Friday, April 16, 2010

Creativity in Theatre...

Tonight, our family went to see the production of CATS at Erin’s high school, Harrison Trimble .  For the past few weeks, Erin and I have helped paint two young men in their leotards and part of the set.  We’ve had glimpses of the many hands that go into such a big production behind the scenes, but tonight, we got to see everything come together for the Friday night show.

I was blown away!

From the amazing set to the fabulous choreography put together by one of the Grade 12 students for the entire show, I felt a warm glow of pride swell to a tidal wave of astonishment as the night unfolded.

Kids that I have seen in a classroom setting as a substitute teacher astounded me with their acting, singing and dancing prowess on the stage.  If I found it incredible to see them shine, how much more pride and wonder did their regular teachers feel, especially those who have known these students since they were the age Erin is now in Grade 9?

One of the most amazing thing about turning Creativity loose among young people is that they haven’t lost their ability to dream big, to shoot for the stars and to take on something that a group of adults might think was impossible.

Thank you, all of you CATS, for reminding me how much fun it is to watch a dream take flight!

INHALE:  What have you wanted to be a part of but held yourself back?  What dream have you tucked away on a shelf as impossible or unattainable?  In a world that places so much emphasis on “all or nothing”, perhaps we need to learn how to take those forgotten dreams down, dust them off a bit and see if there isn’t a way to turn them loose on a world that could use more wonder in it...

EXHALE:  Make plans to put one of those dreams into action by taking baby steps.  If you love to sing, is there a choir or group that you could get involved with?  If you dreamed of being an artist, is there an evening course that you could dabble in rather than jumping right to a gallery show?  This is the time of year when brochures come out for summer camps and programs, so start taking a look at the possibilities and remember that when you shoot for the stars, you might just land on the moon.

Tonight it was a Jellicle moon. Bravo cast and crew at HTHS!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Creativity in Prayer...

When your child is hurt, even if it is minor, you become VERY creative in your prayers.

“Please spare my child this pain...”

“Please let it be me instead...”

“Please help me make her see that she has more than one dream and more than one option in life...”

I feel selfish wrestling with this when there are parents tonight out there watching their children starve to death slowly... parents who are sitting by a hospital bed wondering if they have to say goodbye tonight or not... parents who do not know where their children are tonight.

This is just a wrenched knee and preventative medicine for an overeager athlete who thought she was a bit more indestructible than she proved to be.

But as she cried last night in Emergency, fearing suddenly that her dreams of a volleyball career or University scholarship (I must point out that she is only in Grade 9 but comes from two type A personality parents) were shattered, I wanted to do or promise anything to just be able to make it better.

When we came home and I got her to bed, creeping in to my own bed later after getting my work done, I was very creative with my prayers every time those dark fingers of fear curled their way around my heart. 

I thought about pointing out all her other gifts to her.  

I thought about the “wherever God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window” line.

I prayed pink clouds of healing surrounding her and her knee in the night.

I remembered the most important lesson that I have been learning along this journey.

Just breathe.  Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

INHALE: Sometimes we are most creative without holding anything in our hands.  No crafting supplies, no paintbrush, no pen.  Sometimes we are most Creative with the stirrings of our souls and our dreams, our prayers and our wishes, our plans and our possibilities.  As long as we remember that we always have choices and that there are always new options we might not have thought about, the curve balls that life tends to throw at us won’t be so bad.  That is SO much easier to type than to live out!

EXHALE:  Pick one worry in your life right now that feels overwhelming.  When you lie there trying to fall asleep or take a moment for yourself to journal, explore all the possibilities in your head.  What would be the worst thing that could happen?  How could you cope with that?  What might be a solution that you’ve overlooked as being too “out of the box”?  What have you got to lose?  Erin was given the choice to rest her knee now and see if it heals or know that she will miss out playing in the Easterns in 28 days.  Sometimes waiting and healing is all we can do.  Be Creative in your prayers and in how you face your fears!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eggstremly Enjoyable...

My fingers now have several layers of paint that will be difficult to explain tomorrow morning at church.

Friday after church, Erin and I went over to her high school to help paint two young men in their unitards for the upcoming CATS musical.

This morning, we sat down as a family to dye our Easter eggs.  For Erin’s friend, Holly, who had slept over the night before, this was a first.  She had never dyed eggs before so we introduced her to just how many colours a family of artists need to prepare for this eggstravaganza.

We showed her how to use a white crayon to do wax resist patterns and she proved that creativity lives within us all as she made her very first Easter egg ever.

Bethany thought this one of hers was worth showing off...

and Erin liked how this egg of hers turned out.

I always take the longest to do my eggs because I keep trying to get as many colours and as much detail as possible on each egg.  For me, it isn’t about how fast I get them done but how much fun I have as I play with the possibilities.  This one was really neat with several layers of wax crayons over the different colours.

My favourite egg cracked when I dropped it from just a few inches above the table as it slipped from my hands... a reminder of how fragile egg painting can be, even when working with hard-boiled eggs. in the end, it is worth all the work!

Tonight,  I helped my best friend spray paint pieces of styrofoam to turn into a fence on the CATS set and added yet another layer of paint to my fingers and no doubt sacrificed a few brain cells to the fumes...but it was enjoyable.

INHALE:  How we celebrate the special occasions in our lives gives us endless opportunities for creativity if we just look for them, give ourselves time to savour it and experience it, ultimately making it part of the celebration itself.

EXHALE:  Whatever way in which you celebrate the turning of the seasons, Easter or Passover, find a moment to make something, cook something, plant something or share something with those you love.  If you have never played with crayons on hard-boiled eggs, buy some kits when they come on sale in the next few days and sit down to play.  You may get messy, but you may also discover that the child within you is not as buried as you thought.