Friday, April 4, 2008

The Artist's Way Week Thirteen: Recovering a Sense of Faith

Little fledglings start to come.
Dayna's nesting like a mum.

Fledglings stretch and ask for more.
Dayna feeds them at their core.

Fledglings fly with fears in eye.
Dayna smiles and waves good-bye.

Thank you our beautiful Dayna.

Tuesday night was the final gathering of our Creative Cluster and it was a bittersweet time. The ladies were excited for the celebration of thirteen weeks together, but equally sad to see it all come to an end. After our usual check-in, each woman presented her final project, an idea I “borrowed” from my friend and mentor Gretchin Lair: the “Omega Project.” This is a project that reflects an interest in something they have done during the past 13 weeks, something each woman wanted to explore in greater depth, or just an art project that was fun and enjoyable. The women’s projects were fantabulous and amazing. Here is a gallery of their work:

This is a photo of a mosaic table "K" made (sorry for the flash!):

"B" took a sculpture class in Portland and created this work of art:

"S" designed a "gaudy" box:

"L" had her soon-to-be mother-in-law help her sew this lovely little dress:

"A" started an altered book in memory of a special friend:

And "B" created this lovely and very personal shrine:

We concluded the evening by eating Stone Soup. I provided a savory broth and the “stone,” while each of the ladies contributed two ingredients for the pot. We had lots of carrots, as well as cabbage, celery, scallions, red kidney beans, green chilies, and orzo. I provided a hearty loaf of Dakota Bread from Great Harvest Bakery and presto! a wonderful feast.

During our final closing, there were tears and words of gratitude, a sense of accomplishment and connection. Well done. As a parting gift, I gave each woman a bundle of colored pencils tied with a ribbon and a quote from Maya Angelou: You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. I also included a quote of mine: BE BOLD! In addition to the pencils, I gave each woman a mini Lingam. Each week during our check-in, whoever was speaking held a special rock in her hand. I had found this special rock in New York City at the little shop Tibet Arts and Crafts. When I purchased the Lingam, a description came with it and I share it here:

Lingams are sacred stones from the holy Narmada River, In India. Characteristic markings make the Lingam unique. They are naturally formed from cryptocrystalline Quartz minerals. They are said to contain the loftiest vibration, and great healing power. Lingams symbolize creation, and perfect balance of Male and Female energy. The body of the Lingam represents the Male energy knowledge and the markings represent the Female energy wisdom.

On a trip to Sedona several months after purchasing the large Lingam, I found a basket of itty bitty Lingams and carefully selected a couple dozen to use as parting gifts in my Creative Clusters.

Post Script: I asked each of the women to share comments about their experience and I share some of those here:

I liked sharing feelings and the creative crafts. I can’t think of anything that could be improved. Every detail was perfect. Your gift of small and thoughtful kindnesses touched my heart.

I liked the “ritual” of the short check-in, then long, the reading . . . it focused me, helped me to let go of the day. Of course, I liked the art projects, and the warmth, humor, and laughter of the group.

This group saved my life and brought about rebirth. I loved being with wonderful creative women! Dayna was calm, supportive, reassuring, and a great artist! The only thing that could be improved upon was that it would go on forever.

I liked the women, thinking different from my everyday life; and thinking of being an artist was new and freeing.

I liked writing after our art projects and I liked taking pieces of the centerpiece home each week.

1 comment:

gl. said...

oh, dayna, that's so sweet! i'm so glad your group finished so strongly with such wonderful projects! and the mini-lingams rock.