It’s been a busy time in our household. I am now substitute teaching 3 to 5 days a week until Christmas because of the 3 day a week position and other days that had been booked way ahead that I’d accepted. It is also volleyball season, so our whole family jumped in the van right after school on Friday and drove up to Bathurst , just over 2 hours away, to stay overnight before yesterday’s huge tournament. Erin’s team played an exhausting 13 games in the 9 hours of the tournament (winning 9 and loosing 4) going right down to a 15 point tiebreaker for 3rd place when both teams were literally falling down with exhaustion. Along the way they overcame some real challenges, played some truly beautiful volleyball and gave all the parents a lot to cheer for. I manages to knit scarves without too many changes in tension... though the metal needles got a little slippery when my palms got sweaty! I discovered that creating amid chaos and noise not only helps keep me calm, it gives me something to show for all those hours on the court side.
My mom was at a retreat all day yesterday entitled Making Way for Advent where she got to think, create and celebrate fellowship in far less noise. It was an event that I really wanted to attend, but I’d already missed 2 weekends of tournaments while teaching in Toronto and being at the cross stitch retreat a few weekends ago.
Don’t misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with any parent or person putting themselves first now and then to follow their dreams, conduct business or indulge in something they really need. Being a parent or being in a relationship with a partner (or both) means that you have to find the balance between the needs of self and the needs of the other(s). It means finding ways of being Creative whether you are in chaos or quiet. It means knowing that there can be a certain peace or satisfaction found in almost any moment of our lives if we start looking for them.
Just make your choices and go with them instead of looking over your shoulder or wondering what could have been.
Inhaling Creativity is teaching me to live in each moment more fully.
INHALE: I think that we need both Chaos and Quiet in which to create... just not at the same time. Anyone who has ever spent time at an event where people are being Creative knows that people with energy can get a little noisy. That energy can pump us up and push us on to new heights of inspiration and exhilaration when we understand that almost anything is possible. Quiet moments on the other hand, allow us to get in touch with our inner selves, recharge our batteries, sort through our supplies, organize our thoughts or creating spaces and dreams of next projects or possibilities. Nature reminds us all the time that both stages are part of the circle. As the Fall meanders slowly into Winter here and prepares for a sleep, I know that on the other side of the world, the frenzy of Spring is leading into the warmth of summer.
EXHALE: Many of us prefer one part of this cycle more than the other, even though both are necessary. Maybe I’ve been studying too many plant life cycles for the Biology class I am supervising with the diploid(2N) and haploid (N) stages of things, but it really rings true for me. Divide a page in your book in half and label the two sections QUIET and CHAOS. In each area, write down, doodle, collage or identify the things you like about each stage. What Creative acts do you like to do in chaos with others or what creative things do you like to do that involve chaos? What do you enjoy about having quiet time in which to create? Do some creative things lend themselves to being done in both quiet and chaos? Like discovering that you can actually enjoy using a colour you didn’t think you liked, you may find that there are quiet a few things about being Creative in Chaos or Quiet that you didn’t expect you enjoyed as much as you do!