Friday, August 1, 2008

Creative Retreat


One of my favorite things about professional photography was the great seminars, workshops, and conventions I got to attend. After going to an event, I'd come home exhausted, but overflowing with ideas. For the last several days, while the rest of my family was away, I've indulged in a creative workshop right here at home. I literally withdrew from my normal routine and commitments as if I'd gone away on a long trip and immersed myself in all things creative. The goal was to listen to and honor and enjoy my creative spirit.

And it was good.

I wrote several thousand words on a fiction project. And resisted the urge to do work on too many writing projects at once. Pacing and patience. Not usually one of my strong points.

I spent some time with hands on creative projects. Cutting, pasting, rearranging, playing with was tactile and textural. Creativity I could touch. Very satisfying. I was limited by my stash of supplies and, occasionally by my lack of training. But it was still fun to approach a project with a child's sense of play.

I savored other people's words on the creative process. Gently, slowly, thoughtfully instead of my usual glup and swallow method of reading.

There were times of playing with food tastes and textures. Enjoying roasted veggies of the season with olive oil and a bit of garlic. Savoring tangy tomatoes and crisp, sweet watermelon. Green salads with raspberry vinagrette and strawberries. A feast of flavors, a different kind of fulfillment.

My head and my notebook filled up with thoughts, ideas, drawings, and details. My family is back home from their far-flung endeavors, so life is back to normal. But I hope not to the same old routine. In the past couple of years, I've taken one time a year to indulge in a creative or writing retreat. Once is not enough. I need a few days here and there throughout the year to think and be and refresh. I'm nosing around in my calendar now to find a fall date for a one or two day do-it-myself workshop time. Wanna join me?

I'm looking forward to working with the fresh ideas captured in my notebook. The future looks creative and fun.

3 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

DebD said...

What a great idea! I've only had the house to myself once in the last 20 years....that was about 2 years ago when hubby took everyone to the beach. I love the idea, execution on my part may be tricky.

Sweet P said...

Your retreat sounds wonderful. My children are grown so I don't have them around. DH travels close to 100,000 miles a year. Three or four times a year he is gone over a weekend. When he is gone on weekend I take a creative retreat. Looking at my calendar I get a retreat a next weekend, one in September, maybe in October and one in November. Then I won't get any until next spring. But wait, I have a quilting retreat planned for the weekend before Christmas!

So I guess I do get quite a few creative retreats in a year.

Being Beth said...

I've really enjoyed your last several posts. You seem to be finding your "sweet spot" (tennis term) in creativity. Nothing like pushing through the brambles and boulders to find that perfect green meadow.

BTW, I'm up for a Genesis discussion -- name the time (but not for a couple of weeks -- going out of town). Maybe in September?