I Didn’t See This Coming

21 01 2017

My creative journey meanders and takes me to unexpected places and gives me unexpected gifts.

There’s a point in most creative projects where the project takes a turn. An obstacle appears. It may be little or big. How you address the issue impacts the result. This is why it’s important to understand your creative process. It helps you with innovative problem solving. Understanding your process also helps when life throws you obstacles.

I also believe in observing the coincidences—which I call cosmic happenings—that go on around you. They are very quiet and when your life is loud, they are hard to observe. But they can guide you, and teach you, and gently push you in the right direction. They are gifts.

The Garden
My garden is a place of solace and joy for me. Gardening is somewhat new in my life. I don’t know a lot about plants and I have to rely on other’s expertise. It is winter. In Louisiana, that means things are brown and I miss the color. I’m able to find beauty in the season, but I have to look hard.

winter-leaf

I drive to work in the morning in silence. I drive through a neighborhood without much traffic and it’s my quiet time before I start a busy day. I was thinking about cosmic happenings and how it had been a while since I had one. Over the cold weekend I found repurpose ideas for my garden on Pinterest. One of them was to put an old chair in the garden and have plants grow on it. I saw something leaning against a garage in what looked like a trash pile and I turned down the side street only to realize it wasn’t trash. So I took the short one block detour to get back on my regular path…and there they were. Two chairs that would look great in my garden this spring. I deviated from my regular path and found what I was looking for.

I am thankful for this gift.

The Creative Process
The chairs are not like what the ones I saw on Pinterest. They are not old and ratty. They are nice, formal, dining room chairs that simply don’t have the upholstered seats in them anymore. I put them in the garden and I need to readjust my idea because the reality of the project is a little different than the original idea—it almost always is.

chairs

If I put a bottom on the seat box, it would make a cool planter. My sweetie has wonderful practical skills and he does this for me. I put them back in the garden and the concept is still not working. The chairs are too formal and I have two chairs that are perfectly matched, not mismatched. So what if I join them and make it a planting bench. Again my sweetie helps me fulfill my vision.

bench

The project is still ongoing. I know it will continue to evolve. It will also change with the seasons.

How Does the Creative Process Apply to Life?
I was asked to help with a newcomer’s meal at my church. So I volunteered my sweetie to make a pot of gumbo.

gumbo-pots

I do realize all my ideas eventually involve my sweetie’s practical skills. I laughingly tell him he’s a lucky man.

It’s Inauguration Day. I’ve avoided the news because I’m horrified and fearful about the new President. I envision an evening spent sitting around a table with like-minded folks talking about things that matter to us. But it doesn’t turn out how I imagine.

Because we’ve served the meal, we are the last to sit down. The other tables are filled with the newcomers and so we sit at a table by ourselves. The minister comes over and tells us there is a kind, but homeless, man who attends our church and he has shown up for a meal. “Would we mind if he sat with us?” “Of course he’s welcome to sit with us,“ we say. So he joins us and talks nonstop about his every relative going back to his dad who was delivered by a midwife in 1937 in a home with a dirt floor. He hardly touches his food. I realize he is there for another kind of sustenance. He’s hungry for people and community. I know I can provide that. I realize it may the most important ingredient I’ve brought to the meal.

I am thankful for this gift.

What’s The Big Picture?
I read an article on how our new President could actually be the change agent this country needs (link here). It showed up in my social media feed right when I needed to see it.

Things are not how I imagined them to be. I sure didn’t see this coming. I need to adjust my thinking and get innovative in how I’ll approach this new political landscape. I’m not sure what I’m going to do or what it’s going to look like.

With a little hindsight, I’ll probably be thankful for this gift.

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