Child’s Play

Colouring Project Step 1_0817
Steps 1-3 (of 8)

Coloring Project Step 2_0821
Steps 4-5.5 (of 8)

“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself”
~Miles Davis quotes

Miles was of course referring to playing an instrument. But I think his statement also holds true for any kind of play. For some of us, playing comes naturally, for others, it requires a bit more effort, a lesson in letting go. I’ve been in both situations, but with so many cumulative years of depression it’s easy to forget how to have fun, be playful and just kick back and go with the flow. One of the reasons I have a hard time recognizing my creativity is that for the most part, creative projects have come with deadlines and bottom lines and the pressure to perform was more often than not difficult to handle. Somewhere along the line, I forgot how to just let go and be creative just for the heck of it. I just don’t feel ‘safe’ embarking on a creative project unless there are clear guidelines or a specific use for the end result. The mosaic project I was working on yesterday is fun because it’s in the context of art therapy and takes place in the context of a well-appointed workshop and plenty of gentle kind encouragement. But otherwise the very idea of starting up any kind of project just terrifies me. I’ve spent lots of time and energy beating myself up over this state of affairs but what’s the point? Must go with the flow.

My visit to Oink Oink this weekend provided me with a temporary solution in the form of this colouring project. There’s very little actual creativity or skill involved—a very far cry from Miles Davis’ music. I’m not expecting it to lead anywhere (nor do I necessarily want it to), but somehow the process is deeply satisfying. This is the first of four images I’ve been working on tonight. The final step will be to add decorative details with a gold pen. I can hardly wait.

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