Cheers for a few more little dreams come true! Yesterday, five friends gathered at Ann’s place out in the country to play together, making stuff. (After a potluck, of course.) Ann shared with us the impressive collection of gourds she’d grown and dried. She set out cool tools like her dremel and woodburning pen, covered her kitchen table in washable towels to make a work surface, and let us all pick a gourd and start creating. OH MY GOODNESS was it fun! I mean really fun— I conquered my fear of the dremel tool, used a woodburner for the first time since I was about 11 years old, explored a new-to-me gourd “canvas,” found out what gourd seeds look like, and loved being with my friends and partner in the process. Such a satisfying day.
Ann, gourd gardener and host
Here’s the dreams-come-true part: I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who had a group of friends playing around with creativity on a Saturday afternoon, and really loving it. For a lot of years, that sounded too awkward or hard to put together, or too much like the work I do hosting arts and spirituality workshops. Or I thought I didn’t have a big enough or good enough space for it. Or I was moving too fast to take the time. But today I just had to tell you– it’s not that hard and it’s totally worth it to experience this much joyful, engaged ease, right in your kitchen or living room. And it’s FREE, beyond the gas to get there, a few supplies, and a side-dish. The tricks are: making an effort to live slowly enough (at least sometimes) to give a half a day to an adventure, being willing to be messy and try something new, and to ask some friends along. (Ok, the potluck might actually be a requirement too… but even that was a super-simple feast yesterday.)
Vic's "My Beautiful Chicken"
It was Holly’s idea to invite these friends to meet every six weeks or so for creative exploration. We’ve totally loved the times we’ve gathered so far. Sometimes we do old fashioned “Show & Tell” with each other, sharing whatever we’ve been creating lately on our own. Other times one of us organizes a project, like collage-making at our house, or this terrific chance to make gourd art that Ann gave our group. Who knows what we’ll do next, but I’m already looking forward to it! Truly, these simple pleasures improve my life a hundred times over.
What’s more, when I read the wonderful book I’m enjoying right now, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, by Christian McEwen, I can smile and nod in agreement, rather than cast my eyes wistfully to the ceiling in longing like I used to do. These days I’m deeply grateful I’m not just hoping for a slower, richer, creative life… some of it happened just yesterday.
When might you try your own version of creative play time? I can’t recommend it enough.
With blessing and joy– Melanie