February 19, 2011

Changing It Up

I love my house, I really really do. The interior is full of color and murals and suns and moons and stars and trees. 

There is my collections of rocks and crystals, native american art, peruvian weavings some not-native-american art, my books (oh the books!) and the knick-knacks collected over the years.

When I walk through the house it feels comfortable and homey but something is wrong. Well, not really wrong. off a bit, kind of stale.  Every Thing has been in its place for so long that maybe it gets missed in the Seeing. Does that make any sense?

So, my plan for next week is to bring everything down, off  the walls, off  the shelves, off the floor! 

Armed with dust clothes, nails and hammer, a storage box (or two) and a large Dutch Bros Kicker I am going to re-merchandise my whole house, 1970 square feet of refresh. 

Who knows, maybe I will discover something I have been looking for and maybe I will discover some stuff I can do without...and that is a good thing.

February 12, 2011

Nurturing Creativity

Many think that I am riding this lifetime suspended in a purple basket under a giant air balloon of changing colors and in bold, bright letters the word IMAGINATION is written across my balloon. They just might be right! Inspite of my horrible fear of heights I love my floating home.  The world is a wonderful place and I have an awesome view.

My view is of magic, of fluctuation and in the changing tides of life.

I am accompanied on this voyage with some pretty remarkable beings not the least of whom are my grandchildren.

As many of you know I have spent hours and hours under our big blue blanket traveling and exploring the ocean depths, oh the magic we have seen!  We have planted rocks to see if mountains will grow. Don't laugh, mountains grow very slow. Besides, the Rockies just might have been planted millions of years ago by a Nana and her little munchkins. We climb trees and walk the river trail. We observe the comings and goings of birds and bugs and the changing of seasons.

I have supervised many recipes being created in our game of Worm Soup.  You never know what comes of mixing green grass and slightly wilted tulips with sunscreen, a pinch of furniture polish, a handful of wood chips, a cup of hand shredded gluten-free tortillas and a large pinch of imagination.  The results are not just the worm soup in these adventures but the stories that are woven as mixtures are being concocted & stirred or the holes dug and soil tamped over seedling rocks.

We weave stories of discovery, we unlock doors into worlds yet to be explored.  We often find ourselves in spaces that are dusty and long-forgotten, long ago abandoned when the lights of creativity and adventure were extinguished bit by bit.

Last week, as four of my granddaughters and I sat around the kitchen table doing homework we were faced with an incredible dilemma.  Alaina (her mother says she is a 7 year old who is channeling a liberated Flapper woman of the 1930's era) was working on an assignment her teacher creates for the class that teaches grammar, editing and sentence structure.  Typically we fly through the paper and get on to spelling and math.  We launched and flew headlong into a concrete wall.  It was a simple statement followed by the question, "Real or Not"?

The statement:  "The garden had fairies in it."  The garden had fairies in it, real or not?  Real or Not?  What kind of a question is that? How can we know?  We don't even know who's garden it is, how could we know if there are fairies in it?  Could the teacher, whom we really liked (up until now) think that Alaina or any other 7 year old could answer this question with the words "not real" and break the hearts of millions of fairies everywhere, let alone her heart or her Nana's heart?

A dilemma!  How to answer?  There are only two options given....Real or Not.  Is this how it starts? Is this how our children are forced into that tight little box of our culture? With a simple statement and limited only to two choices. If she answers one way, (the way in which her soul just sings because it feels so right) it can  be marked  wrong and Alaina wouldn't get her little Plus-sign or Happy Face at the top of the page, and she does love her Happy Faces.  Or she can answer the other way, the only other option and her spirit feels just a little pinch, the first of many to come if she lets herself be limited by another's belief in limitations.

I say, change the rules!  Write a question back:  Who's garden is this?  Are you counting glass or stone fairies? Are you counting the fairies that come and go or the fairies that actually live there?  Tell the teacher there is not enough information to adequately answer the question.  Write "It is a Mystery" in the blank space and move on.  Go out in Nana's front yard and ask the fairies that live at the base of the sycamore tree in the holly what they would say!

Do not let what others perceive as a world of limitations and lack get in the way of your creativity, your imagination or the abundance of the universe. Most important of all don't let the need for the approval of others make you hide your light and your spirit.  Don't let someone else's happy face at the top of your paper become more important than dancing in the light of All There Is. Change the Rules!