I love watching others create beauty in sight, sound or motion. In the past year or so, I have enjoyed Shakespeare in the Park; small jazz and oldies bands; our high school musical production of Cinderella; a gallery of Dr. Seuss art; watching and joining in a folk dance; and the Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. In each experience, I marveled at the talent and inspiration behind them, and grew excited to work on my own artistic pursuits.
|Miniature kitchen from the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys|
Taking pictures while hiking or walking in a natural area clears my mind and fills it with the beauty of the micro and the macro--with few other thoughts--for hours. Although it’s not my intention when I leave home with a camera, that focus and calm opens up my heart to creative inspiration. As a bonus, it leaves me with possibilities to create something that will bring joy and gratitude to someone else, such as making my own greeting cards, or posting photos of God’s creative work on a website.
So I seek out the creativity of others for the sheer enjoyment of it. And that often inspires my own creativity. Maybe, I am also at the same time unintentionally, subconsciously seeking out opportunities to fill my artistic well, that author Julia Cameron writes about in The Artist’s Way. Either way, it works!
I think my focus on writing, above all other arts, is inspired by that same desire to create something beautiful. In this case, I want to create something beautiful in the mind of the one who reads it. Originally, that first person was me. I noticed this when I wrote some novels. At the time, I couldn’t find what I wanted to read in others’ novels, so I tried writing one myself. (Not as proficiently as most other writers, of course! And I have since found more and more fiction authors who write exactly what I want to read.)
|Flickr photo of Fish Creek Library by Raul Pacheco-Vega|
My most consistent writing “date", especially in the cold months, is a trip to my local library. The vastness of the open-air design and the 3-story-high windows welcome the sun’s rays and blue sky, or the calming sight of falling snow. It satisfies my mid-winter longing for wide-open spaces, without having to fight the cold. I spend some time people watching, studying the children playing with the life-sized chess game or the new colorful piano, and checking the New and Notables racks. I may even make a trip up the three flights of stairs to the top floor to get some deep breaths and blood circulation. Finally, I head to the 808.02 section to see if there are writing books I haven’t seen before. By then my goal is to find an interesting writing prompt and a cushy chair near a window.
All of the people I’ve seen and conversations I’ve heard and inspiration I’ve inhaled have awakened my heart, senses, and mind. Thoughts and ideas come streaming out, and I’m learning to let the words flow —without filtering, analyzing or editing. Any day that includes this kind of pure, joyful, open writing, with the hope of creating something beautiful, is a successful day!
Posted by Ramona