making of it for someone else. To do something, unasked and unexpected, for someone else is one of the most healing things out there. No matter how sad, hurt, angry or disappointed I am feeling about the things I have gone through and am going through, I know I can bring joy to another life.

    That is a beautiful power.

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  2. Writing is the obvious answer for me, but really, just creating anything can be therapeutic. I crochet and knit. Working on my websites can make me feel better. Cleaning the house. Anytime I feel like I have accomplished something, I feel it in my soul and life looks better for awhile.

    DiDi

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  3. I have recently discovered Zentangles. While I haven't bought their kit or any "official" stuff yet, I've found enough examples online to get me started. Basically, it is doodle drawing only there are a zillion prompts to get you started. I am not explaining it very well, but this sort of doodling is exactly what I need to clear and calm my mind. Right now I'm somewhere on the side of a mountain, but I think if I can make this a daily practice, it will help me through the valleys.

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  4. I just picked up my journal again after a long hiatus. I'm finding that spending 15 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning writing in it gives me a peaceful approach to the day that I had been neglecting. The days I don't give myself time to write always seem to run rougher than the days when I do.
    It's good to be back online, too, and reading your blog again. I've been away for a while.

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  5. I go outside and look at the sky. Preferably at night, when I can see all the stars. (I'm lucky enough to live where there isn't a lot of light pollution.) When I can't do that, I listen to mood music. Rain, usually, for some reason.

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  6. During the year I create mini-baskets filled with love, goodies and bring them to family and friends who need a lift. During the summer I work in the garden creating an oasis.

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  7. I send out postcards to people who I rarely see and want to keep in contact with, especially those without e-mail. I choose the cards carefully for each individual abd their personality, while listening to R & B.

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  8. clairecherven11:36 AM

    There are two lakes near my home that, especially in the winter, are nearly deserted and beautiful. The small waves run up on the shore and retreat just as quickly. What an escape for me. I need that ebb and flow more often now.

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  9. It really depends on what I'm doing when I need that healing support. For instance, if I'm writing at the time, writing more rarely helps. Sometimes I watch and dissect movies, sometimes I make baskets out of yarn, sometimes I write. Sometimes I work on my website, my blog, edit someone's work (sometimes mine, sometimes not), etc.

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  10. Gabriele4:38 PM

    I freewrite about whatever it is that's problematic. When I tried that technique out for the first time, I never expected it to work. It all sounded just a bit too woollyminded to really work. Boy, was I wrong. I've been doing it for years now, and it's helped me through some tough times.

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  11. I scribble on the page ... then make something beautiful. Resolving a mess into a cohesive and even appealing result helps me understand that beauty often grows out of frustration in life, also.

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  12. I send greeting cards to the elderly-- cheering them up cheers me up : )

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  13. I cook. And I cook. And I write. Then I cook some more. :)

    If I wrote more, my thighs would be thinner. ;)

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  14. I have journalled for many years and used to draw but found myself trying art journalling for the first time last Autumn as I was trying to find a way of coming to terms with my brother accidental death. I don't know why I never thought to combine writing and drawing and colour before now... It has been helpful but I don't think I will be sharing my imagery anytime soon...

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  15. I've lost my love of doing creative things recently. I think i just got too caught up in how hard it was to stick to and forgot how much fun it can be.

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  16. I find working in my art journal is very helpful if I'm trying to work something out in my head. I also like getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing the kitchen floor with an old fashioned scrub brush. The repetitive movement is very soothing and my mind is free to wander.

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  17. I knit. I enjoy the quiet time, and love to make things. I don't watch television any more. I'd much rather be working on creative projects.

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