What on earth am I doing here? In an effort to find out who I am, what I love, and how to express that, I have been on a quest of sorts. My role for 25 years was pretty clear – wife, mother, volunteer, worshiper, leader, caretaker, teacher, tutor, etc. But now, I am in that transitional place. Some call it empty nest and others, midlife, but regardless of the title you want to give it, I am determined to find out more about myself apart from the roles I have had most of my adult life.
And this led me to The Artist Way. At the close of the writing group I was a part of last year, I heard about an opportunity to join a group of people going through Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. This book came highly recommended by many of my creative friends, so I purchased it two years ago in hopes it held the key to unlock more creativity in my life. Well, nothing would be unlocked as long as the book sat on my shelf gathering dust, so the decision seemed obvious.
The evening of the first class finally arrived. I walked nervously into the house and seated myself with the people perched around a dining room table, eight quiet souls waiting for the class to begin. The leader, The Lady of the Box I will call her, graciously welcomed us all. She shared how Julia Cameron views an Artist’s Way group as a Tribe. So in keeping with that idea, she lit a candle welcoming the spirit of acceptance and creativity. I got to tell you, it felt weird. The people I hang with don’t light candles for the tribe. We light them to make our house smell good. I kept telling myself, This is fine. These people are fine. We are all fine.
Then we each went around the circle sharing our name, a little about ourselves, and one of the dreams we have regarding creativity. My secret dream – to be an illustrator and writer. One by one, each person shared their desires. I discovered I was in a room filled with writers, poets, visual artists, all hoping to be changed, inspired, and emboldened through this class. I felt my shoulders descend and the pace of my heart slow. This is good. These people are good. These people are artists, just like you.
The evening continued. I really wasn’t sure what to think of the whole thing. I was uncomfortable. I felt vulnerable. I felt out of place. And yet, I had a strange excitement that maybe being out of my ordinary was exactly what this artist needed.
When I arrived home, my oldest daughter asked me, “So, how did it go?”
My response, “I felt like a Bran Bud in a bowl full of Froot Loops.”
“Mom, maybe you’ll discover that you are more like a Froot Loop than you think.”
The funny thing is, when I said that out loud, I actually thought being a Bran Bud was a good thing. Now, looking back on this 13 week journey, I’m not so sure anymore.
For the next couple of posts, I hope to share some snapshots I took along the way, The Artist’s Way to be exact. It was a trip I will never forget. After all, a transformation from a Bran Bud to a Froot Loop is worth sharing. I hope you’ll join me.