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On Art and Writing (part 2)

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Some days life feels as if it is a little crooked

Like it is falling to one side

Then on others, it is floating and fleeting

Taking me to possibilities

Outstanding and otherwise

In a rotation like none other




This is my today

What a day it would be for a visit to an art museum. I visited the St. Louis Art Museum often. Many a visits, I became an embodiment of peaceful movements of senses- sight, sound, smell, touch, taste- as undeserving as they might be, I was always astounded by the unique and familiar.

The experience then gracefully punctuated by a meditative rest under the reach of a flowering dogwood tree.

Here I am, years later. Those experiences seem far away, but still so fresh. Like the change of seasons. Like the change of perspective.

I go back and visit previous versions of myself. The vehicles that take me to them are my words. The writings open me up to see the pleasures of pasts forgotten.

They sit patiently and say, “We’re still here.”

And now, I can say, “Welcome. I’m glad to have you back again.”

All these sensations of being come at a time when I am seeing, touching, and feeling art again. It’s becoming part of me again. But unlike the process of writing, my arts are not honed. They feel rusty, unfamiliar. I sit down to begin to draw, paint, collage, or design and words overcome me. I see my final projects and have a sense they are far from what they could be. There is too much control at work. Not enough play.

Methods. Rules. Processes. Structure. Those are the places that words inhabit. That is the world of expression in which I have become comfortable.

Shape. Color. Beauty. Possibility. Those aspects of art reside in a different world.

A world that feels forgotten, and perhaps even haunted.

Entering this world requires letting go, silencing the words and allowing non-verbal expressions find their own way through the path to existence. Like writing, it takes practice. It takes failing and overcoming. It takes recognizing the voice and becoming comfortable with the power it holds.


About Rachel

Rachel is an independent artist and writer who thrives on sharing her deep appreciation for the natural world. She has taught college courses in wildlife identification, ethnobotany, environmental science, natural resource management, and cultural studies. She lives in North Dakota with her two boys, husband, dog, and cats. She enjoys gardening, cooking, drawing, writing, hunting, hiking, and snowshoeing, but is usually too tired to do any of these, except for writing...

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: divergence and convergence of creativity and recovery «

  2. Pingback: The Divergent and Convergent Paths of Creativity and Recovery «

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