Monday, April 24, 2006

The Healing Power of Being Creative...

While getting ready for a show always sends me into a bit of worry that I will leave something behind, forget to pack something important etc., it is also a fun time of anticipation. I really like meeting stitchers first hand, seeing all of the creative potential that a festival like CSNF in Toronto offers and trying to remind people about WHY it is so important to stay in touch with our creativity. Sometimes, the act of being creative teaches me SO much.

One of the lectures that I am giving this time is about “Legacy Crafting”. It is a look at ways to use crafts to work through grief, honour someone’s memory, create a tribute to someone who touched your life and may have moved away... because to create is to make broken things into something new.

So, as I sat down last night to create a sample for class, I was taken by surprise when the project demanded to go in a different direction that I had planned. I’d wanted this to be a way to work through my anger and despair about the industry... about the fact that what I created was so easy to steal... about how it would be ok to leave this behind and move on to something else...

Imagine my surprise when the project became an explosion of word, image, and my favourite colour. It became an affirmation of all that I believe about being creative... about expecting miracles... about following your heart... about adventures into the unknown. I completely lost track of time while I was creating this sample in that magical sense that caused the Greeks to create the second word for time - KAIROS. Unlike CHRONOS, time which can be measured, KAIROS is that time which transcends measurement... where it ceases to have meaning. Like when you spend time in the company of someone you love, when you disappear into a good book, when you get so lost in creativity that suddenly time has flown by. Anyone who has ever glanced up from a stitching project to see how late it truly is when they just intended to “stitch one more little section” can understand that vortex.

That kind of creativity is NOT draining. It restores, it recharges and it exhilarates. There is that moment when you step back and look at what you have worked on, imperfections and all, and marvel at the fact that your hands brought it to life.

When we create, we touch that deeper sense of wonder, that deeper sense of creativity... and it should not take us by surprise. Though this has been given many names by many cultures, one of the most universal and abiding among all of them is Creator.

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