Journey 263: The Art of Living

During this quiet, soulful Sunday, as I have relaxed at home, I have thought about creativity and art. Perhaps being creative is on my mind because I’ve returned to a favorite activity that I enjoyed as a child….coloring. I have loved unwinding in the evenings by grabbing my Crayola Colored Pencils and spending time on a coloring page, unhurried, at peace, coloring for the simple enjoyment the activity brings. Although I have no qualms with being an adult, I love this meme that I found:

art of living meme

And I believe I am seeing with more creative eyes because of Elizabeth Gilbert, whose new book, Big Magic releases this week. Liz’s posts on her Facebook page have been geared toward creativity and art and the blocks that keep us from expressing them, as teasers for her book, which has the tagline “Creative living beyond fear.” I’m looking forward to reading her new book, and to an exciting possibility in October, that I’ll share later. Liz shared a meme this week that sparked the most thought for me, around this subject:

art of living

I love the part that reads “…no matter how well or badly, not to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.” That’s what expressing creativity is all about, soul growth, and genuine pleasure and art for the sake of art, not fame or fortune. As I have spent time with various family members this week, I’ve realized that art and creativity are so much more than an ability to draw or sing or play a musical instrument, although many of my family members do these things well. There are so many others ways to be artistic.

art of living chocolate pie

There’s my mom’s writing and story telling….and also her skill with a sewing machine and her ability to bake scrumptious chocolate cream pie. And my sister Debbie and niece Ashley can take ordinary objects and transform them into works of art…or horror, depending on the occasion. Those two can throw a party like no one else can!

halloween party 18

My sister Linda, who thinks she isn’t very creative at all, expresses her creativity in the way she bonds with the kids in the family, and opens her home in hospitality for game nights and birthday parties. My son is gifted in drawing and music, but he also expresses his artistic side when he is creating an amazing Storm Trooper costume from hot glue and plastic. Megan pours her creativity and love into cooking. Elissa, who is an exceptional cartoonist, also creates handmade gift tags. Adriel, my Pinterest Queen, holds the hand of a dying patient and offers her presence. Dayan plays the tuba….and knows about every country in the world. Jonathan, who can sing and act, is also a technology whiz. Aubrey leaves notes for waitresses on the table, praising their service. Joey excels at throwing a football. Oliver does daring stunts on his bike. Greg can fix anything, and create something new out of something old. I call it MacGyverizing. Many of the backyard garden projects are his creations. All of these are beautiful, creative expressions of Life, that go way beyond categories of regular art. They are, indeed, expressions of the heart and soul.

brick patio

There is no limit to what can be expressed, artistically and soulfully. I enjoy writing, gardening and creating vignettes, decorating and making my own teas and potpourri. And yes, the coloring. However, I love that my perceptions of art are expanding to include anything that is done joyfully, purposefully, and with passion. My knack for puttering, which is defined as “to occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner, doing a number of small tasks or not concentrating on anything particular”, has been raised to a form of art, and one that I thoroughly enjoy. It is beautiful to recognize the artist in everyone, and learn to see beyond the expected to the unique giftedness within each soul. When a person can’t draw or sing, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t indicate a lack of creativity. It means that spark is being exhibited in another way. What an interesting and amazing world we all create, together.

art of living coloring page

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