Five women and I gathered in my classroom yesterday morning and indulged in creative play and writing. The work we did is below. Enjoy!
Peggy did two collages.
This collage is of a health worker being sprayed by Clorox after carrying the body of an Ebola victim.
Be sure to read her poem inspired by her second one below.
Pat Giacomini wrote a beautiful piece about finding grace in the challenges of life to go with the next collage.
Welcome to Holland
A person shared a story with me written by a woman with a child with special needs who was trying to explain to other people what it is like to be a parent of a child with … unexpected beauties. She explained it thus: that when you are expecting a child you prepare and plan as if you are taking a trip to Italy … everyone you know has been to Italy, and are joyous with you and your upcoming trip to Italy … that’s where you are going, and you prepare and bring everything with you for that trip … to Italy. Your dreams are of Italy and what it will be like living and growing as a family … in Italy.
So you get on the plane and the flight eventually lands and the pilot comes on the over the intercom and says, “Welcome to Holland. Enjoy your stay.” And you say, “Wait!! I’m not going to Holland; I’m going to Italy. I’m not supposed to be in Holland … I planned! I dreamed! and I am going to Italy!!
But, Holland it is. The author’s message was one of encouragement and a vivid, yet gentle reminder … To grieve for the loss of Italy is understandable and to a certain extent needed; and the loss of those dreams should be honored … but if you live your life always in that grief for what you lost, or didn’t get … you will miss the beauty of the gift you did get … the beauty of Holland … with its tulips!
My process for this collage started with the startling sight of a painting of a sweet house at the edge of a tulip field … It shocked me and raised the consciousness in me that I am once again (like a recurring wave) struggling with my grief over my lost dream of Italy. As do we all, from time to time, I need the reminder of the beauty of the gift of the life I have with the colorful spirits that are my tulips, corny as it sounds. There is beauty, and it is grace filled at every moment of the struggle, and also the joys.
My collage is backed with the golden light of Grace that is always surrounding me in every moment of my life. My dreams are there, grace filled; my hopes are there, grace filled; my heart is there … and my fears. It is a moment by moment leap of faith to trust in Grace sufficient to the day, to the struggle and to appreciate and embrace the joys, and the struggles, that are there and that are perhaps hidden gifts. Pictures of Tulips come to me from time to time from the hearts of friends who move thru this journey with me. They may be in Italy, but they love Holland too.
We encourage, enjoy, share and vicariously experience each other’s lives in our different worlds of grace, love and children! Today’s tulips are timely. The gift of today is my collage bringing me to the center of my heart once again, embracing my life, how time has fashioned it, and how my choices have crafted the ever evolving beauty
Susanne La Faver used a file folder as the background for her collage. She was inspired by memories of time spent in the Middle East and her life now in Lake County, California.
Here is Peggy Thompson’s What Does It All Mean? Her collage follows.
What Does It All Mean?
Yellow, yellow, catch a fellow?
Well I already have the fellow,
so why all of this yellow?
Hot trends and cool stuff?
It is so not me,
well the cool stuff maybe.
Cool stuff what makes it cool?
One gals junk,
is another gals tools.
Changing horses in mid-stream?
Now what does that all mean?
Yellow, yellow catch a dream.
Jennifer Kelly used the workshop to create a collage to explore aspects of a novel she plans to write. This is a collage of Zieg and the Magic of Niebel.
Finally, I wrote a fable, of sorts, based on the collage that I made on a clipboard.
Turned the World Upside Down
We lowered our eyes at her audacity. No one challenged King Cock.
He stood in front of his throne, chest puffed out, eyes narrowing, hands on the ample girth of his royal sides. He had come to power through battle in the ring, not through inheritance like the sissy French Pullet to the south, and the red crown of his comb quivered with rage at the sight of the witch in the golden robe that glimmered brighter than anything else in the room, including his thrown, including the amulet that hung from his neck, the signet of his ultimate authority over the yard.
We ministers mumbled to ourselves.
“How did she managed to pass through the guards outside the castle?”
“Did she suddenly appear out of the emptiness of air?”
“Where did she find such cloth with the very sun itself stitched into it?”
“Silence!” the king raged, and his voice sent a shock wave through the room. “Hen, why is it that you come in robes glowing of impertinence? Why are not you laying at the hen house? Or being cut and quarter, your breasts Sunday dinner for the humans who live in the far kingdom of Farmhouse?”
The miserly Banty, now the Minister of Treasury, wheedle from our clutch, strutting unctuously toward the witch. He was called Uncle Sam, though no one knew why, and over the years had grown closer to King Cock, conspiring with him long into the night, feather-a-feather. One by one, the bolder ministers had been sent to the pot. We who remained were chickens, nothing else.
“I believe she was the witch sister of Queen Cluck, your cuckolding wife,” he said, yanking the hood away from the witch’s face. “My spies warned me about her treachery, and she was sent to the pot, only on a more quiet trip than the queen’s. This figure before you is an illusion by some disgruntled subject whom I will soon discover and make soup of. Behold, there is no substance here.”
He raised a spur toward the form, but then he froze. The hen pulled the rest of the robe from her and flung it over Uncle Sam’s frame. He vanished with one loud squawk. We crowed in alarm. The king’s eyes narrowed and his beak stabbed the air like a knife white meat.
She did not cluck like a good hen but spoke in clear tones, her voice clear, despite coming from the realm beyond the pot.
“The world has turned upside down.”
Most kings had such short reigns; the next contender’s beak and spurs soon claimed the throne. But King Cock, the Strongheart, was powerful, brilliant, and so ruthless the thought his oppression would someday end was just scratch in the yard blown away by the wind. But now, deep within my own breast, under the feathers of fear that have grown under the years of tyranny which have made me wish I had been born an ordinary rooster in the yard, a small cock-a-doodle-do of hope sprouted.
The good witch spread her wings. “I pour out my heart. My love for my sister fills this realm.”
A visage, a shadow, of Queen Cluck grew large, her reflection overshadowing the king himself. King Cock flew toward the witch hen. She was Princess Ruby Breast, I knew now. We ministers stepped back to let the feathers fly. Even at this moment, to my shame, I was afraid. The princess had the courage of a tigress, the wisdom of the ancient Tree of Life from from whence we all come. She simply vanished, taking the king to whatever poultry realms that lay beyond this mortal one.
May justice be done.
And we were left alone, ministers of Feathers and Crowing, Clutch and Yard, without a king for the first time in memory, but out of the pot as well. I looked at my chest. The golden amulet hung there, no longer sparkling. I would lead? I left the chamber for the long trek to Farmhouse to hide it there for some human to find.