By Jacinta Swann
It is three years since I braved going to the ‘Art of a Good Saturday’ in Rockforest. On the first morning, I consoled myself that it was only for a morning, I didn’t have to commit! I was terrified I wouldn’t be good enough and had thoughts like, who did I think I was, going to an Art class.
I also remember how I felt afterwards. On the way home, I cried with relief, with pride I had gone and with sadness that it took me so long. That first drawing released something in me that there are no words for but I know something in me shifted. The drawing is now framed and reminds me each day to follow that joy!
I am a regular at the Saturday morning sessions and have done the summer school twice. My spirit has been nurtured in many ways through the experience. I have been fascinated by the process of how art helps to communicate what is happening on a deeper level without the need to understand it fully. I have gained an understanding that sometimes there are no words to explain what it means, it just is. My way of doing things has been challenged; I have learned to make friends with straight lines when all I want to do is draw circles! New worlds open up when you follow what you enjoy, the first step is the hardest. I’m so glad I braved that first morning.
The experience has brought many surprises and has even led me to creative writing sessions.
One surprise was a story I wrote recently that probably captures the struggle to take my first step to creativity. It has been a wonderful journey so far.
Here is the story:
Where does the sea weed go? It starts out, clinging to the rock. The waves ebb and flow, pushing,
encouraging it to go somewhere, anywhere…
It peeks out. Go right? Go left? What’s around the rock?
A blue fish peaks in. Is there any plankton around here? It moves on, ignoring Sammy seaweeds efforts to venture out.
Sammy seaweed is a brave soul, clinging on and yet trying to let go to see what’s beyond the rock. What is beyond this place? Where will it bring him? How can he let go?
Ollie Octopus calls to say hello. Sammy, are you still there pondering on what’s beyond? Tell me Ollie, asked Sammy. What is beyond here? Are the fish all blue or have they other colours? Is the water warm or cold? Are there other seaweeds like me?
Ollie looks at Sammy with his wide eyes staring at him. Well Sammy, I can’t really answer your questions, because only you will be able to know if the water is warm or cold. The fish beyond this rock are indeed blue but they are also red, green and turquoise. But there will also be fish with colours only you will see that I have never seen. You can stay and imagine what it’s like beyond. You can see it in your dreams but you won’t be able to feel it, understand it, and take it to your heart, until you do it. Let go, see what happens….
Sammy ponders yet again. What if I can’t come back? What would life be like without my rock? Who would be with me?
So he stayed another while watching…. waiting……Maybe tomorrow…..
The sea lashed against the rock. New sand settled at the base, bits of old plastic floated by. The sun streamed through the sand particles again. Bit by bit Sammy feels the warmth of the sun tickle his skin. Maybe today……….
Mr Mussel who lives next door to Sammy takes a peek and says, what’s going on? Something’s changing. Sammy , are you there?
Sammy said, I sure am Mr Mussel. I’m pondering about moving on today. I want to try but don’t want to go. Mr Mussel in his deep voice said Sammy only you can make the move, I can’t help you. What’s stopping you?
I’m afraid, said Sammy. Afraid it will be too different. Afraid I will be lonely or I won’t like it. I wonder what’s out there, what it would be like. I just can’t do it. Maybe tomorrow….
Mr Mussel in his worldly wise voice said. Sammy, are you happy here? Sammy said, I suppose, but I also want to be there. So Sammy you are not really here or there, is that what you want?
Sammy pondered… No not really.
Mr Mussel thought for a moment and then said. Sammy, you are brave. You can go, find what’s out there when the sun sparkles, and find the fish of different colours. Find what’s beyond here. We will not be lost to you. We will be there in spirit in all the wonderful things you see.
Sammy looked at Mr Mussel and thought, yes, it’s time. He looked at the sparkling sun and took one breath and pulled and pulled and just went…..