Saturday, November 13, 2010

Filling In A Blank Canvas ~ Some Fantastically Helpful Thoughts On Creating

"Margaret says yes to every opportunity, and whenever possible she takes her friends along. In the last few years, she’s taught me to ignore inconvenience in the face of potential, which is how I found myself on a plane to New York." ~ M. Mason

I read this quote a few weeks back and loved how whimsically it summarized a push I, too, am feeling.
I mentioned before that I am joining a journey with a new group of kindred spirits. I am making some fun creative shifts in my daily teaching style. I recently had an invitation to contribute my work to an anthology that is out of my comfort zone. I have this feeling ... all around the edges ... that there is a big, blank canvas of opportunity right now in front of me. Daily.

And I want to be intentional how I colour it in. 

As I look at my palette and I am ruminating about kindness, children, writing and all the fears, questions and challenges that come with along with them, I keep coming back to this article. (It is so worth reading even though it's quite long. I am going to read it again as a luxury with a cup of tea, because the thoughts in it feel just like that: indulgent and so, so valuable.)

" ... In his 2003 book, Timeless Beauty: In the Arts and Everyday Life, British author John Lane writes about the loss of the appreciation for beauty in the modern world. The experiment at L'Enfant Plaza may be symptomatic of that, he said -- not because people didn't have the capacity to understand beauty, but because it was irrelevant to them.

"This is about having the wrong priorities," Lane said.

If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that -- then what else are we missing? "

These are some links I have been collecting that have challenged me not to miss out on what we are being given every day:

I was very inspired by Tsh Oxenreider's quote here, the whole article is full of gems: 
"The main thing I see people doing that detracts from their happiness (including my own) is trying to be someone they weren't made to be. It really is just so much easier to be who you are. It's an insult to God's creativity, really, to try and be someone else. And it's no fun."

I was so inspired by L. L. Barkat's viewpoint on creating listening and space to do that here.

I was challenged by Donald Miller here on the fears and risk-taking that he nails:
"Sooner or later, though, we have to create. We have to go and make something with the collected likes and dislikes we’ve assembled, we have to turn them into stories and songs, into families and gardens, into companies and churches." 

I was truly helped by Renee's ideas on anchoring here.:
"Anchoring helps you turn ideas into concrete actions."

I love Jess' words and the quote on her page here:
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

For me stopping, listening, not filling space and time with words, activities, even beautiful ones - can feel lonely sometimes. My jobs are solitary. They can be full of alone. But alone with a lot of noise. As I am thinking and preparing for a season of Thanksgiving and Advent this year I want to allow there to be space, quiet, opportunity. Opportunity to hear, observe, experience, think and allow. That is hard with young children, it means sacrificing things that bring me (temporary) comfort. But, in the long run, may bring us all more. 

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

-- from "Leisure," by W.H. Davies


emily freeman said...

How have I missed your blog in the past?! I know I've been here, but not enough. I can't wait to dig into your archives. You host a beautiful space here...

Hi I'm Sarah said...

Wonderful to hear such rest, excitement, and joy in your post...I heard from a friend recently that the mind needs freedom to create. There isn't much frredom without the margins which in turn provide us with rest. Establishing margins makes our lives more readable but it also means some things must wait or be entirely left out to keep it so. It is worth it.

I smile as I read your post because just a few nights ago my husband and I lay in bed long after the kids had fallen asleep and we were praying the thoughts God had given us this week for our friends and family for many difficult things had come up...We prayed these things for you in light of your hubby being away.

God said to us: Rest in me, quiet in my love, be strong in my power.... Be calm, be true, be quiet. I watch over you. Rest in my love. Joy in the very beauty of holiness.....Rest in my love, walk in my ways. Each week is a week of progress, steady progress upward. you may not see it but I do.

Have blessed rest in Him today who is proud of you.

Jessica said...

oh I do want to come back and re-read this again . .. when I can listen and rest . .. such nourishing words (as always)!

Misha Leigh. said...

Emily - Thank you! xo

Sarah - If only you knew. Your words gave me a big lump in my throat. I needed those prayers and still do. Thank you so much. {The stomach virus hit five minutes after my husband walked out the door. Each choice has been a big one this weekend. xo)

Jessica - Love to you and rest, too!