Our Time to Make Things…

 In Reflections

“There are piles of rubble everywhere in our collective heartbreak. To write, to sing, to dance, to be playful and silly, to make things, to gather things and arrange them, to praise, to pay homage to grief upon an altar in the corner of our garden, to plant seeds of gratitude—this is the beginning of how we contribute to the cleanup and the rebuilding of a nation’s soul. This is our time to make things.” —Stephanie Raffelock,  Art In The Time Of Unbearable Crisis

This past Sunday I was reminded of the power of art and the creative spirit to help us process all that we’ve witnessed personally or through the TV or computer screen these past few years. At the book launch at BookWoman, creator and editor of Art In The Time Of Unbearable Crisis, Stephanie Raffelock, spoke about her desire to call on fellow women creatives to write about how their art helps them in times of crisis.

Featuring three local writers, including my friend Jeanne Guy, author of the award-winning memoir, You’ll Never Find Us, we heard how writing poetry (even when you don’t think of yourself as a poet) helped process the shocking beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Another local author shared how her children’s art and the kindness of neighbors helped her process the trauma of the 2021 winter storm in Texas. In reading her reflection, she offered healing to an attendee who was also deeply affected by that time of no water or heat for days.

I left the afternoon inspired by the power of any creative outlet to help us make meaning out of suffering and light the way forward.

Like a nature mandala created out of fallen and forgotten leaves, seeds, and stones, we can make beauty to help us heal. What creative project could you embark on this week to help you process a past experience or address the anxiety you might be feeling right now?

May you allow art in all its forms to flow through you this week. And may you seek and find the art of others that supports you in moving through this time of unbearable crisis.

We Are Artists

“If God is creator, and we are made in God’s image or Imago Dei, then we are, in our essence, creators. We are, in our essence, artists. Therefore, when we are open ourselves to the expression of creativity, we are also open to the Divine within us.”

― Christine Valters Paintner

In the Moment of Creation

“In the moment of creation, we are ageless. We feel both young at heart and old and wise… Because the act of creating something, anything, renders us timeless, because the act of creation is led by that inner, youthful part of ourselves, we continually reinvent our lives through our art.” ― Julia Cameron

Yom Kippur

“Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, when we are closest to G‑d and to the essence of our souls. Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement,” as the verse states, “For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d.” ―Chabad.org.

“Every act of forgiveness mends something broken in this fractured world.”
―Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Whatever your faith tradition, may we honor the beginning of Yom Kippur at sundown today with a moment of forgiveness.

Dear Muse

Today I have made
a space for you,
I call it sacred
and ask you in.
A white candle burns
to the sound of empty,
a feather before it,
a shell behind.

Like a Shinto priest
ringing bells to the gods
to wake them up and
summon their help,
I call for you
with fire and drum
O come, come near,
come be with me.

Come sing your knowing
to the ears of my wonder,
come bring your dawn
to the arms of my dark.
Come be the thought
that gets shaped into word,
O come, with the warm wet
breath of birth.

—Jan Phillips, Marry Your Muse: Make a Lasting Commitment to Your Creativity

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