Yesterday, I sat in a roomful of strangers at the wake of a man I have never met. As a friend of his daughter Renee, I had helped sort and pack his belongings after his death. We talked about the people and stories in the family photos. She told me about the birth and growth of this stunningly beautiful ranch from open field with a small pond to a lushly landscaped family compound with two magnificent homes, three ponds with babbling stream, a flock of geese, hives of bees, and outdoor sculpture. At every turn, both inside and outside of these homes, cleverness and vision abound. It was inspiring to see what creative minds with time and means to incubate an idea can manifest. It was an honor to be in his home hearing his family and friends share stories of his life.
When I returned home, I started playing around with techniques I want to use in my upcoming Intuitive Painting class. I found myself personally engaged with the sometimes-frustrating side of the creative process; the unknown. My gut tightened and my inner critic raised her horrible head. “This looks terrible. I don’t know what to do next. What if this doesn’t turn out well?”
From my years of experience with this place, I know to just keep going. It’s been when things ran amok that the magic was revealed. So I add another layer, I rub areas through to the underneath layer. I try applying paint with a roller, a sponge, a Popsicle stick. Each layer reveals a new perspective, a new sense of curiosity. Fear gives way to excitement and I remember why I love to teach. It’s about supporting students at all stages of the creative process and encouraging them to become familiar with the sides of themselves that crave contact with the unknown. It takes courage to live life as awake human beings. But if we approach it with curiosity about what is here now and then follow when our intuition speaks, I believe we will manifest our own vision of magnificence one creative endeavor at a time.